And the book backlash starts…

So, it took a few weeks for the backlash to start, but today I found not ONE, but TWO very amusing attempts to convince others not to read my book.

The first was this email:

Message: I am writing this [the following text in quotes] on behalf of my
grandmother, Joy B. Dearden.

\”I purchased \’Behind Closed Doors\’ on Monday. Finished the book on Tuesday. I
SHREDDED it Tuesday night. It went to the county dump Wenesday.\”

I personally find your warped veiw of mormons disturbing and immature. You are
not doing yourself any form of justice by making a religion look twisted and
perturbed by weaving lies into the minds of people that don\’t know any better.
Simply because of one experience you had does not mean that the entire church
revolves around scandal.

I personally don\’t find comfort in the religon of the LDS church, but that
dosen\’t mean that I bash and destroy it via written text in such a disgusting

Here\’s hoping that someday you can write something other that hogwash.

My response? “Well, since I am a ‘glass half full’ kinda girl, I’m really glad to note that your grandmother continued to read and finished, quite quickly, the entire book, before she shredded it.”

My warped view of Mormons is disturbing and immature? But you didn’t READ the book yourself, right, so how would you know that? How is it disturbing, and how is it immature? Guess what, I found Mark Hacking’s behavior disturbing and immature, too. IN fact, I was REALLY bothered when he shot his wife to death and and then threw her in the garbage like yesterday’s trash. Then pretended someone had killed her.

You know what else? Mark Hacking was a Mormon. Did you know that? Perhaps you did. My books are about Mormons. Good, bad, ugly, some affected positively by the doctrine, others negatively.

Obviously, the book was riveting enough your grandmother couldn’t put it down. Go Grandma! Shred that book, baby.

The next little ripple I saw was this Amazon review.

This book was awful. The plot alternates between incoherent and completely predictable. The writing is cliche and clunky. As for the promised expose of Mormonism, that consists of a character scanning a book shelf and noticing titles like Fawn Brodie’s “No Man Knows My History.” Courtney Perkes amazon review.

First of all, as a writer, I must note that it HAS to be absolutely impossible for a book to alternate between incoherent and completely predictable. That just can’t happen.

Secondly, obviously, your review has an agenda. And that’s okay, except you are not honest about your agenda. There IS no promised expose of Mormonism. Wherever did you get that idea? This book does delve into the Mormon experience, but it certainly doesn’t come close to covering all of it, and doesn’t claim to do so.

Of course, your opinion is yours, Courtney, and I won’t take that away from you. Too bad you can’t write a structured sentence, using the correct form of words, because then, perhaps, people might take you seriously. Or not.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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22 Responses to And the book backlash starts…

  1. Cele says:

    It amazes me how many people can read fiction and take it totally personally, the gospel truth. Can we say fiction? I’ve read more than one of your books. The main characters have walked away from their birth religion (It happens everyday in almost every religion) and the books have all revolved around them and their trials. Religions are made up of people, you write stories about people. What is the problem. Sheesh.

    Oh, and anyone who doesn’t remember Mark Hacking and his wife hacking needs to worry about their lack of a pulse on what is happening in the US. Sheesh the nation was rivited during the search for Lori Hacking’s body, the story dominated the news, people were in total shock when the truth came out. I bet Joy B Deardon knows this. So, I’m going to say Joy B Deardon’s grand daughter needs to speak for herself and quit using her grandma as a facade.


  2. Theresa N. says:

    Thought you might like to hear some GOOD news. Lesa Holstine the Library Manager in Glendale, AZ has choosen BEHIND CLOSED DOORS to review for her Warm Up To A Good Book 2007, that she does for the library patrons. She only chooses books she likes and wants to promote. Forget the bad apples there are plenty of good apples in the barrel


  3. T. W. says:

    I think that you should thank Grandmother for shredding your book.

