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Victoria Laurie Sends Blogger Threats from a Lawyer

Dear Ms. Laurie:

I understand that you have had a lawyer send out a cease and desist and takedown letter to a romance blogger based on two things. First, you argue that the comments that the blogger excerpted from your own website (which you subsequently deleted but Google preserved for all time) are somehow unacceptable infringement.

In this posting you excerpt from a website that is copyright protected, thus violating federal copyright law. There is and has been an existing disclaimer on Ms. Laurie’s website, (www.victorialaurie.com), which states that; “No part of this website may be directly copied or duplicated and all of the content herein is copyright protected.” These quotes you have posted to your blog should be immediately removed or Ms. Laurie will be forced to take appropriate action.

I’m sure your lawyer explained to you the concept of “fair use” and you simply choose to ignore such advice and told the lawyer to go ahead and make the accusation of infringement. Fair use, as your lawyer must know since she references federal copyright law, allows for copyrighted content to be used without permission according to Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. Acceptable uses are “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” NovelReads is a blogger who used your own words for criticism, comment and possibly even teaching. Further NovelReads’ use of your words does not impair the marketability of your original work. I am sure that you could find a publisher for your work, perhaps in a volume of “The Dummies Guide to Internet Behavior By Authors: What Not to Do.”

Second, your attorney asserted

In addition to the above violation of law, on Tuesday, August 12, you contacted the voice mail of someone you thought to be Ms. Laurie’s editor at Penguin Group USA and left a voice mail claiming that you were “deeply disturbed” by a blog posting and requesting a comment (a copy of which we have in our possession). Please consider this letter a cease and desist letter. While you are free to express your opinion under the First Amendment, taking impulsive and inappropriate action with the attempt to interfere with a contractual relationship is unacceptable…

I’m surprised that you find it objectionable for a reader to call your editor to ask whether it is in fact true that your editor condones you harassing and vilifying readers for your own entertainment and engaging in possibly tortious and defamatory actions and that same editor encourages other authors to do the same. I think I’ll call your editor myself to ask since that self same reader did not get a response yet to see if the “editor thinks this concept of mine is hilarious and she’s going to suggest the idea to her other authors who are fed up with being targets for the mentally deranged.” I’m not sure what violation impulsivity falls under but I do recognize the claim that you are making in regards to the existing contractual relationship.

There are two such business torts that exist: Tortious interference with an existing business relationship and tortious interference with prospective business relationships. The problem here is proving these claims because I have yet to see where a single phone call to inform an editor of conduct that the editor already knows of is tortious interference in any way. Further, I am pretty sure we customers can call and complain about a company’s product without being accused of tortious misconduct. Of course, your lawyer is free to write me and tell me where I am wrong.

Your lawyer also knows that by writing threatening letters that do not have a reasonable basis in law or fact can open her up to an ethics complaint. For example, according to the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism, a lawyer promises that she ” will advise my client that we will not pursue conduct which is intended primarily to harass or drain the financial resources of the opposing party.”

I find it odd that I have engaged in the same objectionable conduct and I have not received a letter from your or your lawyer. Is is because you don’t think I would take you seriously? Or is because someone told you I know what the law is and I am not afraid to use it to defend myself? Instead, you harass someone else in hopes that the person will be so intimidated and that you won’t be found out?

In any event, thanks for having the letter sent. It provided me with a great source of amusement. Unfortunately, the blogger in question was not amused. No, she was scared. I completely understand if the blogger chooses to take content down or change existing content because she doesn’t want to be harassed by you and your lawyer. That was exactly the point of the letter, though, wasnt it? To harass and strike fear into the heart of the blogger?

I do wonder about your psychic abilities. They just don’t seem to be steering you in the right direction these days.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

134 Comments

  1. Ann Somerville
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:06:58

    Dear Jane

    Marry me?

    Much love,

    A

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  2. Ann Somerville
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:15:39

    More seriously:

    While you are free to express your opinion under the First Amendment, taking impulsive and inappropriate action with the attempt to interfere with a contractual relationship is unacceptable

    She asked her lawyer to tell a third party not to contact another third party (and isn’t that what journalists do all the time?) And the lawyer agreed to do that? Folks, have we an actual sighting of that mythical creature, the internets lawyer?

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  3. Jane
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:18:45

    No, I saw the letter. It looks like a real lawyer. I think sometimes people do things for friends. I also think that there are alot of lawyers who send cease and desist letters hoping that the letter will get non lawyer people to back off. And it works alot of the time.

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  4. Kristen
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:27:07

    This post is just further proof that Jane is made of awesome.

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  5. Robin
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:30:51

    Okay, so Laurie brags on her blog about how her editor thinks that Laurie’s plan to incorporate a reader into her next book in a totally vicious way is heelarious, and that’s okay, but it’s not okay for a blogger to find out if said story is true from one of the supposed sources?

    This sounds like a play right out of the DAM handbook.

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  6. azteclady
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:31:54

    Wow.

    How much lower can a person stoop?

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  7. theo
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:39:20

    Brava, Jane!!! You, though you could not see it, received a standing ovation from me!

    You Go Girl!!

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  8. Michael Farquharson
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 21:47:49

    You Rock…if there is a reply will it be posted as well?

    Michael

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  9. Popin
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:09:01

    *sigh* Reading about her mishaps makes me really want to stop reading blogs by authors in case they do something stupid like this. I know this sounds bad and I’ll still read author blogs, but when something like this happens to an author you liked…it makes it really hard to separate the author and their books.

    I hope this makes sense, it’s sleepy time for me but I needed to comment.

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  10. Hope
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:10:32

    LOLs!! I’m waiting with bated breath for another cease and desist letter from the lawyer. This time addressed to Jane. :)

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  11. Leah
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:16:33

    So impressed! Good for you for standing up for this blogger!

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  12. Ann Somerville
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:16:46

    This time addressed to Jane.

    Will never happen. That lawyer might have a shaky grip on ethics, but I don’t know any that don’t have a very firm grip on self-preservation. :)

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  13. ChariDee
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:23:46

    Thanks Jane for blogging about this! I’ll admit I’m still just a tad on the scared side, but knowing I have a phone conference set up for tomorrow with an attorney in my state has helped calm my nerves.

    For now the post stays up, I did update it to include Laurie’s name. I was trying to be nice and not mention her name. Serves me right I guess. We all know what they say about nice guys :)

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  14. Val Kovalin
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:34:45

    Oh, my God. Victoria Laurie is never going to be able to recover from this: talk about shooting one’s career in the foot. ChariDee, I’m sorry that you got harassed by her. And thank you, Jane, for putting all this pseudo-lawyering into perspective for us.

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  15. Bev Stephans
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:40:59

    Thanks Jane! You prove that there are ethical lawyers out there…….I mean you of course, not the Laurie lawyer.

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  16. Jane
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:47:47

    I don’t know if the lawyer is unethicalbut perhaps overzealous in her defense of a friend. And I don’t necessarily agree that the lawyering was bad. It just isn’t something I think is correct. These cease and desist letters are bandied about with little aforethought.

    In any even, I might receive a letter. It is easy enough to send letters. The hard thing to do is actually prosecute the claim.

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  17. Amy
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 22:52:54

    I have never read one of Victoria Laurie’s books. Now that I’ve read about her reaction to ChariDee’s blog entry, I will never buy one of her books. (Of course had I read her original blog entry and learned about that juvenile reaction to reader’s criticisms I would have struck her from my buy list.) It just infuriates me to see someone threatened by a lawyer’s baseless cease and desist letter. I’d be tempted to file an ethics complaint with the Texas Bar (since it sounds like we’re talking about a Texas lawyer). Helping a friend out is no excuse for taking such action. ChariDee: Hang in there!

