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An In-Depth And Formal Reply To An Actual Vegas Performer

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Yesterday, someone left a comment on one of my Handbook For Mortals recaps.

Actually, I work in a Vegas show on the strip and yes this kind of stuff does happen. Automation is a fairly new thing (last 15 years) and doesn’t work properly all the time. Also, performers in Cirque and Cirque type shows get injured all the time. If you think an investigation of that kind would happen every time there was a serious injury well we would be doing that every day. That is why we get paid well. Most of us are athletes, a lot of us Olympic athletes and we know what we signed up for. Injuries happen during the shows all the time. We are doing crazy stuff and it’s dangerous that’s why people pay a lot of money to see it. People get injured during the show and you don’t even know and we keep going. We don’t stop the show. The one and only time someone fell to their death was actually during KA. DURING A ACTUAL PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF A AUDIENCE. They witnessed it even…I think the show was back in a day or so. Accidents that happen during rehearsal that only leads to injury an injury like this, wouldn’t even stop the show that night. The show must go one is a real thing in our world.

I have also fallen asleep in my theater before the doors. I find it odd that you tear apart something that you don’t know. You have never worked at a Vegas show (you admit that when you talk about the falling asleep in the theatre scene) yet you INSIST that’s not how this works.

Catwalks lead to platforms in these types of theaters. Perhaps, she should have described it better since most of you wouldn’t know this, but I understood exactly what she’s talking about.

If I remember reading somewhere, she lives in Vegas and works in entertainment. They say write what you know. Maybe the things she wrote are more rooted in reality than you know.

I have also run into Carrot Top (not with Wayne Newton though) in that very mall.

I don’t think this book is the greatest book of all time and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Lani compare her book to THUG. I think the story is overall fun and while if you want to run a fine tooth comb over it, you will find mistakes. You can do that with almost anything. Huge budget movies that cost over 100 million dollars have some errors. There are websites dedicated to finding them. Though those websites are more like a scavenger hunt fun type of find the error. Not a tear someone apart, the way you have engaged in here. All of you really. I bet most of you who are commenting and putting her and the book down have never even put out a book. I wonder what we could all say about your own book. Some of what Jenny says is funny but if you were actually being objective here you would point out the good stuff too. There is lots of it, but your whole point is to bring someone and their art down as much as possible. And you are criticizing her for being some kind of bad person?
You should really try checking your own moral compass here.

I knew from the moment I read, “I have also run into Carrot Top” that this Lani Sarem’s sock puppet account. First of all, the authorial voice is the same with which she wrote Handbook For Mortals. Secondly, who the fuck brags about running into Carrot Top or knowing Carrot Top or just basically talks about Carrot Top as much as she does? But Tez, our awesome Trout Nation comment moderator checked out the domain behind the commenter’s email address, readervillage, and found that it’s registered to…
A DNS look up listing Lani Sarem as admin and billing contact
I’ve redacted some info because we don’t dox around these here parts.
Isn’t it super weird that someone who has an email address registered to a domain owned by Lani Sarem just so happened to stumble across my posts about Handbook For Mortals and decided they needed to defend the book? What makes it even more super weird is that readervillage isn’t even a website. They do have a Twitter account, though, and in the bio they explain that they’re just here to help you find a good book:
If you need to a place to turn for accurate helpful advice. It takes a Village. Reader Village.  coming soon.
Now, I’m not sure how soon readervillage.com is coming, considering if you click that link it’s going to take you to a page where GoDaddy informs you that the domain has expired. But I’m glad that a service exists to give me “accurate helpful advice” about what book to buy. Judging by the fact that every single tweet on the account seems to be shilling Lani Sarem’s appearances, the book must be some kind of huge phenomenon!
What I’m saying here is that it might be a total coincidence that a commenter with an email address from an expired domain for some kind of shady backdoor PR machine that only promotes Handbook For Mortals  and which is owned by Lani Sarem just happened to show up to call me and everyone in the comments section a bad person and defend the books. Oh, no, sorry. What I meant to say is that this is absolutely one hundred percent Lani Sarem.
I originally made a glib remark to this “anonymous commenter”, but knowing now that I’m dealing with a totally legit New York Times bestselling author, I better put on my Sunday britches and give this a real response.
Actually, I work in a Vegas show on the strip and yes this kind of stuff does happen. Automation is a fairly new thing (last 15 years) and doesn’t work properly all the time.
False. The show that Zade’s diving act is inspired by, Cirque Du Soleil’s O, opened in 1998 with state-of-the-art automation. Earlier than that, EFX opened in 1995, featuring, you guessed it, fully automated set pieces and animatronics. Cirque Du Soleil’s Mystére opened in 1993 and featured a revolving stage and automated lifts. These are just shows in Las Vegas. By the early 1980s, Broadway shows like Cats and Les Miserables already featured automated stage pieces. Automation isn’t new to theatre, in Vegas or anywhere else. And while nothing works all the time, no one in the comments or the recap suggested that it did, or that accidents didn’t happen because of it.
Also, performers in Cirque and Cirque type shows get injured all the time. If you think an investigation of that kind would happen every time there was a serious injury well we would be doing that every day. That is why we get paid well. Most of us are athletes, a lot of us Olympic athletes and we know what we signed up for. Injuries happen during the shows all the time. We are doing crazy stuff and it’s dangerous that’s why people pay a lot of money to see it.
This is the part where it really becomes embarrassing for you, Lani. Please do not come to my blog pretending to be an Olympic athlete. All I’m going to do is cackle my way straight to hell. And while yes, performers in Cirque-esque shows do get injured frequently, that doesn’t mean they’re not investigated by OSHA. They are required by law to report serious injuries. That’s how there are statistics that back up your “all the time” assertion. There are also OSHA inspections of major Las Vegas shows and investigations when something goes seriously wrong. Your anecdotes don’t invalidate government regulation and facts that anyone can just google for free. Of course, nothing matches the real-life experiences of a make-believe Olympian.
People get injured during the show and you don’t even know and we keep going. We don’t stop the show.
Except for when they do. Like in 2007 when two acrobats performing in Zumanity fell during an aerial act and the show had to be stopped to remove them on stretchers. While the show did later resume in front of the audience, it did stop, to the point that tickets were refunded to over a thousand audience members because of the delay.
The one and only time someone fell to their death was actually during KA. DURING A ACTUAL PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF A AUDIENCE. They witnessed it even…I think the show was back in a day or so.
You think wrong. Sarah Guillot-Guyard died in that accident on June 29, and Ka was closed indefinitely pending investigation. You know, those things that don’t happen because the performance is so important that it overrides state and federal law? Yeah, one of those imaginary things that we non-Vegas plebs foolishly believe exist shut down Ka until July 16th, and the show didn’t return to a full schedule until July 23, almost a month after the initial accident. And that investigation? It didn’t close until November.
I find it odd that you tear apart something that you don’t know. You have never worked at a Vegas show (you admit that when you talk about the falling asleep in the theatre scene) yet you INSIST that’s not how this works.
I find it odd that you wrote a book and INSIST that everyone in the industry bend to you because you think you know better than those of us who’ve worked in it for decades. Gosh, I can’t even imagine your frustration, with people talking about stuff they don’t know!
Except every criticism I make in one of these recaps is something I actually research. Which was how I knew about Ka and Zumanity and how OSHA conducts their investigations of stage shows, specifically in Nevada. Because I do my homework before I jump into something. You probably should have done that before you tried to pull your stunt. Or create an untraceable sock puppet.
Catwalks lead to platforms in these types of theaters. Perhaps, she should have described it better since most of you wouldn’t know this, but I understood exactly what she’s talking about.
I don’t recall having an issue with catwalks leading to platforms, but I’d guess that you knew what she was talking about because you are she.
If I remember reading somewhere, she lives in Vegas and works in entertainment. They say write what you know. Maybe the things she wrote are more rooted in reality than you know.
The fact that you took so many pains to try and cover the fact that you are Lani Sarem talking about yourself in the third person makes this so much more cringey than it would have been otherwise.

I have also run into Carrot Top (not with Wayne Newton though) in that very mall.

This is how I knew it was you, by the way. You’ve name dropped Carrot Top in more than one interview. We get it. You know Carrot Top. But the point wasn’t whether or not he’d be there. The point was whether or not Carrot Top and Wayne Newton would be strolling around a mall together after a publicized appearance. And I still call all the bullshit on that one.

I don’t think this book is the greatest book of all time and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Lani compare her book to THUG.

We’re in agreement on that. But while you didn’t compare your book to The Hate U Give, you have mouthed off about its author more than once, telling readers at a signing that it’s “not my fault Angie is black,” and accusing her of jealousy in a Facebook post that God and everybody saw.

I thought it was a particularly nice touch that you asked to friend someone who said that The Hate U Give is only popular because it’s anti-white people.

 I think the story is overall fun and while if you want to run a fine tooth comb over it, you will find mistakes.

You do not need a fine-toothed comb to catch your mistakes. You could run a yard rake over this book and find the mistakes. You could run a combine harvester over this thing and find mistakes, and that’s because you thought you were smarter than anyone else in the industry, that you were going to be able to easily scam readers, retailers, publishers, and Hollywood to get the movie deal you dreamed of.

Huge budget movies that cost over 100 million dollars have some errors. There are websites dedicated to finding them. Though those websites are more like a scavenger hunt fun type of find the error. Not a tear someone apart, the way you have engaged in here.

The “tear someone apart” aspect you’re seeing here is because I don’t like con artists. I don’t like scammers, I don’t like people trying to cheat their way to the top of an industry that they don’t know anything about and frankly don’t belong in because they couldn’t be bothered to pay their dues and learn just like the rest of us. I’m tearing you apart, Lani, because I don’t respect con-artists who aren’t good at conning people.

I bet most of you who are commenting and putting her and the book down have never even put out a book.

This is an author’s blog. And many of the regular commenters are authors, themselves. You would be surprised at how many people here and elsewhere on the internet are critical of you and your book because we’ve written one ourselves.

I wonder what we could all say about your own book.

I wonder, too. Why don’t you head on over to Amazon and pick up my free book, The Boss? I mean, there are already 601 reviews for it and 60% of those are five stars, leaving it with an overall rating of four-and-a-half stars. In fact, most of my books are highly rated there, but I’m sure you could find all sorts of things wrong with it. Go ahead and leave the link to your review in the comments, I would love to get some tips from a real-life bestselling author.

Some of what Jenny says is funny but if you were actually being objective here you would point out the good stuff too. There is lots of it, but your whole point is to bring someone and their art down as much as possible.

First of all, everything I say is funny, because I’m fucking hilarious. And if I were being objective, I would still struggle to find anything good to point out about your book. It was clearly written as quickly as possible by someone who was more interested in grabbing fame than actually giving readers a decent story for the ludicrous price you were charging for it. I notice you’ve changed the price on Amazon, but when I bought the ebook, it was $9.99. You’ve admitted in interviews to selling the hardcover for $35.00 at conventions. And as for bringing down someone’s art, you published a book with a cover that literally steals another artist’s art.

And you are criticizing her for being some kind of bad person?

Yes. I am absolutely criticizing you for being a bad person. Because you are. Bad people tell endless lies to paint themselves as the victim of situations they caused through their own shadiness. Which is what you do. You scammed your way onto the bestseller list. You lied repeatedly about it. You changed your lies multiple times when you got caught. You wrote an op-ed for Rolling Stone and were the subject of a lengthy feature on Vulture yet you continue to tell people that you haven’t been given a chance to tell your story. You intentionally miscategorized your book as YA when it’s clearly not, simply to take advantage of a popular genre. You talked shit about the book industry, my industry, because your scheme unraveled, but somehow that’s our fault because we don’t understand how to run things as well as you do. When none of that turned in your favor, you blamed another author for your downfall, an author who did the work and got something she deserved. And now you’re here, lying yet again because you just can’t help yourself. Lies, lies, lies, upon lies and lies and lies. You are a liar.

You are an outsider who barged in and not only wanted instant glory but a complete overhaul of publishing to suit your goals. Are there issues in the industry? Yes. Were you the scam-artist savior we needed? No, and nobody fucking asked you for your opinion or your overpriced, under-edited dreck that you insist deserves a place beside legitimate books and legitimate authors.

The worst part about all of this? You think we’re dumb enough to believe you. You think we’re dumb enough not to see through your ineptitude.

You insult authors.

You insult readers.

You insult the entire publishing industry.

That’s why people don’t like you. You’re an egotistical, delusional liar who can’t even pull off a convincing sock puppet on the internet.

You should really try checking your own moral compass here.

Just checked. It’s pointing directly to the magnetic pole of fuck you and the pseudo-famous friends whose coattails you rode in on. You and your technicolor dream hair can stay the entire fuck away from my blog from now on.

PS. When you’re trying to stage a fake picture of your book in a bookstore, Sarem doesn’t fall alphabetically between Lowry and Lieu.

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222 Comments

  1. You could throw a comb at this book randomly from a distance and hit a mistake.

    December 16, 2017
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    • Cavalish
      Cavalish

      Legitimately made me laugh out loud at work

      December 16, 2017
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  2. Ria
    Ria

    *slow clap*

    December 16, 2017
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  3. Emma
    Emma

    This is such a fantastic response, I kind of want to give you a standing ovation.

    And for the record, Lani, your book is awful. And yes I’ve written books, myself. And it’s knowing how hard it is to write something to the best of your ability and battle to be heard once it’s in the world, that causes me to become so angry about scam-artists who write utter dross.

    December 16, 2017
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  4. Gretel
    Gretel

    Jenny, you said everything there is to say. Sarem’s a lying, gaslighting, manipulative, cheating, and untalented liar.
    A liar, that is what you are, Sarem.

    Also about combing through minute mistakes: it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Only the haystack is needles. Everything is needles. The whole effin barn is needles.

