Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where In ChariDee Is Threatened by an Author that Wanted Revenges Attorney...

That's right, you read the post title correctly, I, ChariDee received a rather threatening letter today from one attorney "claiming" to represent Victoria Laurie. I admit that I am (like they had hoped) scared spitless. I am a very small blogger in what is a very small reader world on the World Wide Web.

For the most part I try very hard not to rock the boat. Not because I feared something like this would happen, but because it is in my nature to keep the peace. I "talked" to Jane at Dear Author today after I received the e-mail. I needed advice from another blogger. Jane made it clear that she would not think less of me for taking the post down or for removing the quotes (Jane posted a very wonderful blog tonight about this letter I received today, check it out here). However, the more I read up on Copyright Law, the more I felt that I did nothing wrong. I did however edit my post, I have since added the name of the author in question. I would have linked to the post in question but it was removed shortly after the posts went live.

I have also contacted a lawyer who is versed in Copyright Law for my state. Since the business day was nearly over by the time I received the e-mail, I will have more information from this lawyer tomorrow.

I don't like being scared. I don't like being bullied. BUT, should it be necessary that I take the post down, I will. Until the time comes, however, that I am forced to take down my post, it will remain up.

I will keep ya'll posted.

Take Care

27 comments:

Carmel said...

You aren't alone Charity!

Brandy said...

I support whatever decision you decide to make about your posts! Bullies, bleh!

Marg said...

I can't believe that you received this letter. Good luck when you talk to your lawyer tomorrow.

Susanna Kearsley said...

My sister used to have a poster on her kitchen door that read: "Stand up for what's right...even if it means you stand alone". Like you, I think you're in the right. And thanks to Jane at DA, you can rest assured you won't be standing on your own, no matter what you choose to do. We're here behind you. Best of luck.

Sheila said...

Hi ChariDee. Stopped by to express our support from the crew at BookFetish.org.

Becky said...

C, we're here for ya too! Lots of love to ya, girlfriend! :) ~B2

Writer and Cat said...

If you take your post down, will Google save it? Just a thought. I don't know if I'd take the post down or not. Probably not, until I talked to a lawyer, as you're so wisely doing. Nice to have to incur that expense just because somebody's bullying you.

Michelle said...

Just an FYI for you - author S. Andrew Swann just linked to your blog regarding this subject. I believe he shares your sentiment! Hang tough I don't this this woman has any kind of case against you. Here's the link to S. Andrew Swann's blog post: http://www.sandrewswann.com/blog/2008/08/how-to-be-an-asshat-literary-edition.html

-Michelle

Anonymous said...

http://www.victorialaurie.com/blog/

Emmy said...

You go gurl! I doubt they can do anything legally to make you take the blog down, so they're stuck trying to scare you into it.

EssieLou said...

Word is out and VL now finds herself added to the 'authors who behave badly' list on many forums. We can shop elsewhere and we wouldn't put up with this behavior with anything else we buy, so why this?

You have our support, hang in there.

Devon Ellington said...

Hey, Charity, I am a new-to-you reader of your blog. I've read through the material,and I have a few opinions, being a published writer myself. Some you may agree with, some not, but here they are. I am also the Contract Demon Bitch from Hell, known for negotiating tough contracts and also serving as a union negotiator on Broadway.

First of all, this is YOUR blog and you have the right to write about whatever you wish. You have the right to dislike someone else's work and to disagree with someone else's action. I don't really understand why the writer felt you infringed on a copyright issue -- you did not pull off content and present it as your own. You pulled an excerpt and used it to prove a point. There's really no "there" there.

Don't cave to bullying. Part of putting oneself out, either as an artist in any form or on the internet as a blogger, reviewer, etc. is the fact that you're out there. Not everyone's going to love you, not everyone is going to agree with you. It's part of the gig. If you're going to put yourself out there, sooner or later, someoone will try to bully you. As long as you know you've behaved with integrity, as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror every day, it doesn't really matter. Don't cave. Consulting your own lawyer was absolutely the right thing to do. Chances are a few lawyer letters fired back and forth can set this to rest.

As writers, part of putting our work out there is accepting the fact that not everyone will love it. In fact, some people will have a violent reaction against it. That's part of the deal. If we can't accept the bad reviews along with the good, we shouldn't be putting our work out there. yes, bad reviews hurt, they're upsetting, but they're also part of the deal. One of the wonderful things is that there's room for all kinds of writers and readers, so not everyone has to like everything.

Now, regarding writers and acts of revenge: That's something that's gone on for years. I've appeared as a character in ex-lovers' books and truly hated my depiciton in them. Oh,well,that's what I get for being involved with a fellow writer. I've also experience the catharthis of "killing off" a characer based on someone who really ticked me off in my fiction.

