I first met Nicky at Spinetinglers (don't click through, though; the site is under reconstruction). Nicky's infamous "Spectral Exile" was one of the five stories posted for November 2006. I left an honest and not-too-mean review. That started a long series of PM's back and forth...as follows:
12-18-06 Nicky: I noticed you've flamed my short story, just to keep in mind that story got accepted in two anthologies. It made the top five for a reason, so I want to see can you do better -- or are you the kind of person who just writes fan fiction of Nightmare on Elm Street, show me if you can do better than Spectral Exile.
12-18-06 Me: (Unfortunately, I didn't save this first response)
12-19-06 Nicky: I worked very hard at that story and it did get picked up by a paying market. I guess you denounced that story for one reason you're friends with Peter Barnes. The one anthology is not being put out by lulu.com so kindly refrain from ripping on that one before even reading the anthology. I guess you wrote nothing but fan fiction so you don't know what an original story looks like. Spectral Exile got me some new readers legitimately, but what you say contributes to the constant e-piracy of my books.
If you don't have something nice to say about a story or someone who writes it then bite your damned tongue. This isn't a personal attack, just common sense. I guess your idea of Gothic horror is vampires that take it up the ass.
12-19-06 Me: I guess you denounced that story for one reason you're friends with Peter Barnes.
I'm not friends with any Peter Barnes, and I didn't "denounce" your story. I thought it was poorly written and confusing, and I said as much.
I guess you wrote nothing but fan fiction so you don't know what an original story looks like.
Oh good grief, you don't like message, so you attack the messenger. I don't write fan fiction. I consider it a copyright violation and a waste of my creative talents. I've read some, though, and most of it is irredeemable trash. I didn't say your story was unoriginal. I said it was poorly written and confusing: bad grammer, headhopping, redundant sentences, non-existent transitions, etc.
...but what you say contributes to the constant e-piracy of my books.
Um, how does my saying the story is poorly written and confusing contribute to people stealing it? Wouldn't it be just the opposite? Wouldn't I be warning people to stay away from it?
If you don't have something nice to say about a story or someone who writes it then bite your damned tongue.
The web site didn't say, "Only post nice things and high scores." I gave you my honest opinion. And I didn't criticize you. I criticized your writing. Also, when I like a story, I say so. See my comments on "Wilderness".
I guess your idea of Gothic horror is vampires that take it up the ass.
No, I like Gothic horror stories written in proper English with plot lines that I can follow. Again, you are making assumptions about me, trying to tear me down so that you don't have to even consider anything I said. If you want to be a successful writer, I think that you need to grow a thicker skin.
12-19-06 Nicky: That story is one of my better ones, so seeing a remark like yours I respond like a personal attack because people pirated books over remarks like that. I lost sales of my books over those kind of remarks. If you think you can do better put your talents where your mouth is instead of criting and ripping a story a new one, post a put a story up on the whipping post.
That is more than I could say with what you think, as far as I know you're nothing but a fan fiction writer or a slash writer for that matter. Both are scum of the earth to me, because it makes it harder for me to get noticed. I got a lot of critical acclaim in my favor and my stories do sell. You deserved every personal attack I made via email unless you can defend it by putting up a story of your own.
I think you prefer a hack like Darren McKeeman and believe me that bastard sucks more than some of the writers who are in the mass market these days. It takes more to do a short story without erotic content. I got that story as a promotion to the two anthologies noted. Scarlett liked the story and so did the person who is doing the anthology, so if you want to discredit a story like that then you're wasting your time. I expect at least 3 star review before I have someone's respect.
You're right there with that person who tried to stop the forums dead, and he came here to chase me around to descredit everything I've done. Don't follow his example. If you truly think I suck go read some of the stories on AuthorsDen. If you rip on those stories like you rip on this one, then if someone gives you a personal attack for doing it then don't come crying to me little girl.
12-19-06 Me: Dude, you need to chill. I don't care what a few other random people on the Internet think of your writing. I gave you my honest opinion of your writing, and you persist in attacking my character -- and going on about e-piracy (still makes no sense why my saying I think your writing is poor would lead to someone stealing it???) and lost sales of (self-published??) books -- so that you don't have to deal with the criticisms.
Look, if you want to improve your writing, try reading and applying:
1. "Elements of Style," by Strunk and White
2. One other really comprehensive grammar book ("Elements of Style" is a subset of grammar rules)
3. "On Writing," by Stephen King. He's got some good advice!
Then read some modern horror and anlayze how it's written. Look at sentence structure, pacing, transitions, dialogue, dialogue tags, etc. See what it is that gets writing published (legitimately, not the Lulu way).
Also, I will not be posting my work on-line for reasons I've already stated. I might check out one of your stories at AuthorsDen, but you since you seem to react to honest criticism with personal attacks, I'm not sure how that would benefit either one of us.
12-19-06 Nicky: Go back to your Poppy Z. Brite novels and quit wasting my time. I started a small press because of lulu.com and got some strong authors on board, so you got a lot of gall to think the small press is below you. What the hell are you some kind of mass market snob? The hell with that elements of style book, I got my horror education from the H.P. Lovecraft, and you need to really look at writers who don't even look at a crappy book like that. I bet you don't even have fiction written, put your ing talents where your mouth is instead of ripping on a story that made the top five out of 300 short stories.
12-19-06 Nicky: Give me a little more respect than that woman, I am published on a semi-professional level. So who the hell are you to say I suck when you got nothing to show for yourself? Put one of your goddamned stories on http://www.writerscafe.org/ and see what you got. It takes more balls to get a story published and to self-publish than not be published at all. You're a nobody.
And there's more. I'll post it tomorrow or later tonight.