Thursday, October 11, 2007

Victoria Strauss -- Christopher Hill Redux

One of the weirdest scams Writer Beware ever followed just got a little stranger.

(A mini-refresher: Christopher Hill of Hill & Hill Literary Agency was an Edinburgh-based fee-charger who went to extraordinary lengths to convince his clients that he was working on their behalf, including fabricating reams of documentation: submission records, publisher acceptance emails, even publishing contracts. When he could no longer keep all the scam balls in the air, he torpedoed his own operation by posing as a victim. I covered the scam last year in a series of blog posts. There's also a lengthy thread at Absolute Write, with many posts from writers he conned.)

Over at the Dear Author blog, Top 10 Tips for Plagiarists exposes the fact that author Lanaia Lee, whose novel Of Atlantis is about to be released via self-pub service Roval Publishing, appears to have plagiarized well-known speculative fiction author David Gemmell's novel about Alexander the Great, Dark Prince. (More coverage of the flap from Jim Macdonald over at Making Light.)

A frothing mob of torch-wielding villagers, righteously enraged at such wanton pillaging of a literary legend, rushed over to Lanaia's website to post angry comments on her message board. Defending herself, she first said (I'm reproducing her comments exactly as written):

Of Atlantis is totally mine. I have the original manuscript, and witnesses to my work. I put two years of my life in this book, the copy right, I own. I am appalled some one would think I am that dishonesy!

Later, she amended that a bit:

When I first started Of Atlantis, I hire a ghost writer Christopher Hill. I see what he did now and for that I aplogize. I was scammed. I apologize to Mr. Hemmel's memory and his family.

I believe she's telling the truth, folks.

This past June--months after the Hill & Hill insanity seemed to have concluded--Lanaia (not her real name) contacted me via Writer Beware to let me know that Christopher Hill was still in Edinburgh, still actively impersonating a literary agent. She told me that he solicited her as a client in June 2005, as a result of some of her online writings. She signed with him for a different novel, Chamber of Time, which he eventually claimed not to have been able to sell.

In September 2006, a former Hill client in Australia alerted Lanaia to the fact that Hill was a lying scambag. She confronted him, but he managed to sweet-talk her out of her misgivings. She then started the Atlantis book. Always helpful, Hill offered his services as a ghostwriter. From sometime in the fall of 2006 until May of 2007, she paid him $400 per month through PayPal. In the spring of 2007, he faked up a contract offer from Gryphon Publishing (there are a number of publishers by this name, so I'm not sure which one was meant), but eventually got tired of shining Lanaia on and blew her off with the following email, which she forwarded me a copy of:

Before you keep ranting on here is the manuscript as of now you are on my blocked list so do not bother trying to reply. We had no contract binding anything, the work I did is now yours I give you full copyright consent here. I wish you well for the future.

Attached to the email was a manuscript called The Chronicles of Archimedes. Judging by the often awkward writing, most of it is non-plagiarized--and may indeed have been "ghostwritten," because while a lot of it is written out like a novel, some of it is synopsis. Also, Lanaia is American, but the written-out portions of the ms. employ British spelling, lending credence to Lanaia's claim that Hill rewrote her novel. At the front of the ms. is stuck the entire first chapter of Gemmell's Dark Prince, with the names changed to match those of the characters in the rest of the manuscript.

I find it completely plausible that the ripoff of Gemmell was Hill's work, not Lanaia's. It would be absolutely typical of Hill to do something like this to screw over a client--especially one who'd twigged to his scam. His whole deal was false promises and head games, fakery and bullshit and general psychological torment. If she'd never read Gemmell, there's no reason why Lanaia would have recognized that stolen chapter.

So score one more for you, Chris, you sleazy weasel...almost. Because you can't outwit Writer Beware.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

All of this, it is perfectly possible to believe - but what I find sad is that this is yet another instance of "I wanna be a writer but I don't wanna write" syndrome. For a genuinely frustrated, muchly rejected actual, yanno, WRITER, someone who really does sit at a computer for hours and pounds out words - they may not be GREAT words, or even very GOOD ones, but at least they're something that (s)he is driven to do - to then resort to self-publishing in the hope of catching the dream by the tail... it's something you can almost, ALMOST, understand. Not condone, but understand.

BUT.

