Friday, December 18, 2009

Do I have a stalker?

I just got a call from Kevin W. Reardon, the writer I mentioned in my last post. He asked me not to make his contact information public, perhaps so that people won't call him at his private residence the way he just called me.

Mr Reardon began by saying that the incident to which I referred was blown out of proportion by a group of friends of the editor who reviewed his story. It took a little time to get him down to a "just the facts" approach - he brought in quite a few irrelevancies - but he eventually did confirm that

1. the editor in question had given his story a dismissive review.
2. he had subsequently suggested the editor jump from his window.

Which was basically the gist of my post. He said he had meant the suicide suggestion sarcastically, but for some reason other people had either taken it seriously or hadn't felt that since it was sarcasm, he had carte blanche to say it.

He did deny that he had made death threats to the editor, so I said I would include that in my follow-up post.

Mr Reardon said he would prefer it if I removed his name from my blog entirely. I said that wouldn't be happening (especially not after he tracked down my phone number and called me at home). It's not as though I singled him out - he's sharing that spot with two, maybe even three, writers who are a great deal more notorious.

I was rather hoping he would suggest I jump from my window, because I live in a basement apartment, but he didn't. So I closed by asking him never to call me again, and that, we shall hope, is that.


Anonymous said...

Internet stalker indeed. Talk about making a bad situation worse, not to mention a complete lack of self awareness.

Marian Perera said...

I know. I have no idea what this guy thought he would accomplish, other than creeping me out. Maybe that was the plan? Unfortunately I get even more stubborn when I think someone's trying to intimidate me.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JH said...

Have you published your phone number anywhere on the Internet? Whether you did or not only matters to the level of determination this person has... if you haven't, then he is pretty driven. Either way, that's damn creepy. Issues for sure. I think people like this lose interest the less attention is paid to them.

Marian Perera said...

No, I'm pretty careful with my phone number, though it's in the phone directory. I suppose that's how he obtained it.

Mary Witzl said...

Wow. I can't help but think this guy hasn't gotten enough rejections yet. After they've piled up over the years, you develop a tougher hide and learn to take them less personally. Perhaps he is just very young?

Anonymous said...

Kevin Reardon seems destined to failure. Perhaps he should devote more time to writing stories and less time to harassment.

Kami said...

mroctober is exactly right. Writers write. They don't Google their names and hunt down people who might make mention of them, flattering or otherwise. Writers don't have time to agonize over every rejection, nor is it wise to spend creative energy on composing rebuttals online or whatever when you could be (gasp) writing short fiction, articles, or books. And writers that write books don't write just one and then spend all their time trying to make it a best seller. They query around and then start writing the next book.

If Reardon is following this thread, I would strongly advise him to start writing on a computer that is not connected to the internet. That way there's no way to check email or surf the net during that valuable writing time.

One last note: some folks came after my husband with some libelous claims on a public forum. I checked in every couple of days or so on his behalf to see how things were going (they didn't go well for the folks coming after my husband) but otherwise neither of us got involved. It's absolutely true that adding commentary, even to defend yourself, just makes things worse. If you're in the right, you end up lowering yourself to their level. And if you're in the wrong, you'll just end up looking even more stoopid.

My cents.

Maria Zannini said...

Phone numbers and addresses can be found on anyone using the internet. They can find it using an email address, a web site address or your physical address. All of which can also be found on the internet.

It is so uncool to contact someone like this.

As for deleting his name off your posts. Too late. Even if you deleted those posts right now, they are already archived in places like the Way Back site or Google Reader.

People just don't get it. The internet is FOREVER. It never forgets.

Donna (Bites) said...

Holy crap. Screw the mace. Invest in an M16 and a Doberman.

Anonymous said...

Oh, baby, so sorry to hear all this. Ugh. and hugs x0

Anonymous said...

What is with the author explosions? Candace Sams had a major meltdown on too. It's kind of sad when an author does this sort of stuff to their career, I would like to think we hold ourselves to higher standards.

I went back and read the previous post to this one, and that "I am Wicca" comment made me laugh. She's the entire religion, is she?

Mike Crichton said...

Kindly reminds me of the time Tom Kratman showed up on someone's livejournal to bitch about what they'd posted about a panel he was on at a con, and ended up threatening them with UCMJ action for making lawyer jokes (Kratman having been an Army lawyer, the other person having also been in the Army). Alas, that person since deleted their blog for other reasons, but it _was_ both funny and surreal.

Angela Ackerman said...

YIKES! The world's full of crazies all right!

Marian Perera said...

fictionmagoria - I've been following Candace Sams' meltdown as well. Invoking the FBI was priceless - and a great way to ensure that you'll be remembered for your behavior rather than your books.

Mike Crichton - Now I have to google Tom Kratman. :)

Angela - Yup. Calling someone up at home to ask that they take your name off their blog... that shows such a lack of common sense that it definitely borders on the crazy.

Marian Perera said...

Maria : Yes, I've since learned that it's easier than I expected to track someone down.

On the other hand, as you pointed out, not much would be achieved by my taking the post down. Except, perhaps, giving the impression that such intimidation tactics will work.

I didn't let people get away with doing that to me in the Middle East, where I had considerably fewer rights. I'm not going to let anyone do that to me in Canada either.

Donna : Well, I do have an exact replica of Sting from The Lord of the Rings...

Kimmi : Thanks. :) Hope you and your family have a great Christmas, by the way!

Marian Perera said...

Mary - With such a history behind him, perhaps editors and agents will consider themselves safest not responding to Mr Reardon at all.

Kind of a Literary Limbo.

mroctober - Kevin Reardon said he'd contacted me specifically because my post was the first in a few months that referred to the original incident.

I'm surprised it didn't occur to him that making contact in that matter (and with such a "request") would be the best way to really stir the pot.

Kami - "start writing on a computer that is not connected to the internet" is excellent advice. In fact, your whole post is good advice. Thanks!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Wow, Marian! What a story. I think you handled yourself well, though.

Thanks for commenting today. It was great to see you again, especially where support for missing person Kathleen McBroom was concerned.

Merry Christmas!

PS. My word verification is ilitated. I don't think it's a real word, but it should be. I'm writing that down...

writtenwyrdd said...

FYI, you don't have to publish your own information to have your phone number (even an unlisted one!) end up all over the internet. White Pages is one site; google yourself "firstname lastname phone number" and you will likely find yourself.

Additionally, you can, for a fee, buy into a site that will provide many more details, like how much you pay for your utilities, how much you owe on your house, the taxes on your property, etc.