    While on average, I’m against the destruction of written material via burning, shredding or other violent means is abhorrent, thus my need to move in the near future to make room for the many tomes that share space with me, in strict economic analysis terms the shredding of your book by a disgruntled reader should always be applauded, since the goal is not to write shorter sentences, save the world, expose yourself or Mormonism, be stalked, or talk on the radio, but rather to sell books and by shredding your book, Grandmother allowed one less copy to make its way into the secondary book market, thus possibly insuring one more sale of your book.

    It is all economics.


  4. kd says:

    Cele said: “It amazes me how many people can read fiction and take it totally personally, the gospel truth.”

    What really blows my mind is that just a few hundred years ago (in the early through mid 1800s). People really didn’t have a notion of speculative fiction.

    Imagine being a teenage boy with a super active teenage imagination piecing together the little bits of information coming at him and all of the unanswered questions about the origins of Indians, our growing knowledge that there are billions of stars and potentially billions of planets (maybe with life). The moon was a ball in space. Maybe there were people on the moon. Maybe the people on the moon wear tophats.

    People who really lacked an understanding of fiction would be prone to see this natural process of linking together ideas as revelation. Divine revelation. Holy Cow!!!!! The little boy using peep stones to find buried treasures in indian burial sites is receiving direct REVELATIONS FROM GOD!!!! Let’s form a corrupt religion around the boy, lets give him all of our money and let him sleep with our daughters and wives!

    Sorry about that.

    Just a few hundred years ago, there really was not a form of literature called fiction that let people link together in unique and original ways to see what comes from the ideas.

    BTW, also wanted to agree with TW. Post retail book burning helps the author. When I read a book I hate, I dump it on Amazon so the author gets one less sale. Joseph Smith realized this too. When he wanted to attack his enemies, he get his followers to dress up like indians then sneak into towns and burn their presses.


  5. Ha ha ha. I noticed too how damn quick Grandma read your book. Makes me want to read it immediately now too. Love it.

    TW is right…she did you a favor by shredding it. Also, by posting it here, I think it will inspire others like me to WANT to read it now. How cool is that??


  6. Melissa says:

    I for one LOVED the first book and cannot wait to get a copy of this one and read it! I was excited before, now I am even more so after reading those comments! Keep up the good work.


  7. JulieAnn says:

    It’s on my to read list, and I can’t wait. Now that people have actually written about how bad it is (Hm, when I don’t like a book, I put it down and walk away, I sure as HELL don’t finish it, just ask Martha Beck–ooh, did I say that out loud?) I am even more excited to own BCD.

    Way to push the envelope Nat. You go girl.



  8. Natalie says:

    Cele, I agree, and what amazes me is that people think it’s REALLY about the religion. It’s about the people IN the religion. The religion is the backdrop. Yes, some characters leave it behind but not all of them.

    Theresa, that IS good news. I read and loved Lesa’s review, and am so happy she is using it in her Warm Up to a Good Book.

    TW, I LOVED your economic overview. Burn and shred the books! Call the media! Let them know how outraged you are!

    KD, LOL. Loved your comments.

    Sister Mary Lisa, wasn’t that funny? I thought “if you had any idea how hilarious that comment was, you would NOT have sent it.” Glad it made you want to read the book.

    Melissa, thanks so much! I really appreciate your support.


  9. Natalie says:

    Thanks, Julie Ann.

    Hey, you were great on the radio! But that comment DB made about the white car on 215 with the CTR stickers… THAT was directed at me! Sheesh. A California car bearing that “description” really threw me off the week before, and since it was a nasty snowstorm, I didn’t make it. Sheesh. You just can’t win… LOLOL>

    You were awesome. Very well spoken. Good job!


  10. Tracy says:

    No worries Natalie, some people passed a book of fiction off in 1830 as gospel truth. Talk about incoherent…


  11. mlbower says:

    Forget what those people say. I’m at chapter 28 and loving it. I only wish that I had turned my phone off this morning when I decided to start reading.

    Well, can’t write anymore. I have a book to finish!


  12. mlbower says:

    I knew it!! I had a feeling about how it would end. Forget about what those people said. I loved it! Read it in a day, even with countless interruptions.

    Thank you for a good story, Natalie.


