Monster Hunter Nation

Random updates and fun with internet critics

Monster Hunter Legion is coming along. My deadline to have the rough draft done is the end of January, which I will hit. I was hoping to be on the 2nd draft by January and have the rough done by Christmas, but it has been busy, and Mrs. Correia is due to deliver Correia 2.4 soon.

I think you guys are going to like this one. (the book, not the kid, though he should be pretty awesome too) MHL needs a lot of tune up still, but overall I think it is pretty darn good. After Alpha, this one is back to Owen’s PoV. The project after that will be the collaboration with John Ringo. Post apocolyptic steampunk. Yay! Then book 3 of the Grimnoir Chronicles, Warbound.

This is all with me still having my day job as a finance manager in the Evil Military Industrial Complex, which keeps me hopping. Luckily I just got an assistant manager, which should make life easier. I’m making enough off of the writing now to only be a writer, but really like what I do, so figure that I’ll probably keep the day job for one more year. (I indirectly in a small general and administrative way help keep our fighter jets capable of raining fiery destruction down on our enemies, which is pretty awesome for an accountant).

One of my friends just got back safe from Afghanistan and I was able to see him this week. Welcome home, Tony. Mike is down to his last month and a half.  Once he gets home and settled in we will squeeze in the sequel to Dead Six, which is called Swords of Exodus. My half of that one is about 90% done. Mike has a lot to do on his half, but he’s got a real handy excuse, what with going to war and playing highspeed IED death chess and all that. 

It is a tradtion that Mike come to my house for Christmas. He’s been here 4 out of the last 5 Christmases. (missed one for EOD school) It is really weird not having him around. For my children, Mike Kupari coming over and playing board games is a Christmas tradtion. Correia 2.1 beat him at Risk a few years ago. (her first victory against adults) He better not get blown up, or the Correia kids will be pissed off.  

I’ve been getting this question a lot. The audibook for Spellbound will most likely be out in February. Bronson Pinchot (who also narrated Hard Magic) was unavailable for a bit because he was working on a TV show or a movie or something.  There are currently no plans for an audio book of Dead Six. The MH books have been doing extremely well on Audible, with MHI being one of the top sellers in fantasy for 2011, and MHV being one of the most/highest rated overall. I do believe that is all because of Oliver Wyman’s fantastic narration.

And while I’m thinking about it, if you’ve read Hard Magic and you are a WorldCon member or attendee, you should think about nominating it for the Hugo. I’m just saying… First off, it is actually really good and very original, and second, and far more importantly, the literati hoighty-toighty absolutely hate my guts, I’ll always just be an action-pulp-right wing-gun guy to them, and if I get nominated again their heads will explode. You have no idea how much joy I got from the reviews last year that talked about how if I won it would “end literature forever”.  :) 

Today I’m working on the Christmas Noun 4. I’m out of time and have to hurry up and get that out. It is tradition. You guys need your cheesy Christmas story! On an amusing Christmas Noun note, like many authors I google search my name every so often. The reason being is that you want to see what people are saying about your books, who is reviewing you, what the general vibes are, that sort of thing. Chalk it up to market research. (warning, do not do this unless you’ve got a thick skin, because the internet is filled with mean people who like to poop on everything and kick puppies).  I found a series of forum posts from somebody who despises me, Ringo, Kratman, Williamson, Baen in general, and happiness, who then tried to demonstrate what a horrid writer I was by putting up excerpts from the Christmas Noun. :)

Yes. The annual tradition of really terrible writing is… gasp! Terrible! Oh, man. You totally pwned me!  I can only imagine if he’d found Tom Stranger. It quite possibly might have actually turned him illiterate! It never ceases to amaze me just how hard some people hate my guts. (usually with a link to something where I had the audacity to have a political opinion that differed from theirs).

