A Note to The Write Agenda from Tom Dark

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Author, Author Boycott, Author Watch, Authors, Award, Awards, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, BEA, Book Boycott, Book Expo America, bookexpo america, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, Uncategorized, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Writer, Writer Beware on May 25, 2012 at 2:00 am

Dear Write Agenda,

“I’m sorry this letter is so long, but I haven’t time to make it shorter.”   If on the other hand you can’t keep your attention reasonably on what I have to say, you may also be part of the problem of the increasing dumbing-down of this population.  The internet cult called “Absolute Write” is absolutely part of this problem.

This is not for “Absolute Write” or their spawn or cult members to answer or reproduce in any way – likely in some dishonest way.  Nobody needs to waste time engaging with energy-sucking harassers and Mobius-strip liars like these.  Furthermore these types breed on the dishonest negativity they create.

“Absolute Write” – that is, the associated individuals named in your site — has had every opportunity to reply and straighten out the malicious little mess they continue to make.  They did not. There’s no further reason to expect anything but self-serving lies from them.  They are guilty of obsessive, false, deliberate, defamatory malicious libel against honorable, struggling people and have been for a long time.

Writers do need to be made aware of internet cults who consider themselves authoritative. “Absolute Write” are nuisances making gratuitous defamatory noises at innocent passersby, as we will see shortly – if for the umpteenth time.  If you have true professional contacts, publishers and agents and respected writers, you have my permission and encouragement to pass this on to them.

I’ve done every kind of work from farm labor to office to sound engineering to editorial consulting and a good deal in between.  I’ve encountered thieves and liars along the way.  I have never encountered such entrenched dishonesty as I have with these very creepy self-assigned “authorities.”

It’s difficult to believe anyone engaged in literary pursuits would be stupid enough to fall for these peoples’ pitches and pretenses to “protecting writers from scams”.  But where literature has come to be regarded as a way to e-z fame and fortune, gullible daydreamers are answering hog-calls from arrogant frauds like these.

The following, apparently, was recently posted at the so-called “Absolute Write” site:

Submitted by Barney Kellman

More of how Tom Dark wins fans at every village hall. 05-11-2012, 11:53 PM #249 Bookie New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Join Date: May 2012 Posts: 5 Bookie is on a distinguished road Agree My experience with Tom Dark was very similar to what others have reported here. He enthusiastically acquired me as a client but was never able to sell my book. I was actually horrified to read his manic communications to prospective editors, and some times he even misrepresented my position in order to market my book. Worse, he wasted a lot of time calling me up at all hours to shoot the breeze for 2-3 hours at a time EACH DAY. None of these conversations were geared towards selling my book. Instead they were random musings about psychics, wars he was waging against various people, and his crusade against pedophiles. The long, rambing emails were too much to read–In fact, I stopped reading them after a while.

This is only one of the harassments someone has been cc’ing me from “Absolute Write” over time.  Every single sentence of this posting is an intentional lie.

“Absolute Write” has been posting intentional lies about my Agency and me since January 2009, for no discernible reason beyond the personal problems of the perpetrators.  We ran across this malicious tripe by accident  —  consulting sites like this is never a priority for anything, and when I was querying publishers myself years ago, sites like this proved to be worthless.

Yet while posting remarkably vicious and false stuff about this Agency, they have never once contacted us to check any facts.  That might not be consistent with a bizarre policy; it’s in keeping with the words one of this menagerie rattled to a reliable observer at a BEA convention, “the more lies we tell, the better off we are.”

“Absolute Write” knows who Peter M. Wells is and have approved his false posting after posting, inviting false and highly negative comments in “agreement,” by no one who has any connection to this Agency, and refusing to acknowledge pleas for them to cease.  It now no longer matters whether they remove them.  They’ve done this too often.

I’ve never had a client named “Barney Kellman.” Some years before I got this job, TV producer Barnett Kellman asked me to develop a script about a mutual friend.  Barnett was famous for “Mad About You” and “Murphy Brown.”  Peter objected to my doing any business because Kellman is “a Jew.”

Like nearly everyone the ill “Absolute Write” gang has encouraged to post denigrating nonsense, Peter M. Wells, aka LaMorticello, is not a writer, never has been, has no business with any agency, publisher or writing concern.  He was, and apparently remains, a favorite with the “Absolute Write” proprietors, along with a putative, quite idle publisher – another dishonest blowhard, calling herself “priceless1.”

Let’s get this straight:  Lynn Price, “priceless1” is a raging ego-queen; she doesn’t merely violate professional ethics and privacy laws by taking my e-mails and good jokes out of context and presenting them in a totally false light to delighted “Absolute Write” cronies, but is an out and out calumniator.

Her kitchen-table “publishing” company’s biggest seller is lower than 325,000 at , meaning one copy may sell from there every few weeks.  The rest, somewhere around one or fewer a year. This sampling suggests her sales, neglected for spending a conspicuously lot of time fiddling around on websites, are insignificant.  So much for this shallow loudmouth’s opinion on anyone’s career.