However -- and to me, this is an important however -- when I do my job properly as a writer, the character will evolve away from its original inspiration and turn into an individual very separate from the person who inspired said character. That's what good writers (sorry if that seems egotistical) do. Everything one experiences is an inspiration to a writer. Nothing is ever wasted. It's how we use it that defines us. If we're going to do outright attacks, then we better be writing non-fiction and we better be able to back up every accusation with proof.

I don't agree with attacking someone outright who disagrees with me or who angers me. hey, that's what a private diary is for, right? To process the emotions generated by unkindness on the part of others. But I do think many writers use people who've hurt them, annoyed them, attacked them as INSPIRATIONS for characters. Again, the emphasis is on "inspiration".

I've never read the author to whom you refer, so I can't really comment on the author's work.

But, reading over the material on your blog, and Jane's, these are the opinions I've formed.

Keep blogging, stick to your guns, and don't be intimidated.

Amy Wolff Sorter said...

Hey, Charity --

As a writer myself, I second Devon's comments. Yes, writers might be inspired to create characters based on people who might have hurt them. It's a great catharsis.

But to actually attack a reviewer and threaten to use that reviewer's name as a villian in an upcoming novel simply because that reviewer doesn't like the book? That goes waaay beyond the pale.

It's even worse when that same writer threatens other bloggers. There is no excuse for bullying, that is clearly what this writer is doing to you.

Stick to your guns and follow your lawyer's advice. And, as a writer, I apologize to you for this woman's poor behavior. Most of us consider our relationship with readers to be sacred and Ms. Laurie's comments and actions are proving to be just the opposite.

Take care and good luck.

Kimberly Anne said...

Count me in as another person to stand beside you.

This has backfired spectacularly for VL. I will not be reading any of her books from this point on, because of her behavior. And her histrionics led me to your site, garnering you one more faithful reader!

Lori said...

You rock Charity! We love you girl!

nightsmusic said...

I too, agree with Devon's post.

Don't back down. To QUOTE! Eleanor Roosevelt:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Don't let this sad excuse for an author make you feel like you have no right to your opinion. You do, as does anyone.

If an author is going to put herself out there for all to read, she has to expect poor reviews for her novels. If all she wants are good ones, she shouldn't be writing because we all get poor reviews. It's how graciously we respond that makes the difference between an author and someone who's....just not.

Beth Headrick said...

You might want to take a look at Jane's letter over at Dear Author. I believe that her letter is the reason that Laurie's blog has just been taken down. Yes, that's right. Within the last 5 minutes her blog has been taken offline. Sometimes the forces of the book-reading good do win out. Keep smiling honey! We're with you.

Obsidian Bookshelf said...

You have my support, ChariDee. And as Kimberly Anne said above, you've gained me as another reader to your blog. Best, Val Kovalin at ObsidianBookshelf.com

JaimeK said...

Stand strong. There are lots of readers and bloggers and lurkers that are standing behind you and beside you. You received, IMO, a legal bluff - push hard enough and she will shut down. No copyright infringment that I can see.
I know it is easy for myself and others to say, but don't be too scared, no judge in his or her right mind would even listen to this clap trap.
Peace and take care.
JaimeK

S Andrew Swann said...

Here's a live link to my blog post.

Jane (and others) are right, there's no copyright case here at all (this from someone whose been in legal action as the infringed party) it was a desperate move by an incredibly insecure person. The fact she's killed her own blog post shows a terminal case of foot-in-mouth, and her threat to you is just a vain attempt to keep her stupidity from being propagated into the blogosphere.

You have my support, and Victoria has my derision.

Erastes said...

This is bully boy tactics and Jane is right, as a comment, critique or whatever, this will never go to court. The Erotic Authors Association (for what it's worth) is behind you 100 percent. If she had confidence in her own idiocy she wouldn't have deleted her own post.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. You've done nothing wrong. The author was in the wrong for her comments. You handled it well by not even mentioning her name in the original posts and she's the one that went off the deep end once again.

Mora said...

I just wanted to add my support. You did nothing wrong, and I hope this blows over soon.

Anonymous said...

More support here. May your blog rule and her career wither!

Marta said...

Hi, ChariDee, so sorry to hear that you are going through this! In the first place, any author who gets a bad review should suck it up and move on.

Also, lawyers will throw out all sorts of accusations and scare tactics. It's what they do. I would not worry about that. I'm glad Jane at Dear Author is standing up and speaking out in defense of your right to voice an opinion.

shilohwalker said...

Just dropping by to add my support. :)

Giving into bullies doesn't solve anything, because then they expect you to give MORE. Kudos!

Dru said...

Hang in there. I don't like bullies.