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  18. LauraB
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 23:06:29

    Wowsers! Handily written Jane.

    Do y’all think this is some sort of publicity stunt? I mean seriously were I this woman’s publisher, I’d be muzzling her and deactivating her blog until I made sure that she could rise to the occaision rather than stoop to it.

    Since I fear negative criticism, I’ll likely never try to have anything real published. I can’t stand the heat, so I stay out of the kitchen. I do admire, generally, most published writers as they manage to pull off the impossible when, after much rejection, a book of theirs appears in print.

    Good luck ChariDee.

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  19. B
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 23:30:03

    1. I want to know who Victoria Laurie’s editor is so I can avoid her like the plague. I wouldn’t want an editor who approves of this behavior.

    2. Who’s mentally deranged exactly? Cause there’s only one person on my radar right now who fulfills that quality. Three guesses who it is. And the first two don’t count.

    3. Jane, that was awesome.

    (4. I’m so glad that the fantasy genre isn’t the only one with its share of nutters. Laurie and DAM can officially join the Terry Goodkind Asshattery Hall of Shame.)

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  20. Mothella
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 23:48:31

    reading about this whole mess just makes my head asplode! I mean, what is this Laurie woman THINKING?!

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  21. Meljean
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 00:01:21

    1. I want to know who Victoria Laurie's editor is so I can avoid her like the plague. I wouldn't want an editor who approves of this behavior.

    I would be really, really surprised if the editor actually said she approved it. And if the words were said, if the editor hadn’t thought Laurie was joking and was joking in response. (It seems to me a common joke; I say I’ll put people in my books all the time, but I never do. I don’t know if anyone would take it any other way but a joke until it’s written on a ranting post in a blog.) And I can’t see any savvy editor seriously encouraging an author to take such potentially damaging steps.

    And Jane’s my hero.

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  22. Carrie Lofty
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 00:07:56

    Must add to the appreciation of your lawyerly whoopass. Nicely played.

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  23. Kaz Augustin
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 00:30:57

    1. I want to know who Victoria Laurie's editor is so I can avoid her like the plague. I wouldn't want an editor who approves of this behavior.

    Ditto.

    4. I'm so glad that the fantasy genre isn't the only one with its share of nutters. Laurie and DAM can officially join the Terry Goodkind Asshattery Hall of Shame.

    Not to forget LKH and Ms Rice! Thank God I only write about aliens and not vampires or ghosts, or I may totally lose what tenuous grip on reality I already have. :P ::rushing off to see what Terry Goodkind got up to … I’m so NOT up to date, it’s pathetic::

    EDIT: Ah, thanks B! Goodkind is proving to be very entertaining. Mwahahahahaha

    ReplyReply

  24. SonomaLass
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 02:38:42

    Yay for Jane, who is indeed full of awesome and lawyerly goodness!!

    ReplyReply

  25. Corrine
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 05:30:48

    This is great! Does it make me a bad or lesser person if I chortle with glee? Do I really care if it does? Probably not.

    ReplyReply

  26. Lynne
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:03:38

    Anybody got a link on the Terry Goodkind dish? I somehow missed that one!

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  27. Sally C.
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:06:55

    Jane you are made of Win.

    I’ve never heard of this author but will be certain never to buy one of her books now. Someone who has so little respect for her readers doesn’t deserve this readers money.

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  28. Jill Myles
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:32:38

    Have to agree with Meljean – the editor is probably not sitting at her desk doing the fistpump of joy whenever stuff like this comes up. She’s probably sitting quietly in the background, waiting for it all to die away.

    And Jane is definitely my hero. The letter would have scared the utter pants off of me.

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  29. Anion
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:35:09

    Jesus this woman makes me sick.

    Oh, but I also agree. I seriously, seriously doubt the editor actually said, “What a great idea! Hilarious! I’m going to tell ALL my authors to do that, ha ha ha!” Because anyone with a normal working brain would see the problems inherent in such an act. I think Ms. Laurie is just pissed because somebody told her editor what she was up to.

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  30. Sparky
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 06:49:29

    Oh I wish I do so wish that she would send the same letter to you Jane (not that I’d wish you legal trouble but I DO so love seeing idiots being stomped on firmly) alas, even the stupidest of lawyers (which the author of this particular train wreck may qualify for, but I doubt it since such intimidation is all too damn common) is going to jump in front of that train.

    When lawyers use their qualifications as a weapon to beat and scare people like this they are abusing the law and abusing the whole profession. There’s a REASON why one of the primary demands of Legal Ethics (in Britain anyway) is a prohibition into bringing the profession into disrepute.

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  31. Mari Piper
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 07:02:16

    Holy hand grenades.

    *pause to locate jaw on floor*

    First – Jane, you are Teh Awesome.

    Second – after reading this post and the others leading up to it, I can say with patent certainty that the sound VL is hearing right now is the Death Knell of her career. The publishing community is small and tightly knit; you can’t do over-the-top shit like this and think editors will pat you on the head. Sorry. Once you get the “batshit crazy” label, it sticks.

    Third – if VL *does* write Butterscotch into a book, Butterscotch can legally sue her for libel and/or defamation of character, and have the paper trail to back it up. There’s a clause in most standard publishing contracts that states that the author certifies that no character in his/her work is based on an actual person, and if the author does persist in doing this, that he/she understands that the publisher is not going to help with any resulting legal action. In other words, VL’s setting herself up for a jim-dandy lawsuit, and she’ll find herself twisting in the breeze; her publisher will have skedaddled like a deadbeat daddy off the set of “Maury.”

    Like a previous poster said: you can’t fix stupid. Karma’s a bitch, and she gives hella smackdowns.

    Personally, I’m keeping the popcorn and soda handy, so when the show starts I can kick back and watch!

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  32. Tabitha
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 07:03:36

    That is so wrong. The Laurie woman and her lawyering friend. Laurie is really just shooting herself in the foot even more. Further career advancement? Not. I’ve been trying out new authors but she’s not endearing to me in the least. It’s really sad to hear about lawyers abusing their knowledge to those who are less knowledgeable about the law.

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  33. Mireya
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 07:28:57

    That type of letter is used mostly as a deterrent and many attorneys don’t think twice about sending one. Most people see letterhead from a lawfirm and pretty much feel intimidated by it. I know, I’ve been working in the legal field for 20 years and am married to a litigating attorney *shrug* My husband would never agree to send one of those letters either unless there were justified grounds to send one, but let’s face it: there are TONS of attorneys out there and not all of them consider ethics part of their vocabulary.

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  34. Chele'
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 07:38:00

    Wow. Laurie’s books were on my ever-expanding “to read” list until a few weeks ago when I was nudged toward her blog. From there, I expanded my search and… wow. Just wow. All I can say is that all her titles have been struck from the list of books I’m looking for, and that’s a real pity because I understand they’re fairly good reads.

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  35. EssieLou
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 07:49:52

    As far as Laurie’s psychic abilities go….Even Miss Cleo ended up in trouble with the law, so it seems psychics have big blind spots went it comes to ethics.

    I too won’t be buying any of Laurie’s books. I hate the thought of knowingly giving money to jerks when I don’t have to….and I can live a long happy life without reading certain authors.

    Jane girl, yer mah hero-ine!

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  36. Amy Wolff Sorter
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:17:04

    Bravo, Jane! You’re my hero! (Heroes?) Keep it up :-).