If you *hire a ghostwriter* to do your work for you, and then self-publish the result - dear ghu, she has NO claim on any syllable of the word "writer" at all. And as a life-long addict to writing, and given the basics of this situation, I resent the quote on her website that "writing is her gift to share". THat stopped being the truth the moment she accepted hte services of a ghostwriter to produce work she planned to claim as her own. Period. The end. She has just forfeited *everything*.

Gah. You'd think that by now people would realise by now that putting something like this up on the Internet (and then throwing hissy fits when found out) is not something that can be gotten away with...

J M McDermott said...

Quick question:

How come Hill isn't in jail?

LJCygnet said...

Ouch. I honestly feel bad for the lady, if this is true.

Her "agent" is another story. If the novel is as bad as described, this lady's been taken three times -- once by Christopher Hill, once by Cheryl Pillsbury, and once by the pay to play pod publisher.

One notes that Cheryl indicated on Making Light that she works primarily with the pod publisher, with the some rather obvious questions raised there.

E.B.L. Gorton said...

Out of morbid curiosity;

What sort of legal recourse does she have? I am a wee bit unsympathetic, I'll admit. Her actions since this blew out of the water, or I should say the actions made in her name, have been damning to her reputation and her credibility. But if this is the case what sort of legal action might she face and what sort might she be able to bring ?out?...

My brain just fizzled and I can't think of the correct term there.

BuffySquirrel said...

I've just been reading this trainwreck over at Making Light.

It's amazing how little shame some people have--and I don't mean Lanaia.

Victoria Strauss said...

I imagine that David Gemmell's estate and/or publisher might send Lanaia a cease-and-desist order (though I hope they don't do anything more)--although she might avoid that if she removes the offending chapter from her website and her book. I'd want to go through that book with a fine-toothed comb before it's printed, to make absolutely sure there isn't any other plagiarism in it.

She might be able to pursue some sort of action against Hill for fraud. Problem is, no one seems to know who Weasel Chris actually is. He oozed out of trouble, and off the radar of law enforcement, by reimbursing many of the victims of his literary agency scam (along with the lack of organization among the victims, I'm sure this is why a police investigation was never opened). Even if he's still in Edinburgh, good luck identifying and locating him (although if he remains active, it's inevitable that he'll cross my path again some day. Writer Beware Sees All).

Anonymous said...

It is nice that you are willing to believe the best before believing the worst. But I think you're wrong in this case.

Victoria Strauss said...

It is nice that you are willing to believe the best before believing the worst. But I think you're wrong in this case.

Based on what evidence?

Bernita said...

Hmmm, makes me wonder what other portions of the MS might be plagerized by Hill - possibly from the MSS of other of his hopeful clients.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's always that new writers don't want to do the work. I think sometimes years go by and people get desperate; they realize their work will not get by on its own merits and seek help. That's not a bad thing. What's terrible is that there are those who would take advantage of these people who don't know anything at all about the publishing industry, and perhaps don't know how to learn about it.

Hill took $400 a month from her for two years? That's pretty rotten. The man must have no soul.

Anonymous said...

Considering how vehemently she first claimed the work was her own and claimed her 'agent' was going to sue them all, how do we know she didn't just happen across this mess and decide Hill would be a good name to bring up as a way to defend herself? I mean, he's obviously a scumbag in all respects, but it seems entirely too convenient an excuse for me to swallow.

bjh said...

Hill's dirt; there's no argument possible there. But I feel less sorry for Lanaia than I perhaps should. She paid an absurd amount of money for someone to write a book and more to a publisher for - what? To have her name on the cover? That's what, thousands of dollars for the author RPG?

And when the bubble burst, she first insisted the book was hers and then, and still does, played the "pity me" card. If anyone has money to blow, please send it to charity instead of to your ego.

I feel some small amount of pity for anyone caught in their own meshes; been there, done that. But she has earned what she's reaping. She tried to cheat, and opened herself to be cheated in turn.

Anon76 said...

Okay, so this author now being accused of plagiarism contacted you back in July 2006 to notify you this scam artist was still around?

And yet, she continued working with him even with another warning from another writer?

And then, begins a new novel for this scammer?

And then, even when faced with facts, claims she wrote the novel entirely herself and her book is clean?

And then, backtracks and says she paid the scammer to ghostwrite? At a cost of $400 per month?

And then, threatens to sue people who brought the mess to light, (with a hex from her agent, of course)?

Okay, for me, that's just too many...And then's...to feel gobs of sympathy.

Josephine Damian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josephine Damian said...

