Shortly after the book was released, I was logged into WoW, and queued for a 25 man raid. In the excitement of the recent release, I could not help but talk about the book in Guild chat.
For those of you not familiar with World of Warcraft, I'll explain 'chat'. During play, there is a dialog window that scrolls different conversations you can watch and interact with. You can choose which channel of conversation you wish to talk in. The two channels I'm discussing are "Guild chat" and "Trade chat". Guild chat is a channel dedicated to a group of players who have come together and formed mini social societies within WoW. Trade chat used to be for buying and selling items; now it's for hecklers and internet trolls in training. There is a constant stream of sarcasm, off color and misogynistic banter that flows from this group. It's not for the faint of heart to speak up in this channel.
I had switched into guild chat and began telling anyone who would listen about my newly published book. I received warm congratulations and questions about it. One brave guildie actually bought a kindle version while I was playing. Talk about seventh heaven. Later, while in a raid, I would converse with the player in the background while downing the last boss. I can't tell you how strange it was to have my first reader conversation during a 25 man raid. Life throws you some wonderful stuff now and again.
I decided to share my news with trade chat. 'Note to self, never post up anything in trade chat.' No sooner than I'd spoken up about the book release than several people were trash talking my work. Quickly, the trolls had looked up the website to use as fodder for criticism. Rather than reply, I quickly took my bruised ego and ran off to play somewhere else. My abrupt departure from chat was heralded by some of the chatters as weakness. They gloated at their apparent power to intimidate me.
As I sulked with my bruised pride, I quested quietly. Then, I received a private message from one of the hecklers. They were actually apologizing for hurting my feelings. I was totally surprised to have one of the hecklers console me. We engaged in a long private conversation and in the end we left as good friends. What had started off as a low point had become one of the best moments and learning experiences I have had so far.