Posts tagged ‘Victoria Strauss’

Phoenix Fire: The Project

First, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you who have posted here to bring so many aspects of the matters to my attention. I appreciate all of you.

You might notice that I have now created a page to document all that has gone on with Mystic/Phoenix Fire since it’s inception. Anyone who can give me dates and information on matters should feel free to contact me at janraefrank (at) Please tell me whether the information is on the record or off the record, etc.

And a mea culpa. I used the word “slut” in reference to Tabetha. I did it to set up a semantics one to three and it turned out to be a far too severe trigger word. If I had given it more thought I would have come up with one that was far more  useful for illustrating my point and far less provocative. For that I apologize to my readers.

The nice thing about timelines is that they are devoid of emotion and just list absolute facts. Facts and logic can lead to clarity and a deeper understanding of matters.

Several years ago, I had a rather vicious stalker. I informed him that if he did not leave me alone I would make him my next hobby. Needless to say, he did not enjoy becoming my hobby.

I do have a complaint about all the glamour photos that female paranormal and horror authors seem to be addicted to. What you look like is no clue to whether you can write well or not. I much prefer the photos of science fiction and fantasy authors who would rather look endearing or intelligent or both.


Amazon wins and it makes no difference

Victoria Strauss tweeted about this article in PW.

Months ago the Department of Justice ruled against the Big Six publishers and their attempt to force Amazon to sell their books at a higher price. The ruling stated that the publishers were committing restraint of trade violations. So Amazon was able to sell the ebooks they published at lower prices.

The irony of the whole mess is that nothing changed. Lower prices did not alter which books went onto the  best seller lists and apparently did not increase sales on those titles.

The one way that all of this bothered me was not in the pricing loss or victory. What Amazon HAS done is to make those books more competitive with the small press. For years, the small press was able to compete with the majors simply because we priced our books lower. If lower pricing from the majors becomes the rule across the breadth of distributors like Amazon, B&N, and others, then we might have to slash the prices on our own books down to the bare bone. We are not as visible as the majors. We do not have huge teams of publicists and money to toss into the ring to gain attention.  With the death of places like Fictionwise, the Indies are losing a lot of the outlets they counted on from the get go.



International writing scams

The Taj Mahal Review  charges $25 a copy for a beautifully produced magazine.  They do not pay their authors and they do not give them a contributor’s copy. You have to buy it for yourself.  The expensiveness of the magazine combined with the latter aspects has always made me feel that they were a back end scam. I first became suspicious of them in 2005 when Nickolaus Pacione was bragging about selling them some stories and poems. I submitted a poem to them that was already widely available on the net called “Anksha.” They accepted it. That’s when I got the details about the costs and no payment or copy. Since that was a legitimate poem, I then sent them another poem.  This time the poem was deliberately bad. Guess what? They accepted it.

It was a guest post on Victoria Strauss’ blog that reminded me of it.

Americans tend to be a bit naive when dealing with people in foreign countries. There is a huge movement of PC people who say that it is wrong to criticize foreign people who are not from Western nations. I  have been banned from many feminist communities for sharing my negative experiences with Africans (and I don’t blacks in general) and Moslems.  PC and naivete can blind us to the fact that scams are universal and a full part of all cultures and all religions and all whatevers. It’s human nature. Now click the link below and read that post on Victoria Strauss’ blog.

International writing scams

Seriously, Write Agenda, do you think this is going to appease us?

Write Agenda has twice revised their boycott list. First they dropped everyone (including myself) off their list except for Strauss, MacDonald, Crispin, and Elrod. Then they expanded it again to include people (except me) who have recently blogged disparagingly about them, including Scalzi. This is a case of PHAIL. After all, most of us (including me) will not be letting their travesty of injustice stand unchallenged.

They still have not corrected their lies about the Freedom of Information Act, and until that is removed, I will continue to go after them.

They need to read my curmudgeon’s creed.  My curmudgeonry is one of the things I am best known for.  Sane people do not provoke curmudgeons who know their business.  Curmudgeons have much in common with Daleks: “Exterminate! Exterminate!”

The Nature of the Freedom of Information Act

The Write Agenda claims to have used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that NOTHING existed in regards to lawsuits filed against American Book Publishing. First, the Freedom of Information Act is used to force the release of information. One of the most recent cases is where a group forced the release of Sarah Palin’s emails during her time as governor of Alaska.  While 47 states have statutes providing freedom of information, these are not the Freedom of Information Act per se.

Using the Freedom of Information Act requires paying fees and filing papers. It is actually a long process, even at the state level.  No one does it for free because it costs the legal bodies time and money to comply with it. They have a lot more on their minds (and pocketbooks) than replying to someone’s butthurt reports. For this reason only individuals with deep pockets or organizations proceed with Freedom of Information Act filings.

The Freedom of Information Act is never used in the manner that The Write Agenda claims to have used it. And if they have used it, I would be forced to wonder where they got the money to pursue it.

Getting back to my original direction, in order to use the Freedom of Information Act, information must already exist on the subject.  If, as they claim, no lawsuits were ever filed against American Book Publishers, then they could not have used it.

The federal Freedom of Information Act has served as a template for legislation passed by the various states. The names of the state legislation varies.

Therefore I challenge The Write Agenda to give their “investigation” its proper name for the state in which they claimed to have used the Freedom of Information Act and to tell us how much it cost them to file the requests in each and every one of those law enforcement bodies listed on that kitchen sink list of theirs.