Victoria, I'm with Anon 7:15 on this one. Here's the evidence:

"Of Atlantis is totally mine. I have the original manuscript, and witnesses to my work. I put two years of my life in this book, the copy right, I own. I am appalled some one would think I am that dishonesy!"

Atlantis is NOT totally hers if she hired a freakin' ghost writer, even if he was honest and wrote it himself.

"Later, she amended that a bit:

When I first started Of Atlantis, I hire a ghost writer Christopher Hill. I see what he did now and for that I aplogize. I was scammed. I apologize to Mr. Hemmel's memory and his family."

I think what she means is: I'm sorry I got busted for being not capable of writing my own book.

Victoria Strauss said...

Considering how vehemently she first claimed the work was her own and claimed her 'agent' was going to sue them all, how do we know she didn't just happen across this mess and decide Hill would be a good name to bring up as a way to defend herself?

Anonymous, you seem to have read other people's posts about this affair. I wish you had read mine with equal attention. Lanaia contacted me in JUNE to give me the details about her experience with Hill (including, Anon76, the info about the $400 payments).

I've actually seen the email from Hill and the manuscript he sent her. I'm not just theorizing here.

As to the ghostwriter issue...give me a break. Plenty of bestselling authors do the same thing. And what about all the writers who hire independent editors? Are they liars too? I'm not defending this, mind. I routinely tell writers that they need to create their own material and not rely on others to beat it into shape. I'm just saying that the viciousness with with people are jumping on this issue is just a little hypocritical, given how common a practice it is to hire editors and ghosts.

BJH, I mostly agree with you. But, especially given the victim aspect of this affair, the meanness of people's responses (judging by the comments on other blogs) seems gratuituous to me.

My theory is that many of the people who are heaping contempt and ridicule on Lanaia are saying what they'd really like to say about all scam victims (see Anon76's comment) and all clueless, fake-published writers--but normally have to keep to themselves because it'd seem too cruel and elitist. Kinda makes me think of Spike Lee's great satirical movie, "Bamboozled." How great to be given the license to say all the hateful stuff you really think, but can't normally admit to.

Velma said...

Thank you for your research. I will admit that I have a mixture of anger (at her lies, attacks, and defense) and extreme sympathy towards Lanaia Lee -- the latter because I keep remembering that I have known a lot of writers, editors, agents, and publishers, and know a fair amount about the workings of publishing -- but not everyone does. And it makes me wonder where I might be equally ignorant, and equally able to be taken in.

On the other hand, her agent seems to be less than optimally ethical, and has made as many, possibly more threats, and hurled insults. Her, I have no sympathy towards.

Anon76 said...

My apologies. I said June 2006 was the date she contacted you, when it was really this year.

Plus, I was in no way questioning the $400 monthly payments. Nor was I doing so in any of the other bullet points I listed.

They are, I believe, facts. Yet no less disturbing for being so.

I am not ridiculing the writer, nor heaping contempt. But at the same time, with her later actions, I cannot hold her blameless.

Instead of an "Oh s--t" when faced with the first chapter copied, she took the "this is all mine" road. Scammed or not, right is right.

That's the moment you scream and rail about the scammer, while apologizing for any theft. And I'm not saying belittle yourself, just be honest.

I couldn't care less if she had a ghost-writer. As you said, it's quite common.

And, predators are out there, we all know it.

I think the ridicule is coming from the author's own dealings when faced with the plagiarism. It left her open to people turning to sharks and trying to strip the flesh from her. Right? Probably not. But she and her business people haven't acted in the right manner either.

Moments like these compound, and that is why every writer should do their homework. It's a dog eat dog world, and on the internet, flaying is a regular occurrence. Right? No. Reality? Yes.

Robin said...

As to the ghostwriter issue...give me a break. Plenty of bestselling authors do the same thing. And what about all the writers who hire independent editors? Are they liars too? I'm not defending this, mind. I routinely tell writers that they need to create their own material and not rely on others to beat it into shape. I'm just saying that the viciousness with with people are jumping on this issue is just a little hypocritical, given how common a practice it is to hire editors and ghosts.

HOW common is it to hire a ghost? Independent editors I can see as part of the overall crafting process, but ghosting feels substantively different to me (although I can see where the line would be blurred if an editor did substantive revising). Completely aside from Lanaia's situation, how close are we to a culture in which authorship is a separate concept from the actual work of writers writing?

joelr said...