    PS If I got money for everytime somebody said “If you haven’t [done X] then you can’t criticise [X] I’d be rich.
    1. you have no idea what people have or haven’t done, in this case written/published
    2. I don’t have to produce something to criticise the product. If an electrician fucks up the connections in the house I’d STILL know he did a shitty job WITHOUT knowing how to install cables!
    3. We are readers and as readers we know what’s good and what’s bad and what we like and don’t like.
    4. We’re not dumb. I don’t have to do anything to know if something’s done badly.
    5. stop it with this poor excuse which is nothing bus gaslighting. You can trash that childish “argument” immediately.

    December 16, 2017
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    • Jamoche
      Jamoche

      The all time greatest “if you haven’t done X, you can’t criticize” reply is Roger Ebert’s response to Rob Schneider: “As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.”

      https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/deuce-bigalow-european-gigolo-2005

      December 16, 2017
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      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        From an 18th-century debate on criticism:

        George Dempster:
        “We have hardly a right to abuse this tragedy [performed at Drury Lane]; for, bad as it is, how vain should either of us be to write one not near so good!”

        Samuel Johnson:
        “Why no, sir; this is not just reasoning. You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.”

        December 16, 2017
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  5. Honesty, the problem wasn’t that it unrealistic to meet Carrot Top wandering around a mall, the problem was that it was weeeeeeeeeird for him to all of a sudden be best friends with our protagonist without any explanation why or how or what.

    December 16, 2017
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  6. KDlala
    KDlala

    Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch, you wanna try and take on Jenny freaking Trout you’re gonna have to do a lot better than THAT!

    December 16, 2017
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    • KDlala
      KDlala

      Addendum here. I’m going to be honest here, Lani: I find it very hard to read Jenny’s recaps of your book here. Because it SUCKS THAT BAD. It’s so poorly written and hard to read that even Jenny can’t make it tolerable enough to read even clips of it.

      December 16, 2017
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      • I feel the same way. I love Jenny, but the excerpts of Sarem’s book and trying to follow the non-plot just makes my brain hurt.

        December 17, 2017
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      • Alex
        Alex

        Yeah, I have to admit that I’m skipping the recaps because while the snark is funny, the entire story is so intolerably bad that I just can’t take it.

        December 18, 2017
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      • Carl
        Carl

        I’ve taken smoking back up and realized last week that it coincided with the start of these recaps. They’re that bad.

        December 18, 2017
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  7. Sushi
    Sushi

    All I write is fanfiction. It’s still better than this dreck because when I had a character that *everybody* lusted over, I actually explained why.

    December 16, 2017
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    • Sushi
      Sushi

      (When I say ‘this dreck’, I’m obviously talking about HFM and not Jenny’s work because Jenny is a goddess.)

      December 16, 2017
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      • HK
        HK

        Amen to that. I hardly consider myself an Author(TM) but I have still written multiple fanfics that have objectively, in terms of numbers, received more complimentary reviews from real people than Sarem’s book. It’s not even a high bar.

        December 17, 2017
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  8. Mae
    Mae

    I have no patience for people who scam their way to the top, then claim to be the best and yet also everyone’s victim. That’s Lani.

    Also, please any and all gods that may exist – if I ever get famous for my writing, give me the wisdom to take constructive criticism. Silently. In private.

    December 16, 2017
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  9. Petra
    Petra

    Hi Lani, I was about to write “if you check this” but you’re an attention seeker of the worst kind so of course you’ll check it.

    Ok full disclosure. I count myself a friend of Jen’s. She writes books I love and appreciate, that are thoughtful, beautifully written and edited with women who live on the page. Pretty much the exact opposite of what you did; and therein lies the root of your problem. You clearly want to be a movie star. You saw the boon in YA, the slew of movie tie ins and you thought “there it is”. You chronically over estimated the trend (there are thousands of YA that don’t get made into movies) and chronically underestimated the talent and work involved in writing a good book.

    So ok you made a plan, you and you’re “celeb connections”, to scam the list. Sadly (for you) the plan was weak because you were rumbled in record time. Even after you were caught most people continued to be civil, to see the humor in it. But then you had to open your mouth and lies fell out. Lots of lies. I watched it all.

    But you want to know the final straw? The point you went beyond any lingering tendrils of empathy, any slight admiration for your hustle I may have had? When you came for Angie Thomas. Angie write a book that is literally changing kids lives. It is a powerhouse of a book and they don’t happen every day. You grabbed a hold of her coattails and cast aspersions and made pointed comments and hints all designed to paint you as her victim. That Facebook page was horrific, not least because the person who was the most overtly racist was the one you enthusiastically friended. I’d recommend you go do some reading about the long history of the ways our fellow white women using and abusing women of colour to advance themselves. You fit that model to a t.

    In all of this, there’s Jen’s recaps. For many of us who don’t want to contribute a penny to your fraud, she’s doing the hard graft of going through your ‘novel’ and pointing up the issues; of character, plot, writing and structure. She’s been a hell of a lot kinder than I would have. If you’d like a second opinion, by all means send me the book. I’ll go through it with my red pen for you. What qualifications do I have to do that you ask? How does a B.A., an M.A. and a PhD do? I say this with all the weight of my profession behind me; from everything I’ve seen (and Jen is very careful to illustrate all her points with quotes from your texts) Jen’s criticisms are spot on.

    So next time you try to come into her space and call her out a) have the decency and dignity to be yourself and b) understand that Jen has friends who will stand next to her and will metaphorically (you know what one of those are right?) kick your ass.

    Oh and for the love of all things holy stop googling yourself, go out and do something more productive instead.

    December 16, 2017
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  10. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    Oh, this is glorious! It’ll probably slide right off her like water from a duck, though. ‘Cause, you know, Lani’s delusional. She’s cast herself as the victim in the story and no amount of facts is going to change her opinion.

    December 16, 2017
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  11. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Is anyone besides me kind of surprised that she thought this “post from a friend” (or a supporter who doesn’t really know her and therefore isn’t sure where she lives, even though she can quote her, or whatever) would work? That no one would smell a rat?

    As for the stuff about athletes and automated shows…If she’s so retro, how is it she knows nothing about theatre history? Back in the ’80s, there was serious criticism about all the tech in “Phantom” and “Les Miz,” not only because people were worried about malfunctioning chandeliers, underwater caverns, and barricades, but also because all that focus on FX might lead to a slide in the quality of a show’s script and performers.

    Also in the ’80s, when a sandbag or something fell on ballerina Natalia Makarova’s foot during “On Your Toes,” ending her career, she sued. If former Olympic gymnasts working for Cirque du Soleil (as many do) got killed, their estates would sue (they invested a LOT in the training, home practice equipment, medical bills, even relocation to work with prominent coaches).

    Hell YEAH, they’re going to investigate and run it by OSHA and the relevant union, as well as dealing with potential civil suits.

    Jeez-Lou-freaking-WEEZ. My friends couldn’t understand why I laughed every time they showed the chorus running up and down that flimsy staircase in spike heels in “Showgirls.” Because no theatre is that STUPID. Even if they don’t care about you as a human, it still costs them to replace and retrain the cast.

    To misquote Ron Gallo, not-so-young lady, you’re scaring me.

    December 16, 2017
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    • Sarah
      Sarah

      To answer your initial question – she’s clearly not very intelligent, but she has the unfortunate fault of thinking the rest of us are more stupid than she is. Which, whatever, intelligence does not make you a good or bad person. It’s her hubris in thinking everyone else will fall for her shit that really gets me.

      December 16, 2017
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    • The chandelier malfunctioned when I saw Phantom, in fact. It didn’t injure anyone – but that’s because the malfunction was that it “fell” in slow, jerky start-and-stop motion. The mechanism obviously got stuck. VERY distracting.

      December 17, 2017
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    • Katharine
      Katharine

      The insistence that professional theatres don’t care about injuries is mind-boggling to me. When I was performing at the Opera Philadephia, I went through a mountain of paperwork and doctor visits after another performer stepped on my foot during a show.

      I repeat: STEPPED ON MY FOOT.

      It was badly bruised, yes, but STEPPED ON MY FOOT. And I still had to go through paperwork for workers’ comp, get it x-rayed, fill out an incident report, and have a doctor confirm that there was no serious damage. Because theatres are not run by stupid people and they know that if a performer is injured they are in the line of fire for serious legal battles.

      And yet we’re still arguing that a theatre wouldn’t care if a performer ALMOST DIED?

      I’m sorry, no. Just no.

      December 18, 2017
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      • Jessica De La Rosa
        Jessica De La Rosa

        This part stuck with me too. I work in an industry that requires a mix of equipment and physical work. We had incident reports and a ton of documentation for a guy who bruised his foot after colliding with someone walking out of a door he was about to walk though. We found alternative work to do for him so he didn’t have to be on his foot for a few days. We had to review and release him back to normal work with his permission.

        I am just not buying the “walk it off” injury reaction. If this was true, people would walk off their injury while walking off the job because no employer is worth the risk. OSHA doesn’t come around. But you have to cover your ass if they do and many places have other certifications and unions that require proper safety management and reporting.

        December 23, 2017
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  12. YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS.

    December 16, 2017
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  13. TS
    TS

    I must admit, this post made me rub my hands in glee. I cannot believe how pathetic she is. These HFM posts are just so good; I start to drool.

    I hope she sockpuppets again! hahaha This would be a chwistmas mirwacle!

    December 16, 2017
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  14. Drea C
    Drea C

    It’s weird that of all the things Jenny has critiqued, Zani decides to whine about safety regulations in Vegas and Carrot Top. On top of that, she buries the post in some random chapter review from September???
    I guess she knows the misogyny, the stupid characters, and the aimless plot can’t be defended.

    December 16, 2017
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      She’s just catching up. Late to the party, but unlike other commenters who just found out about the TroutVerse (I’ve referred a number of 50 Shades haters to Jenny’s site), can’t admit it.

      December 16, 2017
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    • Amy
      Amy

      I’m actually more surprised that she used an email that was easily traced back to her. I have so many emails, each one used for a different reason. One for work, one for pleasure, one for spam, one for video games… like, c’mon Lani. If you’re gonna anonymously start an online fight, at least make an effort to stay anonymous.

      but alas, we know “effort” is not in Lani’s vocabulary.

      December 16, 2017
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      • Andrea Cranford
        Andrea Cranford

        She probably didn’t think anyone would connect her to readervillage since the site is down.
        And I would guess from the half-redacted (somewhat juvenile) one above, that all her emails have a version of her name in them.
        She could have taken 5 minutes to make a new email, but that would have taken effort.
        She constantly underestimates people’s willingness to do a little research and that’s why she always get caught.

        December 16, 2017
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    • Mike
      Mike

      Violetta already explained why she posted on the post from September, but I’ll bet ANYTHING says the reason she picked on the technical stuff and Carrot Top is because she actually DOES know Carrot Top so she probably has had that experience and thus could ‘defend it’ as being ‘realistic’, and Jenny said that she doesn’t work on Vegas shows, and thus she hoped she could claim Jenny was simply ignorant of how they work. She went with the only two things on which she has a potential foot to stand. Not realizing that common sense and 10 minutes on Google is all you need to debunk every aspect of the technical shit. And she doesn’t seem to understand that the issue isn’t that Carrot Top would be at a mall, it’s that he would go out of his way to stop to talk to HER. She’s a nobody who’s only been in Vegas for a few weeks and we as the reader aren’t even told how or why they met, to give us some context for why he might remember her. If she had so much as included a short ‘oh right, it’s Carrot Top and Wayne Newton, they were at the party Charles threw the other night and we had a nice chat’ then that scene would still be stupid but, you know, less so.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
      • The Carrot Top thing is what jumped out at me as weird. It’s a really weirdly specific anecdote. And if we take it for granted that the author of the comment is in fact *not* Lani Sarem (I know it is, but just for the sake of the argument let’s pretend it’s not) what are the odds?

        This is what we know about this person:

        -S/he’s a Vegas performer (specifically, performs “on the Strip”)
        -S/he has read HfM
        -S/he does not know Lani Sarem
        -S/he cares about HfM/Lani Sarem enough to leave a long, defensive comment on someone else’s review of HfM
        -S/he does not know that automation in stage shows is not brand-new technology
        -S/he doesn’t understand that a performer getting seriously injured on the job is not taken lightly
        -S/he also just happened to run into Carrot Top at the Fashion Show Mall.

        So either there is a Vegas performer in what is probably a big show who really loved HfM, but doesn’t seem very knowledgeable about his/her own industry and has also run into Carrot Top at the Fashion Show Mall, or “vegasperformer” is lying about *something*.

        I mean, I know that “vegasperformer” is Lani Sarem, but it’s just such a bad lie.

        If I were her, and my heart was set on defending my work under a pseudonym, I probably would have defended the lack of investigation like this:

        “Wow. Do you really need everything spoon-fed to you? Obviously there was no investigation because an investigation of the show would have led to Zade’s trick being outed as impossible, thus exposing her and her magic to the world. Zade probably manipulated Mac/Sofia/the EMTs magically so that they wouldn’t file a report, and didn’t tell us about it because she’s an UNRELIABLE NARRATOR, which we know from how she recalled Sofia blaming her for the fall. Zade is an anti-heroine without a conscience. You’re not SUPPOSED to like her. I bet you’re the kind of person who thinks *Lolita* is a love story and can’t pick up on subtle hints and subtext.”

        Because trying to defend HfM based on anything like its resemblance to reality is actually impossible.