  13. Chris says:

    I happened to read CD lasr night and thought it was a riveting read. I did come out of it thinking, “Gosh! I really hope I never end up as a character in one of Natalie Collin’s novels…those people have the worst luck ever.” But, I refreshed by the fact that one of the protagonist’s love interests isn’t shot. 🙂 So, that was an improvement. I like the implied happy ending.

    I can’t see why LDS members are so pissed. You didn’t reveal anything that couldn’t have been googled in .24 seconds. You also were, I thought, remarkably fair in your characterization. *thumbs up*


  14. You know you’re really only encourgaing them by posts like this. Mormons do love to have their persecution complex fed.


  15. Julie Linn says:

    I alternately loved and hated this book, only because of the heartbreaking emotions it brought out. I have a dear friend who has left the church and the words spoken in your book are the very same that she has said, many, many times; does not believe this is the religion for her. She does not hate the Mormon religion or the people, most are fine people, but still people. The sadness portrayed in this book could have been any religion or religious belief taken too far. The heartbreak of waking up one day and discovering all you thought you knew to be true is not. Life is not black and white, it is messy as Melissa discovered. Melissa was lead to believe that life would only be one way, I would think most girls and women have believed that at some point in their lives.
    I would actually love to see more of Jannie’s developement, she is one character that I would love to see more and watch her grow. I am a little tired of all the serial books that have hit the market in the past few years and have stopped buying them, but a series of this character I would buy! Jannie does not deny she is a victim, she just doesn’t think it is possible to heal so she tries to save other women. I would also like to string up the character of her father.
    It doesn’t matter the religion but the tie-in to the story, it was brilliant and at the same time allowed for a little ghost clearing I would imagine. If you had used the Catholic church and the lead character was a man….

    Thank you so much for this book, as I stated I loved and hated it all at the same time. I know I can’t do this book justice, it was a wonderful read, it did all it was intended to do, I laughed, I cried, I hated, I loved, I pitied, I learned.


  16. Cele says:

    Wow, that was a very deep review Julie Lynn.


  17. Natalie says:

    Tracy, LOL. Very funny.

    mlbower, THANKS for the kudos. I’m so glad you liked this book, and like Grandma, read it in a flash. At least you didn’t SHRED it! LOL. Some people have guessed the end, and others have been totally surprised. So I guess I did my job.

    Chris, yes, if I killed off a love interest in every book, I think I’d lose all my readers pretty darn fast. LOL. Glad you liked it!

    Sinister, I’m not really encouraging anyway. Just sharing with the world the kind of email and comments I get from the Mormons. 😉

    Julie Linn, I LOVED your review. You really “got” the book and “got” the story, and at the end of the day, that’s all a writer wants to hear. Thank you!!


  18. mlbower says:

    Confession time…Maybe I didn’t shred the book, but I did tear a page with my finger nail while trying to turn the page. Luckily, none of the words were ripped.

    I can almost understand what the reviewer meant by incoherent only if she was referring to Jannie. While everything was going on, in her mind, her thoughts would trail off in different directions and jump around. I, personaly, found this comforting because my mind works the same way. This was also how to follow the story line without a book that takes place over a ten year time frame. Maybe the grandma didn’t like it because her short term memory does not allow her to follow anything but a straight story line.


  19. Hey, mlbower,

    My mind does the same thing. Maybe that’s WHY I wrote it. LOL. Actually, though, Grandma and the Amazon reviewer were different. As far as I know, anyway.


  20. Amanda Brice says:

    Well, as much as I’m against the destrution of written material, the grandma is within her rights to do so. Just as you’re within your rights to continue to write gripping books that I can’t put down.

    Kudos on BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It was fantastic.


  21. Natalie says:

    Hey, Amanda, THANK YOU! I really appreciate the kind words. They couldn’t have come at a better time.


  22. Dawn says:

    I think pretty much the Mormons have themselves to blame for any warped views others have about them. Living amongst Mormons has taught me more than I ever wanted to know about intolerance and religious persecution.



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