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#GetSilent: The Anatomy of an Ignored Issue; Prologue: “What constitutes an attack?”

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In January, I declared a hiatus from anything to do with the romance community to work on my mental health. I thought that I could carefully weed out the bad apples and toxic pontificators in the community and everything would be fine. Instead, I found that when you see a wide-reaching, long-running campaign of doxing, stalking, racist attacks, and threats against dogs and children, it’s a lot harder to sleep at night when you’re trying to not get involved or just watch from the fringes and you know you have the platform to bring the abuse to light.

At least, it’s harder for some people to sleep. Others are snoozing comfortably. But we’ll get to that later.

Much later. Because whoo doggy. This is a long one.

Before we go on this journey today, it’s important to note that there will be chunks of this twisted, complicated tale left out, at the request of individuals who are trying to disentangle themselves from what has been a months-long battle. Also, some parts of the story may be told out of order as the narrative calls for it due to issues of clarity and continuity; I’ll note when this is the case.

But for right now, let’s start in June of 2018, in the aftermath of Faleena Hopkins’s failed attempt to trademark the word “cocky”. #CockyGate, as it became known, sparked a sometimes heated, genre-wide debate among indie romance and erotica authors who were tired of the scammers and cheaters running roughshod over the self-publishing world. A new tag, #GetLoud, covered issues from bookstuffing to shady marketing tactics. One such popular trick used to earn the coveted orange #1 Bestseller badges on Amazon is by putting your book in a category it doesn’t belong in. For example, shortly after Fifty Shades of Grey fell out of the top slot in the erotica, erotic romance, and contemporary romance categories, readers found it inexplicably listed as the “#1 Bestseller” in “humor/pets/dogs & cats”.

Not a joke. It’s currently coasting at a sweet #257 in the “Holiday Romance” category, despite featuring precisely zero depictions of any holiday festivities.

Obviously, this kind of trickery doesn’t sit well with authors. As much as we talk about how there’s room for everyone on the playground and this is a community, not a competition, the fact remains that Amazon’s algorithm (upon which indie authors, especially, depend for visibility and book sales) doesn’t care about sisterhood. Get your book to #1 in any category, even the wrong category, and you’ve increased the number of eyeballs in front of which Amazon will place your book. It’s an easy system to abuse, and authors are right to be fed up with it. This led some on the #GetLoud tag to suggest mass reporting books that had been miscategorized.

In a private message to me, Individual A explained that at the time, emailing Amazon about which categories to place your book in would result in Amazon not only recommending inappropriate categories but categorizing your books for you based on the keywords you entered into your book’s description. For example, if I were to write a book about a vampire mechanic who falls in love with a ballerina but I was unsure if it belonged in paranormal romance or romantic comedy, Amazon might helpfully look at the keywords “ballerina,” “mechanic,” and “vampire,” and decide to categorize the book as, “non-fiction/arts & entertainment/ballet,” “non-fiction/automotive/repair and maintenance,” and “fiction/young adult/paranormal/vampires.”

I’m not sure if those are real categories, but you understand what I’m trying to illustrate here. Some of the books being reported weren’t the result of authors breaking the rules, but authors trying to follow them. To prove their point, Individual A contacted Amazon through the same channel and received a response that proved their theory, then presented this evidence to the #GetLoud tag. They warned that mass reporting books due to incorrect categories could harm innocent authors. There was a disagreement; authors M.R. Rutter, G.L. Geiger, Paula M. Hunter, and Lissa Gromley were apparently on the side that felt Individual A was undermining the goal of #GetLoud. Words and subtweets were exchanged, and it created an animosity that lingered among the four authors.

On October 28, 2018, Individual A became the topic of a group Facebook message between Rutter, Geiger, Hunter, and Gromley. In the chat, 3,000 pages of which were shared with me for this profile, Hunter revealed Individual A’s real name and links it to Individual A’s pseudonym:

“Bad to [real name redacted] aka [Individual A]. [They] jumped all over me after I kindly provided a list of Amazon categories. [Individual A] was getting nasty at Pippi about category squatting, saying that not everyone does it on purpose and then going on about stockphoto (of people)profile pictures on Amazon not being a problem.”