I don't have any dog in this fight other than truth, justice and the American way and all, but it doesn't strike me as implausible that a wannabe writer could be a victim of a scam that would end up with a first chapter unwittingingly ghostplagiarized by a scammer and then vanity (or, for that matter, legitimately) published, with the wannabe believing that the book "really" was hers (presumably having written most but the first chapter and having been scammed by the ghostplagiarist that he had improved it).

Assuming -- and that's all I'm doing -- that's what happened, and that the ghostplagiarist also spent some time "improving" the rest of the manuscript, the wannabe might not only well think of the book as hers, and might not be unreasonable in thinking so. The thought process might be something like "I wrote 98,000 of the 100,000 words, and just got a little help from the guy with the opening two thousand words and some touch-up here and there."

Anonymous said...

So if you have a book ghostwritten, you can legally claim a book as 100% your own work?

And as for the victim aspect - I imagine that a lot of people do feel sorry for her. But the online postings by her and her agent tend to eliminate that sympathy real quick.

I imagine that if you want to be respected as a professional in the industry, well, then you should also undertake to represent yourself in a professional manner.

joelr said...

So if you have a book ghostwritten, you can legally claim a book as 100% your own work?

While IANAL: sure. The general rule is that in a work made for hire, the owner is the hirer, not the writer. If there's anything that's more obviously a work made for hire than something ghostwritten, I don't know what it would be.

BuffySquirrel said...

It's done all the time. I remember looking into a work-for-hire job for some book packagers once. For, I think, three different series, the (fake) author names, titles and outlines were all set up. They just wanted people to do the actual writing for them.

Geoff_N said...

The former clients of the Hill & Hill agency did lack organization at the time of the crash but are together in an active closed forum now.

I understand that the Edinburgh & Fyfe police have an open file on CH, but like the FBI, were unwilling to act further because of the small amount of money involved even though the morale damage was immense.

Dave Kuzminski said...

I've written computer manuals on a write-for-hire basis. Even though there was no obligation to do so, the company listed my name in the credits as an author.

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for the update on former Hill clients, Geoff. Any idea whether the police might be interested in his latest exploit?

JulieB said...

Dave, It depends on what type of work-for-hire you're doing as to whether or not you get any sort of credit. I write a lot of copy for ads and the like. That sort of thing doesn't get credited.

I've also done a TV tie-in book. It was a work-for-hire. The studio got the copyright, but I was listed on the cover of the book as the author.

I guess credit depends on the circumstance and what's in the contract. If I recall Victoria's post correctly, there was no contract involved in this. Makes me glad not to be a lawyer. (Though Alan Shore can come sit on my patio and have a drink any time.)

J M McDermott said...

You know Victoria, one of these days they're going to base a character on Law and Order on you and Anne, and possibly Dave.

Somebody should forward this debacle to the production team.

All they'd need to fabricate is one murder.

Which I do not condone in real life, but wouldn't it be nice for a little harmless, word-spreading, yog's-law-spreading escapism?

Anonymous said...

The moth(extremely naughty word)er scammed 400. a month off this woman.

How many OTHERS is he scamming per month for an equal or greater amount?

He's got no reason to give up such a profitable gig. The law sure ain't doing anything to discourage him.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Oh, oh! L&O, yeah. Someone offs me and points the blame at A&V because they claim WB was in competition with P&E. In the end, the murderer turns out to be a well-known scammer.

Victoria Strauss said...

Whoah, Dave! You'll give someone we both know ideas!

Jerry Graffam said...

I'm amazed that there really any defense for either of them. I've known of Hill's scams for a while due to your site, AW, and P&E; so why wouldn't a new writer, who is doing so much work on a novel, take the time to resarch why someone is charging her $400 when he shouldn't charge a dine? And sadly, people try to defend any of this by posting under "Anonymous." Truly sad. ~Jerry Graffam (rejectME)

Anonymous said...

It seems a bit too convenient to me to blame a man who's already got a bad reputation as a scam agent.

Bev (BB) said...

I've followed this on three sites now and no one has asked an obvious question. How someone who claims both she and her husband are both severely disabled could afford to finance this herself? $400 a month for two years? To someone she'd already been warned against?

Uh-huh. No holes in that story.

AnneMarble said...

Anonymous said It seems a bit too convenient to me to blame a man who's already got a bad reputation as a scam agent.

