Authors spend months or even years working on their books, but once done, it is out of their hands and into the hands of the public. Sometimes fans interpret the books in different ways than the author intended or feel like the author owes them more than what was delivered. Here are just a few instances where authors and fans didn't exactly see eye to eye about certain books.
J. R. R. Tolkien & His Hippie Fans
J.R. R Tolkien was the kind of person who just made up languages for fun. He almost singlehandedly invented all the fantasy tropes we take for granted these days. Surprisingly, though, Tolkien had a bit of a strained relationship with his adoring fans. His tales of elves, hobbits and other peaceful nature loving creatures was a hit amongst the hippies, much to the dismay of Tolkien who was a devout Catholic. He was also not impressed that some fans interpreted the "pipe-weed" smoked by characters in his books as marijuana instead of tobacco! It wasn't just the hippies who annoyed Tolkien due to their interpretation of his work, but the Nazis as well. When a Berlin publisher approached him about a German edition of The Hobbit, asked for proof of Tolkien's "Aryan descent" in the process, the author penned a rather snarky reply. Tolkien also described Hitler as a ruddy little ignoramus in correspondence to his son.
Anne Rice & Her S&M Fans
With bestselling books in the gothic fiction genre, Anne Rice has been writing about vampires and all manner of dark things long before Twilight was a twinkle in Stephenie Meyers eyes. Interview with the Vampire is one of her best known books, but she also wrote four erotic novels using a pseudonym. In reality, Rice married her childhood sweetheart at the age of 20 and the two remained faithful to each other until his death 41 years later due to a brain tumor. She also returned to Catholicism and published a series of novels about Jesus, much to the alarm of her Goth fans. Interestingly enough, Rice was offered an opportunity to meet directly with S&M practitioners after writing the Beauty series, but declined. She even admitted to her biographer that she couldn't do it because she didn't want to know them that well.
George R. R. Martin and His Impatient Fans
George R. R. Martin is clearly an author who enjoys doing things at his own pace, which is something that greatly annoys his growing legion of fans. A Game of Thrones, released in 1996, wasn't an instant hit, but soon starting gaining momentum amongst fans of epic fantasy. It was followed by A Clash of Kings in 1999 and A Storm of Swords in 2000, but fans had to wait five years for A Feast for Crows. Then they had to wait another six years for A Dance With Dragons. Thanks to another six years (and counting) long wait for The Winds of Winter, fans have been growing increasingly impatient. Some have even started worrying that Martin might die of old age before finishing the story. This is a far cry from the days when he went on signing tours for the series where nobody showed up at certain stops. Martin has mentioned in interviews that he finds all the speculation about his death and health very offensive, even going as far as flipping off readers who expressed their displeasure at his procrastination. The popularity of the television series based on the books brought in even more fans and more pressure on Martin to finish the story. Thanks to his procrastination and propensity to kill off his fans' favorite characters, Martin has become a popular subject of Internet memes like the one above.
Charlaine Harris and Her Terrorizing Fans
While George R. R. Martin has to deal with fans upset over him not finishing his books, author Charlaine Harris had to deal with the exact opposite. She is the author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, which HBO fans will know, was adapted for the True Blood series. She started the books in 2001 with Dead Until Dark and continued until Dead Ever After in 2013, which was the final novel. Unfortunately, not all her fans were happy with the ending the author chose for the series and vented their frustration in a torrent of one star ratings on Amazon. Even more concerning were the fans who seem to have taken inspiration from the Stephen King novel, Misery, where the antagonist threatens an author's life to get him to write the story she wants to hear. Harris experienced a taste of this herself from fans who not only threatened to kill themselves over the way she ended the series, but also to kill her and destroy her career. With fans like that, who needs enemies?
Stephenie Meyers and Her Twihard Fans
After Stephenie Meyer penned Twilight in 2005 and then followed it up with New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn she shot to fame and fortune. She was the first author to have her books claim the top four spots on the year-end bestseller list by USA Today in 2008 and repeated this prodigious feat again in 2009. The film versions of the books also furthered the craze and fans just couldn't get enough of Twilight. Meyer, on the other hand, appeared to have had enough and even went as far as saying she is "over" Twilight. Fans were even more horrified when Meyer mentioned in an interview that the only reason she would spend more time on Twilight would be to say which of the characters died. Following massive backlash from fans, Meyer was forced to apologize.