There is no indication of any interaction between Individual A and “Pippi” on the subject beyond a single, cordial conversation. As for going on about stock photos, that was also a limited interaction with Hunter’s sockpuppet account, a chicken persona. Individual A had merely cautioned that mass reporting might have ill-effects on authors in the indie community and that an author using a stock photo to hide their identity wasn’t uncommon or necessarily nefarious. After scouring Individual A’s timeline, I can personally find no evidence of any nastiness on Individual A’s part. Certainly, nothing that would justify Hunter’s seeming obsession with Individual A; shortly after the above message, Hunter added:

“I got plenty of screenshot on [real name redacted]. LOL [Individual A] has even hidden [their] personal info on [their] website. I got that before [Individual A] started paying to hide it.”

It seems that simply by disagreeing with Hunter, Individual A was deserving of a gross intrusion into their privacy. Whether or not Individual A was even aware it was Hunter they were talking to isn’t clear. What is clear is that this one small interaction that took place over the course of a single day was enough to incite Hunter to find Individual A’s personal information and file it away for future use months later.

An exchange with an almost comical lack of awareness followed those messages:

Hunter: “[Individual A] was tagging Meg in everything at the RWA Con. Lol.”

Rutter: “It was bizarre”

Geiger: “Omg. Stalker much”

Rutter: “I know. Creepy”

Individual A tagging someone they believed was a friendly acquaintance on social media was creepy stalking to Hunter, Rutter, and Geiger; Hunter investigating Individual A over a conversation between Individual A and Hunter’s sockpuppet account was reasonable. As was their obsession with “trolls” and “bullies” and “haters”. At numerous points in the months-long conversation, members of the chat congratulate each other and themselves in their skill at taking on people they viewed as their enemies, including finding out personal information as they did with Individual A. At one point, Geiger even brags:

“Yes but we also know how to trigger him and he knows it but he is too stupid to know how to mess with anyone of us”

The five of them (the group later grew to include author Kay Blackburn) not only celebrated the thought of causing psychological harm to the people who ran afoul of them, but Hunter continued to ferret out the personal information of other twitter users. Three of the authors ran multiple Twitter accounts; Hunter’s chicken, Geiger’s @AuthorPrime01, and an account Rutter referred to as “Maggie.” Throughout the chat log, coy references are made to “Maggie” becoming angry and unleashing abuse on a target. Hunter gloats that someone arguing with her chicken handle didn’t know it was her. Geiger simply seemed to want to keep her social media attacks partially hidden behind her secondary account. While Geiger tweeted official book news under her real name, she engaged in these Twitter fights as @AuthorPrime01. None of them seemed terribly concerned with keeping these secondary identities secret, but separating their author identity from their increasingly aggressive and cliquey online behavior was something they were certainly familiar with.

In a post to her blog made in December of 2018, Gromley explains that she and the other authors had created the Sassy Literary Ladies, a Facebook group for reader interaction. Gromley describes the private chat between the authors as a fairly common group message between online friends:

During the Sassies private conversations, we discussed many things, from how one person was in constant pain, what their family was doing, the books in general that we had published, and so forth. Every so often, I’d talk about my dog or about other things too, sincerely believing I was a part of this group and that we could share anything together without judgment.

It’s unclear from reading the chat transcript how, why, or when this changed. It appears to have done so literally overnight; after a friendly chat into the early hours of November 28th, the group goes unusually quiet. At 7:37 pm, this conversation takes place:

Gromley: “What happened to Gloria’s account? 🙁 ”

Geiger: “I paid with no interaction is not a successful page so I shut it down I’ll be doing other things anyway and I’m too busy with the group and with my Twitter which is far more successful so I worry about an author page on Facebook some other time”

Gromley: “Ohhh. Oddly, on my side your personal page isn’t showing either. 🙁 I has a sad.”

