Got a second "cease & desist" notice the other night from a fee-charging agent whose company is one of those outfits that wrap themselves in a cloak of religion and Christian mission-speak, while taking advantage of writers. These deceptive operations abound in the Christian marketplace, and I find them especially reprehensible.
The very Godly owner of this company begins his second notice by saying "Maybe you don't get it..." and goes on to reiterate his charges that we've made "untrue and deceptive" statements about his company, accusing us of "acts of false advertising and misleading the public." We are instructed to immediately remove all statements about his company from our website, and to publish "a statement of apology prominently featured on your pertaining Website."
Um...well. We have documentation of this company's fee-charging, so saying that it charges fees is neither untrue nor deceptive. Actually, though, there's a more salient fact. Though we've provided info on the company's fees in response to private questions from writers, there are no statements about this company on the Writer Beware website. Not one. Anywhere.
So why's he so convinced we've defamed him publicly? Because he has us mixed up with another watchdog group (guess which one?). That's right. He's cease-and-desisting the wrong people. Talk about not getting it!
We don't feel that we have any obligation to enlighten him (and since he obviously hasn't visited the Writer Beware website, I'm not all that concerned he'll stumble on this post). I ignored his first message. On advice from counsel, I responded to his second message by instructing him to direct all future correspondence to my lawyer.
Proving what a mature and ethical individual he is, he trotted over to Amazon.com and posted a nasty and personally insulting one-star review of my latest book, The Burning Land. (Warning! Book plug alert!) Since he posts reviews under his company name, it was easy to figure out who was responsible (does he think I'm dumb or something?). I wrote to the nice folks at Amazon and the review was gone the next day. I wish now that I'd saved it--it was actually kinda funny. He obviously skimmed enough of the plot description to know that The Burning Land involves religious issues and questions of faith, but he seems to have missed the fact that the religion in the book is entirely a product of my imagination (though this is obvious from the other reviews) and assumed it was an anti-Christian screed. He accused me of, among other things, attempting to poison people's minds by promulgating bizarre and distasteful philosophies, and being a bitter and confused woman trying to work out my personal problems through fiction.
Gosh. I'm crushed. Simply flattened.
I'm going to go work out some more problems now.