Almost every author I know is friendly, generous and helpful ... but that's in part because I try to give as much as I get to the relationship, and not act like a scraping sycophant or a terminal favor-mongerer.

But everybody, I'm sure, knows at least one jerk. Somebody who's forgotten what it was like to be a struggling author and now has no time or interest in their old friends. Somebody whose desire to protect their time, energy and privacy leads them to be brusque or dismissive. Somebody whose ego and sense of entitlement leads them to demand more for attention and investment for themselves at the expense of others.

What brought this to mind was the man on the current cover of Time magazine, Jonathan Franzen. He's America's most celebrated literary author at the moment ... and, by many accounts (including his own), one of the biggest assholes in the publishing business.

From a New York Times review of his 2006 memoir, "The Discomfort Zone":

Mr. Franzen turns his unforgiving eye on himself and succeeds in giving us an odious self-portrait of the artist as a young jackass: petulant,
pompous, obsessive, selfish and overwhelmingly self-absorbed. ... While some readers will want to give Mr. Franzen points for being so
revealing about himself, there is something oddly preening about his
self-inventory of sins, as though he actually reveled in being so

He describes reasoning that “not having kids freed me altogether” from having to worry about things like global warming: “Not having kids was my last, best line of defense against the likes of Al Gore.” And he describes the judgmental outlook that he and his wife shared for many years: “Deploring other people — their lack of perfection — had
always been our sport.”

Do you know authors like this? Or has your experience within our fraternity been overwhelmingly positive?

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The ones I surround myself with are positive. I don't hang around the jerks, LOL. I like to be around the positive kind people because that's the vibes I want.

But jerks, nah. If they are a jerk it only takes one time to know that and so I never deal with them again.

Oh yeah to answer the question, most of all the authors I know are wonderful people. But like I said, I stay away from the ones who aren't. There's always a few bad apples in every bunch.

Best Wishes!
Most of the authors I've met, as both an author and a bookseller, have been quite positive. We've probably had well over 1500 authors appear at our store, some national bestsellers, and the jerks have been less than 1%. They've been memorable, though.
And I can testify that Kris Neri was very nice to me. :)
They're all jerks. Every last one.


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