Geiger: “[shrug emoji] Facebook go figure”

Blackburn shows up to second Geiger’s comment about Facebook, and once again, the discussion in the group message slows to a trickle but nothing seems to be wrong. Everyone is busy with other things. On November 30th, Gromley informs the group that she’s updating the Sassy Literary Ladies website and asks Blackburn if she has a logo. At 6:37 p.m., Gromley posts:

“Gloria… 🙁 I’m blocked from you on Twitter. Did I do something wrong?”

When no one answers, Gromley posts again at 6:54:

” 🙁 I has a sad…”

Two minutes later, Rutter responds:

“Hey Lissa I forgot if you had a college degree. I’m doing a personal survey.”

Gromley confirms that she has four degrees, and Rutter asks where they’re from. A minute later, at 7:01 p.m., Gromley responds with the names of the schools she attended. The chat goes silent until her next message at 7:20:

“-still doesn’t understand why she’s blocked-“

At this time, Blackburn enters the chat to say she won’t be answering messages for a while due to a family situation. Gromley asks Rutter to message her, but Rutter is unavailable and indicates that she’ll contact Gromley when she returns home.

The next exchange begins on December 1st, when Rutter opens the chat for the day with:

“I got a disturbing call from a friend. Did anyone query agents and editors using my name?”

Geiger, Rutter, Hunter, and Blackburn bemoan the unprofessionalism of an author who would stoop to such tactics. Gromley appears in the chat at 12:37. No one responds to her messages. At 3:20, Rutter asks:

“I’m confused. I looked at the years you were in college Lissa and can’t figure it out. Why 4 years for an associates but 2 years for both a bachelors and a masters and 1 year for a second masters. Did you misenter the dates?”

Remember, Rutter had asked for the information about Gromley’s degrees for a personal survey. Supposing we gave Rutter the benefit of the doubt here, perhaps there was a personal survey asking about the college degrees of online friends. And perhaps Rutter asked the follow-up question because she truly feared that Gromley’s degree may have been given to her by a fraudulent school. But what follows over the course of the next few hours amounts to a cross-examination that culminates on Gromley sharing her official college transcripts on December 2nd.

At 9:05 p.m., all hell breaks loose:

Geiger: “I’m going to put this kindly as possibly. For quite some time you have been saying and doing things that are questionable. You make grandiose claims of things then later your story changes. It raises more than a few eyebrows. But I chose to let them slide. Then your behavior started to get stranger. You seemed to have a constant need for attention. Wanting all conversations to revolve around you. You’d but into a conversation I was having with Meg or Kay or Paula about your

Dog and how it’s pestering you. When our conversation was about my book covers

Or Kay’s new release, or when we were all chatting with Bean. It felt as if a spoiled child

Was demanding attention away from the child we were taking to. “Somebody come get this dog before I throw him in the closet!”

That was not appropriate and certainly not funny. If you have nothing to add to an already in progress conversation then you say NOTHING! But you chose to continuously try to get our attention away from Bean and on to you. This was extremely annoying. The next day we are discussing the song I wrote for my book 2 and you suddenly cut in with a story that has noting to do with the conversation but screamed of “Pay attention to me!” A very childish maneuver. When we were dealing with Bob and I had THOUGHT James was the culprit what did you do? YOU outed him as the troll so others would attack him. Which another account did. When I said I wanted to keep that info under wraps, as we were still investing, what was your answer to me? “OOPS” and laughing faces. When we all apologized to James… you didn’t. And you didn’t straighten out the FACT it was YOU who outed him and NOT me! But that was okay with you, right? Let me take the fall for your bad judgement. This was completely inappropriate. Did you bother to apologize to me for making me the bad guy? Did you apologize to James? No! You went on your marry little way doing as you always do, AS YOU PLEASE AND DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES TO ANYONE ELSE. We make plans for our group and you make promises you cannot keep or do not intend to keep. Aka the flyers. We had seen NO proof of them even though BOTH Paula and Meg asked to see them. Your response to their requests went completely ignored. My biggest grievance with you is your complete lack of respect and boundaries. I shared my sons post on MY Facebook page. Which is kept private for a reason and what you did is exactly why. You wormhole through my account and comment DIRECTLY to my son. This is completely inappropriate and crosses all kids of boundaries. Yes, I realize my son is a public figure and an adult, but the key words here are MY SON! Someone else would have commented to ME not Matt. All my friends see my posts about him, do they wormhole through and address him as if they know him personally like you did? No they don’t! They comment to me. Ask me to tell him they congratulate him. But you go on his Facebook and comment as if he knows you, which he does NOT! I did show your comment to Kay and she agreed that your comment came across flirty as well. I am not and NEVER will be okay with anyone using ME to get to HIM! Good grief! His career is just taking off and you cross the freaking line? Your behavior is why you are blocked on ALL my social media

