Writing Through Hatred

What constitutes constructive criticism has been discussed in the fandom ad nauseum, along with the sentiment that by putting one’s work online, an author is opening herself up to the opinions of others. While this is true, it is also important to examine closely where the line is between what an author should reasonably be expected to put up with, and attacks no person should have to endure. Input on how I can improve is something I value, and strangely enough, is something of which I’ve gotten very little. What I have received is an abundance of hate, sent under the guise of “constructive criticism.” I wanted to share a bit of this story in the hopes that it might prompt others to think about the people on the other end of the things they feel they ought to have the freedom to say as well as let others who have dealt with this know they are not alone.

I began writing Art After 5 in April of last year for a forbidden love one-shot contest. When I realized I had more story than I could tell in ten thousand words, I decided to make it a full-length piece. I expected some flack for the subject matter, it never occurred to me it would be as controversial as it was, and certainly not because of a detail I added as an homage to canon—at the beginning of his relationship with Bella, Edward is seventeen years old.

I’ll never understand why otherwise intelligent individuals assume that writing a story is an endorsement of its characters’ behavior or what would possess a person to read two chapters of a story and decide she knows its author well enough to attack her as a human being. I’ve yet to read a realistic portrayal of a serial killer and assume the author was writing from experience; sex and relationships should be no different. Writing a story in which a seventeen-year-old boy enters into a consensual sexual relationship with a twenty-four-year-old woman does not make its author a sexual predator.

Despite this, Art After 5 (and later, Counterpoint) was branded a “self-insert pedowank fantasy,” and I was deemed a “a sad twimom who wants to fuck a younger man but isn’t hot enough to be considered a cougar.” It was only a matter of time before the litany of insults was expanded to include unfit mother, pretentious dick and a cunt who should diaf. The next thing I knew, my health issues were mocked on a fandom podcast (I had surgery in December), and a now-defunct LJ community had a “DIAF Colleen” tag. Even my Fandom Give Back participation became fodder for hate, as if raising money for children with cancer could ever be a bad thing.

The worst part was that try as I may, it was impossible to avoid. My inbox was filled with well-meaning people asking me if was aware such-and-such was being said. Screen caps were tweeted to me via sock accounts, as were links to hateful forum posts. I chose not to respond to them and asked my friends to do the same, hoping that if I didn’t add fuel the fire, the flames would die, and after some time, they more or less have. What was once an inferno has now been reduced to a few glowing embers; unfortunately for me, they are resting upon the charred remains of my reputation.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t upset me—not the insults and lies themselves, but the apparent ease with which people whom I thought knew me well enough to know better believed them. I became a pariah overnight. Individuals with whom I’d thought to have fostered decent relationships no longer interacted with me in public, and some who I believed were my friends dropped me completely without even a word. For a person who has always cared about the feelings of others and gone out of her way to behave fairly and decently, it rocked me to the core—not only that people could be so senselessly cruel, but that individuals whom I’d genuinely liked felt compelled to participate.

Through all of this, I never once questioned why I write, only why I continue to take part in a community capable of such vitriol. It’s a debate I’d had with myself more times than I can count, but it always goes the same way. I decide that I’m done with fandom—that the bad outweighs the good for me and that no sane person would willingly subject herself to this. Then I get a message from one of my readers telling me that because of my writing, she understands her life a little better and values herself a little more, that my story has given her hope. I change my mind and I post my next chapter—not for myself, but for her. She is worth more to me than all of the hate.


The preceding blog entry was originally written for the Edwardville LiveJournal Community.

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  1. on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:57 ampatty

    i hope you know that despite the haters, there are those that really do cherish and love you and your work. I, being one of them. I remember the time I finally got the guts to message you and tell you how much I adored your work and how it opened my eyes to things I wouldn’t have considered before.

    Your stories always speak to me despite not having gone through these experiences or anything even remotely close to it. And I realize this is because your stories come from a place of truth.

    I will always look forward to whatever else you plan on writing in the future and know that I’m behind you 100% And I’d like to thank you again for continuing to write through the hate. A weaker writer/person would have succumbed. I’m thankful you didn’t.

