We tell some strange tales here on the Writer Beware blog. There's scam agent/vanity publisher Martha Ivery, noted for harassing authors and for impersonating herself with her alter-ego, Kelly O'Donnell. There's scam agent/writers' conference promoter Elisabeth von Hullessem, who had a similar mania for aliases and, it turned out, was wanted by the police for a crime much worse than relieving writers of their cash. There's Christopher Hill, another scam agent who created elaborate forgeries to fool his clients and then used a fake name to out himself on a popular writers' message board. There's the guy who tried to get people to pay him $1 per word to add to his collaborative novel. There's the literary agency that wanted writers to bid for representation on eBay. There are the literary reality shows. The list goes on.
As strange as anything we've ever covered, however, is the tale of vanity publisher Diggory Press, which has been explored in a number of posts at Mick Rooney's excellent POD, Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing blog. From Mick's most recent post about Diggory, put up today:
It is a story of intrigue, deception, fraud, defamation, theft, forgery, religious persecution, death threats, hatred, subterfuge and much more, culminating in investigations by the British Police Force, Scotland Yard, An Gardai (Irish Police Force) and I have even encountered unsubstantiated claims of Interpol being involved; resulting in, at first, small claims court actions, and now, potentially, a civil court case early next year.
I couldn't say it any better than that. Check it out, especially the links. I've heard from most of the parties in the dispute, and I think Mick's analysis is spot on.