Saturday, February 11, 2006

Victoria Strauss -- Song of the Mother-Squasher

Dave Kuzminski points out that Part 3 of Madison County Record's series on Lisa Hackney, currently calling herself (again) Melanie Mills, is online (thanks, Dave!). Some choice excerpts:

Her success as a writer/publicist while on the lam ironically led to her capture.

!!!!! There's some irony there, all right.

“I wasn’t going to go out there and get a fake ID or anything like that." [Mills said.] "It just wasn’t worth it. That’s what made it worse – always trying to be so honest and legal and wondering how in the heck do you do that."

Honest and legal. Is that like fair and balanced?

"I was married and divorced three times. The press had a lot of fun when I was on the lam in Canada because I had a lot of last names.”

No fooling. Sixteen aliases, according to the RCMP.

"That’s why I went to Canada eventually, but I had to wait because of 9-11. They looked me up on the NCIC list and I was there."

Ah yes, the old 9/11 gambit. We know it well.

Here's something I find fascinating:

Mills has authored a book, Sins by L.R. Thomas (her first married name). She said that book’s first chapter tells everything anyone needs to know about the night she ran into her mother with the car. She has another book – e Tangled – a romantic comedy waiting to be published..."I’d like to some how make a difference with my writing...Through my writing if I could maybe sway the public to be better and have more morals again."

Stop laughing, people! One of the more curious aspects of Hackney's saga is the fact that her North Carolina literary agency, apart from charging an upfront fee, operated relatively professionally at the outset--enough that she actually managed to sell a couple of manuscripts to legit publishers. I've always suspected that Hackney had real literary ambitions, and that the agency was perhaps an endeavor of the heart. True, it morphed into a scam--that was probably inevitable, given Hackney's prior history--but I think that in some way, at some point, she may really have been serious about becoming a literary agent, and tried genuinely to make a go of it, (re)turning to scamming only after things started to go sour.

So help her out, folks. Give an aspiring author a break. Place an order for Sins. I want to see those sales rankings soar!

5 comments:

Bernita said...

Only if the book claims a secret engagement and love affair with James Frey...

Dave Kuzminski said...

Can I order it using Willem Meiners' name and credit card? ;)

Michaelc said...

She certainly likes to make things up, and that's not too far from a genuine literary impulse.

Dawno said...

Oh, dear, a Publish America book. I missed it if you said something about it before.

Well, if everyone of her aliases buys a copy that's at least 15 "sells"...

Do you think any of the press clippings from the Madison County Record will go "Up In Lights?"

Anonymous said...

Well, I happen to know the Countess for the past 20 years. I never met the daughter, but I can tell you that according to the Countess, 99% of what her daughter told the newspaper interviewer are lies.