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
        • Mike
          Mike

          A reader could potentially make that argument and you could buy that someone could read it that way and enjoy it. But Sarem is quite incapable of that. This is a woman who wrote her self-insert as being loved by every man, and even had to make sure that the reader knew all of the men were conventionally attractive (I firmly believe that’s why she describes the lemonade teenager the way she does. She makes it clear she’s not interested, but it’s not ‘cuz he’s ugly, just that he hasn’t grown into himself yet. He’ll totally be attractive soon. Don’t you dare believe an ugly person thought they could hit on her!). This is a woman who wrote her self-insert as getting a job at one of the biggest shows on the strip without any connections or previous experience, while getting the biggest salary ever offered a performer. She wrote her celeb crush into the book and had him be perfect and in love with her, and she’s so amazing that she gets to reject HIM for someone EVEN BETTER. She wrote her character as being hated and feared by everyone in her home town yet couldn’t even write a single criticism they had of her! The only thing she wrote them saying about her was how attractive she was!

          Sarem’s ego is incredibly fragile. She cannot handle the idea that she’s a talentless hack. She keeps talking about how she managed that band, despite that she was fired (and then proceeded to write them into her book as being beneath her and all of them loving her). She can’t accept that she was removed from the best sellers list for good reason. She can’t accept that anyone believes she deserved to be removed from the list. There’s no way in hell she will be able to accept that her book isn’t good. And there’s sure as hell no way she will be able to accept that her character isn’t perfect, because her character IS her.

          December 17, 2017
          |Reply
          • jane dow
            jane dow

            She was fired? This detail has slipped me completely. Do we know why it was and how long she was working there before being fired?

            December 20, 2017
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            I believe she’s been fired more than once–both Blues Traveler and Plain White Ts. Could be wrong, maybe the parting was mutual sometimes, but I’m pretty sure they both had bad experiences with her

            December 20, 2017
  15. Amy
    Amy

    You know what Lani? You’re right. I have never published a novel.

    I guess I just have to be satisfied with my three college degrees, fifteen years of writing experience, seven years experience as a librarian, being the proud author of over 170 published short stories, and when I get promoted next year, I’ll begin the process of earning my masters degree.

    But clearly none of those silly things could ever amount to writing a ’23 hour bestseller’.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • KR
      KR

      This is rather off-topic, but what are your degrees in? You have quite the background!

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        Sorry, I didn’t see this reply! I have an associates in Arts and Humanities, and Art and Sciences. I actually only applied for one degree, but because I took so many classes, I qualified for two. XD

        And I have a Bachelors in English, majoring in British and early American literature. (I swear to god though, if I have to read goddamn Frankenstein one more time…)

        December 23, 2017
        |Reply
  16. Dove
    Dove

    We need a Christmas song about cackling all the way to hell with you, Jenny! 😀

    And excellent points! I still can’t believe she decided to handle this herself. She thinks she’s such a great liar, but she’s so bad at it. The incredibly poor grammar and Carrot Top reference should’ve been a stronger clue for me, but I didn’t think she’d go to such lengths. I just assumed she’d created some copypasta/notes of interest for others doing her dirty work. Then again, she might be lazy, but she’s no genius, as evidenced by her assumptions that no one would even Google her claims.

    I’m also glad you pointed Lani Sarem to The Boss. She can put her money where her mouth is by posting reviews on her very own website about reading recommendations! Ohhh… wait. Did she stop paying for that? Well, ’tis the season to be petty! And we’ll be oh so jolly. Someone should bring popcorn. ;D

    Haha, who am I kidding? Lani Sarem would never write a review of any book, other than her own, and certainly not in a chapter by chapter format. I bet she dropped Readervillage.com when she found out it involved reading.

    *gasp* OMG I found a cached version of that website! It’s an online psychic hotline! 😀

    We are a new kind of community of those who are looking to improve their life with the help and support of others. We encourage you to grow and learn from one another while finding your true path. Sometimes we all need guidance. Here you can find divine guidance from the very best of those with true gifts.

    We also do things differently around here, more info will be posted soon and we will be going live shortly! if you would like more info and/or if you are interested in joining our community of forward thinkers leave your name and e-mail address HERE and we will be in touch soon with a free offer.

    If you’ve gone to readers before online or in person and have been disappointed with the amount of money you spent and lack of results we are the place to be. Live Readings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tested and certified psychics only. Never pay per min for a reading. We are way more than just a place to get readings that is just the beginning. Forum, Shop, Classes and much, much more.

    Remember it takes a village!

    Reader Village

    Copyright © 2013
    Reader Village

    Oh, Lawd! She’s the dumbest con artist, but now we know how she makes her money. She hires psychics. I hope no one got too upset about losing their personal guidance when her book dropped and she dumped the old site to try and revamp it into a PR ground. Or maybe she thought it was costing too much and stuck with the twitter handle? Hrmmm…

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • Drea C
      Drea C

      She probably had a reading that said it would be a disaster for her to write book…

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        That’d be too appropriate. ;D

        I’m betting she got one of those psychics, who worked for the site, to help her craft that tailor-made Tarot reading about Ziggy’s boy-toy indecision. It’s all too fitting, perhaps even a little bit cheeky, and Lani Sarem doesn’t seem to view Tarot as a personal hobby, considering how infrequently it actually turns up in the novel and how inexperienced Zapdos sounds when she squawks about the results (probably meant to be another dumb surprise reveal, like who Charles is, but still.)

        December 16, 2017
        |Reply
    • Fer
      Fer

      Wasn`t in the 0 or first chapter a “psychic” who have seen her rise to stardoom and that something bad would happend to us if we werw bad with her or her book?

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
    • Mike
      Mike

      I scanned through the Twitter account, going back several years in posts. I am pretty certain that its only purpose has always been the psychic site, and it’s not being repurposed. Jenny just read the description and (not unreasonably) assumed it was ‘readers’ as in people who read books giving advice about good books you should look into when it’s actually psychics reading your fortune. And I think she just had a few twitter followers, so even after the site wasn’t worth running any more (probably was never profitable) she shut it down but kept using the twitter account to publicize her book to its followers, but was too lazy to even remove the link to the shut down website. And it says ‘coming soon’ because she’d set up the twitter before starting the site and just, NEVER updated the description, after the website went up or after it came back down. Because she’s lazy. That’s my theory anyway. Would explain why it says ‘coming soon’ for a website that’s no longer owned. If she was planning to relaunch with a different purpose I would think she would have bought it back. Though perhaps that’s giving her too much credit…

      Also I’m pretty sure that’s how she met American Pie. In one of the posts it says you can win a tarot reading from him, so he seems to be into that stuff and she seems to have been claiming to be a psychic so they probably met through that. Would explain why the page promotes him almost as much as it promotes her. But damn their relationship seems really close. Every post he’s mentioned in there’s a picture of them holding each other. She talks about him a LOT. If he’s doing everything for her book that she claims, he’s going out of his way to help her with her book quite a bit. She wrote a character specifically for him. Suddenly the part of the book where his character says he is only not dating her because he has a wife feels a lot more fishy… I have friends I’m not romantically interested in that I would KILL for, but god damn this is suspicious.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
      • Drea C
        Drea C

        I don’t think the site was ever up. I used the wayback machine to look at it and the site also says “coming soon” for each of the times it was cached. This is a project that never even got off the ground.

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
        • small jar of fireflies
          small jar of fireflies

          Am I the only one who adores a site advertising psychics that’s perpetually “coming soon?”

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
          • Chris
            Chris

            I can see it coming soon in a month with an A… No wait, an E…

            December 19, 2017
      • Dove
        Dove

        Suddenly the part of the book where his character says he is only not dating her because he has a wife feels a lot more fishy…

        Even before you mentioned the photos, I thought his statement was awkward and “protests too much” but your findings are the icing on the cake right there. Who knows? It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re having an affair.

        But also, Lani can’t write worth a damn, so it wouldn’t surprise me if an editor simply asked why Tad was immune to her charms (or American Pie specifically asked her to address the issue) and then she wrote that without realizing how bad it sounded. Alternatively, Lani is that full of herself and like Cathy, she can’t imagine anyone not being attracted to her MC, so she had to make Tad show restraint for some other reason.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
  17. Heather M
    Heather M

    As a Las Vegas native with a friend who, unlike Sarem, actually does perform in a Cirque show–the death of the performer in KA was a HUGE deal. It’s a close-knit community and everyone was highly affected by the tragedy, not just the acrobats and dancers. I find it baffling that she’s trying to score a point on a woman’s death by falsely claiming that it was ‘nbd show must go on’ reaction from the city and the community when it was very much the opposite.

    Also, having seen practically every show I care to in Vegas, including KA, I don’t consider my price of admission ($150-200) to be enough of a monetary incentive for performers to risk their health and livelihoods (and for the casinos to risk litigation) for the sake of playing fast and loose with safety regulations.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah, Lani Sarem is such a misogynist that she’s spinning the tragic death of another woman to her own advantage while forgetting that other people exist and the truth is out there. And yet, somehow she’s the victim and we’re the ones raking her through the muck.

      When the pig creates what it wallows in, all you need is a camera.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
    • Mike
      Mike

      I already went on a rant about the legality and ‘danger pay’ aspect on her actual post, but it’s so frustrating to see this kind of argument from her that I’m so tempted to do it again anyway… But I’m glad you pointed out the emotional impact too. My rant had gone on long enough, I didn’t want to make it 16 paragraphs longer by bringing up how seeing someone nearly die can fuck you up in so many different ways it’s not even calculable. It’s one thing to know it’s a possibility, it’s something else entirely to see that risk take form, particularly involving someone you know and care about.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
  18. Charlotte
    Charlotte

    That was a sheer delight to read. I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine, then read it all over again while cackling gleefully.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  19. Aiwë
    Aiwë

    Beautiful. Just… Fucking beautiful.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  20. Indigo
    Indigo

    Wait, Sarem thinks she’s an authority because she’s a published author, but isn’t she self-published? That’s like claiming that because I have a YouTube channel* I’m a media personality.
    *Stuff on said channel right now consists of a video I made for my Master’s program about the challenges of evaluating private for-profit language schools, and some audio clips for my students to listen to for homework. I’m kind of a big deal, yeah.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • Drea C
      Drea C

      H4M was published by Geek Nation, a website co-founded by another of her semi-famous friends, Clare Kramer (she was Glory on Buffy). Either way, being published doesn’t make you an authority on writing, especially if you’re just riding other people’s coattails.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
      • Indigo
        Indigo

        I can’t decide if that’s better or worse. *ponders *
        No, it’s worse. People who self-publish have the guts to take risks on their own behalf and do their own work.

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
  21. Rebecca
    Rebecca

    Do we happen to have an address for her? Because I volunteer to send her some aloe to help with Jenny’s epic burn.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  22. This was genuinely beautiful Jenny. You are freaking awesome!

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  23. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    Oh wow, this was a delight to read.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  24. BitterAlmonds
    BitterAlmonds

    I don’t know, man, my moral compass never led me to try to scam thousands of people because ‘everyone else does it’. I think I’m good no matter how butthurt you are about my comments.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • BitterAlmonds
      BitterAlmonds

      In a (slightly) more constructive vein: Lani, I stand by every assertion I’ve made about your character and your book. This incident hasn’t convinced me that I’m a mean meanie jerk who should feel guilty for picking on you, it’s confirmed that my interpretation of your behavior and your writing is correct. I agree with Jenny: you are a bad person. You actively choose to be. You chose to put out a product that you know is bad, in the hopes of taking the fast track to fame, and when called out on it you’ve buckled down and claimed that victimhood gives you the right.
      Don’t try to pretend you don’t know it sucks. For all your bluster about how wrong Jenny is about facts and how she just doesn’t cover the good parts of your book, you sure didn’t try to offer anything up that you think you did well. I’ve yet to see you even try in any outlet. I think you know that the only good part of the book for anyone is the part where you get to feel special (for things you never did).
      My hope for you is that you feel some shame when you read the critique and commentary we’re creating here, that you recognize you have Fucked Up and strive to do better. That you apologize and in the future show you’ve reformed in some way. Every person here cares about the craft and there have been dozens of solid suggestions by both Jenny and the commetariat. That’s more than you can say for the comments section most anywhere else. If you can dial down the self-righteous defensive fury I’m sure you’re feeling right now, you might actually improve.
      Realistically I have no such expectation. I think it’s much easier on your ego to say that we’re all–you know, jealous haters who just ignore the good bits. I think you’re all about the easy way whenever you think you can get away with it. I think you’re learning the hard way that money actually can’t buy everything. I think I’ll enjoy your squirming and worming over the next couple of months about how you’re not so bad and you just need to be given a chance. I think in another six months you’ll have passed so completely out of relevance that when you pop up again for embarrassing yourself, I’ll have to google your name to have a good laugh. And I think I’ll enjoy every last minute of that.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
  25. OMFG! This girl is just making herself look worse and worse. I almost feel sorry for her except for the fact that she’s a liar and a horrible person so I don’t.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I do kind of feel sorry for her. Not the sorry I felt for the sincere but minimally-talented wanna-be’s who perpetrated over-the-transom mss. my friend at a romance imprint showed me, but the sorry I feel for utterly hollow human beings.

      I once encountered a short, scrawny, blond, beardless guy at a Meatpacking District club, who claimed to be Trey Anastasio of Phish, scheduled to perform at MSG that weekend. (Anastasio was of average height and weight, brown-haired, and bearded.) I was buzzed enough to play along, wondering if he would use his imposture to try to get sex, scalp some over-priced tix–what?

      He did none of the expected things. Just said he had to go play his show, and left the club. Wanted second-hand admiration, or just needed to fool people, who knows?

      Sarem may be trying to get a movie deal, royalties, NYT status, as fringe benefits, but what she needs most of all is to convince herself and everybody else that she exists. Because she doesn’t. There is no one there.

      Even being a great villain would be a step up.

      December 16, 2017
      |Reply
  26. “You come at the queen you’d best not miss.” -Bitches the Cat

    I do so enjoy it when you gently correct the errors of some “author”. You were possibly too kind to the little lying cheat. As far as I can see poor, put-upon Lani isn’t very good at anything, except maybe conning the clueless into believing she’s the victim. I’m betting she’s been a Professional Victim much of her adult life, I mean, why bother with legit work if you can scam and cheat?

