I don’t mean like Osama bin Laden or Jack Chick or that sort of enemy—I mean personal enemies. People who would gleefully push you in front of the subway, and who you certainly wouldn’t cross the street to spit on if they were on fire. I have two, both of them competing authors:
• One came out with a book similar to one of mine at around the same time; my book kicked his book’s butt around the block, and he has never gotten over it. He still bad-mouths me in public, gets me blackballed from TV documentaries . . . He is a bitter little piss-ant and I try to Rise Above It.
• The other writer is someone whose work I actually like, so it was a shock to see him write godawful, vicious things about my books. I asked a mutual friend, and she says, "I did finally just ask him why he doesn’t like you. He said that this just isn’t so—he simply doesn’t approve of your research methods! Now what the heck does that mean? My guess is that you interviewed someone who wouldn’t talk to him.”
Doesn’t approve of my research methods? Well, how can you get people to talk unless you tie them up and slap them around?
So, do you-all have any bete noirs? or is it betes noir? (“Betty Noir” would be a great drag name . . . )