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  37. Lynn
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:19:48

    What’s funny is that someone googled the lawyer whose name appeared on Charity’s letter. She works for the Teachers Classroom Attorney group or some such organization/firm. WTF does that have to do with publishing??? This whole thing is a train wreck and (to save myself from getting a lovely legal souviner) IN MY PERSONAL OPINION VL has completely fallen off her rocker. What is kind of sad too, is that her books actually sound good. Had I been shown them without knowing all of this, I would probably like them. Now though, I have absolutely no desire to buy anything to do with this person. I hope her rabid little minions (again..my opinion) have lots of disposable income to support this bitter, self-centered, pompous little gnat.

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  38. roslynholcomb
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:31:09

    Okay, I have to be missing something here. This woman really threatened, IN WRITING, no less, to incorporate a reader into a story just because she didn’t like a review? Are y’all sure ChariDee didn’t beat her up and take her lunch money or something? Surely there’s got to be more to this than that. I don’t understand why these writers are so unprepared emotionally for an unfavorable review.

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  39. Seressia
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:37:00

    Tres cool, Jane.

    Not to hijack the thread, but what’s up with Goodkind? I have all but the last two books. Please don’t tell me he’s being a nutter to readers too.

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  40. B
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:53:29

    I would be really, really surprised if the editor actually said she approved it. And if the words were said, if the editor hadn't thought Laurie was joking and was joking in response. (It seems to me a common joke; I say I'll put people in my books all the time, but I never do. I don't know if anyone would take it any other way but a joke until it's written on a ranting post in a blog.) And I can't see any savvy editor seriously encouraging an author to take such potentially damaging steps.

    I would certainly hope not! But all the same, unless the editor came out and said that she doesn’t support those remarks, I’d be leery of her as a writer. I wouldn’t want to risk that she was that sort and savvy or no, you just never know with people.

    Anybody got a link on the Terry Goodkind dish? I somehow missed that one!

    Not to hijack the thread, but what's up with Goodkind? I have all but the last two books. Please don't tell me he's being a nutter to readers too.

    I’m not sure if the site is gone or down, but inchoatus.com, when it’s running, has a little something called Goodkind’s Rant posted. It’s…eye-opening, that’s for sure. Here’s a quote of part of his response to what LKH would call negative readers:

    “Don’t be fooled. The assertion made by these detractors is a note wrapped around a brick thrown through the window. These people are not fans. There are hundreds if not thousands of fantasy books that fulfill their professed taste in books. Why would they continue to read books they claim are bad? Because they hate that my novels exists. Values arouse hatred in these people. Their goal is not to enjoy life, but to destroy that which is good -much like a school child who does not wish to study for a test and instead beats up a classmate who does well. These people hate what is good because it is good. Their lives are limited to loathing and indifference. It isn’t that they want to read a good book, what they want is to make sure that you do not. Ignore them.”

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  41. Susanna Kearsley
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 08:53:39

    I find it odd that I have engaged in the same objectionable conduct and I have not received a letter from your or your lawyer. Is is because you don't think I would take you seriously? Or is because someone told you I know what the law is and I am not afraid to use it to defend myself? Instead, you harass someone else in hopes that the person will be so intimidated and that you won't be found out?

    Personally, I think it’s because bullies don’t pick on groups. They pick on people who they think are all alone. Which is why I’ve already left my own message of support on ChariDee’s blog , and why I invite everyone here to do the same thing, to show both ChariDee and the bully that she’s not alone.

    (By the way, Jane, you really do rock).

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  42. KeriM
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:11:18

    Sad, sad, sad. I am like a few others on here, I might have tried out this author as a new read in the past. But now..I wouldn’t even use one of her books as fire starters. I hope the blogger prevails on this one.

    PS My hubby is a huge Goodkind fan, anybody got a link to what is being said?

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  43. Jody W.
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:14:44

    How many places have those Google cached items been reposted at this point? Or was it probably the addition of the phone call that precipitated the official letter? Does anyone think an email to the editor instead of a phone call (that hasn’t been returned, anyway) would have resulted in a lawyer-issued cease-and-desist?

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  44. ilona andrews
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:29:05

    Oy. That is all.

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  45. Darlene Marshall
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:45:19

    Thank you for sharing this. Watching someone self-destruct, as this author seems to be doing, is painful but educational. New authors should read and learn from this example, and from your common sense and professional wisdom.

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  46. Denise
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:57:27

    I never heard of this author until I read the bruhaha associated with her name. Lost opportunity for her, as she’s now known to me not by the quality of her books but by the batshit insanity of her behavior–something that will prompt me not to spend a penny on her books. I don’t throw good, hard-earned money after asshats if I can help it.

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  47. Seressia
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:01:01

    Keri, I found a transcript from USA today.

    I really REALLY like not knowing anything about the writers I read. Ignorance can be bliss, especially when it comes to reading.

    I blame TMZ.

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  48. Janine
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:07:09

    Once again I’m so grateful for the legal knowledge of my co-bloggers. A letter like that would have really scared me.

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  49. Jessa Slade
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:19:30

    It can be ugly seeing the flawed person behind the art. When I hear stuff like this, I always think of Michael Jackson who made amazing music and was an awesome performer. But then there was that other side… And apparently Frank Herbert had some less than stellar qualities. I refuse to go find out what they were because I can never stop loving Dune.

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  50. Emmy
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:27:02

    Anyone have the editor’s email addy? I’d forward VL’s remarks to the editor and ask the editor what, precisely, she found hilarious.

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  51. Emmy
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:39:22

    Thanks, Seressia, for posting that link to Goodkind’s…interview. Wow, the guy was rude, dismissive, arrogant, and more than a little conceited to his fans.

    Comment from Terry Goodkind: The reason the best agent in the country wanted to represent me was because he knew that this book would sell itself. In fact, he was correct. Three publishers wanted it, and so my agent held an auction. Ten weeks after I wrote the end of “Wizard’s First Rule,” it sold to Tor books for a record price that still stands to this day.

    *yawn*

    Kansas City, KS: What made you choose to leave out other common races(dwarves, elves, etc) from your books?

    Terry Goodkind: Please refer to the previous answer, in which I explain that I’m not writing fantasy … My purpose is not weirdo cultural diversity.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Weirdo cultural diversity??!

    The good news is that all this really shortens my TBR stack.

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  52. Meljean
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:44:07

    I would certainly hope not! But all the same, unless the editor came out and said that she doesn't support those remarks, I'd be leery of her as a writer. I wouldn't want to risk that she was that sort and savvy or no, you just never know with people.

    I get that — but on the other hand, I’d also never want to work with an editor who, when asked for clarification, revealed the specifics of a private conversation between her and one of her authors. Any response to this that comes from anyone but the publisher as an entity, I would also consider highly unprofessional.

    The editor is kind of stuck in this situation, and can’t provide clarification even though her own professionalism is being questioned now — Laurie’s put him/her (I just realized I assumed the editor is female) in a really bad position through her (Laurie’s) unprofessional behaviour.

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  53. KMont
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:46:13

    Side Q: Is anyone a bit mystified by Goodkind’s insistence that he is writing about important human beings? Does that mean he is basing them off of real people that he admires? Hmmmmm….I enjoyed his books once upon a time (and please nobody slay me for that, I’ve already been ridiculed once in the last month or so for confessing that). But some of his comments in that link were a tad scary and I felt uninvited to read anymore of his work as I enjoyed them for reasons other than the ones he is insisting folks should enjoy them.

    As for authors and getting to know them, I love to get to know one in the sense of how they live as an author: how their particular writing process works, how they got published, the ideas behind the story, etc. But yes, this “author behaving badly” stuff is uncomfortable in the extreme to read about. I have read some really nasty stuff written about an author by readers before, and I can understand the hurt or indignation that would drive a person to react the way Laurie did…if it was only in her mind or a pep talk with friends/family. I just don’t understand the logic though that it’s ever a good thing to go public with it, at all.