    Along with authors, readers, and the publishing industry, Lani has insulted those of us in entertainment and construction. When did research become something to avoid at all costs?

    Soon Lani will probably drift on to other, greener seeming pastures and her littler crapsterpiece sink out of sight and mind. Can’t happen soon enough.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  27. Sarah
    Sarah

    It’s incredibly sad, also, Lani, that you’re unable to form meaningful relationships with other women and see us all as the enemy – at least as you’ve written every female character that isn’t your stand-in or her mother. I’m a “rough and tumble” girl myself in general but I fucking cherish my friendships with women so much. To be the ultimate “cool girl” you ought to be able to have good times with any gender, not just dudes. Mid to late thirties might be too late to change your ingrained misogyny, but I sure hope not. Also, I’m forty, in case you want to try to disparage me as if I’m not your fucking peer.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
    • I think that’s what makes me the saddest about all this, really. The 15 minutes of fame will come and go.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
      • Sarah
        Sarah

        So true. And then she’ll just be stuck with herself, alone. Because American Pie probably won’t stick around, either.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
  28. Jo
    Jo

    I am in awe that someone like Lani exists. I just can’t believe that someone this dellusional, morally bankrupt and petty can be real. As a self-insert character in her book, she’s unbearably vain. As a real life actual person who lives and breathes, she is almost an spectacle to watch. Like a train wreck. I know it’s bad to wish someone as fake and evil stays in the public eye, because they shpuld be starved from the attention that feeds their evilness, but I feel like the world would be less entertaining without Lani trying to con her way into fame and fortune.

    That’s the nicest thing I can say about her.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  29. endorphinique
    endorphinique

    I’d love to pull a Brooks Sherman-and-the-book-sleuths move for you, Jenny, and buy you a drink whenever you’re in NYC for this spectacular takedown.

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  30. I don’t even need dessert tonight because this was so delicious.

    (Okay, I’m not actually skipping dessert, but this was amazing.)

    December 16, 2017
    |Reply
  31. VGK
    VGK

    I’ve been reading your recaps since the beginning and enjoy them immensely, and I didn’t think anything would happen that could make this whole thing better…

    But this. THIS is the twist I didn’t know I wanted or needed. I wish I had more to say, but this whole scenario has rendered me speechless.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  32. SofiaThatB*tch
    SofiaThatB*tch

    You are my fucking hero. Even talking to her in a sympathetic manner is no use. If you’re not for her, you’re just a big bad bully. Zani Larem is just so into her own shit that she either doesn’t know right from wrong anymore… or she’s just the lowest dreg of humanity. I’m going with the latter.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • SofiaThatB*tch
      SofiaThatB*tch

      On a more serious note, Lani, you are seriously fucked up for thinking that your shit-fit-only-for-garbage book deserves to be in any list that appreciates actually great books. It is insulting to writers everywhere who practice and hone their craft. You yourself acknowledge it’s not the “best book ever” so stop making excuses.

      Blood, sweat, and tears Lani. None of which you sacrificed. Instead you decided to get your book in through a technicality, and in a highly devious and doubtable way at that. So screw you and your feelings and shove em somewhere we don’t have to see them.

      Gahd.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
  33. Miimers
    Miimers

    Just as a side note: B&N, Madison-West‏, who is for some ungodly reason hosting Zardos at a book signing event and trying to drum up interest via tweeting, was retweeted 11 times, at least 6 of which were accounts by Zardos, 1 by the American pie guy and 3 were paid/sockpuppet accounts for retweet traffic. 1 was not listed.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Miimers
      Miimers

      That should say “was hosting” as the tweets were from September. My bad.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        oh, so you missed it then? luckily for you someone *did* go to the signing. Zani and American Pie were a half hour late, gave a long pretentious lecture about how “this is how the music world works and thus this is how the book world works and in conclusion you don’t know anything” and it was then Zani declared, “it’s not my fault Angie Thomas is black!”

        i am trying to remember the specific hashtag so you can see what went down. my favorite part was when a man came up to the signing booth, asked what the book is about, Zani went, “it’s about magic!” and the guy, clearly expecting more than a sentence of vague description, went “oh” and walked away.

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        #23hourBS

        XD go read it, loads of fun.

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
  34. River
    River

    Ahhhhhh hahaha. Reading this made me laugh and then I read it again out loud to my group as we sipped wine. And they laughed. Awww poor Lani, everyone is so mean and critical of your book…. which no one has the right to be. Because when a book makes it to the NY Times best sellers list it automatically puts them outside the realm of criticism. If ONLY us peasants could understand that. Someday this world will be as it should be and you can cut off all our heads for accidentally planting white roses…But until then you’ll have to suffer the searing burn of Jenny’s epically well written and investigated reply to your sad flailings.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  35. Anyone else shipping VegasPerformer/John Baron?

    Sorry if the constant comparisons to President 45 are getting redundant, but I swear to fucking god they have so much in common, from racism to attacks on the New York Times to inventing alter-egos who exist to defend their names.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Rhiannon
      Rhiannon

      Possibly both narcissists? That’s the feeling I get about her and Trump. I’m definitely no expert though.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
    • Athena
      Athena

      Oh, I keep likening her to Laurell K. Hamilton. The comment here is even giving me flashbacks to LKH’s Dear Negative Reader, where she flat out tells the people that don’t absolutely adore her books that they should go read stuff that doesn’t make them think, and that obviously she must still be writing excellent books because people are still buying them. Well, were still buying them. Her sales took a steady nose-dive not long after DNR got posted.

      While I do think that an author should welcome feedback, getting offended when someone dislikes your work and confronting it like this doesn’t make the author look good, or professional, or even mature.

      December 20, 2017
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        I wasn’t a big Amy Sohn fan when she was writing for NYPress, but I had to admire the way she took all her negative reviews and POSTED them on her home page. THAT takes ‘nads.

        December 20, 2017
        |Reply
  36. Crystal
    Crystal

    OH SNAP

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  37. Michael
    Michael

    Hooboy, she’s pulling the “Let’s see you do better!” card. Well, I did do better. I didn’t publish a bad novel, because I accepted my limitations. I didn’t lie to the public for monetary gain multiple times. I didn’t make false accusations against Angie Thomas.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  38. Leigh Garred
    Leigh Garred

    My thought is that if automation breaks down, or doesn’t work right “all the time” why would it still be in shows? Wouldn’t it create a larger liability for the shows and casinos?

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  39. MotherFUCKER. She actually used a tragic death to try to prove her (demonstrably false) point. One of my friends from grad school works on KA, has for years, and Sarah’s death was a terrible, earth-shaking event for everyone who was involved with the show. Nobody just blew it off as something that happens. And nobody should be talking about it like it’s some sort of accepted risk on a Cirque show.
    I worked on costumes for the infamous ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’, and that clusterfuck of accidents and injuries sounds more like what she thinks all shows are. There were legit issues with the way the stunts were planned and learned there BECAUSE they lacked Cirque’s experience with doing these things safely. Cirque does not just merrily risk their performers’ safety. Even if they didn’t give a shit about them personally, there’s a limited supply of truly outstanding athletes and artists at that level.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Artemis
      Artemis

      Oh man, you’re right, the show in her book is basically Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark does Vegas.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
    • katiedidwhat
      katiedidwhat

      I’ve been wondering about this reading through the re-caps. I know since about 2009, a lot of Cirque performers and productions are covered by AGVA, and the new production on Broadway paired with Equity last year so that all the performers could be covered by one union or the other. And since that show is on Broadway, its crew will probably be IATSE. That’s a lot of union safety regulations to comply with- keeping people safe is awesome.

      So, since you mention Spider-Man, I’m extra intrigued at who the Cirque crew are if not typically IATSE/Equity. I knew a guy who had an MFA in Technical Direction and BA in Physics who was approached by Cirque, and I don’t even know in what capacity, but he didn’t take the job. I know from reading their job postings that even their low level automation and other technical positions are still really rigorous, but it still surprises me that they aren’t the union contracts I’m familiar with. If Cirque is like, “um, no, we are WAY more stringent than IATSE and Equity,” great! Especially because that would call so much more bullshit on our, “everybody gets hurt, that’s how it is!” Pouty McAuthorface. But also because that would really help explain the colossal and repeatedly unfortunate mess that was Spider-Man (which I only know about third and fourth hand).

      I know circus performers. I know actors. I know Equity stage managers. I know IATSE members and technicians with advanced degrees. And almost NONE of that experience sounds like *anything* I’m seeing coming out of this book. Unless, maybe, you were the child/partner/pet (so many theatre dogs) of someone who was actually involved at a high enough level that you were occasionally allowed to wander into the theatre to watch rehearsals but didn’t actually do anything or have any solid idea of what you were observing.

      Man, does this book make more sense if Zenana is actually a stray dog Tad brought in off the street, or something?

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        My vocal coach who still lives in NYC told me about “Spider-Man: Turn Off You Brain,” as he called it. People in the performing arts, from B’way to non-union church basements in Bensonhurst, were OUTRAGED at the way performers were put at risk for that thing. That show caused career-ending injuries, which to many performers is worse than killing you outright.

        As for athletes, people on the gymnastics team at my college were horrified by injuries, even if it moved them up a spot on an event. #1. you wanted to progress because you were getting better, not because someone got hurt; #2. it might be you in a neck brace next.

        So add actors and athletes to authors on the list of groups where Lansdale doesn’t really belong.

        One of these things is not like the others….

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
      • Drea C
        Drea C

        Zani being a dog would sure make those kisses with Mac very different…..

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Yeah. The dog would show more enthusiasm for licking someone’s face. XD

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Man, does this book make more sense if Zenana is actually a stray dog Tad brought in off the street, or something?

        It’d be way more entertaining! She’s basically a McGuffin anyway; might as well make her this irresistibly cute dog that everyone wants (if they like dogs.) We could say that she was abused by Dela or some other previous owner, and that’s why she automatically growls at women. And the “conflict” would make more sense. Like, not in the same way, but it’d explain why no one asks the dog for an opinion. She could still indicate a preference, but maybe she’s so torn because everyone gives her so much affection and she can’t make up her doggy mind! XD

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Dogs get terribly upset if someone is injured, so that still doesn’t work. The big ones will try to rescue you, and the little ones will scamper around licking your face because that’s their way of kissing it and making it better.

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Hrmm, that’s very true. The dog would still be more sympathetic than Zade was! 😀

            However, if Sofia was injured and the dog had some internal conflict regarding this (I want to help, I saved her, but she’s big and scary and must be mean, oh no), or Sofia scared the dog when she pushed it away, that would be WAY more interesting than what we got. Plus, it’d make sense for the crew to spare a little time scratching behind her ears and praising her for saving Sofia when she has knee-jerk reactions to women in general (so to speak.)

            Also, this makes more sense regarding the dog noticing something was wrong, but no one paid enough attention. It wouldn’t need to be psychic. Maybe it heard gears starting and it panicked, but then when Sofia began to fall, the doggie instincts kicked in and it jumped into the water to save her from drowning after Sofia was knocked unconscious!

            I mean, I don’t remember what else would need to change to make the accident better overall, I know tons of people made comments. I’m just pointing out the basics of how a dog that can’t talk would make the plot better and it would explain why we need her narration at all if that stayed. And even if not, if it becomes the third person only, other characters have to conjecture about why she’s reacting the way she is.

            A silent MC is a great solution: making her a dog solves a lot of problems and the rest could be edited further anyway.

            December 18, 2017
          • Dove
            Dove

            Edit: I wish we had the ability to edit. I mean, what to change besides the obvious regulation following and treating the situation as something serious. My point was mostly about the changes the dog MC would bring to the plot. Hell, in retrospect, if the dog was psychic, I’d find that easier to believe and more amusing for a fantasy story. It would certainly be unique while calling upon research involving animals somehow seeming to know about certain events in advance. There’s some precedent for that at least. Plus it’d be funny to have an aromantic love triangle and the trope could be played with or gently teased. XD

            December 18, 2017
      • Dove
        Dove

        I forgot to add, Zani isn’t a poodle (or some kind of poodle mix.) On top of growling at women, Tad’s wife is allergic to dog dander, so Tad can’t keep the dog, which is what sparks the whole mess in the first place.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Sadly, when I think of animal narrators, my first thought is Black Beauty, and I doubt very much any Sarem stand-in could match that beloved quadruped.

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
        • Drea C
          Drea C

          Hands down a better, more logical story than the one in the book. Psychic dog Zani for the win!

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
  40. Amanda
    Amanda

    Although I haven’t published a book, I feel Lani’s behavior is what separates real writers from hobbiests. I just imagine first books published generally have a couple cringe moments but there is a learning moment, and you -learn- from it. Those moments stick out and you try to improve them. She should be objectively looking at her work and say, “This went over like a lead balloon so now I will work on it.” She spends so much time defending her book but I am guessing she isn’t working on the second one. That could be her redemption by taking her time,buckling down and get a better second story out there.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      It could be her redemption, but she’s too busy defending her first book, instead of accepting criticism about what went wrong. If the second novel is any better, it’ll be because Lani Sarem hired a ghostwriter and took a more hands-off approach. Otherwise, it’ll be just as bad as this one. She’s refusing to learn from her mistakes and until she does, she can’t get better. 🙁

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
  41. Mydog'sPA
    Mydog'sPA

    Guy, guys. Save your breath. You’re going around in circles arguing with a naive incompetent writer like this. You might as well be singing a song:

    There’s a hole in the story, dear Jenny, dear Jenny
    There’s a hole in the story, dear Jenny, a hole.

    Then fix it, dear Lani, dear Lani, dear Lani
    Then fix it, dear Lani, fix it.

    With what shall I fix it, dear Jenny, dear Jenny?
    With what shall I fix it, dear Jenny, with what?