And why I will NOT be speaking to you after today. We are done. And I’m completely offended at the fact you will try to backpedal like you did about using Meg and [redacted] by Querying their friends in the publishing world. How dare you do that and when given the opportunity to be honest dodge and say ‘Whoever used Meg’s name to query without permission shows a complete lack of disrespect. I’m so sorry, Meg.’

The WHOEVER IS YOU! I don’t want you to ever contact me or my family ever again. And DO NOT follow ANY of my kids social media. They already know who you are and what you’ve done. If anything, you should be ashamed of yourself, but we all know you aren’t.”

At this point, Hunter shows up to assert that all of Geiger’s allegations are true. Rutter says she’ll keep an open mind. Gromley denies every allegation and is shocked at Geiger’s insistence that she’s tried to further her career through association with Geiger’s apparently famous son, or that she’s begged for attention. The suddenly un-busy Blackburn returns for another cross-examination, telling Gromley:

“…don’t take this the wrong way, because I’m nobody myself. But…why would anyone query with your name? I mean…you’re nobody yourself.”

But she doesn’t mean it in a mean way.

Though Gromley produced her college transcripts, Rutter can’t produce the query, the name of the agent who was allegedly queried, or which email address was used for the query. Gromley insists that she hasn’t queried any agents in a year (and in her blog post corrects it to two years and asserts that she can provide proof of the queries she has made and the contents of the letters, none of which mention any other authors).

Blackburn: “I’ll be honest, this sounds…well. Very suspicious, at best.”

Rutter: “I know that. I told her that it didn’t come from my end and moved on. She did read me the first paragraph and I was appalled by the bad writing.”

When Hunter returns, it’s to add another charge to the growing list of offenses the group wishes to level against Gromley:

“Lissa, why do still continue to be friends with Craig and joined his groups after the way he behaved towards me and the bad mouthing he gave us? To me it smacks of disloyalty towards to Sassy group.”

Gromley insists she never joined any of this Craig person’s groups, though she still followed him on social media to keep tabs on him. Much in the way Hunter routinely scouted out the personal information of the “bullies” they encountered online. This, however, seems suspicious to all of them, even through Rutter admits to still being friends with this Craig individual. Gromley offers to provide screenshots of the groups she’s in on Facebook, but Blackburn says that the only thing it will prove is that Gromley left the groups, then took the screenshots. Blackburn also claims to have seen screenshots of Gromley participating in Craig’s group, but won’t produce them for Gromley.

The chat devolves from there, with Blackburn feeling “uncomfortable” with Gromley’s presence, Geiger feeling that Gromley congratulating her (adult) son on a role was inappropriate contact with her “child” (as her own friends from childhood would never dream of speaking to her children without her being involved), and Rutter criticizing Gromley’s “non-committal” answers about her education (which included providing her transcripts and student I.D. numbers). When Gromley steps away from the conversation in frustration and hurt, it’s declared evidence of wrong-doing. When she responds again, she’s “digging”. And all along, Blackburn continues to talk about how uncomfortable she is, how she’s worried about what she’s gotten into by attaching her name to the group, and how she’s not sure she wants to invest in the Sassies with Gromley’s involvement. So suspicious, that Blackburn interrogates Gromley about a GoFundMe organized by a family member and accuses her of lying about a legal matter. Again, Gromley provides too much information to appease them, giving them the name and phone number of the magistrate handling the case, as well as the case number, the county the case is going to court in, and the real names of her family members. These answers come rapid-fire, with timestamps often noting the questions have been answered in the same minute they were asked.