    I recently had an author point out to me that a low-rated (very low-rated) review that I’d done of their book was based on an uncorrected ARC, and that two more edits had been done on the book after the ARC’s release. Well, that’s all well and good (and I felt kind of insulted that there was this need to point out the book’s ARC status to me – I review books, I know what one is), but how can I be held responsible for that – or base a review off of an improved copy that I don’t have? Why would the publisher choose to promo the book with a copy that needed so much more editing (I say needed since I was told it did go through those edits)? Her response was polite, but I can’t help thinking it was a defensive one, along with some of her other phrasing.

    Of course, it’s easy to misinterpret people’s intent here on the internet too sometimes and I very well could be misunderstanding her tone.

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  54. KMont
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:48:33

    Kansas City, KS: What made you choose to leave out other common races(dwarves, elves, etc) from your books?

    Terry Goodkind: Please refer to the previous answer, in which I explain that I'm not writing fantasy … My purpose is not weirdo cultural diversity.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Weirdo cultural diversity??!

    The good news is that all this really shortens my TBR stack.

    Made me snerk too. Never felt so bad for all the dwarves, elves, etc.

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  55. Ann Bruce
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 10:54:21

    I think the last two letters in psychic can be replaced with an o.

    I swear writers are a little neurotic, but most of us aren’t bullies.

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  56. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:01:00

    I'd be sorely tempted to scrawl one of the following two phrases across the top of this cease and desist letter and mail it right back:

    As Al Franken so memorably said to Fox News: Welcome to America.

    Sharpen your teeth and scratch my ass.

    ReplyReply

  57. Ellie
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:01:20

    Laurie has a new post on her blog that’s sure to be removed soon.
    http://www.victorialaurie.com/blog/
    Apparently the lawyer is a friend of VL’s. Also, I’m not sure why this sentence is what bothers me in the midst of all the rest, but should a “professional writer” be saying “Why spend all this time, effort and energy on a BLOG?!!!! They're words, people….words. Get a life and move on.”?

    ReplyReply

  58. Lori Borrill
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:02:00

    And so, come September…my little “fan” and some of her close friends and family will likely read about a character with a very similar name, (i.e. nearly identical but not enough to get me sued) depicted in one of the most comical and fabulously scandalous scenes within Death Perception. And trust me…this isn't a scene which in any way flatters that character. :) (Also trust me….you'll know it when you read it!)

    Wow. No, really. Wow. This seriously goes to show that one doesn’t have to be emotionally stable to get a book published.

    ReplyReply

  59. KeriM
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:06:47

    Thanks Serrissa for the link. I have never read Goodkind and his answers ensured that I never would. I am so glad that we never paid new book price for any of the Goodkind’s my hubby owns. Authors behaving badly.

    ReplyReply

  60. Ann Bruce
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:09:26

    From the psychic’s blog:

    Own up, babe….you did something that was SO far beyond the realm of acceptable that I absolutely PROMISE you that if you continue in this vein I absolutely will pursue you to the full extent of both my pocketbook and the law.

    It’s too easy.

    ReplyReply

  61. Emmy
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:12:51

    She’s deleting all the comments on her blog. Several people had left messages for her, but they’re all disappearing. I was even ~mostly~ polite in what I said, and I am *so* not the polite type.

    Besides, she wrote a horrendously long blog for someone who professes not to care.

    ReplyReply

  62. Jane
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:23:30

    The irony of Victoria Laurie’s blog post is that she is likely engaging in defamatory actions which would endanger her kids’ college fund. If she does pursue any action against NovelReads, I hope that NovelReads sues her right back for defamation. I’ll be the first to contribute to the NovelRead defense fund if there is any need for one.

    I think that Laurie’s editor has no idea what’s going on and so I think I must email said editor with the posts of Ms. Laurie to clarify the situation.

    ReplyReply

  63. Mora
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:23:40

    Oy. That is all.

    That pretty well sums up what I have to say. That, and sheesh.

    ReplyReply

  64. Lori Borrill
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:24:32

    Not only that, but she’s posting the e-mail addresses of the people who write her. Maybe not illegal, but about as tasteless as anything I’ve seen an author do.

    ReplyReply

  65. cecilia
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:25:05

    Does anybody know Dick Wolf? I’m thinking this could be a really good Law and Order episode.

    ReplyReply

  66. B
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:25:42

    I get that -’ but on the other hand, I'd also never want to work with an editor who, when asked for clarification, revealed the specifics of a private conversation between her and one of her authors. Any response to this that comes from anyone but the publisher as an entity, I would also consider highly unprofessional.

    The editor is kind of stuck in this situation, and can't provide clarification even though her own professionalism is being questioned now -’ Laurie's put him/her (I just realized I assumed the editor is female) in a really bad position through her (Laurie's) unprofessional behaviour.

    True, it’s a difficult position and I imagine that, if indeed she/he doesn’t support Laurie’s behavior, it must be infuriating to read such things.

    I wouldn’t expect or even want anyone, in that position, to get into specifics. But I wouldn’t consider a simple “I don’t support that statement” to be unprofessional at this point. Laurie’s own behavior is so unprofessional that I’d be hard pressed to disapprove of anyone who made a firm but discreet effort to distance themselves from her.

    ReplyReply

  67. Entropy Effect
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:28:52

    This is beyond “get serious.” Although–there are some hinky things going on out there. Just this week I’m told a prospective client asked a known agent who her other clients were/what she’s sold, and got a nasty, high-horse reply.

    ReplyReply

  68. Michelle
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:32:17

    I have read a couple of her books. Really you aren’t missing anything, they were just blah. She could be trying to do this for publicity. I just thank God that Nora is wonderfully sane. I could never give up her books-especially the In Deaths.

    It just sucks that she is trying to scare you. Good luck.

    ReplyReply

  69. Corrine
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:34:22

    I'll be the first to contribute to the NovelRead defense fund if there is any need for one.

    You may be the first, but believe me, you won’t be the only one!

    ReplyReply

  70. Deb Kinnard
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:37:15

    Just out of curiosity I went to her website. She claims to be a psychic, and yet she claims the OFFENDER is a nutcase?

    Please. The truth is not in her.

    ReplyReply

  71. Jane
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:41:15

    If anyone has a new Laurie book, would you look inside the acknowledgments and email me with her editor’s name? I found one editor of her books, but I think said editor must have left and gone to a new house. Thanks

    jane at dearauthor.com

    ReplyReply

  72. Flower
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:42:09

    The editor is kind of stuck in this situation, and can't provide clarification even though her own professionalism is being questioned now -’ Laurie's put him/her (I just realized I assumed the editor is female) in a really bad position through her (Laurie's) unprofessional behaviour.

    At the same time, if this Editor did indeed take CD’s phone call as a threat, rather than a confirmational inquiry….he/she’s a bit of a nut, aren’t they? Just questioning the judgement call on that end to notify an Author in such a manner at all.
    While they may be unable to defend themselves…the proof seems to be in the pudding, so to speak.
    I just don’t get this whole “Authors Attacking Fans” concept….unless their intent is to lose a fair portion of their readers/fan base? What’s the point? Irregardless of a fans comments being positive or negative…they are still a FAN. A human being with their own individual rights of freedom of expression and opinion.
    Sadly, ChariDee’s will not be the last of these types of situations…especially when arrogance and narcissism are thrown into the brew.
    My hat’s off to you Jane : ) I would matt and frame that letter if it ever arrives.
    ChariDee…look at the thing as a badge of honor and don’t let them get you down.

