Dear Nicholas: No, I mean it, you suck.

I’ve written before about the dangers of getting to know writers you like on a personal level. Sure, on one hand, who/what the writer is probably has an influence on their work – maybe in a positive way. But I’m always nervous that I might discover something awful about a writer I admire and be turned off by his or her work forever after (hello, Orson Scott Card…sigh).

Forget that whole debate because today is my lucky day: turns out, a writer I think is terrible is actually a raging douchebag in real life! Vindication!

My former roommate and I used to play The Nicholas Sparks Game at the laundromat. The Nicholas Sparks Game consists of reading passages from any given Nicholas Sparks novel (we found excerpts in ladies’ magazines that other laundry-doers had left behind) and stopping at random places to see if your partner can guess what comes next. Shocker: we could always guess what was coming next, word for word. (You can only play The Nicholas Sparks Game for so long, because pretty soon it gets boring being right every single time.)

Despite the fantasy realm Nicholas Sparks inhabits, in which his writing is on par with Shakespeare, Hemingway and the Greeks, in the real world he’s a fantastically shitty, formulaic writer devoted to fluff and romance. This is a fine thing to be (I love fluffy romance novels! they make writers lots o’ cash!), so why act like a pretentious douche, engaging in catty bad-mouthing of other writers, genres and readers?

It must be so hard to be such a literary genius.

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