    With a villain, dear Lani, dear Lani, dear Lani.
    With a villain, dear Lani, fix it.

    What is a villain, dear Jenny, dear Jenny?
    What is a villain, dear Jenny, say what?

    Character driven action, dear Lani, dear Lani, dear Lani.
    Character driven action, dear Lani, fix it.

    What is action, dear Jenny, dear Jenny?
    What is action, dear Jenny, say what?

    Plot! , dear Lani, dear Lani, dear Lani
    Plot, dear Lani, dear Lani, fix it.

    What is plot, dear Jenny, dear Jenny?
    What is plot, dear Jenny, say what?

    It’s the motherfucking story, dear Lani, dear Lani, dear Lani!
    It’s the story, dear Lani, fix it!

    But there’s a hole in the story, dear Jenny, dear Jenny
    There’s a hole in the story, dear Jenny, a hole.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  42. Oz
    Oz

    Is it weird that I kind of want to read Sarem take down one of Jenny’s books? Not because I think it would be well-written, but because I want to watch her scramble to meet Jenny’s level of precision put downs and try to find as many things to criticise as Jenny has? It’d be like an even worse Cinema Sins.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Weird, no; kind of sadistic, though.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
  43. yogacat
    yogacat

    Do you think that now Lani is reading your site that she will learn to improve her writing flaws?

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • SofiaThatB*tch
      SofiaThatB*tch

      She doesn’t believe she needs to improve. She said it herself. She says it’s not good but since SOME people enjoyed it, it must be enough. That fucking troll.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Yeah, that’s the real problem: Lani Sarem explicitly doesn’t want to put in the effort. There’s no way she cares enough about her writing if she allowed her novel to be published in the state that it is, and she keeps defending that choice while asking friends/hired hands to put in a good word on respective sites. (I doubt the vast majority of her positive reviews are legitimate.)

        One reviewer on Amazon.com pointed out that dyslexia, mentioned in chapter 0, wasn’t portrayed realistically at all in H4M. Lani Sarem turned up to respond and she flat-out lied about this being addressed in later chapters when in reality it never comes up again. Lani knew the reviewer had only read the preview and she was explicitly using that against her. Lani Sarem was trying to get out of acknowledging the dumpster fire that is her novel, and that someone had rightfully been irked by this, even though it was a throw-away detail that she could’ve completely removed and lost nothing. I suspect at least one of her three editors told her to edit that tidbit out and Lani refused. She just wanted to maintain how right she was for keeping it in, no matter how useless it was, even if an actual dyslexic person complained about it.

        Lani Sarem is a horrible author and she’ll never get better unless she changes who she is as a person, which I doubt will happen. She’s too stupid, rude, entitled, condescending, ignorant, lazy, and malicious for that to be easy. She hates effort and improvement would require that. She’s capable of improving because everyone is, but she won’t actually improve because of her bad attitude and her ridiculous superiority complex. Her sock puppet is further proof of this.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
        • Mike
          Mike

          I keep almost talking about this, but then choosing to remove it from my comments for various reasons, but god DAMN Sarem really REALLY reminds me of one of my old bosses. Like, a LOT.

          My old boss managed to trick an old rich man into giving her her own TV channel (not a typo) in part by lying about her ability to run said TV channel. She claimed she could build an entire website from scratch by herself (she can’t even hashtag properly on Twitter), had experience in production (she’d been a producers personal assistant for 3 months, but given how little she knew about production I’m guessing even that long was a lie) and that she’s an actress so she could host/star in the shows to keep costs down (she claimed to have spent a year in a prestigious acting school in New York, but in reality had taken a weekend course there while visiting the country on vacation, and she can’t act for shit). She also claimed to have a ton of celeb contacts she could use for promotional purposes (turned out to be just people she was following on Twitter that she didn’t actually know, D-list celebs that no one cared about, or people she had pissed off who no longer wanted anything to do with her but she’d technically known them at one point. Sound familiar yet?).

          She too would pad her work to make it seem more impressive than it was if you looked at the word count instead of the content. She too would get excessively defensive when anyone pointed out her ignorance. She too would lie and deflect and try and make herself sound like a victim in any and every way possible. She too didn’t care at all about the quality of what she was putting out, only that she could say ‘I have released X! Be impressed! Give me more prestigious things to put on my resume that makes me sound better at a party!’ And that’s what it came down to for her, and I’ll bet anything, for Sarem.

          It’s not about putting out something they can be proud of. They’d actually PREFER no one read/watch their stuff because having an audience that actually pays attention means they have to try harder and they don’t want to do that (boss wouldn’t agree to any show idea that would take more than one day to film per episode, not for budget reasons but, in her own words, ‘that’s too much work’). They just want to SOUND impressive when they list their ‘accomplishments’ at a party. They want to be interviewed. They want to go to fancy events. They want all the trappings of fame without having to do the work or have any of the talent. And everyone that tries to take that from them is the enemy.

          Sarem doesn’t want to be a good writer. She doesn’t even want to be a good actress. She wants to be famous. She couldn’t just be a psychic, she had to try and start her own entire psychic collective! She couldn’t just manage a successful band, she tried to use tricks to make them HUGE! She couldn’t just write a book, it had to be a best seller! And in the promotion for all of those things she made damn sure that you know that she has celebrities for friends.

          She wants people to fawn over her, and be impressed by her. To interview her and invite her to do talks and seminars. And anyone that isn’t validating her is a threat. That’s why she cared enough about Jenny’s blog to make this post. But also why she couldn’t come and do it as herself. She had to make it look like she has fans, because that matters more than the book does. She needs people to think that people love her, because maybe then those people will want her around. She doesn’t even care if they like her, only that they think she’s important enough to invite to the party.

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Sounds right to me! I wouldn’t be surprised if your experience with your old boss has given you some considerable insight into what makes Lani Sarem tick. I’m sure there are some differences, but the modus operandi sounds similar enough and she definitely wants that fame and attention without caring about how she gets it (or if people read her book.)

            Do you think she’ll actually give up now that her sock puppet has failed or do you think she’ll keep trying to fight the Jealous Haters Book Club? XD

            December 18, 2017
          • Mike
            Mike

            If even one person had jumped in with her she probably would have made a come back, but I’ll bet she’ll just go off to sulk somewhere about how mean Jenny is. Her thwacking was too thorough. If she’s feeling particularly bold she’ll post somewhere about how big a meany Jenny is and try and rally other people to badmouth her, but I suspect she’ll want as few people as possible to know this blog exists. She DEFINITELY read the post though. 100%.

            Sadly though people like that do have a bad habit of failing upward. This book will not at all be the last time she pulls this type of con and she will continue to get the attention she craves. My old boss managed to milk that channel for 2 years without producing a single episode of a single show and leveraged it to get a job being a live producer for a sport show and a new job at one of the Big Three studios after the channel was finally officially killed. Makes me wish I was able to lie like she can so I could explain why I spent an entire year (I was the 4th producer hired to try and get shit done) producing multiple shows without so much as a demo reel to show for it… Ah well, at least I won’t spend my entire life feeling like I’m being attacked by anyone and everything, and someday I will succeed, by my own merit as a producer and story teller, having worked on something I’m genuinely proud to put out to the world. (I’m trying really hard not to be bitter about the situation 😛 )

            December 18, 2017
          • Dove
            Dove

            If she’s feeling particularly bold she’ll post somewhere about how big a meany Jenny is and try and rally other people to badmouth her, but I suspect she’ll want as few people as possible to know this blog exists.

            Haha yeah. Very few people will stand by her if they know the truth and have a conscience. I hope. Maybe she’ll try discussing this in the various author Facebook groups.

            Sadly though people like that do have a bad habit of failing upward.

            True. 🙁 That said, it sounds like your old boss was much better at it (so to speak…) Although I say that without checking how long Lani Sarem kept her music industry jobs, for example. I suspect that was a failing up career for her, though she did get fired eventually. Definitely sounds like the old boss was a much better liar… And I really shouldn’t be praising that, but it’s like… if you’re going to be one, at least be good at it. Somehow being poorly lied to is more offensive, I guess because that suggests how bright they think everyone else is.

            Like the saying goes, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

            (I’m trying really hard not to be bitter about the situation )

            I don’t blame you. It’s hard not to be bitter when people cheat to get what they want. But yeah, one day you’ll have some excellent accomplishments under your belt, instead of imaginary ones like these liars do! And hopefully you’ll have met lots of awesome people to share them with, who’ll be genuinely impressed. 😀

            December 18, 2017
          • Sarah
            Sarah

            Wait! Was your boss Sondra Prill? If so tell her to come out if hiding and put out more covers!

            December 18, 2017
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            Think you’ve nailed it. Been reading about Malignant Narcissism, and one incident involved a woman who had been using her position as a psychiatrist to gaslight some patients for fun, as well as pitting her co-workers against each other. It turned out she had faked all her credentials, but the facility employing her had to send her off without publicity, to avoid lawsuits from all the patients who might have been damaged by her (or their families, or in worst cases, estates). It was noted that she was fully intelligent enough to have acquired the credentials she’d been faking, but enjoyed putting one over on people more than she would the actual degree.

            It’s’ not just laziness. They really do like to see how much they can get other people to swallow. They will work much harder at THAT than they would have to in order to achieve something in reality.

            December 19, 2017
          • Mike
            Mike

            “It’s’ not just laziness. They really do like to see how much they can get other people to swallow. They will work much harder at THAT than they would have to in order to achieve something in reality.”

            This is so accurate and baffling. Old boss would spend three times as much time and energy to make it look like she’d done work than it would have taken to actually do the work. It confused the fucking hell out of me consistently.

            “one day you’ll have some excellent accomplishments under your belt, instead of imaginary ones like these liars do! And hopefully you’ll have met lots of awesome people to share them with, who’ll be genuinely impressed. ”

            Thank you 🙂 I certainly hope so!

            “Wait! Was your boss Sondra Prill? If so tell her to come out if hiding and put out more covers!”

            XD Alas, no. I’d have definitely named names if that were the case! The woman I worked for isn’t even 30 yet, which makes the situation all the more baffling.

            December 19, 2017
          • Dove
            Dove

            It’s’ not just laziness. They really do like to see how much they can get other people to swallow. They will work much harder at THAT than they would have to in order to achieve something in reality.

            Yeah, I get that. Mike’s boss definitely sounds like a narcissist or someone in that vein for sure and I know it’s common for that type of person. As he said, it’s all about sounding awesome and not actually being awesome, a facade without anything behind the veneer. And if they’re clever and sociopathic enough they’ll definitely toy with people because most of them have no empathy or sympathy for others.

            But Lani Sarem is dumb as hell, even if she is a malignant narcissist. I don’t have the credentials for a diagnosis, and besides, there could be something else at play, like borderline personality disorder, which is apparently more common in women. And of course, none of that would excuse her for being a nasty person, even if that was the case.

            There’s nothing clever about what Lani Sarem did or how she did it. She didn’t even do the dirty work herself to cheat her way onto the NYT, she paid a known company to do it for her. She can’t even sock puppet or gaslight properly. Let’s face it… if Mike’s boss had written this book, it probably would’ve had better narration, even if it contained many of the same flaws. Hell, Mike’s boss probably wouldn’t have bothered with a novel. She would’ve been able to convince a fucking producer to take her script and get the thing greenlit! That’s the difference… Mike’s former boss is slick and Lani Sarem can only dream of being that way. Lani Sarem is too dumb to impress anyone with her schemes, considering we’re just laughing at how ridiculous and pathetic her failures are. She didn’t even work as hard as she could’ve to cheat… she was on cruise control for that.

            I know it sounds bad, but Mike’s boss is more admirable because even if she’s a cheater and a liar, it sounds like she puts in more effort than Lani Sarem does. She doesn’t deserve what she gained, but she is at least pretty daring and good at spinning the threads for her web. On the other hand, it seems like Lani Sarem cuts corners and doesn’t take any truly big risks. She wants everything to be easy, even her unscrupulous climb to the top. She hasn’t worked that hard at the interviews or the Amazon reviews, I don’t think.

            My best guess is that Lani is a bit more a product of the time we live in and while she has the trappings of a narcissist and might even be a full-blown narcissist, she’s an even more sad and pathetic version at best. No one will be drawn in by her mind games unless they’re determined to be her friend and they overlook her dumb ploys, or they have similarly bankrupt ethics, or they want to band together against a perceived common enemy and don’t interact otherwise. The only people she can deceive are other really lazy people because a single google search reveals everything (doesn’t even matter what the lie was, that seems to be the case.) People have to give her a significant benefit of the doubt first and she’ll shatter that pretty easily, with enough time, because Lani Sarem can’t lie believably. She can’t act!

            But then again, I couldn’t watch that youtube clip for longer than 16 seconds because as usual, the joke wasn’t funny, it made no sense, it was insulting to her readers (I’m assuming that was the reference because otherwise, it was a non-sequitur), it was immediately boring, and they both look creepy as hell. Plus the video quality only went up to 240p when I think 460p is the low standard? So maybe I’m horribly biased. Perhaps she’s more clever in person than I give her credit for, but I have a hard time believing that. Even American Pie didn’t think his dumb joke was funny so she clearly doesn’t understand humor at all (another potential narcissist trait, from what I know, but still.) :p

            I mean, how else did she get caught? I can’t fathom that the company she hired picked those numbers for her. I can only assume Lani Sarem was stupid enough to tell them to just do it as fast and furious as possible so it coincided with the book release and she picked a randomly high number of sales so it would seem like she was super amazing. And the people she hired may have tried to talk her out of that, but she refused to back down, so they shrugged, hoped no one would pay much attention to how new the book was, and took Lani’s money.

            Sorry, I just… I can’t believe Lani Sarem is smart. I just can’t. It breaks my perception of reality too hard.

            December 19, 2017
          • Mike
            Mike

            “I know it sounds bad, but Mike’s boss is more admirable because even if she’s a cheater and a liar, it sounds like she puts in more effort than Lani Sarem does.”