    ReplyReply

  73. Jane
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:45:04

    Scratch that. Found the name. Thanks, anyway guys.

    ReplyReply

  74. EssieLou
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:46:32

    All this makes you long for the days when authors were mysterious recluses that were never seen or heard from.

    ReplyReply

  75. Mireya
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:47:33

    The attorney is (1) her friend and (2) specializes in tort law which happens to be a VERY broad term mostly associated with physical injuries and damages, wrongful death claims, negligence, etc. (I should know, the law firm I first worked for specialized in tort litigation), and doesn’t exactly make her an expert on copyright law. *shrugs* No wonder there are holes.

    ReplyReply

  76. Ellie
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:53:25

    At the same time, if this Editor did indeed take CD's phone call as a threat, rather than a confirmational inquiry….he/she's a bit of a nut, aren't they? Just questioning the judgement call on that end to notify an Author in such a manner at all.
    While they may be unable to defend themselves…the proof seems to be in the pudding, so to speak.

    The editor (and the lawyer) probably only heard Laurie’s version of events, though. Given how Laurie twisted the situation on her blog who knows what she actually told her editor.

    ReplyReply

  77. Shanna
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:53:38

    Jane, you are my hero. Thanks for standing up to the bullies.

    ReplyReply

  78. JaimeK
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 11:57:47

    Jane: you make my heart sing!!!

    ReplyReply

  79. Michelle
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:02:24

    Do you think we need to make a top 10 list of things authors shouldn’t do?
    Don’t plagerise
    Don’t threaten/bully fans
    Don’t have lawyer friends make up letters to bully/threaten fans
    Don’t post on internet sites while inebriated or heavily medicated or while going through medication withdrawal
    Don’t claim to be psychic and then act surprised with a turn of events
    Don’t torture cute furry animals in real life

    Ok enough for now

    ReplyReply

  80. Antonella
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:06:46

    Wow.

    The only word that comes to mind is, “Thorazine.”

    ReplyReply

  81. Lori Borrill
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:08:41

    Do you think we need to make a top 10 list of things authors shouldn't do?

    Fortunately, the overwhelming percentage of authors out there wouldn’t need one. Most of us are gracious, have common sense, and appreciate the people who read our books–even those who didn’t care for them.

    ReplyReply

  82. Denise
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:11:10

    I had to laugh when I read that oh so scary threat of if you piss off an author, they’ll write you as a scumbag character in their book. Uhm, and this is scary and intimidating how?

    My first response to something like that would be “Who gives a shit? Knock yourself out. While you’re at it, add horns and a pair of batwings.”

    ReplyReply

  83. Flower
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:13:31

    At the same time, if this Editor did indeed take CD's phone call as a threat, rather than a confirmational inquiry….he/she's a bit of a nut, aren't they? Just questioning the judgment call on that end to notify an Author in such a manner at all.
    While they may be unable to defend themselves…the proof seems to be in the pudding, so to speak.

    The editor (and the lawyer) probably only heard Laurie's version of events, though. Given how Laurie twisted the situation on her blog who knows what she actually told her editor.

    Now I am confused….? I read the situation as her Editor contacted her…and told her (Laurie) about ChariDee’s phone call. Isn’t this about her over the top reaction to that phone call?
    That’s what I’m calling into question…why notify Laurie of the confirmation call at all? Editor’s receive calls in regards to their Author’s on a regular basis, don’t they? I do understand that we are only getting Laurie’s side of things from that point on…but I’m questioning the Editor’s supposed reaction in even calling Laurie.
    Unless their intent was to get her to remove her threat to publish that story line from her Blog, and she blew the whole thing out of proportion? I just don’t know….it would be in their best interest to clarify the situation with a statement.

    ReplyReply

  84. Sally C.
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:14:08

    wait so she’s a professional psychic and author? LOL I wonder if we can get Miss Cleo to write a cease and desist letter to this author.

    ReplyReply

  85. kristenmary
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:14:32

    Jane, you truly are made of Win and Awesome.

    ReplyReply

  86. MD
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:22:27

    Vicki Laurie’s blog is rather contradictory, isn’t it? In one breath, she says

    Own up, babe….you did something that was SO far beyond the realm of acceptable that I absolutely PROMISE you that if you continue in this vein I absolutely will pursue you to the full extent of both my pocketbook and the law.

    And then she says

    Seriously, aren't there bigger problems in the world than my blogs or my books? I mean, COME ON people! It's just ridiculous…why not turn that energy, (your hate for me) into something positive, like donating to a local charity or helping someone in need? Why spend all this time, effort and energy on a BLOG?!!!! They're words, babe….words. Get a life and move on.

    Why spend all this time, effort, and energy on a blog, Vicki? Well, why don’t you ask yourself that, honey, since you appear to be frothing at the mouth over someone else’s blog.

    But at least you admit that you, your blog, and your books are problems in this world.

    That certainly appears to be true.

    ReplyReply

  87. Ellie
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:22:58

    That's what I'm calling into question…why notify Laurie of the confirmation call at all? Editor's receive calls in regards to their Author's on a regular basis, don't they? I do understand that we are only getting Laurie's side of things from that point on…but I'm questioning the Editor's supposed reaction in even calling Laurie.
    Unless their intent was to get her to remove her threat to publish that story line from her Blog, and she blew the whole thing out of proportion? I just don't know….it would be in their best interest to clarify the situation with a statement. And I would drop this Author! LOL

    Yes. I was thinking that Laurie’s editor probably was concerned by the call (probably by Laurie’s own behavior), called Laurie to ask her to remove the content from her blog, and Laurie skewed the story into “CD blogger is stalking me.”

    I completely agree the whole thing is really scary, and Laurie’s publisher should absolutely drop her. I’m just questioning whether the editor and/or the lawyer was complicit in any of this. After all, Laurie certainly knows how to skew events. Although at some point the other people Laurie is involving have a responsibility to do some research and find out exactly what took place.

    ReplyReply

  88. Marianne McA
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:30:25

    Ellie, thanks for the link to her blog.

    Good to know that Butterscotch is not a real person. Bewildering, a little, that she nonetheless posted here…

    ReplyReply

  89. MCHalliday
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:51:08

    The Ja(y)nes, Janine, Janet and Jia are absolutely fabulous! They are all honest, intelligent, respectful and supportive.

    But today, Jane has officially become a heroine!

    ReplyReply

  90. Lynn
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:52:29

    Hmmmm……..just noticed that there is no place to leave a comment on VL’s latest blog.

    And if Butterscotch is not a real person, that means that VL HERSELF wrote a crappy review and caused all of this herself. But yet, CHARITY is the nutcase???? Please.

    ReplyReply

  91. EssieLou
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:55:29

    Butterscotch is a real person and totally undeserving of this crap from VL.

    ReplyReply

  92. Anon76
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 12:57:26

    This part kills me from the author’s blog post about the situation:

    “The blog she was upset about had NOTHING to do with her, (until she contacted my editor – she was a complete and total stranger to me) in fact it might surprise most of you to realize that that particular post had nothing to do with any real person. (can I create a little press for an upcoming release or what? :)”

    Soooooooooo…the post where she was attacking Butterscotch and a previous one about an Amazon reviewer involved no real persons? Huh?

    I’m so weirded out at the moment. Is that her way of saying these individuals don’t exist and she put up bad reviews for herself to spark interest in her books?

    Looking at this from either direction, again, I’m weirded out. 1) These individuals do exist and she is back-paddling so fast she really has no clue of right from wrong, or 2) They don’t exist and the whole clan (of whacko authors) have come up with a plan to boost sales in a most psycho way.