Oh well. When I get that sort of negative hate review thing on the internet, I simply have to console myself with my tens of thousands of fans, hundreds of good reviews, respect from my peers, prestigous award nominations, TV deals, audiobook deals, foreign sales, a safe full of guns, my hot Viking wife, and then cry myself to sleep in my mini-mansion overlooking a ski resort.  However, if I’m still all torn up inside as a result of their razor-sharp commentary and their incredible knowledge of literature (gleaned from reading TV Tropes and their semester of creative writing), then I just have to carry on in the knowledge that I sold more books yesterday than they will in their entire life.

Yeah. I get by. :D

If you are going to make it as a writer, you either have to ignore reviews entirely, or just not care when you get a terrible one. I remember talking to a friend of mine a few years ago. He’s a very successful YA writer, and had just gotten back from a huge tour his publisher had sent him on. That particular book ended up pretty high on the NYT list. He was on top of the world. Then he read a random, anonymous internet review that called him names. Despite knowing that he was kicking ass, he admitted to us that that one review had still managed to bring him down. He said it was like finding a dog turd in his cereal.

Thing is, this YA writer has gone on to write several more really popular books. He has legions of fans, but as far as I know he doesn’t read reviews anymore. He’s just not wired to take abuse.

Not me. I’m a sucker for this stuff. I’ve gone head to head against highly paid lobbyists to argue over proposed laws in front of a state legislature as a subject matter expert, and I did it for fun. I like conflict. If somebody says Owen Pitt is a Mary Sue, I say maybe, but enough people like him that he’s paid my mortgage for the last few years. Stick that in your English degree and smoke it.

A quick note on internet criticism for aspiring writers: Don’t be a douche. The internet lasts forever and you may regret some of the things that you’ve said about people. For example, you’ll notice that I don’t review movies on the blog anymore. I quit doing that right after the first time I met professionally with the Hollywood types. The realization hit that I had talked trash and insulted the work of men who I was now trying to sell stuff to. Next thing I know, I’m working with people, and in the past I was the one that left the turd in their ceral bowl. So now if I talk about something that I didn’t like, then I’m going to at least try not to be a pretentious prick about it.

I found a blog the other day that trashed MHI. Okay, that’s cool. It isn’t perfect. It’s my first book. I’ve written 7 books since and have gotten a lot better with practice. Believe me, there are things that I’d love to go back and do over again. However, when the review started insulting my intelligence, questioning my fan’s taste, and insulting the ability of the editors/publisher that purchased the book, before going on to talk about how they were still trying to get published and what they could learn from this… Duh. Seriously… You friggin’ idiot.  

Publishing isn’t a huge business. Everybody knows each other. Like I said, I’m used to being insulted, mostly because I was politically opinionated a long time before I got published. And if you are a conservative, you are going to get made fun of. (which is why there are so many right leaning authors but only a handful of us “out of the closet”) But here you are trying to sell a book, and you just insulted a gigantic fan base that you hope to sell books to in the future? Huh?  “Yeah, if you liked this book, then you’re stupid in your stupid face!”  Because that’s a sales pitch.

Okay… If you are in a totally different market you might be able to get away with that. I joke about Twilight, but my target audience is totally different than the Twilight target audience. I’ve made a lot of money off of the anti-Twilight backlash. (and that said, as a businessman and capitalist, I’ve got nothing but respect for Stephanie Meyers, because she now lives in a house made out of solid gold bars).

But if you are working on the same target audience, and your strategy is to come in and tell someone in that audience that if they enjoyed a particular work then they’re idiots who obviously aren’t as smart as you, (and this work has gone through 5 printings, and is still a solid seller several years after release, with a VERY loyal and vocal fanbase), you are a moron.

Back when I was in the gun business, we had a rule for anybody that was working at the sales counter. Never ever, ever, never insult someone’s choice in guns. So if you were helping somebody and he started telling you about how much he loved his Lorcin, you could try to educate him about the diffence between guns, but you couldn’t come right out and say that the Lorcin was a POS. Why? Because if you insult someone’s choices, they will take it as if you are insulting them. People connect themselves to their choices. Boom. You just lost a sale.