            I *really* wish it wasn’t disgustingly unethical to link to any of her things to disprove this XD I doubt you’d be any more capable of getting through her acting reel than that clip from Sarem. Sadly my boss (let’s just call her ‘Jade’) is every bit as incompetent as Sarem. The only thing she is good at is having 18 million back up lies to cover her for when she’s called out (most of which involved how you couldn’t get mad at her ‘cuz she has a sick relative so you’re being a meanie). And printing off stacks of paper so big that you’d never ever read any of it to make sure you could never notice she didn’t put in any work. I have no idea how she managed to get the new job because it would take 5 minutes to notice that everything she claims she’s done is bullshit.

            December 19, 2017
          • Dove
            Dove

            I have no idea how she managed to get the new job because it would take 5 minutes to notice that everything she claims she’s done is bullshit.

            LOL Okay, fair enough. I guess they’re both generic narcissistic people and they’re both pretty dumb but enough people give them the benefit of the doubt, or don’t do the research, for them to slip by in life. Although who knows? Maybe “Jade” puts in more effort to cover up her claims some other way. I dunno. If you said it’d only take 5 minutes, I believe you, but perhaps she’s better at getting people to take her word for it. That could explain how she got hired again but maybe not. Maybe she has better connections… or she’s a Pointy-Haired Boss ala Dilbert. XD

            Lani certainly tried that trick of having a stack of paper, to make her novel so dense that people wouldn’t want to read it, but then she was dumb enough to get outraged attention and people got curious. And this being the internet age, plenty of folks were astonished at how bad it was and they wanted to share the experience, so they created a review to warn others or just entertain us.

            December 20, 2017
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            The long and the short of it is Lanceliar could have written at least ten adequate stories with the same time and energy she devoted to scamming this pile of horse-pucky onto the NYT list, defending it under various sock-puppets, and whining about THUG.

            A half-dozen possibilities:
            1. Her heroine is a mixed-race child from a long line of magicians, and either excluded and desperate to get in, or rebelling against her destiny. Or both (mixed feelings).
            2. Her anti-heroine is selfish, vain, and ungrateful at the beginning, but grows (i.e., Scarlett O’Hara gradually coming to appreciate Melanie).
            3. Her anti-heroine is a sociopath from start to finish, but both her rise and her fall have nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with a hypocritical society’s random whims (Becky Sharpe).
            4. Sofia notices her relationship and workplace being taken over by a newcomer, whom no male seems to notice is evil (and completely lacking in any discernible talent).
            5. A young woman with magic abilities who was bullied and shunned in her hometown goes on a mission to defend bullied and shunned teens (like Lemonade Girl).
            6. A young man who’s already had his heart broken is attracted to a woman he’s just met, but doesn’t know if he can trust her—particularly when nasty things keep happening (My Cousin Rachel).

            And we could all think of more (and many have already done so).

            December 20, 2017
          • Dove
            Dove

            And we could all think of more (and many have already done so).

            Yeah! I think we need a list somewhere of all the rewrite suggestions people have come up with (including the ones you mentioned already, of course.) There’s just so many and they’re all great. And as Jenny gets closer to the “twist” at the end, I foresee there being more. 😀

            If some of the commenters collaborated and wrote short stories based on these ideas, we’d probably have a book as big as H4M but it’d be a lot more entertaining. The hard part would be making sure it didn’t get too samey but I think there’s enough variation to be had. Stray dog psychic Zadie would certainly help out with that (as would anti-hero Zoolittle and Sofia protag… plus parents dealing with an unruly magical teen/kid daughter. Just so many once you start branching out. Lambo Girl and Lemonade Girl help a lot too.)

            That’d be pretty amusing. “Hey, Lani. We took your advice and published a book together! Yeah, it’s on the NYT right now and it’s been going strong for awhile, 3.5 on Amazon and Good Reads. We didn’t dedicate the book to you, we chose Angie Thomas for that, but rest assured that you’re in the acknowledgements.”

            December 20, 2017
          • Jamoche
            Jamoche

            That reminds me of Sandra Lee, of “Semi-Homemade” cooking infamy. She’d claimed to have trained at Le Cordon Bleu – in reality, she’d taken a two-week class at one of their offshoot branches in Canada.

            December 23, 2017
        • Crystal M
          Crystal M

          From reading about Sarem’s behavior, I wonder if she is a pathological narcissist. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have the medical qualifications to make the call, but my mother has NPD and Sarem’s behavior is similar to hers. The wanting great things with little or no effort just because they “deserve” it is a big sign.

          Narcissists can be smart and stupid at the same time, like Sarem and my mother, because they lack empathy and therefore can’t correctly predict how other people will feel or react about things. They genuinely believe we will fall for their crap.

          Being stuck in a certain time period is another weird thing they do, not just in a nostalgic sense, but in a weird way, as if they don’t realize time has moved on. My mom’s mind is still stuck in the 70s. Lulu seems stuck in the 90s.

          This is all just speculation. Lulu could just be the run-of-the-mill entitled snotty white girl.

          December 20, 2017
          |Reply
  44. Lani’s head is so far up her own ass that she needs to install a window above her belly button so she can see out. Damn.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  45. Alyssa
    Alyssa

    This was beautiful

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  46. Artemis
    Artemis

    I may not have published a novel ever, but my one year working as an actual costume/wardrobe person apparently gave me more knowledge about how the live entertainment industry works than Olympic Athlete Vegas Performer here seems to have gained ever.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  47. Arlene
    Arlene

    This was so satisfying.

    I know you told her not to come back but I almost want her to just so I can witness another epic take down.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
  48. RodeoBob
    RodeoBob

    Most of us are athletes, a lot of us Olympic athletes and we know what we signed up for. Injuries happen during the shows all the time.

    OK, this part right here? This is where Lani crossed over from “Dunning-Krueger display” to “horrible human being”.

    To try and conflate “routine, minor injuries associated with athletic performance” with “preventable accidents caused by unsafe working conditions” is the product of a combination of gaping ignorance and sociopathic indifference to others.

    “Injuries happen all the time with performers. Who cares what caused it, they’re getting paid to perform, and if some of them lose an arm or leg in the process, well, they knew what they were signing up for.”

    I’ve worked with some genuinely horrible human beings before. Lani Sarem, you are a genuinely horrible human being. You don’t have to remain one, but right now, the place you’re in will only lead you to further misery.

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Mydog'sPA
      Mydog'sPA

      Actually, this is also shown in the book where Mac (ostensibly the safety manager) shows little concern after Sophie falls and clearly has no clue what OHSA procedures are to be followed. The author’s (Sarem’s) ignorance is showing up in both places.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
    • Drea C
      Drea C

      I wish there was a way to up-vote comments here. This is perfect.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • Upon reading “there should be a way to upvote” my first instinct was to try to upvote.

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      We also know Lani is no athlete. If she was, Zade would’ve reminded the audience about it fifty million times.

      “My hair was colored blue, green, and orange. I was also a long distance runner, an Olympic swimmer, and I knew kung-fu.”

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Ever met an athlete or actor who thought something was perfect just as it was?

        It’s usually more like, “Should have piked sooner/later, knee wasn’t straight, if only I had delivered the line THIS way, I need to switch from chest voice to head voice three notes sooner to avoid that break in that song,” etc.

        This goes for sports try-outs, competitions, auditions, and performances.
        You’ll have moments where you think the duet went well or that’s the best long-hang kip-up you’ve ever done, but there will be other things where you wish you had just tweaked A or B a little.

        You”re not supposed to agonize over it, but you are going to think of ways you can improve.

        Well, that’s what most of us do…..

        December 17, 2017
        |Reply
        • Amy
          Amy

          I’m no athlete, so I can’t give an opinion on it, but that style of thinking could be applied to any type of professional work. I’ve met artists who still try to improve their art, even while it’s hanging on the wall of a gallery! I myself sometimes look at old writing and secretly go in and tweek the grammar.

          it says a lot when people go to lani and say, “hey, you need to improve this” and her only response is, “it’s been seen by three editors.”

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
          • mydog'sPA
            mydog'sPA

            My wife was a nationally-ranked epee fencer and used to train 6 hours a day. Even though that life is now over she can’t stay away from the gym or it drives her nuts–she has to go at least 3 to 4 times a week.

            Sarem is no olympic athlete. She doesn’t know the vocabulary for it. And it shows.

            Oh, and now my wife is a writer (MFA UCLA screenwriting). So, yeah, we know a thing or two about writing.

            December 18, 2017
          • Vix
            Vix

            I was also a nationally ranked fencer (many years ago!!!) and have published a non-fiction book, a handful of articles in peer-reviewed journals, and, most recently, a short story because I changed jobs and missed writing.

            And so Lani, I call bullshit on EVERYTHING you are doing. You are absolutely not smarter and more talented than everyone else.

            Furthermore, almost everyone with an exceptional talent WORKS REALLY HARD to make the most of it. So shut up, or go away and put some effort in and come back when you’ve got something worth sharing.

            December 19, 2017
          • Athena
            Athena

            I still say either the three editors are a lie, she’s calling beta readers editors (and by beta readers I mean cherry-picking friends who would praise her prose in a tweet to read the book), or she shopped freelance editors until she found one that gave her the results she wanted.

            And yeah, I think most people tend to be their own worst critics. Twice I’ve shown work I hate to my writing workshop and have gotten praise for it. I still got criticisms and feedback on what could be improved, but it wasn’t where I expected the problems to be. How Zani was comfortable putting this “book” out with her name on the cover, I’ll never understand.

            December 20, 2017
        • You are SO right about athletes and artists thinking that they could have improved on something they did. I did martial arts (jiu-jitsu) when I was growing up and competed. I’m only minimally involved now, but on the rare occasion that I train – and get my ass kicked because I’m out of practice lol – I’m telling myself all the things I needed to do instead of what I did. Same with my music background. When I did my Bachelor of Music, after every performance it was “hnnngggggg that was an awkward and ugly sound on those high notes” while my flute teacher would be telling me that I did great haha.

          Usually I was/am happy overall with how I did (in music, or the fact that I didn’t keel over and die because I’m so out of shape for martial arts), but there’s always one or two things I know I could have done better!

          December 18, 2017
          |Reply
    • Bookjunk
      Bookjunk

      “Well, he knew what he signed up for.” Sound familiar? Smacks of the orange oaf again. They both lack empathy, apparently. And common sense. And decency. And shame. Etc. etc.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth

        For a second I thought you said “orange loaf” and my first though was “that sounds yummy.”

        Not yummy. Not yummy at all.

        December 24, 2017
        |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          haha, yeah, an orange loaf does sound delicious. The other one is just gross.

          December 24, 2017
          |Reply
  49. Crystal
    Crystal

    I particularly like how it starts out as “Hey, I perform in a Vegas show and you’ve got some things wrong” but quickly devolves into “LEAVE ME um LEAVE LANI ALONE!!!1”

    December 17, 2017
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      But it’s even funnier that we ARE leaving Lani alone. We’re not hacking into her facebook, we’re not making fun of her family, we’re not stalking her house ala’ Katharine Hale style. Despite her utter contempt for Lani, Miss Jenny did not dox her.

      We’re judging Lani on things she has done publically and has willingly offered up. That means her stupid book, her stupid interviews, and her stupid public appearances, all of which was meant to be viewed and consumed.

      December 17, 2017
      |Reply
      • River
        River

        Yes! This exactly is what I was thinking last night. She put stuff out in front of the public, not only that she sold it! So we have the right to review and weigh it. This wasn’t the secret self-incert of a women which was never meant to see the light of day; it was a published and promoted book intended to be turned into a movie. Fair game. Also her ill-advised media interactions are also fair game.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
  50. mydog'sPA
    mydog'sPA

    Oh, and in the For-What-It’s-Worth department, the required OSHA procedure to notify them of injuries/illnesses that could indicate hazardous trends is OSHA form 300 (https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy11/sh-22246-11/OSHAForm300.pdf ) that is REQUIRED to be submitted for any injury due to:

    death,

    days away from work,

    restricted work or transfer to another job,

    medical treatment beyond first aid,

    loss of consciousness, or

    a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health
    care professional.

    So why wasn’t Mac thinking he had to fill out the OSHA 300 after Sofie’s fall? That was Mac’s job, after all!!!

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
      • YUP. I work for a large regional opera company now, and in the past few months I’ve filled out paperwork for ‘whacked knee on ironing board shelf’ and ‘hit heel with rolling rack’, AND a near-miss report for ‘tripped over furniture dolly’. An actual life threatening accident would be a HUGE investigation.

        December 18, 2017
        |Reply
        • Azzinita
          Azzinita

          I’ve worked in the theatre/film industry professionally for over ten years now. I’ve had to fill out OSHA forms for bloody splinters. Because there must always be a paper trail, just in case it leads to something worse, is how they always put it.

          Any life-threatening or major accident is an automatic shut-down and investigation. Death? That show is suspended homes, at the very least until authorities or the producers reopen it.

          December 23, 2017
          |Reply
  51. Anon
    Anon

    This.Is.Fantastic.

    Also, no, I haven’t “put out” a book. I was a journalist for many years, so I’m technically published. But I haven’t “put out” a book because it’s difficult to write a book up to my own standards and I would be embarrassed if my name were attached to this.

    “These are just shows in Las Vegas. By the early 1980s, Broadway shows like Cats and Les Miserables already featured automated stage pieces.”

    I graduated from high school in 1995 and I remember people talking about how primitive the Cats setup was when I was in high school.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
  52. Thera Pitts
    Thera Pitts

    Lani Sarem seems as obsessed with Angie Thomas as Donald Trump is with Barack Obama.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
  53. We’re all ABSOLUTELY certain that Lani isn’t like EL James’ best friend or something right? Goddaughter? Apprentice?