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  2. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:07 amGabi

    Oh, my. I didn’t know it was so bad. How can people actually do this? It’s one thing not to be intelligent enough to make the distinction between fiction, author and reality, but to be this hateful towards others they don’t even know…And I wonder, why do they take the time to review/participate in discussions only to flame someone? I’ve been reading a lot of fics lately and if I don’t like one of them, I simply don’t read them. Why bother spending time more time with it? (I must admit, I’m a bad reviewer also for fics I love – I only ever review what you write. :-) )
    I know it’s easy to say “don’t pay attention to these people” but I also know it’s not possible. All I can say is that your writing is wonderful, your characters real, your stories moving and inspiring and they do help us, readers. So try not to let the attacks discourage you.

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  3. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:11 amKatarinasmama

    Such a well written response. I am so sorry that this has been occurring. You showed such strength in writing this post and it made me think of all the writers who have been banned for one reason or another. Go to ALA’s Banned Book Week. I always find inspiration there. This year, I took my kids to the library during BBW and showed them various books and why they were banned. Sadly, my favorite author had practically all of his works banned. Sad to know that As You Like It was banned because “it teaches children about cross-dressing”. This is the mentality we have to fight against. Glad you are out there writing. Keep it up.

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  4. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:15 amSassyk

    Got nothing but love for you, bb. Have courage and stay true. *hugs*

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  5. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:27 amBri

    I also adore your stories. They are so well written and really make me think – which a lot of stories in the fandom never do. I hope you know there are a lot of us out here that support you.

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  6. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:31 ammel24fan

    I’m sorry that you have had to go through this. I don’t know how but I miss most of the drama that goes on in the fandom. Maybe b/c I only read and don’t write and only have limited interactions with the authors. When I started reading fic I didn’t really review b/c I don’t write so I didn’t think my comments really mattered to the writer. Having been around awhile now has changed my view on that and I think that most of the writers like feedback even if it’s only saying I liked the chapter. The people that are flaming you obviously have problems. I’m glad you have stuck around b/c I adore your writing.

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  7. on 25 Jun 2010 at 1:03 pmLinsey

    I had no idea any of this was going on. I’m such an ostrich when it comes to the internet. Because I’m insecure and because I simply don’t have time to keep up with all of it.

    It’s a shame people say and do these things because you’re an amazing person and a fantastic writer. I know you didn’t make this post fishing for compliments or affirmation or pity or sympathy. But I feel you need affirmation anyway because all artists need to be appreciated.

    My hat has always been off to you simply because you continue to beautifully write in spite of what others say. I tucked tail and pulled my writing at my first constructive criticism. They really were trying to help, I’m just too insecure to handle it.

    Thank you for continuing your writing. Even if it is just for her. I’m thankful for her as well. Some people just don’t have the aptitude to read something deep and meaningful and learn from it. <3

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  8. on 25 Jun 2010 at 1:58 pm1breezybri

    Colleen,

    I am truly sorry for what you’ve had to endure. What I’ve learned over the past few months in particular is that the majority of people live life on the surface, allowing themselves to merely skim the subjects and emotions they claim to be experts on. A rare few actually feel and think as deeply as one would need to in order to fully appreciate your plot line. The ones that spew hate before knowing and the ones who can easily let a friend go in the face of hardship are not the ones you want in your corner anyway, right? So let them go.

    Write what you want to write because you want to write it. It will find an audience. Inevitably it will also find those who hate but there is nothing you can do about that. Every subject has critics and, within every group of critics, there are those who take it to a hateful place that is meant to hurt and shame you.

    It really is true what they say that only you can make yourself feel inferior. If these so-called “Twilight fans” a) were really fans and b) took a good hard look at their own lives, they would see that acting from such a dark place never does anyone any good and it’s people who behave the way they do that ruin the party for all of us who just want to experience something amazing with other phenomenal women who we’ve grown to know and love.

    Please stick around,
    Bri

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  9. on 25 Jun 2010 at 3:18 pmCindy

    Colleen,
    I had no idea you were going through this. Although I review from time to time, I never read other’s comments and don’t belong to any threads, so I’ve missed these shameful attacks on you. I’m so sorry that some people have been so ignorant, so cruel to you. That you have been going through it and have still been able to write so well and continue to post speaks of your tremendous inner strength. I’m so thankful that you have forged on with this creative outlet and shared it with us.
    While this kind of semi-anonymous support can’t replace the loss of those who you thought were true friends, perhaps it can comfort you and reinforce your knowledge that a far larger community of people are cheering you on.

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  10. on 25 Jun 2010 at 5:48 pmMary

    I’ve known stuff like this goes on in just about any online forum/community. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to endure such disgusting behavior. I never understand people who think they can say and so what they want without any type of remorse. That is the cringe-inducing factor of being involved in such online communities.