The Write Agenda is Wrong

I could not lodge a reply because of a time limit, so I’m putting my rebuttal here. And then I will cross post it across all of my other blogs, including myspace.  Here’s what they had to say:

The Write Agenda has not questioned the fact that Writer Beware has helped numerous individuals over time. They have without question. Somewhere along that positive history something has run afoul. The claim that “American Book Publishing has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is a primary example of how Writer Beware has forgotten its original mission and responsibility to provide true information.

This gist of this is that a single bit of information that they are trying to challenge is worth all of the over the top reaction that includes multiple nearly identical blogs and websites.  Clearly, they were one of the scammers that Writer Beware caught with their pants down.  At one point they even had books out on Smashwords repeating this garbage. I posted a note on Mark Coker’s (the owner of Smashwords) facebook to alert him to what was going on and he banned them for TOS violations.

Had I not known otherwise, I would have thought this was all the work of an angsty hyperactive adolescent. But, no, these are adult(s).

The real “intimidation” is the fact that Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware have posted this information, refuse to delete it and refuse to provide documentation that proves the claim. This is neither a grand jury investigation nor an investigative newspaper report. Both of these examples are not entitled to the protections of confidentiality and would be not be deemed privileged information; not to mention the fact that Victoria Strauss is not a professional investigative journalist and would not legally be permitted to claim these privileges to protect herself. The Write Agenda’s request has nothing to do with protecting police investigators. Police investigators could not remotely be claimed as “sources” as Janrae Frank would have you believe. Think about it, don’t individuals go “to” the investigators? Don’t “investigators” write police reports? Isn’t it not true that police reports are assigned incident numbers?

I never claimed that police investigators could be claimed as sources, although a lot of major columnists (New York Times, The Washington Post, et al) have done so.  Government officials speak with anonymity to reporters and columnists. That’s how it is done. What TWA were demanding were the names of people who had complained about them. American Book Publishing had it written into the contract that any author complaining about them would owe them $10,000 in damages.   

Good way to keep the victims silent.

Contrary to Janrae Frank’s unfortunate “smoke screen,” the information contained within any “police investigation” is subject to discovery, available under the Freedom of Information Act, has an incident number and is not subject to any protections under the law (assuming that it actually exists). The fact here is that there never was a “police investigation” conducted against America Book Publishing. Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware know this and they cannot produce 1) an incident number; 2) what was American Book Publishing Investigated for; and 3) the name of the investigating police agency. This is true “intimation” and a it’s scam that has been perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware. Now, Janrae Frank has made the personal choice to attempt to deliberately cloud this further; that’s very unfortunate.

Unfortunate? Are you threatening me?

Now let’s take a look at the Freedom of Information Act.

How fascinating. The Freedom of Information Act only applies to the Feds.  Guess that means that The Write Agenda could never have used it to harass the state and local officials.

Janrae Frank, who is a well-respected American journalist, knows for a fact that “police investigations” are subject to discovery under the Freedom of Information; it is the most commonly used tool of any investigative reporter. Considering that Ms. Frank chose  to weigh in here, without any appreciation for the actual facts, it appears that she is more interested in participating in this viral controversy as a means to help her slumping book sales. Self-serving conduct? It appears to be. Her current Amazon Sales Rankings range from 315,555 to 3,405,977.  As an industry standard, an Amazon Sales Ranking of 100,000 equates to 1 copy every 5 days; 2,000,000 equates to 1 copy every 1000 days. (We’ll track this and see if her strategy works.)

Hey, Stupid! Guess what? The majority of my sales are through Smashwords, not Amazon. We quit using Amazon months ago. Check the dates on those books up there and then compare them to what is out from Smashwords!  HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. My book sales are going great, just not through Amazon. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

The Write Agenda then lists a kitchen sink full of officials who would not be affected by the Freedom of Information act. That act is for politics, not local law enforcement. The only way to get information from law enforcement like that would be to file suit against them.

Furthermore, criminal suits as well as civil suits are matters of public record.  There would not be a reason to invoke the Freedom of Information Act in the first place. Just call the county clerk’s office. Or go down and look it up for yourself.

I think that about covers it.

Oh, wait a minute. Clearly they are not familiar with the little thing I wrote seven years ago: The Curmudgeon’s Creed.

The Write Agenda is full of Phail

My name was listed by The Write Agenda and all of the blogs and websites they hold under various aliases.  My crime was to post comments on Writer Beware.  Victoria Strauss also linked back to my posts about David Boyer the plagiarist  and the series I did on Blu Phier.  I am not a commentator, guest or otherwise, on Writer Beware.  I am a cranky old bitch who never hesitates to call them as I see them. Especially when it comes to scammers.

The  bottomline for including me seems to have be part of TWA’s attempts to intimidate the supporters of Writer Beware.

Victoria Strauss has been good to me.

As usual, my first impulse on being given a heads up by a friend and editor was to lose my temper (Dang thing does not know when to stay down.) and insult them in a message to them. I got back the following in email:

Thanks for contacting us!

The Write Agenda

IP CAPTURE [*********************] ON
GEO LOC [**********-******-*****] ON
DATA RET [thewriteagenda@***********] ON


Name *

Janrae Frank

Occupation (Author, Agent, Publisher etc.) *

author / Publisher

Email *

Message *

You are so full of shit that it is coming out your ears.

Date *

Tuesday, October 4, 2011