(Except for HK, because back then I would rather have gotten dental work done than deal with their customer service, but to be fair I’ve heard they’ve gotten tons better and are actually pleasant to deal with now. But on this topic, just look at the famous HK post that I wrote that is still generating hate mail a veritable internet-eon later. Those folks took me making fun of their choice as a personal insult.)

It is one thing to call an author dumb, but if you call his fan’s dumb, and they find out, they sure as hell aren’t going to buy your book.

Insulting fans is foolish, but when you insult an editor’s intelligence, that takes the cake. Bad move, dumbass. The publishing industry is actually very small and pretty much everyone knows everybody else. I know of a few aspiring authors that are basically toast in traditional publishing because their name is mud.

I’ve got enough books under contract to have guaranteed employment for the next nine years at two books a year, and I still don’t publically insult any editors!  One of these days I might wnat to write something for one of them, or they might end up changing publishing houses.  Why in the world would you be dumb enough to insult someone that can write you a check for your fiction in the future? 

I’m lucky. I love my editors. I have a frew friends that work for editors who I think are complete imbeciles, but I’m not going to name them on the internet, because that’s sort of like setting your career on fire. Word gets out between this small community that you are a know it all jerk, and you might as well wipe your ass with your query letter before mailing it in. The end results will be similar.

All that said, my favorite negative review I’ve gotten this year had to be the one that absolutely hated my guts, and then went on and on and on about how awful MHI was, and how if you enjoyed MHI then you were obviously illiterate, uncultured, and retarded, and then said how it was garbage compared to really good urban fantasy, like for example Jim Butcher’s stuff. Of course this was posted the day after Jim Butcher posted on Facebook about how he really liked MHI. 

I so love my job.

In the interest of full disclosure, the advice I’m giving to aspiring authors about not offending potential readers needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If you’ve read this blog, then you know I’m very opinionated on political topics. Writers are about as politically divided as any other group, but like the rest of the entertainment industry, the right wingers normally keep their mouths shut for fear of being blacklisted. 

I don’t, because A. My publishing house only cares about if books sell well, not it’s writer’s political opinions, so I can get away with it. (hell, one of our bestsellers is an actual Trotskyite Communist, former labor union organizer and on the opposite side we’ve got Ghengis Tom Kratman).  and B. One half of the country is really tired of having their entertainment mock their fundamental beliefs. So for every one potential reader I turn off, I pick up three others who are sick of getting preached at. 

If you haven’t broken in yet, keep in mind that your public politics can turn off potential editors. And you get one guess where most of them fall on the spectrum. (hint, the publishing industry is based in New York City). There are some absolutely phenomenal writers who used to win literary awards all the time, but once they come out of the closet as deviating from the accepted group think, no more awards for them. Orson Scott Card is probably the best example.  

So I’m probably not ever going to get a positive review in Time Magazine, but I was the #1 book of the USS Ronald Reagan carrier battle group. I’m totally cool with that.

Your mileage may vary.

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Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“Ending literature forever” is a worthy goal.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Dang. Rant, advice, politely insulting your opponents, all in one post! You, sir, are now on my short list of heroes. And, quite possibly, the only non-military member of that list. Now…to just get off my fat, lazy, dyslexic duff and start writing again myself…

Guest

The way things are going, Pitt will outlast Time magazine, even if he gets likkered up and pisses on Agent Franks’ tactical boots.

Guest
joe Crouse
3 years 5 months ago

Rich,

I think Franks would probably laugh at that .
Well ok he might laugh as he ties Owen’s arms into a knot but he would probably Congratulate Pitt on having a set of brass ones.

Guest
Nick Sharps
3 years 5 months ago

I’ve been harsh in some of my reviews, particularly reviews of urban fantasy books. But insulting the author/fans/editor is just in bad taste.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Shakespeare may be taught in schools, but Cthulhu has inspired more people. So they can take their literature and smoke it.