From everything I read, Lanaia seems woefully ignorant of publishing. I can't imagine that she would somehow be clever enough to plagiarize David Gemmell (she probably didn't know he existed) and then search the Internet, find the name of a notorious scam agent, and blame it all on him.

bev (bb) said I've followed this on three sites now and no one has asked an obvious question. How someone who claims both she and her husband are both severely disabled could afford to finance this herself? $400 a month for two years? To someone she'd already been warned against?

Have you ever read the posts by PublishAmerica writers or other scam victims? Many of them will spend their last dollar to buy crates full of their own books. Desperate would-be writers do incredibly stupid things all the time. They'll also ignore all the warnings because they've persuaded themselves that the people warning them against a particular publisher or agent are "jealous wannabes." I'm reading a thread along those ideas right now. Here's a sample post, worth it just to see BrianM's Phantom of the Opera avatar:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1723697&postcount=6563

Uh-huh. No holes in that story.

I'm not saying there aren't holes in this story. The whole thing is weird. But you have to understand the stupid things people will do to get "published." After you've followed similar writing scams on Victoria's blog or on AbsoluteWrite, you'll realize that there are some crazy naive people out there. Some of them really do want to be writers, and some of them use vanity presses as a way to play what Jim Macdonald calls "the published writer roleplaying game.

Teddy said...

Sounds cruel sounds mean sounds despicable - BUT - like it or not -
"There is a sucker born every minute".

If I followed this incredibly convoluted story correctly (though I have my doubts), an author hires a ghost writer and then just publishes the book just as the ghost writer laid it out?

Ummmm...well .. ummmm.. in high tech if one hired a programmer to write a program, and that programmer ripped off code line by line from another program and then called it his own, I got news for you. They are going to go after the one who OWNS the ripped-off program (e.g. the one who hired the programmer to begin with) and not the programmer. You put your name on it...by golly gee..it is your responsibility to make sure it is not ripped off.

All that being said I do have a great deal of sympathy for the woman involved especially after seeing her own bio on her web site.

Still though, responsibility to check was hers and is hers, me thinks.

But shrugs, that is just one opinion from someone who woke from the dead. :)

Teddy

Samuel Tinianow said...

Have you ever read the posts by PublishAmerica writers or other scam victims? Many of them will spend their last dollar to buy crates full of their own books. Desperate would-be writers do incredibly stupid things all the time. They'll also ignore all the warnings because they've persuaded themselves that the people warning them against a particular publisher or agent are "jealous wannabes."

Yep. Anne and Victoria, doesn't the WB website have a link somewhere for an article by a disabled veteran who put himself in debt so he could attend a poetry.com convention? Maybe I'm remembering the article from somewhere else, but apparently this poor guy had put quite a bit of material through poetry.com's scams and, until after the convention, never had the slightest clue what was going on.

AnneMarble said...

You might be thinking of the article on this site:
http://windpub.com/literary.scams/bigmoney.htm

PublishAmerica has accepted books from everyone homeless poets to teens who weren't old enough to sign a contract. (As long as they can get their parents to sign, PA doesn't care.)

Bev (BB) said...

Always assuming the money was the ONLY hole I was talking about. Sure, there are suckers born every day that will spend their last dime on a dream. No doubt about that.

However, most of them don't also claim to have fifteen other things going on in their life at the same time. And when they do, they tend to keep the stories straight. Tends to make them seem less like a con themselves in the end, you know.

joelr said...

If I followed this incredibly convoluted story correctly (though I have my doubts), an author hires a ghost writer and then just publishes the book just as the ghost writer laid it out?

Probably not. What seems to have happened is that a wannabe writer who had a partial or full draft done got scammed by a ghost plagiarist who tweaked the ms some, and then the sucker (and, at the very best, the writer in this case went to some trouble to put up a neon SUCKER INSIDE light over her forehead) paid an "agent" to "sell" the "completed" manuscript to an online vanity publisher.

Sorta like finding romance by hiring a matchmaker to find a pimp to hook you up with a hooker to then have sex with somebody else.

I think.

David Blaxill said...

As one of Hill's refunded "clients", I was wondering a few weeks ago what he was up to now. At the end of the last scam, he appeared to have gone to ground, disgraced and hounded by the local press, and several grand worse off.

I've long since moved on from the "Hill experience", but these new revelations only go to show one thing. Assholes like Hill never go away. After all, a year is a long time and there is a whole new generation of writers wanting to be published.