Eventually, Blackburn says (and please, remember this for the record in upcoming installments, it will most certainly come up again):

“I cannot be associated with someoen who lies, uses people, or manipulates.”

Gromley tells them that when she proves their allegations false, she wants an apology, but Blackburn insists:

“Sorry, but we gave you multiple chances to show us proof. You didn’t do that.”

On December 2nd, Blackburn announces the dissolution of Sassy Literary Ladies and the departure of Gromley. On December 3rd, Gromley leaves the chat.

In her blog post, in which Gromley addresses each of the group’s allegations, she also speculates on the motives of the group to turn on her:

I’ll be honest. It seemed like they got bored because nothing was going on on Twitter that they could get involved with. Cockygate, the bookstuffers, Bob Villian and so forth were over with. It was like they needed a new target […].

Now, you may be thinking, “Wow, Jenny, that’s some garden variety mean girl stuff…but what does it have to do with all the wild shit you talked about in the first paragraph of this long ass post?”

This was just a primer on how Blackburn, Rutter, Geiger, and Hunter cultivate online excitement. And as damaging as their treatment of Gromley was, it’s nothing compared what they embarked on in January of 2019.


Next time: “Part One: MAGA Martha”

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  1. Wow. I knew a lot of this but seeing it all laid out this way… all I can say is WOW. How do they accuse the person who’s providing court records and college transcripts of lying and making things up?

    March 15, 2019
  2. Anna Claire
    Anna Claire

    I spent way too much time reading up on the MsScribe and Cassandra Clare debacles on fanlore / the way back machine and its just sad how its the same shitty behavior over and over again. Doxxing, sockpuppet accounts, bullying, shitty gatekeeping.

    That being said, THANK YOU for posting this. So many people are too afraid to speak out against online cliques (whatever the community) even when (or maybe especially) when things get toxic af.

    I’m really interested in reading the rest of this.

    March 15, 2019
    • Black Knight
      Black Knight

      OMG – the Msscribe story was exactly what I was thinking of as I read Jenny’s post. All this drama and it’s just the Prologue! It reminded me of how the story that exposed Msscribe went too – it started with background that was just a ridiculous amount of drama in itself, before Msscribe even entered the scene!

      (For those interested, the link is here: )

      March 15, 2019
      • Casey

        I’m not sure if I wanna thank you for linking me to that MsScribe thing, or if I’m extremely angry that it so thoroughly devoured the last 5-ish days. Posting that link without even a warning that it was TV-Tropes-levels of addictive and endless link-clicking . . . RUDE! 😉

        March 25, 2019
    • Morgan H.
      Morgan H.

      I was thinking of the MsScribe saga and the attack she levied on Gryffindor Tower too!! That’s why I don’t have any trouble believing Jenny.

      March 16, 2019
    • Abby

      I feel old because I remember most of the old fandom wanks. MsScribe had me up all night back in the day. Back when fandom wank existed. I really miss that site.

      March 19, 2019
  3. MayaB

    “Lissa, why do still continue to be friends with Craig and joined his groups after the way he behaved towards me and the bad mouthing he gave us? To me it smacks of disloyalty towards to Sassy group.”

    This sounds like middle school to me. Not even high school. Middle school! I can’t believe adult people are behaving this way.

    March 15, 2019
    • Ariel

      My jaw nearly broke my breastbone when I read the

      “how very daaare you contact my adult son via a comment on Facebook without my permission?!?”


      I…I truly don’t understand how adult humans can behave in such a surreal, abnormal way towards someone who was seemingly their friend a few days prior…

      Reading Gromley’s Tumblr post about it made me really sad for her. It just seems like cruelty for the sake of cruelty. It’s like watching a grinning child pull wings off a moth.