Guest
Tannim111
3 years 5 months ago

Hey – don’t be dissing Shakespeare now.

Where else can you find supernatural, cross dressing, mistaken identity love triangles while wading through bodies?

Guest
Martini
3 years 5 months ago

Larry,
I’m a huge fan of Baen books and now I’m trying to figure out who the commie is. So, I Larry, who’s the commie?

Guest
Tannim111
3 years 5 months ago

Eric Flint, I believe. I disagree with his politics but have learned a hell of a lot of history from reading his books.

Guest
Kevin
3 years 5 months ago

I remember this guy named John Ringo who won an award for “Best Romance”. You might look into something like that. …

Though I still like his 38 page PDF rant on Ravencon 2006.

IIRC, Eric’s response to being called a pinko was “I’m not a pinko, I’m a red.”

Guest
Excalibur
3 years 5 months ago

The fact people can hate you and then take it out on your books and fans is ridiculous.

Ill admit I don’t agree with your political beleifs at all. But I love your books. I’m ok with what you believe though. Not like its going to make me change my opinion on your writing.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Looking forward to MHL. The bits you let slip out when we were talking at the Layton book signing still have me chuckling. I want more. After we talked, I reread everything except for Dead Six that my son is reading. (Get it done son!)

Made the weekly travel to Denver a lot more fun.

Keep the keys hot. We’re depending on you for our fix.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Back when I was in the gun business, we had a rule for anybody that was working at the sales counter. Never ever, ever, never insult someone’s choice in guns. So if you were helping somebody and he started telling you about how much he loved his Lorcin, you could try to educate him about the diffence between guns, but you couldn’t come right out and say that the Lorcin was a POS. Why? Because if you insult someone’s choices, they will take it as if you are insulting them.

God bless you, Larry Correia.

If one in ten owners of gun businesses realized that they owned gun businesses///

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“…but I was the #1 book of the USS Ronald Reagan carrier battle group”. I cannot think of a more meaningful rating than that one right there. Those are the guys that matter.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

“I indirectly in a small general and administrative way help keep our fighter jets capable of raining fiery destruction down on our enemies, which is pretty awesome for an accountant”

Dude, I am SO showing this to my son.

He’s been struggling a bit trying to think of what he wants to do when he finishes high school. (He just turned 16 so it’s still early, but I’m proud of him for thinking about it.) He’s taking an accounting class now and enjoying it more than the engineering classes he thought he’d like, so he’s talked about taking it up as a career.

When I told my son you need either a law or an accounting degree to become an FBI agent his eyes lit up. When I show him this, he’ll probably run off and enlist in accounting boot camp.

Guest
Dirt_Sailor
3 years 5 months ago

Not quite true- FBI agents can also have engineering and Science degrees.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Or IT, Psychology, Sociology and even Associates degrees if it something like IT and comes with a Sec+ and a Net+

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Excellent advice. I review books on one of my blogs, but only books I like. If I read a book and don’t like it, I won’t review it to avoid pissing in my own well. (I too am an aspiring writer.)

Guest
Desert Rat
3 years 5 months ago

I just got my own book review column on Big Hollywood, and this is pretty much exactly the philosophy I plan on using to review books. If I like the book, I’ll review it and sing its praises. If I don’t like it, I won’t review it. I have no interest in tanking someone else’s work, especially given how tough it is to write a novel, and then have the guts to put it out there for others to read and inevitably inviting the kinds of criticism that can crush your spirit.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m a book reviewer, NOT a book critic. Critics are usually miserable, angry-at-the-world wannabees and never-were’s who feel some kind of sadistic need to hurt other people. Screw ‘em. I don’t ever want to be that guy.