    Cause despite their different approaches to it, they both seem hellbent on “revolutionizing” the publishing industry in ways both profoundly convoluted and absurd.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      EL James is shitty but she might have enough literary integrity to snub Lani Sarem for being such a bad author. Lani hates women and wouldn’t play nicely together anyway, unless that woman was promoting her book, which I don’t recall Jenny mentioning. Also, I don’t think EL James is named in the massive acknowledgments list at the end, but I could be wrong about that. Lani Not-Sarem, do you recall? XD

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Nah, once EL James got famous, she cut off all communications with her Twilight fans who helped her. It seems Lani does have some loyalty to the people who like her. or at least dislike Angie Thomas on a certain level.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
      • Q
        Q

        She did? I’d love to read more about EL turning on the people who made her career.

        December 20, 2017
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Speaking of James, remember that commercial for the first 50 Shades movie, where AnaBella says (in self-deprecation), “Look at me,” and Chedward says (trying to look mesmerized by desire), “I am”?

          Retro channel has been showing John Wayne movie from early ’60s called “Hatari.” And guess what dialogue shows up between Wayne and his love interest?

          December 22, 2017
          |Reply
  54. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    As someone who works in the environmental health & safety industry, that part of her rant about workplace injuries made me cringe.

    A death on the job would trigger an immediate OSHA inspection+shut down. So will getting above a certain number of reportable injuries/year.

    Also, no safety guy would allow Sophie to go on stage without a safety harness…unless he wanted to get fired. OSHA would label this a “willful violation” and triple the fines.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      You made me realize another fact: if Charles is “bigger than David Copperfield” then how did this ass-hat get away with having his girlfriend nearly die and it’s not plastered all over the news? Celebrity breakups are always reported and talked about for hours and hours, and yet the near-death of a young, pretty, white woman who is dating the world’s most famous magician doesn’t even get a goddamn get well card??????

      Lani, this isn’t me going through this with a fine-tooth comb, this is goddamn common sense. If your girlfriend gets hurt, you make an effort to see her. If you’re an employer, you make an effort to make sure they’re okay. If your job makes you literal millions of dollars each year, you’re going to be in the news every time you take a shit! The press would’ve eaten Charles ALIVE for neglecting his pretty white girlfriend, and then dumping her for a town psychic and the daughter he’s ignored for a quarter of a century.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
      • Sigyn Wisch
        Sigyn Wisch

        Small point, but is it mentioned that Sofia is white? I’ve heard that name on Latina women before.

        February 12, 2018
        |Reply
  55. M
    M

    Some thoughts:

    1. An actor friend of mine recently had to fill out an accident report for stumbling over some stairs as he exited the stage. He didn’t even fall! He didn’t even stub his toe!

    2. Though the ISP research was certainly gratifying, the horrible sentence (er, fragment) structure was enough to expose Sarem.

    3. I saw an injury happen on stage during a Cirque show. The performer was doing flips propelled by a huge teeter-totter. He appeared to hit his head on the edge of the teeter-totter on his way down (my guess is he didn’t or this wouldn’t have resolved so quickly), and he definitely fell flat on his back on the ground. While performers on other parts of the stage continued (they were probably unaware of the accident), everyone in the vicinity rushed to check on the performer. Within a few minutes, the show was going strong again, but the injured performer’s wellbeing was clearly priority one.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Some years back, the actor playing Judas in a production of “Superstar” was found dead for real after the hanging scene. No one was sure if it was a deliberate suicide or the harness malfunctioned, but it sent shockwaves across the entire performing arts world, not just the cast and crew of that particular production. It still gives me the creeps even to write about it.

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • Vix
        Vix

        That’s awful – the poor cast and crew! I can’t even imagine what that must have been like, or how you’d even start to recover from such an horrific event.

        It’s just another sign of Lani’s self-centeredness that she’s touting an imaginary “the show must go on” line while forgetting that the show is a community, not just a handful of people milling around in the same place.

        December 20, 2017
        |Reply
  56. AJ
    AJ

    Bravo Jenny!

    Sweet jeebus Lani owns a LOT of cheapo domains and she seems to like using a slur in at least one of them, not unlike her twitter handle.

    Since she went through godaddy and most of them were registered last spring/summer I’m willing to bet most of these will be left to expire when she’s hit with the sticker shock of how much it costs to renew them (since they pull you in with the cheap registration fee for the first year and the price goes up after). Ouch.

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
    • AJ
      AJ

      By a ‘lot’ I mean 21 domains.

      December 18, 2017
      |Reply
      • Drea C
        Drea C

        Yep, looks like it. One of them is called ‘handbook for immortals.’ Guess we have the name of the sequel ;). Although she was probably just buying names similar to H4M because it was going to be such a huge hit and she wanted all the good names for herself.

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
    • Did you see on Twitter where someone took her to task for the slur in her handle? She tried a flimsy defense then just stopped resonding….*eyeroll*

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Missed it. What slurs has she been using?

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Probably gypsy because Lani Sarem doesn’t know what the Rroma people are. And while I don’t think that’s common knowledge everywhere, I didn’t know until I did research while reading the Blandbook for Chortles blog about H4M, it’s hardly an excuse if you’re publishing a book and decide to use the term. She could’ve substituted it for Bohemian which is what I think she really means, in retrospect. It’s a less loaded term (I think) and it has the free-spirited feel that she was going for. But this wouldn’t be Lani Sarem if she didn’t double-down on something.

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          The term Gypsy was accepted years ago: Gypsy Rose Lee and the show “Gypsy,” inspired by her memoirs, the B’way tradition of the Gypsy Robe (named for chorus members who go from show to show), and Stevie Nicks’ song “Gypsy.”

          However, Sarem refuses to allow her work to be a period piece. Having what she thinks is the latest technology while combining it with language and attitudes that might have gone unremarked years ago, but are considered inflammatory now, is just more reason to wonder in what world she thinks not only her characters but also her real-life self must live.

          December 19, 2017
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Well, yes, but I honestly didn’t know the Rroma were an entire people (not sure what I thought they were… random migrants?) or that they’re still around. I also didn’t know they were targeted in the Holocaust until I did some research… that could be me forgetting history class or bad school books, I really don’t know. Some of them immigrated to the USA, but there’s such a stigma that many have gone under the radar for years. You’re right though. It’s only now with these cultural changes on the rise and more minorities are speaking out about their situation, that some of the Rroma are fighting for recognition and acceptance.

            So I seriously believe at some point Lani Sarem didn’t really know what a gypsy was, other than the vague culture stereotype, but if she had done any research for her book at all or listened to other people when they criticize her twitter handle, she’d know better and yeah, the book might make some sense. Frankly, it’s another missed opportunity. Zade being Rroma could’ve been a great development and stirred up a little conflict too. I mean, it would still require a better author but…

            Sorry for the ramble. I do agree with you. Just clarifying my comment I guess.

            December 19, 2017
          • Amy
            Amy

            if you look on Lani’s very public twitter account, she retweets a LOT of feminism and equal rights stuff. That’s great and all, but it’s quite clear at this point it’s all for looks, and if Lani is a feminist, then she’s a white feminist: she only for equal rights when it’s not inconveniencing HER.

            Several people have told her g-psy is a slur and she has ignored it. That’s not feminism, Lani. There are some things you cannot change or control, but you can change your twitter feed. But we know she won’t.

            December 19, 2017
        • Sarah
          Sarah

          It kind of bothers me that she throws Jason Momoa out as an example – I know he’s half polynesian and half European, which could ostensibly mean that he DOES have Roma blood (but possibly not)…but whether he does or doesn’t, him using it doesn’t especially make it right for HER to use it.

          December 19, 2017
          |Reply
          • Sarah
            Sarah

            That might be her point, though, in which case the original tweeter was right to mention the “but my friend” wikipedia article. Sorry; in these times, I drink rather heavily and am slow on the uptake (but at least I don’t have Lani Sarem’s lack of figuring where the wind lies).

            December 19, 2017
  57. StarrDream
    StarrDream

    I’ve been lurking here for a while ever since Google pointed me towards your blog, and I just love every snarky word you write. I don’t find a lot of MSTers snarking at books line for line so thank fuck I found you, and thank fuck for that amazing speech. You really took the words out of my mouth. I’m working on my own fantasy novel and it really sickens me the way Laaaannneeeee keeps scamming and lying to people. So kudos to you calling her out like this. You rule!

    December 18, 2017
    |Reply
  58. the-great-dragon
    the-great-dragon

    Yesssss. Go off, Jenny.

    December 19, 2017
    |Reply
  59. Anna
    Anna

    I absolutely love this!!!!

    In case you haven’t seen it, I stumbled across this gem on youtube, and it makes me cringe:

    December 19, 2017
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Over and over Lani likes to boast she’s in the entertainment business, she knows more about its inner working than YOU, so YOU should shut up and take her word for it.

      This right here? This is low-ass quality. My PHONE takes better video than this. The audio is crap, the entire exchange is boring and it drags. How is it that two people with such long experience with movies can’t even shoot a decent ten minute video in 2017????

      An argument could be made that this is just a simple vlog and I shouldn’t expect high quality, but that’s a crap excuse because she’s advertising her book and her movie, AND even when I watch regular youtubers, despite many of them have only been doing vlogs for a couple of months, their video quality is a million times better. For two people who have a combination of twenty years experience. this is terrible.

      No effort in her book, no effort in her advertising, no effort at all.

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Dame Darcy (Fantagraphic’s “Meatcake”) did a better video with a trashed Courtney Love back in the ’90s.

        Sorry, I couldn’t watch this one for more than a few seconds.

        I once had a Skype interview with a college, and in addition to testing my outfit, makeup, and room lighting on camera in advance, I put a folding screen behind my chair–knowing that I wouldn’t have time to clean the mess in the room. I’m not a visual thinker, and I’ve done far more on stage than on camera, but I understood that much.

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
    • Heather
      Heather

      Oh my GOD this is horrible. The quality, the fact that they clearly haven’t rehearsed their conversation beforehand, how Tilly Tom and Tiny (or whatever his name is) completely seemed to take over. Uggghhhh. Also I never like to speak ill of things people can’t control, but Lani’s voice reminds me of a stereotypical nerd in an early 90s cartoon.

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Also I never like to speak ill of things people can’t control, but Lani’s voice reminds me of a stereotypical nerd in an early 90s cartoon.

        I didn’t listen long enough, but here’s my theory: she can’t act and she pretends to be a nerd so people will like her since nerds are cool now. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me since she goes to conventions to make money. She probably can control it…

        Otherwise, maybe she watched too many 90s cartoons and internalized it? I mean, we learn how to blend in by listening to the people around us and we tend to have an accent based on the region we’re in, so altering that would require being around new people or basing ourselves on TV/radio/internet. Some of that is probably unintentional, but I don’t believe anything really artificial would be.

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
    • mydog'sPA
      mydog'sPA

      Boy, I’m smelling more than ovine after watching a minute of that. Sarem and her ‘producer’ have no more agency than any character in her book (which is probably why the characters have none) as there’s no ‘call to action’ in the first 60 seconds as to what they want done from the viewer from watching this vlog.

      So, yeah. Not ovine. More like bovine.

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
      • Crystal M
        Crystal M

        That is the most boring video. I couldn’t even finish it. The first thing that came to my mind was, “these people have no idea how to make a promo video.” They’re just rambling about random crap instead of talking about the book. And is it just me or does Lani’s persona seem super fake and put on?

        December 19, 2017
        |Reply
        • Mydog'sPA
          Mydog'sPA

          Well, now you know why none of the characters in her story has any agency (instrumentality): She has none herself!

          December 19, 2017
          |Reply
    • Sarah
      Sarah

      They both seem drunk as hell.

      December 19, 2017
      |Reply
    • Carla
      Carla

      Wow, could only watch about a minute of that! One thing that stood out to me was, “My name is Lani, some people think that it says Lant because of where the water droplet is.” That screams of the cover designer not really caring about the book, because we were taught to look out for that kind of stuff in the pretty basic graphic design diploma that I did.

      December 21, 2017
      |Reply
      • Can someone explain to me why she is so obsessed with the pronouncement of her (and Zoot Suit’s) name?

        December 21, 2017
        |Reply
        • Amy
          Amy

          I understand the frustration of having your name mispronounced, but it’s a *slight* mispronunciation of a two syllable name, and certainly does not garner an entire paragraph to teach people. My real name has four syllables, has a middle-eastern origin, and I live currently in butt-fuck usa, so my name gets mispronounced a LOT, yet I am still less anal retentive than Lani is.

          It’s not that hard to pronounce Zade though. It’s funnier that “Zade” IS the wrong way to pronounce Scheherazade.

          I mispronounce Lani’s name because where I come from, the l-a-n-i spelling always comes out as Lah-knee. So due to cultural differences and my accent, I doubt i will ever pronounce it as Lay-knee.

          December 21, 2017
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            I struggle to say really long names that I’m not remotely familiar with (and it certainly takes longer to memorize them), but I attempt to get it right. I assume as long as I’m trying and get pretty close (and hopefully someday get it mastered) the person in question won’t mind. I think most people don’t care as long as it’s clearly not an insult. I’ve only gotten annoyed when people conflated my name with someone else’s and even then not a whole lot. I don’t think I verbally corrected them either unless it was a case of mistaken identity.

            Also, I’ve always lived in North Carolina and I don’t have a strong Southern accent, but Lah-knee is what I had assumed. As far as I know, it’s the most common pronunciation. I think, though I could be wrong because I skimmed the hell out of that forward, she said it was like “Annie with an L” and it sounds even worse to me. I guess it’s supposed to be “Southern charm” inspired, but IMHO it sounds odd. To each their own, but I don’t think it’s common? Besides, she ain’t no Little Orphan Lannie to be pitied. XD

            I also find it amusing that she pronounced Zade differently. I’m sure she did that intentionally though, to make her MC “extra special” naturally. I think all of this ties into how superficial Zannie is.