The sales of the cookie-cutter typing products from the self-styled experts of “Absolute Write” are equally insignificant, and they too attempt to tear down the genuine.  Lynn Price must enjoy a peculiar sense of belonging there.

One would have to be stupid to do as poorly as these people are doing.  And yes my people are doing far better.  Check my blog for a hint or two.

There are several other perps to mention, including a client whom I highly mistakenly presumed could learn to write and stay honest, as we’d got a commitment from the only publisher he’d likely ever find.  I let him save face by offering him the choice of cutting ties with this Agency, rather than ditch him the second I realized what was wrong.  But chanting a litany of losers isn’t my purpose here.  “Absolute Write” needs thoroughly exposed and disposed of for the sake of honesty and the genuine honor of literary pursuits.  Peter Wells will serve as an example of the losers they are encouraging.

Every single sentence of the above abusive “Absolute Write” posting resembles Peter Wells’ increasingly deteriorating personality as I’ve known it for years – disingenuous, highly negative, energy-sucking, attention-taxing, in person or by phone or letters.  Just substitute “Jews” for “psychics.”  There’s a true sample of Peter’s actual “creativity” in the comments section of my blog.  His paranoid fantasy matches the attitudes of these pathetic libelers.

Incidentally, I did appear at town halls.  I was indeed quite popular.  It’s in the various papers’ and local TV and radio news archives.  We succeeded completely.

Incidental to those local civic campaigns, came the arrest of a pedophile, frottaging boy students with abandon in his sixth grade class.  Like those who swallow the “Absolute Write” line about “protecting them against scams,” the gullible everywhere often find reality inconvenient to accept.  It’s often been both my vocation and profession to deal with that, which I’m doing here.

While Peter here disdains “crusades against pedophiles” as too boring to read, the “Absolute Write” moderator apparently found his pro-pedophile “jokes” enjoyable.

And incidentally there is no such content in my correspondence with my clients.  What I wrote about pedophilia and the child sex slavery business for the internet 12 years ago continues to bring in reactions.   Pete and “Absolute Write” are both fully aware that they’re lying to the public to defame worthy people.

“Hometown Pedophilia, Slavery, Treason” triggered a lot of articles that had theretofore been suppressed.  It’s now on my blog.

“Flying monkeys,” as you’ve characterized these people, is apt.  What Sick Wicked Witch is paying these flying monkeys to smear good people with the contents of their oversize diapers?  Let the above fiction they’ve posted about me and this Agency sink in.

Is it somebody real, or some festering compulsion shared by a vitality-sapping barrel of furry flying fantasizers posing as authorities on how to make popular literature, do publishing, or anything else?  Their money isn’t coming from their book sales, which as a matter of public record show virtually nothing; how much money is coming from young or ignorant people too naïve to realize the “Absolute Write” gang don’t know what they’re talking about?  Or how much from inherited money?

Pete – whose deceased mother used to rescue him with pension she earned in a lifetime as a welder — is almost always in some kind of self-absorbed trouble: “In my mind there’s a war going on,” he once whined into my tape recorder, “and I’m losing ground.”

It’s just as plain that these “Absolute Write” flying monkeys are at war with whomever they’re not sucking in with fantasies about “protecting writers from scams.”  How is it they can afford to wage phony wars against honest people?  Where IS their money coming from?  Also from their parents?  Having gone to a fancy back-east college, I always noticed that rich kids tend to be as arrogant as they are out of touch with reality.  That’s how these people behave, with endless needless nonsense about how to get published and what to watch out for, as though this weren’t obvious to anyone with even half a brain. The “instructions” on how to write aren’t even fit for elementary school, and they hardly guarantee anything like “success,” coming from people whose hack-work doesn’t sell much of anything at all.

(How can you do so badly with an assignment on novelizing one of the more popular movies of the decade that it so quickly winds up in the hundred-thousands in sales at ? That’s lousy writing.)

Pete’s inwardly screaming with rage about me because I “abandoned” him some years back.  He knows he lost his last real friend.  I’m intimately familiar with just about every aspect of this increasingly ill oddball’s personal battles projected on a world he doesn’t much recognize.  I’d had enough of his Jew-bashing and general nonstop blabber.  The last straw was his verbally abusing eighty-something Doris Colmes, a truly brilliant writer and friend, for being “a Jew.”  A man who by middle age is toting pistols around imagining “Jews” are preventing him from fame and fortune had better seek professional help.  He still hasn’t.  He would only have been an embarrassment with the people whose good graces I, not he, had earned.  As you can see now, he is anyway… as usual, an impotent one.  And you can now see how this embittered fantasizer dovetails psychologically with the “Absolute Write” cult.

Similarly, I’d expect each of these impotent embarrassments pretending to shepherd a world of writers they don’t understand feels abandoned and unloved in some way.  They too will invent fantasies to get even with such a world.  The publisher didn’t do this or that right.  They weren’t sold properly.  In their great artistry – paint-by-numbers fantasy tales – they neglected to control “the flow of money to the author,” whatever in the world that’s supposed to mean.  They’ll lecture others.  They’ll lie about being successful.  They’ll lie about being happy.

