I was recently contacted by a reader who wondered if it was coincidence that Riley Blackthorne’s name was very similar to Cassie Clare’s Shadowhunter family (Blackthorn). It was, actually. Riley and, more particularly her father, were named as an homage to actor Paul Blackthorne of The Dresden Files. And I”ve always loved that surname.
However, while doing some research about Ms. Clare turned up an interesting article about “fantitlement”, the curious process where authors hit “critical mass” when it comes to readers, who then get very vocal about nearly everything related to the author’s books. I refer to this as the “Twitter Syndrome”. Early on, Twitter had a small, friendly community, sort of like your neighborhood bar. Then suddenly it became very popular and the “rules” of engagement changed. People became abusive, threatening.
I’ve seen this happen to a couple of author friends of mine — everybody was cool and civil in the beginning and then they reached a certain level of popularity and the gloves were off. In Ms. Clare’s case, she came with previous fanfiction baggage, which certainly didn’t help.
Luckily I’ve never reached that tipping point. Yes, every author dreams of being a huge bestseller, but honestly, given the choice of selling 600K copies of a book, or having a friendly group of folks to hang with? I’m good with the latter. #PopCulture