    I do commend you for bringing this to everyone’s attention–I feel like it’s rarely talked about, like the dirty little secret of fanfiction. I’m just as guilty as the next person as being quite the Pollyanna about things like this. I enjoy and appreciate all that you write and contribute to the fandom. I can only imagine how difficult it is to continue to write chapter after chapter only knowing that someone will have something negative to say. Thank goodness that you continue to participate in this arena, I truly and honestly enjoy your writing.

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  11. on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:03 pmMaria

    I am sorry you had to put up with such hateful comments, but I cannot way that I am surprised. The anonymity provided by the web makes it the perfect place for vicious attacks. I think you are incredibly talented and that you are writing fiction. If someone does not feel comfortable with the subject matter they don’t have to read it. It is that simple. You are definitely entitled to write it and I am thankful that you choose to do so, because I thoroughly enjoy reading your stories. I also believe that being so good in what you do is what makes you more of a target. For what is worth I am an avid reader and I have not come across to any of these attacks, simply because I am not interested in reading the gossip but in enjoying the stories that the authors so kindly share with us. So thanks!

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  12. on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:17 pmeimski

    I am so sorry that some narrow minded and petty individuals have spewed their vitriol at you. They obviously have very little to do in their lives. I was lucky enough to read all of ‘Art after 5′ and am always excited to read a new ‘Counterpoint’ update. You have a ferocious talent and I am grateful you have so graciously and kindly shared your beautiful work with us all, thank you.

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  13. on 26 Jun 2010 at 12:14 amangelesfog

    I’m so shocked by your post! I had no idea what you had been going through! I want to go on record as one of your strongest supporters. You have talent and I appreciate that you have shared that talent with me. Thank you.

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  14. on 26 Jun 2010 at 10:02 amTheRugbymom

    So sorry. There are way too many idiots out there – just step outside your home and look around you. [Of course, if you’ve been hanging around the Art Museum and Princeton campus, maybe you’ve managed to avoid them! But you’re intelligent enough to know they are out there.]
    There are also wonderful people around you. They may be quiet in the background, but if they see you being mistreated, they will promptly step forward and offer you aid. Whether you need a reminder of just how much we love and respect your writing, or you want us to cut a bitch for you [!] – we are here and we would be happy to help any way we can. Just say the word, and we will go join all those forums and lay the smackdown on the haters!
    I have an extra ticket to see Eclipse in IMAX at KOP on July 5th. I would love to meet you and thank you in person for your wonderful stories if you can join me. I promise not to get ‘Colleen fangirl’ drool all over you [can’t make any guarantees of my reactions to RPattz in IMAX, but to date, I have never publicly embarrassed myself at a movie!] PM me if you’re interested. Really.
    Thanks so much for your stories and God Bless.

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  15. on 26 Jun 2010 at 11:12 amceleste

    Colleen – I have really enjoyed your stories and since I don’t follow the social side of the fandom, I had no idea of this. I am glad you are continuing to write. I can’t say it changed my life but I can definitely say that some of your Bella’s issues I can totally relate to. I have always liked the deeper side of your story besides the lemony goodness. Most good writers have controversy! Continue writing! I never reply on anything fanfic related since I am way in the closet but I know negative comments always prevail, I was hoping a few more positive ones will inspire you further!

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  16. on 26 Jun 2010 at 4:10 pmfvprosey

    Wow, I cannot believe people would do that to you. I’m truly sorry that has happened. Your story, Art After 5, is one of my all-time fanfic stories. I wish I had the talent you do and could write such a great story. Please do not let the negative outwiegh the positive you have received. I look forward to reading more from you!

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  17. on 27 Jun 2010 at 10:54 amBrandy

    I am new to your stories and just finished Counterpoint. I haven’t read After 5, but I plan on starting it today. There were several times in the story that I didn’t like Bella, but at no point did I ever think she was an alter-ego of the writer. You story was beautifully written and I learned a lot about mistakes and the effort required to redeem oneself. You have written a piece that shows true characters and true emotion. That has been one of the most real stories I have ever read on fanfic. The realness so obviously says that as a writer, you truly care about these characters and took the time to really get to know them. I can’t imagine the hurt that must come with such a horrid response to something that has taken your heart and soul to produce. I thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your incredible gift with us. I look forward to reading all that you have written and all you decide to write.