    ReplyReply

  93. Val Kovalin
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:01:01

    Marianne McA, I think that Butterscotch is real though one never knows on the internet, ha, ha! Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3Q7ZL6TPRX2Y/ref=cm_psrch_profile

    Thanks very much to Seressia for that link to Terry Goodkind’s interview. What a pompous ass he’s turned out to be! For example:

    First of all, I don’t write fantasy. I write stories that have important human themes … Most fantasy is one-dimensional. It’s either about magic or a world-building. I don’t do either … Because most fantasy is about world-building and magic, a lot of it is plotless and has no story. My primary interest is in telling stories that are fun to read and make people think. That puts my books in a genre all their own.

    Wow, talk about spitting on the fans and genre that made him what he is today. And this exchange is good for a laugh:

    Q: In your opinion who is the most must-read, cutting edge writer [italics added]publishing today?

    Terry Goodkind: Ayn Rand.

    Really? Publishing today? I thought she died back in 1982.

    ReplyReply

  94. B
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:01:48

    Soooooooooo…the post where she was attacking Butterscotch and a previous one about an Amazon reviewer involved no real persons? Huh?

    Really? How strange. And how fascinating that there is a reviewer on Amazon with the handle Butterscotch, who just happens to review a number of romance, paranormal, and mystery type books…Gee, I wonder if Laurie knew about that when she “created” the persona?

    ReplyReply

  95. Krista
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:04:05

    Marianne McA, I think that Butterscotch is real though one never knows on the internet, ha, ha! Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3Q7ZL6TPRX2Y/ref=cm_psrch_profile

    Butterscotch is definitely real but has since changed her name on Amazon for obvious reasons.

    And like EssieLou said, she totally does not deserve the absolute craziness from VL.

    ReplyReply

  96. Elyssa
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:21:38

    Wow is all I can say. It astounds me that an author–or anyone for that matter–would behave in such an atrocious manner.

    ReplyReply

  97. Val Kovalin
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:22:24

    For those who are curious about VL’s books but understandably don’t want to shell out the money for them at this point, I can give you my impression of the first three books of her Psychic Eye series. They’re light, humorous books that sit on the intersection between cozy-mystery and romantic comedy. Set in a suburb of Detroit, they feature a bubbly, slightly insecure female protagonist in her early thirties who is a professional psychic.

    In the first book, one of the heroine’s clients gets murdered and a skeptical FBI agent gets assigned to the case. He becomes her boyfriend. No sex, just romantic misunderstandings. The book overall is one of those “C” grade reads we mentioned on the other thread: competently written, amusing, but unexceptional.

    The second book gets better in my opinion. The heroine gets hired to tell fortunes at a mobster’s wedding and sees more than she should. A “B” book for having more substance than the first one.

    The third book read to me like an extended Scooby-Doo episode: ghosts haunting a house, a search for hidden treasure, a plot involving evil Nazi-collaborators from the past. I forced myself to skim to the end, but drifted away from the entire series after this particular book because it seemed so implausible and slapped-together. A “D” book. Too many books, so little time.

    I don’t know about the next few books in the Psychic Eye series or the Ghost-Hunter series, but I suspect we’re not missing much. Not to state the obvious or anything, but all this documented misbehavior on Laurie’s part is especially bizarre when you consider that she’s an established author with something like nine published books out there selling well.

    ReplyReply

  98. Julia Spencer-Fleming
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:24:11

    Just a note to shed a little light on the editor’s involvement, based on my own experiences working with my editor, Ruth Cavin, and many others I’ve known.

    The editor isn’t reading VL’s blog. The editor isn’t giving much thought at all to what’s going on out in the Intertubes, unless it’s on Galleycat or Publishers Marketplace. She’s sitting in a very small room in a very large building in NYC, surrounded with pass pages and marketing reports and P&L statements. She’s trying to work her way through 30 emails before the afternoon meeting, she’s playing phone tag with two agents, later this afternoon she has to interview for another assistant (they only last a year or two); two authors have contacted her complaining that they haven’t gotten their D&L checks yet and can she please light a fire under accounting’s butt–and in the middle of this, she gets a VM message from a reader about one of her authors.

    She 1)has her assistant get back to the author if the assistant is still around or
    2) fires off a quick email reading “I got a phone call–blah-blah-blah just thought you should know” or
    3) picks up the phone, gives the author a quick call and says, “Weird thing happened, just wanted you to know.”

    Editors are not looking out for authors’ spectacular public flameouts. That’s what publicists are for. Now, if sales drop, and the books’ P&L statement tanks, and the returns come back by the truckload (if it’s hc, mm gets pulped) THEN the editor has a problem. Because then, she’s bought a loser.

    ReplyReply

  99. Anon76
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:27:47

    Hahahaha.

    VL’s last post has def been removed now. Hope someone captured that.

    ReplyReply

  100. theo
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:30:57

    Val,

    Thanks for the synopsis. However, having never read this author, between the idiotic behavior she’s presented, coupled with the fact that I LIVE outside Suburban Detroit and trust me, those go beyond the realm of even fantasy. Would that those kinds of crimes really did happen here. At least it would obliterate the Kwame fiasco, but that’s another story all together.

    ReplyReply

  101. Deb Kinnard
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:33:24

    Hey! Someone go read my latest release and put a so-so review up so I can get all goofy over it and get some free–if bad–publicity!

    On second thought, never mind.

    ReplyReply

  102. EssieLou
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:39:35

    Hahahaha.

    VL's last post has def been removed now. Hope someone captured that.

    Yep, it’s now SOP with her (and others like her). Once you’ve been labeled a loon, the first thing anyone does is screen capture proof that you’re batchit crazy.

    ReplyReply

  103. Jane
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:41:04

    I think its ChariDee who is the heroine for standing up to Laurie. It’s easy for me to support her but I’m not the one getting the letter. I think Laurie, though, didn’t anticipate that the blogosphere would stand up for each other. Big mistake.

    ReplyReply

  104. Shayne
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 13:58:29

    I believe she removed her entire blog so maybe some sanity is creeping in.

    ReplyReply

  105. Mari Piper
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 14:12:07

    I believe she removed her entire blog so maybe some sanity is creeping in.

    That, or her doctor upped her meds.

    ReplyReply

  106. Jesbelle
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 14:17:19

    Ellie, it appears she has quit the internet, as her blog is showing up page not found. Did that last post mention storming off the www in a huff?

    ETA: oops, note to self, be sure you’re reading the last post before commenting. Clearly a little late to the game on this one. :)

    ReplyReply

  107. Anon08
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 14:30:19

    VL has removed her entire blog, but you can still call her.

    For the low, low price of $100 ($5 extra if you want a cassette tape), you can ask her for a reading. Maybe ask what she has forseen for her limited future, which prompted her to remove Blog of Damning Evidence?

    ReplyReply

  108. Anon76
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 14:47:05

    Nah, the blog isn’t entirely missing. The posts maybe, but she’ll be back posting again once the furor dies down. If it was gone-gone she’d blow that page away entirely.

    And I’m so glad you all know how to capture stuff, I’m just not good at that sort of thing. Still can’t program my VCR and it’s like history now with DVD and the like.

    Anon76 (who still can’t imagine why people become such “twats”. I mean damn, a bad day is a bad day, but who the hell settled a crown on your head?)

    ReplyReply

  109. Karen Scott
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 15:08:32

    All this makes you long for the days when authors were mysterious recluses that were never seen or heard from.

    Aint that the truth.