      March 16, 2019
    • Acton

      My first thought when I read “smacks of disloyalty” was, “Well, *someone* wants to be a Lannister.”

      Also definitely middle school, though.

      March 18, 2019
      • Ariel

        A Lannister always pays eerie amounts of attention to who you’re friends with and your school and court records!

        March 19, 2019
  4. Anon

    I have never heard of any of these people, so I googled them and, um … these are adults. Like MY AGE adults, which is nearly middle-aged. They have adult children.

    This is not flattering behavior from any of them.

    March 15, 2019
  5. Jules

    Are these really adults? That is forking horrifying!!!!!!

    I wish that Gromley hadn’t given them as much info as she did because these are the type of people who are going to use whatever they can get against you. They are bullies, ganging up and picking on the weakest of the herd.

    I’m disgusted, but also will be devouring every detail. Like slowing down to see a car accident.

    There are times I am truly ashamed to be a human being. I’m going go to watch a video of animals bonding now.

    March 15, 2019
  6. Bookjunk

    I’m scared of where this is going to go…

    March 15, 2019
  7. Larissa

    Eek. These are garbage people.

    March 15, 2019
  8. Lani B Goode
    Lani B Goode

    i’m having flashbacks to when an online community i used to belong to decided to turn against one of its members……it all looked just like this.

    three hundred pages of this, jenny. i don’t know how you did it, i would have been screaming and burning my laptop long before that

    March 15, 2019
    • EdgePatrol

      I was part of a community/fandom that did the same things to multiple people. Once they got rid of one, they targeted another because they had nothing else to do. When I called them out, I was next. Their actions and attempts to bully me were so childish. The lows they sank to blew my mind. I didn’t play into their bullshit, but damn it was annoying. We were all adults, too. Young adults, but definitely not middle school. Hell, my middle school experience wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic as the catty women in that community.

      March 15, 2019
      • Anon

        This seems to be a feature of online communities, unfortunately. And they will always identify a new target once their former one has moved on. I think a lot of people never grow up and a lot of people never get over not having been popular in high school. It’s kind of fascinating to watch and I’ve learned to not play into it and just leave when the time comes. It’s not worth the stress. And when they start with the harassment after you’ve left (often through mutual friends’ social media), I just block them.

        March 18, 2019
        • EdgePatrol

          You’re not wrong. I learned my lesson and have pulled away from most online communities because every time I see that catty shit going on, I get bitter. Not only did it make me have a bad experience with a series I’ve liked since childhood, I had a lot of people randomly turn against me because I called those catty assholes out. I no longer have the time or energy to deal with that shit.

          March 18, 2019
  9. NobodyYouKnow

    These people are all very active on Twitter, using the #WritingCommunity hashtag. It seems so harmless, so easy to befriend them. And then BOOM! you get sucked into the drama cyclone. Lots of good folks out there could really end up hurt before this is over.

    March 15, 2019
  10. The sad and scary thing… Jenny’s just getting started.

    It gets worse. A lot worse.

    March 15, 2019
  11. Dove

    So, they’re losers with too much time on their hands… I don’t relish where this is going.

    March 15, 2019
  12. Oh dear I just started hearing about this today and I fell down a rabbit hole big time.

    HOWEVER, I didn’t know the strange beginnings. This is horrible. Like I feel that Andy Cohen would be taking a chair out of one of these ladies’ hands while a security guard held another screaming lady. The fact that these guys are middle-aged and should know better is just ridiculous.

    And of course (like most bullies) they destroy the nice girl in order to feel better about themselves.

    It’s insane.

    March 15, 2019
  13. Sigyn

    Oh no, poor Gromley 🙁

    I’m on the edge of my seat.

    March 16, 2019
  14. Thank you for taking the time to assemble and publish this information.

    It baffles me how the Romance community is keeping their heads in the sand when these ‘authors’ have stalked and harassed so many people over months. The ‘I’m staying out of the drama’ excuse is way past its use by date. Authors need to engage and speak out en masse, otherwise, the abusers use Twitter to hold court.