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  18. on 27 Jun 2010 at 11:28 pmchelleb

    I”ve been meaning to post on Twilighted how much I enjoy your stories for a while. I have completely enjoyed this series and hope you continue despite attacks by jerks. I was really taken aback by the subject matter myself, but ended up being completely intrigued by the characters you created.

    I hope you do write a novel outside the fanfic world – you definitely have the tenacity to see something through and talent to spare. Best of luck!

    Your fellow JerseyGirl,
    Chelleb

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  19. on 28 Jun 2010 at 10:41 amGems

    I`m really sorry, I love your writing, I have enjoyed your stories very much, the others are totally stupids.

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  20. on 28 Jun 2010 at 9:30 pmmy1edward

    Colleen,
    I’m really shocked to read what you’ve been subjected to by “reviewers.” I am so sorry to hear that and I apologize to you on behalf of non-crazy readers. I’m another one who doesn’t go on the threads or read others’ reviews, so I’m largely ignorant of the things that go on, though a number of my favorite authors have made comments or taken actions over time as a result of despicable conduct by readers. I work at a court, so I see people all the time who commit not only foul but illegal acts, but I find it very disturbing that people who have access to the Internet and enough time on their hands to read ff feel free to lob virtual Molotov cocktails at you or incite some sort of hateful online lynch mob. The Internet is an amazing thing but it readily allows people an easy, instantaneous and anonymous outlet for their basest impulses and feelings. I’m so thankful you continued to write in spite of it, as Art After 5 and Counterpoint are among my very favorite stories. I’m the mom of a gifted 15-year old boy, and I see some things in Edward that I also see in my son, and have taken many of Esme and Carlisle’s wise words to heart in thinking about how to deal with him and the issues he faces and will face as he gets older. I’ve primarily enjoyed AA5 and Counterpoint as beautifully written and engrossing stories with characters I love, but that extra dimension has made them particularly meaningful to me. I suppose I’m most sorry to hear that people you considered friends turned out not to be, as that’s a hard thing to bear. I hope that the good interactions you continue to have with readers who value your talent and insight will be of some comfort to you. Wishing you all the best,
    Susan

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  21. on 28 Jun 2010 at 9:44 pmtutux2

    WOW… I knew from following, OK, lurking, on the twilighted forum that things had gotten pretty ugly…but I had no idea it has been that vicious. I am very proud of you that you have contiued to follow your heart and shared your wonderful stories with us. Thank you from the other side of PA!!

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  22. on 28 Jun 2010 at 10:07 pmdaisy12

    I can’t believe how mean people can be! You are one of my favorite writers, Art after 5 is one of my all time favorite stories (including published books). As I said to you in one of my reviews, that story means a lot to me because guess what- I met my husband when he just turned 18 and I was 26, we have been together for 25 years. How dare they judge you for writing such a great story with such interesting characters! I hope they are not the reason you removed the story- I still wish you will publish it so I can reread it! I wish you all the best in your future writing projects!

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  23. on 30 Jun 2010 at 1:51 amshinzonx

    People can be such assholes when they’re hiding behind an internet screen. Best of luck with your writing, in the Twi-world and in the real life publishing world which I believe you have the talent to succeed in.

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  24. on 01 Jul 2010 at 4:30 pmMelody

    Isn’t it ironic how two people can view one thing so differently? I admit that the premise of AA5 made me slightly uncomfortable at first. A few chapters in, though, and any reservations I had were gone! Your story lines are compelling, your writing style is beautiful, and your characters come alive. You know the writing is excellent when you find yourself empathizing with characters you don’t want to like, and relating to the character’s motives and choices even when you disagree with the choices they make. Your AA5/CP Carlisle is my all time favorite Carlisle in the fandom!

    I honestly don’t understand the inability of some readers in the fandom to separate the author from her character. Many of the greatest classics have controversial story lines and characters, and yet, we don’t judge those authors by the acts their characters have committed so why should we with any other author? The most ironic part to me is that I really don’t find any of your characters that controversial. On the contrary, I find them all to be very realistic portrayals of decent people who just happen to make a few poor choices. Really no different from any of us.