Guest
Murphy7
3 years 5 months ago

I appreciate where you are coming from, but simply as a reader who will go to review sites and likes to get reviewer comments – I appreciate it when a reviewer will explain what they don’t like in a reasonable manner – for example, ElitistBookReviews. And there are film critics whose opinions I will follow simply to see what it is they will defecate upon, as that might interesting viewing for me.

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Mike
3 years 5 months ago

I find negative reviews to be very useful, provided they are shown in the right light. If you never have negative reviews (or even note which books you aren’t writing a review on because you didn’t enjoy them) it’s a little harder to take your advice as a reviewer.

The important thing is to identify what a book is trying to do, and discuss how it fails or succeeds at that standard. It’s when a book gets judged against something that it never tried to be, or when its failures get turned into a manifesto against the author, that negative reviews become a problem.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I also review books on my blog, but I review every book I read, not just the ones I like.

Even when I’m reviewing a book I didn’t like, I don’t talk about the author, I just talk about what didn’t work for me in the book. I did a quick check through the lowest scored books that I’ve reviewed (of course none of Larry’s books fall into that category) and I never insulted the author, I just said why the book didn’t work for me.

No matter what the book is, there are going to be negative reviews for it. If you can’t handle negative reviews the best thing to do is to simply not read your reviews. If a review degrades into attacking the author or the editor on a personal level than that is a review that you can just ignore.

Guest
Joe in PNG
3 years 5 months ago

It’s funny in that a lot of the classic albums and great bands were utterly despised by critics when they first came out. Led Zeppelin, Cream, Black Sabbath… you name it. Now, they’re seen as essential milestones in music history.

Guest
sohmdaddy
3 years 5 months ago

“I’ve gone head to head against highly paid lobbyists to argue over proposed laws in front of a state legislature as a subject matter expert, and I did it for fun”

And as a direct result of your efforts, I was able to be legally armed at the University of Utah from October 2007 to December 2010. And as a result of the shooting class I took, I’m still a fair shot with a pistol. And I have a good grasp of Utah’s Self Defense laws.

Guest
Steelheart
3 years 5 months ago

This reminds me of a little bit from David Drake’s FAQ off his site about a reviewer from his past. I do like his style here.
http://david-drake.com/tag/platt/

Steelheart

Guest
DaveP.
3 years 5 months ago

Yep. Plattspotting is one of the more entertaining parts of picking up a new Drake book.

Guest
Big Al
3 years 5 months ago

I’ve been trying to get my family reading your stuff–I know they’re gonna love it– and finally just broke down and bought my dad the ebooks of all three monster hunter books and put them on his kindle for Christmas. I know you’ll have another fan by the beginning of 2012 and since he recommends everything he likes to his friends you’ll probably have a bunch more following.

Guest
Tannim111
3 years 5 months ago

Does anyone else recall an Asimov short story about the death of a nasty critic called “Billy Rubin”?

I assume the pun was intentional.

Guest
Brian Lewis
3 years 5 months ago

Glad you’re getting back to Pitt’s POV in Monster Hunter Legion. Don’t get me wrong Alpha was fantastic, but I just miss Pitt’s voice in the series and can’t wait to see what he and the rest of the gang’s been up to since the end of Vendetta.

On the collaboration project with J Ringo you had me with “postapocolyptic steampunk”.

Guest
Eric
3 years 5 months ago

My favorite rant about you is that you steal all our white women. Classic.

Guest
LittleRed1
3 years 5 months ago

One of my favorite “not like this idiot” book reviews was for a non-fiction work. The reviewer trashed the book, the book’s argument, and the author. And in the process proved that they had never read the book. All this in roughly 250 words. Apparently the review has been clipped/scanned/printed by thousands of people both inside and outside that field to use as the “horrible warning.” I always wondered if the books’ author served on a press review board that the reviewer submitted to. Talk about temptation . . .

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

My kid is not struggling to figure out what he wants to do. He wants to be a writer, but earlier this year he decided he also wants to be an accountant. I assume stalking Larry and hunting through his garbage for totems will be done on his own time and treated more as a hobby.

