I love Twitter. It can be very entertaining, informative, lots of fun but it's not the place to record every thought that pops into your head. This is the internet. Everyone can see it. This is especially true if you are a famous author with lots of followers.
Yesterday I was Twittering away when a particular writer's tweets popped up. She was angry about a review in The Globe. I was curious so took a look at the review. It wasn't especially harsh. It wasn't totally positive but the reviewer balanced the bad points with the good. I didn't really get what the big deal was and did a bit of eye rolling.
Today the proverbial poo hit the fan. GalleyCat sniffed out the story and posted the nastiness for all the world to see. The author called on fans to start a flame war, posting a email address for the reviewer (for the record, I didn't see this until today). As you can see, that author is Alice Hoffman. Yep, Alice. Hoffman.
Twitter. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I'm not a huge Hoffman fan but I was following her tweets. I was disappointed to say the least by her reaction. As someone who has been in the business a long time, I think she should know how things work. Not everyone is going to think your stuff is the best thing since sliced bread. It's okay to grumble to your friends and family but to encourage negative rabid fan behaviour on a social networking site is not good. It's just makes the person doing the posting look bad.
It is too easy to sign onto Twitter and post something dumb. Everyone has at some point. It only takes a few clicks and you've publicly shown the not so flattering side of your personality. The thing is I'm not a celebrity and no one cares. For authors, it pays to do what authors do best and weigh their words carefully.
Update: Alice Hoffman apologizes.