Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Screechy Monkeys

This is why Scalzi is a writer, and I am a computer monkey.
Best-selling author Laurell K. Hamilton borrows Anne Rice's crazy hat and unloads, at length, on some detractors on a message board.

Now, why you, as an author, shouldn't follow Ms. Hamilton's example:

It makes you look like an asstard.

Here's the thing. Some people won't like your books. If these people also have access to the Internet, the chances are good that they might tell other people how they don't like your books. Sometimes, they'll tell people they don't like your books, even if they haven't read your books, because some people are crazy screechy monkeys.

Now, when you encounter a crazy screechy monkey, there are many things you should not do, and one of the things not to do is go up to it and jab it repeatedly with a stick. Because all that does is enrage the crazy screechy monkey, who will then hoot and hop and call to all his crazy screechy monkey friends. Then suddenly you've got a whole colony of crazy screechy monkeys hooting and flinging their poo at you, and all you have is a stick. You can't poke them all. They move too quickly, and eventually their poo gets into your eyes. If you try, everyone watching you is going to say "look, that person is trying to fight an entire colony of crazy screechy poo-flinging monkeys with a stick. What an asstard." Then they'll laugh and point at you.

Eventually you'll have to retreat; declare moral victory if you like, but the fact is, the colony of monkeys is still screeching crazily at you, people are pointing and laughing at your asstardery, and you're covered in monkey shit.

Leave the crazy screechy monkeys alone.

It's too late for Laurell K. Hamilton. It's not too late for you.

Because he puts into words - exactly, with precision and humor - what I've known since I started the gig at Liftport. Be nice to people and don't unload on your detractors.

Replace author with 'guys who want to build a space elevator' and 'book' with 'project' and you've got one of our guiding principles in dealing with the public.

With one exception - we don't talk about monkeys, much.

Respectfully Submitted,
Brian Dunbar

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