They’ll lie about what I’ve observed.  Maybe they think writing deceitfully makes dishonesty invisible.  But it’s as obvious as the virtually non-existent sales of their lugubrious fantasy novels.  They’re playing a dishonest game with themselves and the world.  They’re not particularly talented people.  They’re certainly not successful.

Pete began to deteriorate seriously shortly after I saved his life in ’04, getting him a free place to stay and a job after his repeated threats to commit suicide.  I began to notice for the first time what a liar he was.  If not a liar, then he did indeed “kill some jerk in a parking lot in Santa Monica,” California, with a piece of rebar.

After being fired from the, say, hundredth job in his life, last May ’11, for “not being WHITE enough for them,” he apparently fled Tucson, Arizona, to stay with some relative in the Albany, NY, area.  He has been advertising himself as a “self-employed IT.”  This is rather like Victoria Strauss advertising herself as a “self-employed novelist,” as you’ve pointed out.  One would like to see the receipts.

Now, this: “My experience with Tom Dark was very similar to what others have reported here.”

Which others “have reported here” on this “Absolute Write” site? Karney Bellman, Belley Karnman and Maney Bellcar?  Who else is helping Pete?  A couple of his pretend “friends” who’ve never met him and likely wouldn’t want to?  The balding producer of “Teenage Incest Monthly,” whose weird obsessiveness had me telling him to keep away from me in 1995?  The fraudulent jerk who had a job with a publisher 30 years ago? How much more defamatory fantasy have they posted?

Why does this “Absolute Write” gang think they can hide venomous lies behind “free speech”?  They’ve already handed us proof of malicious intent.

I’ve gone over this little gang’s defenders on the ‘net.  Speaking of embarrassments. They’re only semi-literate on the whole.  Misleading them into presuming they’re something they’re not is immoral.

Indulging in the gratitude of gullible semi-literates is all too easy for them to do.  I refused to do that kind of thing when I worked as an editor.  I preferred to shovel shit than be that dishonest.  It’s on my private blog.  Shoveling shit is more pleasant work than dealing with these slippery, dishonest pissants.  They do need shoveled out of the way, however.

We are dealing with fantasy addicts who are entrenched in dishonesty, and this always indicates personal problems they dump on others. As you’ve pointed out, Vickie Strauss’ own words plainly suggest she’s obsessive.

When these genuinely creepy people started posting malicious, false libel about me a few years ago, my attorney suggested I leave it alone for now.  I thought I’d just gather the evidence over time and lay it out in a court of law after some mad-money came in.

I guarantee I’ll do that immediately, with great resentment at being burdened with teaching vicious fantasizers lessons their parents couldn’t.  They – or is it mommy’s and daddy’s inheritance? — couldn’t pay for the damage they mean to create in some sad fantasy about dominating an industry of real writers.

The only “influence” these self-aggrandizers have is to remind the sincere not to posture as something they’re not.  Ordinarily, a real writer learns that at puberty; these postcards-from-private-hells aren’t necessary.

Boycotting these people’s “creative” underachievements won’t make much difference.  It won’t make them think, except maybe how to worm more support from the gullible for being “martyrs.”  The reality of near-zero sales trumps the idealism of refusing to read on principle crap you wouldn’t bother with in the first place.

The realistic thing is to see to it that one by one, writers and aspiring young writers understand these aren’t kindly heroes out to “protect” anyone from anything.  They’re prevaricators who are dumping their trashbags of dishonesty in other peoples’ yards.

They’re dribbles of snot on an ancient and honorable art.

Fix your typos.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re some “incognito” publisher seeking revenge.  You’ve seen correctly.  Your work corresponds with what I found out while being maliciously slimed a few years ago.

…with this exception: one legitimate writers’ site contained complaints from “editors” to whom they’d farmed out work and hadn’t paid; it looked like they never intended to pay them.  Victoria Strauss, “self-employed novelist,” as she calls herself, now exposed, replied that they’d “forgotten.”  Too busy receiving awards for praising each other, no doubt.  So now we know one source of their income.  It’s a disservice.

James D. MacDonald, incidentally, insulted my wife. Mister Famous Bearded Teen Hippie must never find himself in my vicinity, ever.

“Hack” is the standard word for this type. Just a paint-by-numbers jobber. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but there is certainly something ill about taking on phony airs about the whole thing, and insulting my wife, for instance.

Having read this hack’s claim to get $50k-$75k advances per book, I looked MacDonald up by name, pseudonyms and titles on my agents’ deal directory, which goes back to 2000.  After 10 minutes of finding nothing, I quit.

These people write as though they’ve never had real lives.  They think butterflies attack people.  Their formula fantasy fairy tales don’t sell; they peddle make-money-fantasies to teens and bored housewives who then send their rather embarrassing “professionally edited” manuscripts to me.  All this malicious behavior does not yet seem to have slowed the hopeful, badly edited queriers down.  But one does wonder to whom they continue to lie about whom, and what they expect to achieve besides eventual, highly justifiable ostracism.

“Absolute Write” and its spawn are unrequited hate sites.  They’re trying to profit from the self-hatred they feel for lives that haven’t handed them love and success they don’t deserve.

Tom Dark