            December 22, 2017
          • River
            River

            My real name is also very confusing for people. I always know when my order is up because of the desperate look that crosses their face as they place my coffee on the bar. Then they take a wild stab at it. And I don’t care when it is said wrong. Because it is a weird name and my identity oddly enough isn’t tied to how strangers pronounce it. I prefer to be gracious about it rather then snap at people. A “friend” once rebuked me because I “added” an h to her name which was Sara… Seriously now? That was the beginning of the end of our one sided, passive aggressive friendship.

            December 22, 2017
          • Amy
            Amy

            That’s a good point, there’s a difference between someone who *purposely* mispronounces your name and someone who stumbles. Every time someone mispronounced my name, it was never done out of malice.

            If anybody has mispronounced Lani’s name, I doubt it was ever done to mock or shame, the switch between Lay-knee and Lah-knee is quite understandable.

            The emphasis of pronunicing Zade’s name is a bit more understandable because it is a long name, uncommon, and Zade did live in “centervilles” usa. But it’s annoying because we know the emphasis wasn’t put in due to Zade facing racial discrimination or malice, but because “Zod sounds like a super villian name.”

            (i also think having Clark Kent go out with “zod” would be too fanfic-y for Lani’s tastes)

            December 22, 2017
          • I don’t have a hard name (Andrea) , but it can be pronounced three or four different ways. I’d answer to any version and not take it personally. I would never include a long explanation in my foreword about it and then add one for my character later in the book. It seems like a fixation…

            December 23, 2017
          • Sigyn Wisch
            Sigyn Wisch

            Agreed. My name is frequently mispronounced as well, due to being uncommon in the US, and some people continue to mess it up even after I’ve corrected them, but going on a monologue about the correct pronunciation is a bit much IMO.

            February 12, 2018
  60. Arlene
    Arlene

    All of this reminds me of Rosie Ruiz, the woman who “won” the 1980 Boston Marathon by sneaking in around the last mile, stealing the finish that belonged to Jaqueline Gareau. To this day, Rosie denies she cheated (despite all the evidence against her). Most people suspect she didn’t intend to win, just wanted to be able to say she’d run the race but she miscalculated when to sneak in and came in first. Had she not, nobody would have known (as she apparently also cheated her way through the NYC marathon which qualified her for Boston). I remember watching a documentary on her (which I couldn’t find on YouTube) where she was interviewed in more recent years and she kept saying things like, “I just couldn’t believe all the horrible things people were saying about me without even knowing me!” She either was so delusional that she actually believed she’d deserved to win or she just stuck to her guns because it was somehow less embarrassing to her than admitting to the world that she was a cheater. But everyone already knew she was a cheater, so. . .

    (Btw, Jenny, I’ve been a fan of your blog for about a year now and this post finally got me to actually comment. I almost never comment. On anything. Ever. Love, love, love your blog and really love this post. It said everything I’ve ever wanted to say to this fraud. So, thank you.)

    December 19, 2017
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  61. She reminds me of my first-year students who skated thru high school, and then don’t do any work for my class until they’re in danger of failing. Then they panic-write a paper (one draft, natch, in an hour or two) or attempt a test or presentation, … and when they bomb that, too, they dramatically protest their grade and insist it should be higher because “I worked REALLY HARD ON THIS!”

    Yeah, that’s not how it works, you know.

    Also, we may need to establish the Erika Leonard Memorial Prize for Internalized Misogyny in Fiction and award it annually.

    December 19, 2017
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  62. christine
    christine

    AH-MA-ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    December 20, 2017
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  63. Anna
    Anna

    So I work in PR, and I can absolutely confirm that even minor celebrities do not just wander around venues after public appearances. And I wouldn’t consider either Carrot Top or Wayne Newton to be minor celebrities in Vegas. There would be bodyguards, publicists, managers, etc. At the very least, a handler from the event to make sure they weren’t being approached or followed by fans as they went to their car or whatever. Even at book festivals, most authors have escorts for this very same reason. The idea of just bumping into them at a mall, unescorted after an event, is absurd.

    December 20, 2017
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  64. Carla
    Carla

    Wow, this is such a ridiculous scenario, I’m endlessly fascinated by Lani’s mind and how delusional she seems to be.

    Good news is that from this post I learned that The Boss is free on E book so I immediately downloaded that. I’ve been really enjoying Say Goodbye to Hollywood, so happy I have a book lined up for right after I finish that!

    December 21, 2017
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  65. mydog'sPA
    mydog'sPA

    OK, Jen. Scam Scare is over, I was hoping for another recap before the holidays but that may not pan out as you recover from the scam ordeal.

    Has she gone comatose yet?

    December 21, 2017
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  66. Azzinita
    Azzinita

    Hi Lani.

    I know you’re reading this, so I’d like to speak on behalf of my good friend, who was working on Ka as a rigger when the accident happened all those years ago.

    It was incredibly traumatic for everyone involved. Cirque is an operation that takes safety incredibly seriously, the safety protocols they go through would make your brain come out your ears, and it is a point of pride for everyone involved that they have a safe, healthy working environment.

    So you can go fuck yourself with something sharp, nasty and old, with your lies. My friend has not been the same since the accident, and in fact got out of rigging altogether. That tells you it does not fucking happen. EVER.

    I recommend serious professional help, because girlfriend. These lies. Everyone knows. And people who know much better than you will find you out and make you show your fucking ass and it’s pitiful. And you just keep going. Girl. Stop.

    December 23, 2017
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  67. My Dog's PA
    My Dog's PA

    Oh, and did we all forget the amazing “new” automation in 1986′ Phantom of the Opera and the falling chandelier over the audience?! And the automated fog/boats on stage?

    What a maroon.

    December 26, 2017
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  68. cat
    cat

    I love how important she thinks she is for knowing Carrot Top of all people. I have a friend who used to delight in telling people that she was related to George Thorogood by marriage because it was just so incredibly random and she thought it was hilarious. Lani really seems to think she is impressive with her OMGfamous friends.

    December 26, 2017
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Well *I* once borrowed a pencil from Chevy Chase at Minskoff Studios, saw Grandpa from the Munsters when I ate at the restaurant he ran, AND I used the bathroom at Lincoln Center Library at the same time as Brooke Shields, so QUAKE WITH FEAR, YOU TINY FOOLS!

      December 26, 2017
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      • My Dog's PA
        My Dog's PA

        Weird Al’s “Lame Claim to Fame” is so apropos right now.

        Sorry, only on my phone otherwise I’d post a link.

        December 27, 2017
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        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Wait–my ex-boyfriend once delivered a pizza to Courtney Love!

          December 27, 2017
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          • cat
            cat

            I once saw a movie with a very famous actor in it so put that in your pipes and smoke it!

            December 27, 2017
          • My Dog's PA
            My Dog's PA

            Thanks, Tez!

            We should rewrite some of the lyrics to include Carrot Top and Wayne Newton.

            December 28, 2017
          • My Dog's PA
            My Dog's PA

            Call it “Shame Claim to Fame ?

            December 28, 2017
      • Sigyn Wisch
        Sigyn Wisch

        My middle/high school choirs opened for Kenny Loggins, Smokey Robinson, and Peter Cetera. They signed our T-shirts. And one time MC Frontalot signed my chest. BOW TO ME, MORTALS!

        February 12, 2018
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    • Eric Idle retweeted me once, Cher replied to a tweet once and Taye Diggs follows me on Twitter.

      Every single celebrity encounter I’ve ever had is only on Twitter. Damn.

      December 27, 2017
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  69. I washed Harris Yulin’s underwear. BOOM.

    December 26, 2017
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  70. My Dog's PA
    My Dog's PA

    Oh, in the FWIW department, I just now went to the Fashion Show mall here in Vegas and Hot Dog on a Stick (the infamous lemonade stand) is gone, replaced by a Panda Express. But I did get a nice raspberry lemonade from Panda that wasn’t too sweet. So Lani needs to update the book to strew orange chicken about instead of the lemonade.

    December 27, 2017
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    • Amy
      Amy

      Nah, we don’t need Lani making casual racist remarks about an asian worker. knowing her, she’ll probably call asian folk “exotic” or “oriential” and then when the asian community calls her out, she’ll be like, “oh, but [random celebrity] uses that word! why don’t you call THEM out?”

      December 27, 2017
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      It’s kind of sad when someone’s wish-fulfilment consists of telekinetically dumping lemonade on rude servers and meeting Carrot Top at the mall.

      Georgette Heyer had one regency in which the heroine is approved by social arbiter Beau Brummel, proposed to by a royal Duke, AND the randy Prince Regent makes a pass at her–from which she is rescued by her domineering but totally hot guardian.

      Why waste a fantasy on anything petty?

      December 27, 2017
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  71. I saw Carrot Top in Vegas last apring, and his show is hilarious. I recommend it. Also on the cheap for under $50.

    December 28, 2017
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  72. azzywoods
    azzywoods

    *drops a thousand mics*

    That was brilliant.

    Have recently found your blog, and am really enjoying your writing! 🙂

    January 30, 2018
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  73. Sigyn Wisch
    Sigyn Wisch

    That was absolutely glorious. I’m glad you’ve got so much support here, and that everyone is on board with you calling out writers behaving badly!

    February 12, 2018
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  74. Evil!Blonde Bitch
    Evil!Blonde Bitch

    I never commented on this piece before, but this is my fifth time reading it (I’m showing it to my best friend, whom I am educating about Sarem and her drama) and DAMN I AM HOWLING. THANK YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. YOU HAVE MADE MY LIFE BETTER.
    The absolute ‘nads of you challenging Lani to criticize The Boss made me cackle. I am dying. This is my ghost typing. Don’t ever stop being a queen. Your grace and speed in taking Lani down was GLORIOUS.
    And also, I am slightly drunk right now, so I apologize if I’m random 😀

    July 17, 2018
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  75. KuDaija Hurling
    KuDaija Hurling

    I find it interesting that that she played sock puppet dumbass just to come on here and defend herself, but tried to defend the wrong shit. I’m not a published author (though I hope to be some day), but as a writer I would think that if you were going to attempt to rise to the defense of your book, you would at least TRY to defend your characters and plot. The way that the theater works is a big part of the “story” and while you should definitely want people to think you know what you’re talking about in that aspect, the characters and plot are what actually make the book. And if you, Lani Sarem, were half as good of a writer as you think you are, you would know that.

    No one gives a single solitary fuck that you know Carrot Top. No one cares how well you think you know the business. Trying to bullshit your way through this crap heap you got yourself into by spouting lies that a simple Google search could debunk isn’t impressing anyone. You tried to scam your way past so many hard-working, passionate, talented people who deserved to have their art where it was and you deserve this backlash you got tenfold.

    But, as I said before, you’re a dumbass. If someone is critiquing your book and you think that the only problems you need to address are the ones they have to do with how one aspect of it works, you’re a dumbass. I would have been doing my best to explain why the plot works and why the characters are the way they are. Why did this need to be here? Why does this character act like this? Why should readers give a shit? I would think that you would be trying to endear us to Zade as main character. Try to convince us why Mac is the best choice for her. Why any of these characters matter or are important or why we should care about them. You would tell us why certain plot points were relevant and how they move the story along and why they’re significant. By the end of that stupidly long rant, we should have been realizing what we were missing from the story and been able to go back and actually see it. You should have made that comment really sell why this book was supposed to be GOOD.

    But, once again proving our point and staying on brand, you ignored the shit that actually matters and went on to complain about why we don’t like you and why we don’t believe your bullshit “knowledge” of theater shows. That is not what an actual writer would have done. Nothing you said in your comment actually endears us to any part of your story. Nothing you said made me like Zade at all, because you didn’t even fucking bother to mention her. The main character of the story, the POV character throughout most of it and in a comment attempting to defend the book, you don’t mention her even once. Mac? Who’s Mac? You don’t mention him, the main love interest. Jackson? Well, the book barely characterizes him, so you might be off the hook for that one. Wait, no. No you’re not.

    And you know why? Because you know that this book is a piece of shit. You know that the characters are garbage, the main character doubly so. You know that the plot doesn’t exist. You know that the love triangle shouldn’t exist. You know that the writing could be torn apart by preschoolers. You know DAMN WELL that there is nothing good you can say about any of this that could possibly be backed up with evidence.

    You just want credibility.

    You just wanted to be able to stick “Bestselling Author” to the end of your name in order to push your celebrity status up the rungs of the Ladder of Fame. You thought that people would actually give a shit about you if you could get good book deal to go with your shitty movie. But you wanted to take a shortcut. So you shat in a bucket, insulted editors everywhere by claiming that three of them were as responsible for this dumpster fire as you were, and then tried to elbow your way to the top of an industry that people have spent years properly and respectfully working their way up in.

    Now, because you know nothing about writing or the writing industry, you can’t even defend the most essential parts of a book in your OWN book. And when your fifteen minutes of Fame started petering out, you made more of an ass of yourself just to be relevant again. Now you have a bunch of actual legitimate writers (published and unpublished) pissed at you. Hell, you have a good percentage of the writing industry in general (publishers, editors, marketeers, cover artists, and everyone in between) pissed at you.

    Funnily enough, trying to showcase your knowledge of the Las Vegas show biz actually only proved how much you don’t know. If you did work for a Vegas show, you didn’t learn a damn thing. I won’t touch on that bit too much because, unlike you, I know not to try to lecture someone about something I know nothing about.

    You’re a crook, Lani Sarem. I don’t care how many crocodile tears you squeeze out, I don’t care how many lies you can fit in your mouth. You fucked up and now you have to deal with the consequences. Your book is well-known now. Isn’t that what you wanted? People have seen it, bought it, and read it. And they are assessing it as it should be assessed.

    Well, maybe now you know the difference between “famous” and “infamous”.

    November 10, 2018
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