His writing is not my cup of tea, but give him his due: he’s written three novels at the age of 15 with several more in the pipeline. He’s not just talking about writing, he’s writing.

Guest
Micheal Johnson
3 years 5 months ago

We seriously need to find a way to get these books on Graphic Audio…would be awesome, just saying.

Guest
Not a label but a person
3 years 5 months ago

Some people take things way to seriously. Like Excalibur said, I disagree with quite a bit of Larry’s views, (especially when he generalizes and lumps all liberals in the same category) but I have bought every one of his books. Have also bought many Eric Flint books and John Ringo’s books (Authors who fall on very different sides of the political spectrum) In writing and movies/tv I look for what entertains me. Good writers like good actors don’t let their views ruin the entertainment value of the work.

Guest
Dragon Spooker
3 years 5 months ago

I was wondering, is Princess Tanya going to have a cameo part in MHL?

Guest
Nathaniel
3 years 5 months ago

WRT to Owen and Mary Sues, I would cite what I call the Vicarious Exception.

Basically, Owen is a similar character to Indiana Jones. You’re not really supposed to care about Indiana Jones the character, not like you’d care about Oskar Schindler’s character, but rather you’re supposed to live vicariously through Jones. This is why Jones works even when he’s not Jones (Rick O’Connell, from The Mummy).

Owen is a vicarious character, too, which is why he’s written in first-person. Owen wouldn’t work as well in third person, since it would be more difficult for the reader to vicariously play through him.

The most extreme example of this, of course, is Master Chief (seriously, he doesn’t even have a real name or face, he’s just a suit you jump in, and that’s on purpose), and you’ll note that the Halo serious has sold approximately sixteen bazillion copies and will probably still be an active franchise when the Sun goes out.

The difference between a Mary Sue and a Vicarious Character is that Mary Sues entertain only one person (the author) and put off everyone else with their obnoxious attitudes, lack of tension, and predictability. Vicarious Characters, then, can be seen as Sues done right, i.e., Sues that let everyone join in on the author’s fun fantasy.

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SirBrass
3 years 4 months ago

By “Trotskyite Communist, former labor union organizer,” I take it you mean Eric Flint? Personally he’s okay. No dislike for his work, but not much love. Personal taste thing.

And, yes, much love to Baen for focusing on publishing GOOD novels, not just novels by people with the “good” (their definition) political views.

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

FYI, going along with this theme, I just reviewed SFWA’s Nebula reading list. It’s not a preliminary ballot, just a list of books members recommend. But those die-hard WSF folks do look at it. Hum, guess which book was not yet included. I just added it to the list.

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

Larry, I just want to say first off, Congrats on the upcoming new addition to your family. I wish y’all all the best. Secondly… screw the douches and their negative reviews. I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed your books, they are well written, witty, action packed, and still slap me in the face with a sudden turn in the story I did not see coming. I love a story that has me saying “Wow” out loud, odd looks from people around me be damned. I can blame my brother for steering me your way. He got me Hard Magic for my birthday in November and I devoured it in two nights at work. I then proceeded to purchase MHI,MHV, MHA, and Hard Magic in their audio format. Mostly because I love listening to them while I drive a little under an hour to and from my work at the county sheriff’s office…. which by the way made the action at the beginning of MHA… a lil surreal.

Suffice it to say, I can’t wait for Spellbound to come out in Audio as well has MHL. Thank you for writing stories with such awesome characters, enjoyable references to things I thought forgotten to the winds of time, and that keep me glued to my ipod wanting to know what is coming next.

I remember there were two things I said to my brother when he asked me what I thought of your books. The first thing was, “The guy really likes his guns… I mean reeeeally likes his guns.” The second was, “I Hate that I have to wait till the next one comes out, curses!”

So thank you, and please keep up the amazing work doing something that you love and that we your fans love… possibly more.