So, aside from the fact that I got zero hours of sleep last night, today started just like any other. I got the kids to take their baths, I made their lunch, I drove them to school, walked them to their classroom, went to work, had a day where everything that could go wrong - did, left work with just enough time to pick up the kiddos, said "Thanks" to their teachers for learning them yet another day, and went home.
It's the after I got home part where things start to get interesting. Usually when I get home I have a few e-mails from friends and family to tend to and an occasional e-mail from some one who visited my book review blog (ya know, NOVEL READS, the one you are reading right now). On a typical day, I would respond (or not) to these e-mails, throw a load of laundry in the machine, cook dinner, read with my kids, kiss them goodnight and snuggle with The Hubs. Today, however, was anything BUT typical.
Most of you are reading this because you heard about the letter I received from an attorney representing Victoria Laurie and the subsequent post on her blog http://www.victorialaurie.com/blog/ (OOPS, her entire blog has been taken off her website, I tired to link her).
Anyway, in an attempt to make sense of this madness for myself, I have decided to break down events.
On January 21, 2008, while blogging for another site, I posted this blog. Notice, I state how much I enjoy Ms. Laurie's books. Notice the fact that while I don't personally like her on-line behavior, I will continue to read her books.
Shortly there after, I leave dee & Dee Dish...About Books.
I am silent in the blog-o-sphere for a few months. I post to my personal blog (not often mind you, but some) and read a LOT. I continue to read my favorite blogs, but use that time to re-group.
May 15, 2008 (Happy Birthday A!), I decide I miss this small world of readers I belonged to. Mind you, I've never been a big addition to the fiction world, but I did have my own corner, and even when I had only myself for company I enjoyed it!
Fast forward to August 11, 2008 and Victoria Laurie is back on my radar. Please note, that the post I have linked there is the Original Post with minor changes. The minor changes include the addition of "AKA I QUOTED Victoria Laurie" and the little "Update" at the start. Otherwise, I left the post in tact.
That same day, I post to two Yahoo! Groups I belong to and post the question about the author's behavior.
August 12, 2008, starts like any other day, only the kids are still on Summer Break and my babysitter is NOT. SO, I'm home and still receiving e-mails (some very hateful) about my post of (at the time) a particular author - OK, it's Victoria Laurie. I don't have to pretend anymore! Since my question to the Yahoo! Groups gives me some good food for thought, I do another post.
I will adress this post again shortly, if you aren't already asleep, bear with me ;).
After hitting "PUBLISH POST", I think to myself, " Go ahead and be brave! Try and contact this publisher for a quote!" So, in all of my, I AM WOMAN (erm, READER!) HEAR ME ROAR glory, I work up the nerve to call the publishing house. I ask to speak to Laurie's editor. I am transfered to voice mail. I leave a message, and trust me, we'll discuss this in more detail in a bit, asking for a quote. I DO in fact say that I was "deeply disturbed" about something I read on her blog. I say this, because I am, in fact, deeply disturbed by this behavior.
After my phone call, I do my blog hopping. One of my first stops is Dear Author. A site I miss visiting on a regular basis, but ya know, life happens and I must work for the money. I see that Jane has outed the author in question (and seriously, why am I still referring to her as "the author in question?" We all know who the heck I'm talking about!). I then check out one of my favorite author's blogs and find out that she is thinking about quitting blogging. More hate mail to novelreads at gmail dot com ensues.
August 13, 2008, I link to the Dear Author post outing Laurie. The same day I moved on.
August 14, 2008, I address (in a general way) some of the letters I received about my initial post. And again, I get on with blogging as usual.
August 15-18, 2008 all is business as usual.
August 19, 2008, I receive the following letter in my in-Box, (IN-BOX, people, not even through regular mail) upon returning home from work:
Dear the owner of email address titled “firstname.lastname@example.org” (a.k.a. “ChariDee”),
I represent Victoria Laurie, an author which you recently address in a posting titled, “Authors Getting Even” on http://novelreads.blogspot.com
In addition to the above violation of law, on Tuesday, August 12, you contacted the voice mail of someone you thought to be Ms. Laurie's editor at Penguin Group USA and left a voice mail claiming that you were "deeply disturbed" by a blog posting and requesting a comment (a copy of which we have in our possession). Please consider this letter a cease and desist letter. While you are free to express your opinion under the First Amendment, taking impulsive and inappropriate action with the attempt to interfere with a contractual relationship is unacceptable; therefore, in addition to the above Ms. Laurie is requesting that you not contact her, her agents, editors, business representatives, or assigns personally at any time now or in the future.
Feel free to contact me at the above post office box should you have any questions regarding this letter and its directives.
I immediately freak out, thus causing me to make one of the best decisions of my life, and contact Jane at Dear Author. I needed advice from another blogger. I'm a guppie in the blogger pond, I've never claimed to be more. So getting a letter like this is flippin' scary.Later that day, Jane stands up for me (God Bless Jane!).
And that brings us to today. Are you as exhausted as I am yet? Today, I work all day. I have no idea of what happens until I get home. What happened? Well, Victoria Laurie totally bashes me on her blog. I'd link, but her entire blog has been removed. I do, however, happen to have a cached version of the post. Since Laurie found it OK to fling accusations my way, I find it OK to defend myself. I will not post the entire blog entry here, I will however, as allowed by Fair Use, quote her post for comment and criticism.
ANYhoo, to catch you all up, last week I got a very upsetting phone call from my editor who was really creeped out. She said that some crazy woman had called the voice mail of another editor in her department. The caller clearly thought that editor was my editor and had demanded to be called back saying she was â€œdeeply disturbedâ€� (mental diagnosis or state of mind?) about a blog that Iâ€™d written and she demanded a comment from my editor.
Quote: My wonderful editor was so freaked out that she became concerned for my safety and wanted to alert me that there was a crazy cyber stalker out there and maybe I wanted to increase my own security.
If I ever get the cash flow to hire an attorney, I want that voice mail released. If this editor read anything "crazy" into my simple voice mail, I don't know what it could have been. Laurie also states that I did not leave my name. I call BS on this one. I most certainly DID leave my name. Not only did I leave my name, I left my telephone number, e-mail address and blog address.
I'm getting ready to sign off on this post, but before I do, I want to address one more thing that Laurie says in her blog post: Quote: but donâ€™t start making phone calls that will end up costing you your kidâ€™s college fund. To this I say, I will take a lot of shit. However, the minute you threaten my children and their future, is the minute I start to take the gloves off.
I have much more to say on the topic, and I probably will blog more about it tomorrow. Right now, I'm going to get in some comfy PJ's and get some sleep.
I want to thank each and every one of you that has commented on my blog and on Dear Author showing your support. I am humbled by your kindness and cannot express how much it has meant to me.
I promise that I will post more on the subject when I get some sleep and can make some sense. I also promise that my posts will remain here on Novel Reads until such time the law dictates otherwise.