I just wrote something like this in an email to friends who told me the latest (I’m off twitter), which is apparently that Ed Champion made a suicidal gesture and is in Bellevue (not confirmed.)
I have a hard time even talking about how terrible the week that he published that rant was for me. A lot of people have tried to tell me that the net effect was positive for my book, but it put me in a position of talking about that rant instead of talking about the book. I hate that. I hate that that happened. I’ll never get that week or month or set of opportunities back; he poisoned them all. The worst part is that as cartoonishly evil and misogynistic and mentally ill as he is, there are still people who are like “well, it was a book review.” “Critics are allowed to call someone a bad writer.” Or worse, that it was a “subtweet war” or a “literary feud.” It was none of those things. It was an attack on women, meant to make us feel threatened and fundamentally unsafe in the online and physical spaces we inhabit. It is so bonkers that we even have to point that out or defend that point of view still, now, in 2014.
I felt fear doing events around publication. Not stage fright, fear for my physical safety. Instead of planning celebrations I was arranging with bookstores and my publisher for adequate security at events. I felt worried that the location of my apartment had been revealed in so many profiles. It’s not like I experienced physical trauma or was tortured but I felt under attack. This wasn’t something that “happened on the internet” or something that could have been avoided by “just unplugging.” Talking to readers, doing events, and promoting books online is my job.
I still haven’t sorted out what kind of damage was done.
I’m so angry about this. Emily (and Porochista and any other female writer who has felt this way), I have your back.