    I, for one, am extremely thankful that you’ve continued to write and publicly share your stories despite the hate and bullying you’ve received. You’re a very talented writer! Which is precisely why I read everything you post ;)
    Sunshinemommy

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    Twific Crackmum reply:

    @Melody, I couldn’t have said it any better myself – so I wont. That is EXACTLY the way I feel. I too had some discomfort around the storyline of AAF (being the mother of an 18 year old son) but the excellent writing and character development in this story won me over very quickly. I have spent the last 3 days reading everything on this site and the quality of writing is outstanding. Please keep writing because I, for one, will keep reading. I’m sure that I’m not alone.

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  25. on 01 Jul 2010 at 11:57 pmjoanne

    i didn’t know this was happening. i don’t participate in any forums. i just love reading the stories and your stories are one of my faves. it really affects me. so i hope you won’t let any of the negativities stop you from writing. you’re one of the best authors out there :)

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  26. on 03 Jul 2010 at 4:16 amPhoebe

    Much as I’d like to say that those ignorant imbeciles who deign to proclaim themselves ‘moral police’ have absolutely no right to air their hurtful opinions, freedom of speech dictates that the stupid have as much right to express their thoughts (or what passes for thought) as the intelligent.
    With that in mind, I’m expressing my right to air my own opinion: that I’m fairly certain that the morons who are condemning this story fall within either of two categories:
    1) shallow, judgmental, snooty close-minded fools who haven’t read much past the first line of the synopsis (these ‘people’ are nicely represented in the story in the form of Alice, by the way), or,
    2) hopeless idiots who managed to read the whole story without understanding any of it.
    Anybody with the reading comprehension past elementary school level who has actually read beyond the first chapters of either AA5 or Counterpoint would clearly percieve that a) Edward/Reed is far older than his physical age, b) he pursued Bella/Beth, and c) Bella/Beth fell for him IN SPITE of his age, and not because of it.
    Please take consolation in the fact that those who actually read AND understood your stories admire your work, and hold a much higher opinion of your person and your talent. I wish you the best and am awaiting the day this series becomes an international bestseller.

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  27. on 05 Jul 2010 at 1:34 pmFreelove Zilpha

    What I’ve always enjoyed about Twilight fanfic (about the best of it, like yours, as least) is that I see new stories as an intellectual challenge for both writer and reader. The writer takes a situation or problem or kernel of an idea and follows it. For example: What happens if we take an actual 17-year-old-savant Edward and put him into a relationship with an every-day Bella? What happens if Edward’s domineering tendencies are followed to their logical conclusion? What happens if we tell the same scene from a different POV? For me, as a reader, the fun is in watching how another brain works through the problems and possibilities presented and in responding with the same kind of intellectual engagement: what works, what surprises, what delights.

    In AA5 and Counterpoint, the age difference was a clever solution to me: what peer would find Edward’s advanced state manageable? Few from public school, I would argue; Edward-as-pariah is a convincing scenario to those of us who didn’t go to the New York School for the Performing Arts. Hence, teacher-Bella seemed a clever and right way through. And the dynamic you built between them, while unconventional, seems to me intentionally constructed to avoid the knee-jerk moralism with which some readers have responded.

    What I’ve realized about fandom—and the reason why I do not follow many blogs or forums, to be honest—is that the standard level of discourse is purely emotional, that of plot and character (not characterization, and there’s a difference between the two). With such discussions, when the author becomes the subject of such discussions, the conversation is typically ad hominem: witness your experience. Sort of like hating on Harriet Beecher Stowe for slavery or Brett Easton Ellis for 80s malaise or William S. Burroughs for drug addiction.

    To learn of such exchanges make me sad, and somewhat discouraged, and I’m not even the focus of the attack. I appreciate your fortitude in the face of it, and am all the more excited to read your fiction because you write it DESPITE the negative reactions you receive. Brave and self-reliant: Emerson would be proud.

    Thanks for writing, always. –FLZ

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  28. on 09 Jul 2010 at 4:28 amMarty

    I really love your writing esp. AA5 & Counterpoint and Some Little Girls. You said that when Counterpoint was done you would start writing SLG but now your starting on a new story. I’m sorry but I’m stuck on Some Little Girls AA5 & Counterpoint are not done for me. So I just choose to not read anything else until you update SLG. Sorry, not really intrested in anyother story but that one.

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    Colleen reply:

    I’ve been writing the AA5 characters for over a year now. I need a break from them in order for me to enjoy it again.
    Some Little Girls in a Fandom Gives Back piece, so it will be completed. Darkrooms and Safe Light is also a Fandom Gives Back piece.

