Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Warning: Do not mess with romance novel queen Nora Roberts online

Author Nora Roberts at the 2018 Unbridled Eve Gala during the 144th Kentucky Derby in Louisville.
Author Nora Roberts at the 2018 Unbridled Eve Gala during the 144th Kentucky Derby in Louisville.
Photo: Michael Loccisano for Unbridled Eve (Getty Images)

One of the more bizarre aspects of social media is that it can lead to interactions with luminaries you’ve only admired from afar. One of your favorites may like one of your very own tweets, for example! But sometimes those online interactions can turn into outright discourses, and in those instances, it’s best to defer to the people who probably know more about their own subject than you do.

Advertisement

It’s a valuable lesson lost on Nora Roberts fan “Debra,” who went off in the discussion board for the recently released The Awakening, the first volume in Roberts’ new fantasy-tinged trilogy, The Dragon Heart Legacy. Debra is such an ardent fan of the legendary romance novelist that she immediately began complaining about the eternity she would have to wait (a.k.a. a year) for the next volume, wailing about the cruelty of publishers keeping her from the delight of Roberts’ next release, merely to adhere to their apparently arbitrary schedules: “[N]ote that the publisher does not consider the customer in their planning. Who should be first? THE CUSTOMER!”

Actually, you know who actually edges out the customer in this scenario? The author. At first, Roberts herself enters the discussion and kindly tries to explain the process to thorny Debra: “It takes time to write, and it takes a lot of time to write these longer, more complex hardcover trilogies.” Debra continues her diatribes, though, giving Roberts no choice but to give her the online smackdown:

Jesus, Debra, Nora Roberts has written over 200 novels; can’t you pick up a few of those to bide your time until the dragons show up again? And when they do, don’t be surprised if you read about a villain named Debra who gets their head bitten off by one of the dragons (just spitballing here, lord knows Roberts doesn’t need us for inspiration).

In short, try to live your life in a way that Nora Roberts would never say, “Stop. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about” to you. Don’t be like Debra.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.