    ReplyReply

  110. JaimeK
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 15:16:10

    I would agree with you Jane that “ChariDee who is the heroine” here. No, that dumb woman (VL) did not anticipate that anyone would stand behind ChariDee – VL figured that they would bully her and make her go away. Well, to sound like a dork (and I am okay with that) there is power in numbers and with people collectively standing together saying “no, this is unacceptable behavior” and “you won’t get away with it.”

    But Jane, do take some kudos in that you are standing up clearly and very forthright trying to keep someone from being bulldozed. That is awesome and not all would do it. I am very glad your brilliant brain put it all out there.

    Peace.

    ReplyReply

  111. Ellie
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 15:47:57

    VL's last post has def been removed now. Hope someone captured that.

    The screen shot http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=F.1f971d04-bb1e-40cc-829b-bb9dddda43e7&hl=en

    I don’t think the link works. Sorry–can’t figure out how to post the screen shot, but figured as soon as I found the new blog posting that VL would be getting rid of it soon so I saved a PDF of it. If someone can let me know how to post it I will be happy to do so.

    ReplyReply

  112. MB
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 16:54:32

    I noticed something new on the bibliography page of the novel I’m currently reading. It made me laugh because I was aware of the Victoria Laurie author rage incident from reading DearAuthor. I am assuming this is how publishers are going to protect themselves in the future in case their crazy authors get them involved in a lawsuit??? It made me laugh.

    …Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

    Is this standard now? Good idea, if so. The book is Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin published by Penguin in 2007–and a very good book it is.

    ReplyReply

  113. Nora Roberts
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 17:15:06

    I’d say she should stop, stop now–but it’s too late.

    She’s accomplished nothing but making herself look petty, a little crazy and very, very foolish. And that’s the sort of thing that sticks.

    ReplyReply

  114. Meljean
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 17:48:59

    I think its ChariDee who is the heroine for standing up to Laurie.

    Very true. It would probably have been much easier to just quietly delete everything once she received that letter. Good for her — and I hope her meeting with her lawyer today went well.

    ReplyReply

  115. ChariDee
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 18:38:37

    Can I just faint now? OMG, Nora Robers just posted a comment on a blog post that involved me! (Note: I did NOT say that the blog post was “all about me” because well, it’s not.) However, how cool?!

    Anyway, I just got home from picking the kids up from school (I left work with just enough time to do so) and saw all of these WONDERFUL comments.

    I agree with everyone that Jane is my hero.

    I will be posting another blog post about this in an hour or so (motherly duty dictates I feed the kiddos). I had no idea that Laurie called me out. Thank GOD for the whole ‘nothing on the net disappears’ thing, or else I would not have the chance to read what she said.

    Since I do not want to seem like an attention whore by asking ya’ll to visit my post, I’ll give ya the gist of my post here (and nah, I haven’t written it yet LOL) but basically, I never meant for things to get this out of control.

    Victoria Laurie did.

    I have not yet had the chance to read the entire blog she posted, but that is the next stop on my To Do List, as Thank GOD for Jane, I have the chance to do just that!

    I happen to hold the title of “Worst Timing Ever” (and I’m thinking maybe we should run a contest to see if you can beat me at this title! Maybe Penguin Publishing will sponsor it *BG*)

    As I understand it, Ms. Laurie has outed me. Since I have yet to read the entire post, I won’t say what I want. I will say this: As a blogger – both personal and in the reviewer category- I have never given enough information that a random person could find my children. Here’s the thing. When Laurie outed me, she could have put my children in danger. Until that point, whatever (though my sleepless night may have said differently). BUT, if by your stupidity you put my kids in danger, THE GLOVES ARE OFF!

    I receive books from Ms. Laurie’s publisher to “review”(and I use that term loosely) on my blog. I have no problem with her taking me to task. I DO have a problem with her endangering my family.

    At this point in my life, I cannot afford to hire an attorney. The consultation fee alone was enough to make this ‘Po dunk town MaMa’ cringe, however, I appreciate all of you guys for offering to help me.

    Thank YOU to Jane and Dear Author for bringing light to this situation. THANK YOU to all of you that have left a comment on my blog. I am blessed beyond compare.

    ChariDee

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  116. Ann Somerville
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 18:56:23

    At this point in my life, I cannot afford to hire an attorney

    Methinks we need a blogger defense fund. I’m happy to donate – tell me where and how, Charidee.

    As for outing you – fuck that shit. I’ve been dealing with that for nine years and I won’t stand by for someone else suffering what I’ve been through. Seems to me Laurie should be getting a few nasty lawyer letters right now.

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  117. DS
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 20:29:13

    This is sad– that we have to be thinking about a lawyer defense fund to protect bloggers from batshit crazy authors. If someone starts one I’ll contribute.

    Chari, are you by any chance near a law school? A lot of law schools have clinics where the students (under the stern eye of a law school professor) will do work for free as a learning experience. Also you might check with the state bar in your state for options. Ours has a list of attorneys who practice in certain areas and who have volunteered to do some pro bono work.

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  118. JaimeK
    Aug 20, 2008 @ 22:01:31

    AnnSomerville: I could read your comments all day – I gotta say that “As for outing you – fuck that shit. ” had me on the floor. You know when that pop of laughter comes out and you don’t know where it comes from it just bursts forth?? Yep, that is what happened. =]

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  119. Steph (raveonette)
    Aug 21, 2008 @ 00:28:47

    I was a big fan of Victoria Laurie’s, though the last two books in both her series seemed of much lower quality that the ones that came before. Now I’m starting to wonder if it was because she spends so much time reading reviews, writing weird, emotionally unstable blog entries and picking on innocent readers and basically calling them jealous if they aspire to her field (if not her level.)

    All but her last 2 books are keepers for me, and now I’m conflicted. She will be recieving no more of my money, but I really did enjoy the books I kept and I’m feeling conflicted here. I do hope she’s reading this blog and these comments, because she NEEDS to learn from this experience. I was a *huge* fan, and now she’s lost me. Her immature behavior has turned me off of her books when before I was an auto-buyer of them. I understand being upset by a review, but ranting about it on your blog, telling readers to vote them down and then bragging about creating a gross characters with their name is just a bag full of wrong- and the fact that she doesn’t understand that just shows how out of touch she is. She comes off as a bitchy high school girl who lashes out at anyone who dares question her actions… I wish she could have been more like her character Abby Coopr, who I could never seen acting like this.

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  120. Ladytink_534
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 08:18:33

    *Stands up and Cheers*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Charidee is a nice person and this is ridiculous.

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  121. Nikki
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 17:05:26

    I was up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and ran across your posts. I’d like to add my opinion on a few things. I’ll say up front that I am a fan of Victoria Laurie’s writing & plan to continue being a fan. I have enjoyed reading her books and her blogs. I am sad that this series of events has resulted in the removal of her blogs. A good bit of her writing in her blogs has been very positive and supportive of others. Yes, her writing is ‘sarcastic’ in nature but that’s part of the humor of her books. I don’t feel that I can speak to the issues and interactions between the ‘writer’ & the ‘reviewer’ as I know that I don’t have enough first hand information about what led up to all the fuss. Quite frankly, I can’t see how a continuation or esclation of this can be helpful to either party. Where both parties are concerned I feel for the hurt that they have experienced, no one likes to feel ganged up on or bullied. With regard to ChariDee’s & Victoria’s situation I hope that both will find a way to resolve it and be able to move on to more positive pursuits for each. I would love to think that Ms.(Nora) Roberts could take her previous experience to Ms. Laurie and offer herself as a resource/mentor by sharing her situation. (You all have to love Nora Roberts! But I digress…)
    As for myself, I know that I’ve said and done things in the past that I’d love to have had a ‘do over’ on. There are times that have not been my most shining moment, for sure. I’ve said things that I’ve deeply regretted, either in what was said or in how I’ve said it. I suspect that I’m a better person for those things but I still don’t like to think about them. I also suspect that’s true for ChariDee & Victoria. I thank all the powers in the universe that my misquided moments weren’t played out in a public forum. Before we all jump on the band wagon here to vilify either party, I think it should be put into this into that context.
    Thanks for giving my thoughts consideration.