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  29. on 09 Jul 2010 at 1:35 pmMarty

    That’s cool you should have just said you needed a break instead of saying you would continue SLG when Counterpoint was finished. JS.

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    Colleen reply:

    uh…I am continuing Some Little Girls now that Counterpoint is finished. Counterpoint has been completed two weeks. I guess I don’t see where I said something misleading.

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  30. on 10 Jul 2010 at 1:35 amKait

    Hello…there are very few fanfic stories that I enjoy, and yours are one of the select few. Please continue with Some Little Girls as I’m interested in seeing your Edward and Bella become parents. I really appreciate all of the work that goes into these.

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  31. on 10 Jul 2010 at 11:26 amAlexRocks1976

    Some people live just to tear other people down. They’re just wired to find what they consider to be a flaw or an insecurity & then they nitpick until they feel satisfied. You are extremely gifted. I have read every single one of your stories & you should seriously (if you haven’t already) pursue this as a career outside of the fandom. You may not truly know the depth of your impact on any of your readers aside from these uneducated fools who feel they are better than you are. In reality, you are the bigger person for not choosing to play their stupid little game. After reading this I was compelled to tell you that you are appreciated & yes, more than one of your stories brought me to tears. Do not let the childish & stupid actions of a few deter you from what you love to do.

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  32. on 11 Jul 2010 at 2:00 pmjojopaints

    Let me begin by stating that I am generally a lurker. Only once have I even left a comment (positive) about a story. I’m newer than most to the fanfiction world and ‘Art after Five’ was one of the first storirs I read. Along with ‘Wide Awake’, it opened up a whole new world for me. I just finished ‘Counterpoint’ and literally got chills when I read the prologue to ‘Darkrooms and Safe Light’. Wow!

    The thing that impressed me the most and continues to amaze me is that there are so many talented people with fertile imaginations who are willing to share their stories with the rest of us.

    DO NOT ever let anyone cause you to second guess yourself, please. Your writing is exquisite; a gentle, descriptive style that is very appealing. Your story development and pacing are wonderful, following a natural progression that is right on target. I was so taken with your descriptions of the museum and its art, I’ve promised myself a trip to Philadelphia just so I can visit.

    We are in a very judgemental period and polaraztion is the name of the game right now. There is no denying that it colors all aspects of our society. Rather than allow someone the benefit of the doubt or (God forbid) try to understand their point of view, they are immediately attack them for not thinking exactly as we do. This is sad and stifles creativity and free expression.

    Unfortunately, I’ve noticed an increase of this attitute in the fan community which seems to be taking on some aspects of a vicious gang of high school girls that decide who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ . Gah!

    So Sleepy girl pay them no mind, knowing that your stories entrance and delight many of us. Thank you so much for providing so many hours of pure reading pleasure and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like what you write! They can stop reading at any time.

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  33. on 12 Jul 2010 at 11:07 pmAshley

    It baffles me that people could possibly condemn your story when Twilight is based upon a 108 year old vampire courting a 17 year old girl. And even beyond that she ends up essentially beat up after having sex with him and he gnaws open her uterus to extract their baby that is slowly killing her. How can people who read and love these books judge your story? The hypocrisy involved in that infuriates me. When I don’t like a story, I don’t review it. If something offends me, I stop reading. But people seem to think that just because they’re hiding behind their computer screens, they are under no obligation to have some human decency. There is absolutely no excuse for attacking an author for posting a story that each individual has to make the conscious choice to read. I am very sorry that you have had to face such horrible treatment. And I would just like to thank you for continuing to post your stories. Writing fanfiction is often thankless. Writing takes a great deal of time, especially good writing like yours, and you certainly aren’t receiving any compensation for it. And when you aren’t getting flamed you have to deal with people demanding updates. I’ve never understood that sense of entitlement that people have about these stories. You are obviously under no obligation to take the time out of your life to write and certainly not to post, but you do and you deserve to be thanked for that, not attacked. So thank you again. And especially thank you for continuing to write and post with all of the negativity you have faced for doing so.

