I must confess: I can not answer any more Emails sent to AnneOBrienRice@mac.com. There are nearly 200 Emails on the site right now, and I've been answering for days. I've caught them out of order, I fear, and I've sent long answers to some and short answers to others, and deleted many that did not require an answer, and saved some.
Thank you for writing to me. Thank you for responding to the rebuttal which I posted on the Amazon.com site for reviews of Blood Canticle. I deeply appreciate the time and the generosity that went into your letters. Truly, I didn't expect people to notice the rebuttal. Years ago I posted some remarks on the site for Memnoch the Devil, and I don't recall much of any response at all. It never occurred to me that people would copy the rebuttal and put it on other sites. I had never heard of flame wars. And I was staggered by the outpouring of both support and venom that came in. I don't exaggerate when I say that positive letters outnumbered negative ones something like 20 to 1. And perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the few negative letters I received was that some of the writers hadn't really read my rebuttal; or at least they raised questions in their Emails that I'd already fully addressed.
Whatever the case, my rebuttal disappeared from the Amazon site. And so did months of reviews of Blood Canticle. And I have absolutely no idea how or why. I have never spoken to anyone at Amazon personally, and I don't know how to reach anyone there. Perhaps the site realized that some sort of "flame war"(?) was going on, and took action???? I don't know. All I know is: the rebuttal and many many reviews are gone. I don't have a copy of the rebuttal. I didn't save it. And though I know the words have been imported to other places, as far as I'm concerned, the rebuttal is gone.
I'm going back to work. I've enjoyed your letters. As I said, I'm grateful for them. And the whole experience has been amazing. I leave it with the hope that the Amazon site is going through some sort of natural development with regard to its purpose and freedom for positive and negative anonymous reviews. I leave it with the hope that the site will become stronger and better, but how this is to be worked out, I know not.
Of course I stand by the rebuttal wherever it may appear (as long as no one has tampered with the contents). And let me tell you all again how much I love you and how much I appreciate you. I've been given a magnificent gift in that I have seen the faces of my readers; I've heard their voices; I've read their words. What author could ask for more?
Be assured, no matter how you rate my books, or why you read them, of my serious purpose. As a writer I want it all: to delight you, to entrance you, to make you remember my characters forever, to make you cherish what I've written and pass it on to others, to make you thrill to the style, the story, the song.
Forgive me that I have left so many letters unanswered. You take care.
September 26, 2004
Little Paradise, Louisiana
Post Script: If anyone wants to send back a book for refund, by all means do it. We'll be glad to send you your refund, and we'll put the book into the next package to be shipped to the soldiers overseas. We get plenty of letters from them. All blessings, Anne."