    The campaign of abuse these authors have unleashed is horrific. I can’t even believe we are talking about grown women here.

    March 16, 2019
  15. Ariel

    I hear they do car commercials…in Japan.

    March 16, 2019
  16. I’m just a reader but I’ve been keeping tabs on this as they targeted a couple of people who I am actively friendly with on both Goodreads and Twitter and it’s been an utter disgrace how they’ve behaved.
    I’m glad more authors are now speaking out about it and I’d like to thank Isobel because she’s been beating the awareness drum for quite some time too.

    March 16, 2019
  17. I have seen this shit happen in writing groups. In fandoms. In academia. In activist groups. All adults, all people who supposedly are mature, respectful, and care about other people, and they can turn on each other and attack with a viciousness that is impossible to reconcile.

    This is also why I’m done with call out culture. It’s been weaponized not to stand up for what matters, but to shame and bludgeon individuals, as a performance.

    Fuck all this bullshit.

    March 16, 2019
  18. I am kind of interested in their Twitter accounts. Like MR Rutter has 24K followers but practically NO likes/retweets. And it seems every day she’s bragging about “hello to my new 40 followers” or whatever.

    That’s the problem with buying followers, you don’t get fans, you get numbers and numbers don’t read books. You know who DOES read books? READERS.

    But yeah, you screwed them, so I guess all you have is your old mean biddie friends.

    March 16, 2019
  19. Amy V
    Amy V

    I have been loosely targeted by these people as well. Lord only knows how many others have copped some kind of harassment or censure thanks to this group. They had my Twitter account temporarily suspended. WHY? Because I am Twitter friends with the target of their hate and one of her friends.

    Over the past two weeks, their behaviour has escalated to the point of me wondering whether I should alert Federal authorities. They have not one but three separate sock puppet accounts attempting to impersonate the target of their hate.

    I don’t expect everyone to get along with everyone online. But I don’t go around doxxing them, posting photos of their kids, parents, surnames, places they hang out, or creating fake accounts to impersonate them.

    These people have crossed a line.

    And now it is too late for them to hide or put the genie back.

    March 16, 2019
  20. Pre-Famous Indie
    Pre-Famous Indie

    I’m already exhausted, and this is just the prologue. I am so impressed.

    Also SO glad I am too cranky and unlikeable to talk to people online. It’s been a silver lining, apparently. Every so often I’m like “I wish I could talk to somebody about my project or trade beta reading or something,” but reading this? Bullet dodged.

    March 18, 2019
  21. Esme Weatherwax
    Esme Weatherwax

    Good heavens. I can’t imagine what will happen next.
    I know it’s totally beside the point, but I keep getting distracted that these professional authors can’t write correct sentences. “On your marry way” indeed.

    March 20, 2019
  22. Monica Cameron
    Monica Cameron

    Thank you for providing me with a list of authors to avoid. I saw a lot of this in grad school and recognize every single one of the tricks these girls (when they act like adults, I’ll call them women) are pulling.

    This very phenomenon is why my participation in the various book clubs/groups on GR has and continues to be very minimal and why I use that site primarily for shelving/reviewing books.

    I have a frank way of speaking that tends to rub people the wrong way, something that has and continues to get me in hot water on that and other forums. Knowing me and my tendency to clapback when ruffled, I like to keep a low profile.

    Like any community, GR has its cliques, and it only takes one negative interaction with a long-time/popular GR member to put someone on the business end of one of them.

    I’ve seen that kind of thing do a ton of good, though, in particular when an author decides it’s time to go all James Brown vengeful when their precious babies and feefees get trampled in an honest review.

    I’ve seen the author in question and all of their superfans come slithering into 1-star reviews and, rather than taking exception to and wanting to discuss specific things in the review with which they disagree, invite the reviewer to kill him or herself or die in a fire.

    The flood of mamma-bear-like support is heartening and is an example of how cliques can strengthen a community.

    This though, is disgusting and makes me weep for humanity. ☹

    April 30, 2020

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