I have only one thing to say about the ghost writing bit. You could perhaps at a pinch excuse an agent with grammar and spelling as bad as Hill's. (I did.) But not a WRITER!

Dave Kuzminski said...

There's an article on MSNBC at URL http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21311730/ which gives an explanation of how people are influenced by gossip even when the facts are in front of them in situations quite similar to what PA does to its authors.

Carol Green said...

I am a former 'client' of Hill, I was completely new to writing, full of self doubt and oblivious to scamming agents - perfect for him to manipulate. He accepted my manuscript, boosted my ego and set me off on the road heartache.

If Miss L is telling the truth, if she is another victim of Hill, she may well have been living in a dream bubble of his creation just like me, too terrified to move in case it burst.

Anyone with knowledge of the publishing business may look at her situation and mock, but it seems to me, two disabled people would be perfect fodder for Hill.

bjh said...

Carol Green - Sorry to hear about your experience with Hill. He is scum, and it is heart-breaking. Please understand that most people aren't reacting to Miss L's being scammed, but her actions afterwards.

joelr said...

Well, that's too bad. It would have been a much neater story if Mary/Lanaia had turned out to be the sole villain in all this, rather than (as appears to be the case) somebody ignorant and stupid and unethical who, after being scammed, has behaved badly.

Ditto if the other obvious narrative (the writer who didn't want to write and hired a ghostwriter to do all the work) had been true.

Life's rarely so neatly wrapped into a bundle, and I'm not sure whether that's an "alas" or a "yay."

Victoria Strauss said...

For anyone who has been theorizing that Lanaia/Mary's claim to have been scammed by Christopher Hill is "too convenient," I have a lot more documentation in hand now than I did when I first made my post. I have a very large amount of already-existing Hill documentation to compare it to, sent to me last year by dozens of other Hill victims, and everything Mary has sent me, from email/snail mail addresses used by Hill, to fake publishing offers, to fake publisher comments (word for word the same as those Hill sent to other clients) checks out. I was already certain she was telling the truth about Hill, but this clinches it.

I am now done with this. I began with quite a bit of sympathy for Mary as a scam victim, but she has largely forfeited it by her incredibly bad and pigheaded handling of the situation--including, in the latest wrinkle, using my name to support her lawsuit threats and attempts to extort silence from her critics.

E.B.L. Gorton said...

{{{hugs}}}
Victoria. You do awesome work, alerting the writing community to scammers and scumbags, such as Hill.


Thank you.

WritingHermit said...

Victoria, it was very generous of you to try to help a writer who seemed to be in trouble. I'm sorry that it worked out this way for you.

JulieB said...

Darn it, Victoria. (Stronger language comes to mind, but I'll temper the typing.)

Sending virtual chocolate your way... ;-)

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for the kind words--they help!

bjh said...

You're our hero, Victoria. Hmmm, virtual chocolates - have some more!

Jenna Glatzer said...

Thank you for always being my hero, V. No matter how often it bites you in the butt, you just keep doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm no writer and don't claim to know anything about the publication business, but I'm fan of David Gemmell, and ignorant of it what the "ghost-writer" was doing or not, shouldn't person's name who appears on the work after "by" share at least some of the responsibility? Or maybe even more so, her agent.

Samuel Tinianow said...

joelr, thank you for the perfect euphemism. Henceforth, I will refer to hookers as "vanity publishers."

AnneMarble said...

LL's newest interview with the Greensboro News & Record is up:
http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071024/NRSTAFF/710240308/-1/news1803

I hope that hellacious link works.

Victoria Strauss said...

Adding clickability to the link above.

The reporter doesn't seem to know the difference between a ghostwriter and an agent.

joelr said...

That's okay; the person he interviewed didn't seem to understand the difference between writing a book and hiring a ghostwriter.

wodentoad said...

Currently, the "Author" in question is on the writing group I assist in moderating. She is NO published author, and has posted a fake "interview" and a fake "review" of her book. I had no idea how widespread her lies were. Yes, being scammed is terrible. But if she had hired a real lawyer to answer those e-mails instead of a cartooney, they would have been spelled better and perhaps a bit more professional. So far she has only used our critique forum to ego-stroke, and only posted original greeting card poems. I can only believe she could POD publish.

I LOVED the hooker comment, joelr, BTW, can I quote you?

Sorta like finding romance by hiring a matchmaker to find a pimp to hook you up with a hooker to then have sex with somebody else.

ROFL!