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  122. Krista
    Aug 22, 2008 @ 19:09:12

    Nikki,

    A lot of people would be thrilled if VL would apologize but so far all she’s done is delete everything. I know what I am most disappointed in is the fact that she A. makes fun of the fact she puts people that have had disagreements with her in the past in her books as less than appealing characters B. has a “lawyer” attack ChariDee for pointing out her crappy behavior (crappy behavior she chose to post on a PUBLIC forum anyway) and then C. Does not apologize for either A. or B. and decides to disappear for awhile when everyone stands up for the people she is attacking.

    You’ll notice that Nora Roberts went back and apologized for behavior she knew crossed a line. I believe VL should do the same but I’m not holding my breath.

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  123. L
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 09:34:27

    Nikki,

    I’m sorry, but any amount of “positive” past entries in Victoria Laurie’s blog is no excuse for her despicable behavior to ChariDee. I read through ChariDee’s blog entries about Victoria Laurie and no where was she crossing the line. Victoria Laurie crossed the line with her snarky remarks on her blog entries, not to mention sending a threatening letter to ChariDee from her “lawyer”!! No one here is ganging up on Laurie or “bullying”. What everyone is doing is standing up to the *true* bully, in this case Victoria Laurie, and coming to the defense of the victim here which is ChariDee and any other person that had the misfortune of ticking Laurie off.

    I’ve read the blog entries that Laurie wrote, and I would NOT call them sarcastic. There were several, every time Laurie felt as if she were “wronged”, she’d go on a rampage of hate-filled words. I know of one in March, another in July, and then of course the ones relating to ChariDee (all deleted, but the first two are cached on Google, and the third someone was helpful enough to provide a word doc of it). They were petty, cruel, condescending, hateful, etc. A rant of rage and totally uncalled for. Simply childish, unprofessional, and IMO the ravings of a person throwing a tantrum gone to the extreme. To try to understand Laurie’s perspective is doing nothing but lessening what she did to ChariDee and others that crossed her path. To try to “understand” her is akin to saying her rantings have legitimacy and somehow were okay and that she had a valid reason for doing so.

    No one is painting Victoria Laurie as the “villain” here. She did that all on her own. What everyone is doing here is coming together to let her know she won’t get away with it again. As I mentioned before, this event with ChariDee is *not* the first time Laurie has gone off and spouted hateful and cruel words, and if it weren’t for everyone here standing up and making it *publicly* known to everyone, I bet Laurie would have continued her tirades.

    Anyways, it would be nice if she’d come clean and apologize. Laurie’s MO is similar to the DAM fiasco a while back. DAM never apologized for her bad behavior, she just “disappeared” probably hoping everyone would forget. Laurie has done the same. Instead of having the courage and integrity to apologize and ask forgiveness from the truly wronged parties in this case, the victims of their harassment and bullying, they choose to go into hiding.

    This is standard MO of a bully, and until people put a stop to it by pointing out their bad behavior, the bully will continue to target victims they view as weaker than themselves. So now, I think it is only right and doing the moral thing to out these bullies and show everyone for what they are.

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  124. EssieLou
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 16:07:24

    Marta,
    Read Peter’s post 130 to see what VL posted on Amazon.

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  125. EssieLou
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 16:09:10

    OOOPS

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  126. Nora Roberts
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 01:13:44

    ~I would love to think that Ms.(Nora) Roberts could take her previous experience to Ms. Laurie and offer herself as a resource/mentor by sharing her situation. (You all have to love Nora Roberts! But I digress…)~

    Sorry, I don’t go to other authors and advise, and I don’t mentor. At some point we all have to be responsible for our own words and actions. I doubt any of us who participate on-line–writers, readers, reviewers–haven’t made mistakes, crossed lines, responded poorly. It’s what we do about it afterward, and what we learn from it that makes the difference.

    Judging VL’s response to critical reviews of her work, I can’t imagine if I were to presume to advise her on behavior she’d respond very well in any case.

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  127. Nikk
    Aug 24, 2008 @ 22:52:27

    I understand where all of your responses are coming from. I don’t disagree that we all have to be responsible for how we handle ourselves. And, more importantly, when it is done in a public forum. I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Robert’s in saying that ‘At some point we all have to be responsible for our own words and actions. & It's what we do about it afterward, and what we learn from it that makes the difference.’ (My Mom would slap me if I addressed her on a first name basis since I haven’t that relationship with her. But, it’s tempting, none the less!)
    I guess I’m holding out optimistic hope that VL’s blog removal was the result of following professional advice to remove her previous statements so they could no longer spread bad will. And I am hopeful that she will find a way to personally address a ‘fix’ (much like what Ms. Roberts talked about in her earlier issue in her career). I believe that she has it in her to address this and turn it around & I’m hoping that she will use this opportunity to review the fallout to this situation and show her ‘better side’ to her critics & readers. With regard to Ms. Robert’s last comment – ‘Judging VL's response to critical reviews of her work, I can't imagine if I were to presume to advise her on behavior she'd respond very well in any case.’ Your comments are spot on considering what you’ve seen to date. My comments regarding using your past situation as an example were predicated on the hope that she incorporates your experience into her ‘fix’. Perhaps I should have stated my hope for your being a mentor to her only in that context, without suggesting that you should approach her, as that is by no means your responsibility.
    I can’t help but hope that this plays out with VL addressing how this situation was handled, personally addressing the process with the appropriate individuals and a positive example set for moving forward in the future.
    In saying that I am only addressing my feelings. I am not trying to presume or make assumptions regarding what anyone else’s hopes or thoughts are.

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  128. Hope
    Aug 25, 2008 @ 23:03:31

    The damage has been done and there’s no going back. Ms. Laurie has a long and difficult battle ahead to win back the public’s trust.

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  129. Unsubstantiated Cease and Desist Letters Under Scrutiny | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 07:00:18

    [...] a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know that Victoria Laurie, an author, took the time to target a blogger who took portions of Laurie’s own blog posts and reprinted them on her site. Laurie recruited a friend of hers [...]

  130. Cat
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 09:46:28

    Oh, this is all just too funny. And sad. I feel a little bad for posting this, but I’m doing so in hopes that it’ll help ChariDee know Ms. Laurie’s lashing out at her is NOT personal in any way. (As if that weren’t already obvious; I’m sure ChariDee knows that already, but just in case…) I live around the corner from Ms. Laurie. She is famous for screaming at her neighbors over…well, anything, really. I mean, vicious screaming, pointing fingers, etc. Once she even threw the HOA newsletter at my neighbor. Everyone in the ‘hood thinks she’s crazy. This just confirms it. She’s got anger management issues, to say the least.

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  131. Hope
    Sep 03, 2008 @ 11:32:54

    Cat, that IS sad.

    There is always this impression that authors are reclusive and just plain “weird”, and this doesn’t help the image.

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  132. Crys
    Sep 13, 2008 @ 05:38:16

    you rule.

    ReplyReply

  133. BOOK REVIEW: Death Perception by Victoria Laurie « Tour’s Books Blog
    Mar 11, 2009 @ 14:40:28

  134. acid indigestion
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 07:28:01

    Top site, I hadn’t come across dearauthor.com before during my searches!
    Carry on the great work!

    ReplyReply

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