I recently finished editing work on an author's first draft of their first novel. It had the standard issues that one expects from a first draft of a first novel (voice, plot, and characterization all needed work).
I wrote up and sent my notes with suggestions for how the author might improve the issues. Their response to my notes can only be described as a temper tantrum. The author lashed out at me, insulting my work and me personally, and made me feel threatened for doing the job they hired me to do.
Strong reactions to criticism aren't unheard of with early drafts of first novels—most authors see the novel as their baby and a reflection of themselves, and many want praise instead of constructive criticism—but the vitriol this client gave me is something I have never encountered in my professional career.
Outside of never working with this client again, what steps should I take now? Is there a way for me to warn other freelancers about this client's abusive behavior? Is there anything I should do to protect my professional reputation?
I appreciate any feedback on this.