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  34. on 03 Aug 2010 at 6:45 pmWendy

    Hey there, I missed you and decided to check out Counterpoint again and because I have always loved the stories you tell, I decided to come here and see what else goes on in that brain of yours. Can’t say I’m not thoroughly disappointed at the backlash you were privy too. But I will say that had those individuals taken a second to look deeper into the stories you wrote, they would have realized that there were a number layers within your stories that had so much more to say than the relationship you were portraying. I think you already know that had Bella been 36 and Edward 29 there would have been no question. I know you’ve had numerous supporters speak up for you here on this page but I wanted to lend you my support as well, as a fan and as an open-minded, educated individual with the desire to read more into the stories I spend my days reading. Thank goodness your still writing. What would we do with out you. -searchingforstories

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  35. on 17 Aug 2010 at 7:15 amVillanova

    Please don’t give up writing you have an amazing talent, I love all your stories I don’t always review but enjoy every single installment. I understand that it is easy for me to say ignore the haters, if I were in your shoes I would be upset too, please bear in mind that for every hater you have hundred of admirers thank you for doing it for the rest of us.

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  36. on 24 Aug 2010 at 6:41 pmGloria

    Hi there Colleen well i just read this and i know i’m a bit slow getting onto your new website which btw i think is just fantastic!! as for this aritcle you just wrote well i guess in the light of the perpetrator you are now a young woman with a fetish for a perverted vampire?!!!! People are just fucking ridiculous sometimes aren’t they?!! they just don’t see things in the light of what they really are and the aquaintances they have that are influenced by a load of shit are just as low in their assessments!! Anyways i am so glad you are far more mature and of greater integrity than all the judgemental jerks that have irked you and continue to display your wonderful skill and talent in writing and thank God for that one person that helped you through that!! She brings to my mind that saying..”to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” i think that’s how it goes. I commend you and all your efforts in bringing wonderful stories for our enjoyment!

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    Colleen reply:

    I see Gloria and I think you’re my sister (her name is Gloria). Then I remember she’d call me Chickie, and she doesn’t know this website exists. I’m easily confused.

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  37. on 25 Aug 2010 at 4:25 pmShannon Glenn aka HadleyHemingway online

    I just saw the reference to your website as I was reading through some of your old stuff and found this entry – I am having trouble finding the words to express my horror at what you have experienced and my shock at the amount of entitled judgment that these people have to even comment on you personally at all. I am so sorry – I believe your work to be amongst the best of Twi-fanfiction and have found the various ideas that you’ve developed for each of your stories to be fresh, creative, interesting, and often reflective of real life angst. I am a psychologist (when I’m not being a full-time mother of 2) and think that you’ve done an amazing job in handling delicate psychological issues with sensitivity and finesse (INCLUDING Art after 5!!). I don’t want to carry on and bring up all the pain that you have dealt with over your writing (actually I just was going to beg for more of the one-shot of Bella and her ex, Senator Cullen) but I do want to offer you my full support and my firm belief in your capabilities. As much as I love the Twilight world (I even love the fanfic more than the actual books) I am constantly blown away by the pathology of its “fans” in both the fanfic and the real world. Forget the crazies, my dear, guard your heart as you need, and carry on with your exquisite writing gift.
    All the best to you.
    Shannon Glenn

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  38. on 28 Aug 2010 at 12:54 amRoxie2602

    I just finished reading your AA5 story and some of the extras for the first time. I just stumble upon this enty of yours and although I very rarely comment (I know, I should do it more often to show my appreciation), I felt compelled to leave a small note to tell you how I though your story was wonderfully written and I love every part of it, even the, let call it unconventiannale premise. I guess, by those haters standards, that makes me also a sick pervet! I’m glad you were able to find the strenght to get pass those undeserved hate comments and give me and others the opportunity to read your wonderful story. Thank you. And best wishes to you.

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  39. on 10 Dec 2010 at 6:16 pmCosette Cullen

    I am stunned! I had no idea there was so much hate and slander surrounding AA5. I am truly sorry for how you’ve been treated and can only imagine your hurt. I read AA5 last year and it still remains one of my favorite fanfics. Honestly, at the very beginning, I was a little wary . . . unsure how the age/consent thing would be handled. But I continued on, and I’m so glad I did. Also, kudos on your ability to write a companion story from EPOV without being redundant and boring. That’s not an easy feat. I rec your story often, and I hope you never stop writing.

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  40. on 10 Mar 2011 at 10:24 pmreesessweetie

    wow…i didn’t have a clue that this was going on. it’s so sad that just because people are hiding behind their computer that they feel it’s okay to be so vicious and cruel to another human being. it’s very disheartening…

    i can’t believe that we almost lost such a great writer in our fandom because of all the hate others are spewing. i’m just so glad that you decided to stick with us and with your stories. you have no idea how grateful i am

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