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Archive for the ‘Legal Issues’ Category

Victoria Strauss Claims to Feast on Sharks . . . Seems Like She Missed an Obvious One

In A.C. Crispin, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Author, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Crispin, Crispin Dead, JJ Marsh, John Steinbeck, Law Suits, lawsuit, lawsuits, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Michael Capobianco, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Publishing, Scam, Scams, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, Victoria Strauss, Words with JAM, Writer, Writer Beware on April 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Victoria Strauss, commenting on another self-aggrandizing blog posting, proudly proclaimed on Twitter: “I feast on sharks.” This is quite a bold statement for someone that has a “favorite shark.”

It (Writer Beware™) purports that it “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.” Selectively? Maybe? Sure, until the scam strikes at home base. In 2007 it did; and, it’s a SCAM of EPIC proportions. It involves the estate of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck(i.e. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937) . . . yes, that Steinbeck. Huge? We think so. Was the failure of Writer Beware™ to report this scam an oversight or a case where they just turned their heads and looked the other way? Swimming with the sharks?

What did this scam involve? In principle, it’s the kind of material that Writer Beware™ built its foundation on. Exposing scams that are relative to: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. These are the types of claims that spawned Writer Beware™ and its own version of their boycotts; otherwise known as their “Thumbs Down” lists. It’s time for the “bright light” to shine into the “dark corners of the shadow-world” of Victoria StraussAnn “A.C.” CrispinWriter Beware™ and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA). There’s one name we will not see on any Writer Beware ™ list and we’ll let you decide exactly why that happened.

Who was this individual that engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; allegedly breached fiduciary duties to a client; purportedly obtained an unreasonable fee; and may have engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute? Well, let’s take a close look at some of the relationships and links here.

Obviously, JJ Marsh, the author of this posting, completely missed the actual fact that one “Shark” (that scammed an author) was an attorney of the the SFWA & Writer Beware. We could not resist the opportunity to comment on her complete lack of fact-finding regarding Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware.

It is our expectation that Ms. Marsh will be more conscious of the implications of such yellow journalism and avoid them in the future at all costs. It is carelessness and misleading writing that is devoid of the complete truth. Strauss and Writer Beware should be discredited and Ms. Marsh has the power to do that through due diligence and fact finding.

Ms. Marsh & Words with Jam really dropped the ball here. We are sure that from across “the pond” this appears to be a great story. However, the unenlightened people that write these editorial masturbations  need to dig beyond the false superficial impressions. The fact that JJ Marsh conducts “60 Second Interviews” should prove that more time was needed on this one. RUBBISH!

[NOTE: JJ Marsh, in her biography, indicates that She lives in an attic overlooking a cemetery.] Hmmm . . .  ponder that!

 

Victoria Strauss

Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

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Dave Kuzminski (Preditors & Editors) & His Unpublicized Death

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Andrew Burt, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Atlanta Nights, Attorney Victor Cretella, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Crispin, Crispin Dead, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION, DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Michael Capobianco, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Preditors & Editors, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware on March 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Kuzminski isn’t the first one to offer his opinion online, nor will he be the last. The trouble lies when information provided can be found false and harmful to someone’s reputation.

– Conseula Chavez

On August 13, 2013, David Lee Kuzminski, (the unscrupulous & embattled overseer of the infamous Preditors & Editors site), died from an apparent heart attack. Kuzminski passed away 24 days prior to Ann “A.C.” Crispin. There has been very little mentioned about the demise of David Lee Kuzminski. Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware appear to have been equally silent and have very coldly  . . .  very coldly . . . done nothing to memorialize their cult hero and co-defendant (Strauss’ only posting, post-Kuminski’s death, was on the Absolute Water Cooler inquiring about Andrew Burt’s status (see below).

Recently filed documents (February 6, 2014)  indicate that Preditors & Editors is actually now a real Colorado non-profit organization (questions were raised previously when Kuzminski, who was being sued for defamation, was begging … BEGGING . . .  readers/authors to financially support and donate to his legal defense fund).  Andrew Burt will be running the site now. Burt has a long history an affiliation with the SFWA and Victoria Strauss.

“Andrew Burt . . . in my opinion [has] pretty clearly shown he’s absolutely and utterly incapable of recognizing his own incompetence, or the damage he’s done to the organization; really, what would have surprised me is if he hadn’t run. However, I can and will [sic] blame my fellow SFWAns if the man is actually elected president. Because I assume, hope and pray they are not as incompetent as he.”

Why would you, as a writer, trust someone who has never signed a book contract with a science fiction publisher to engage in fruitful discussion with science fiction publishers about your professional concerns as a writer? Why would you, as a writer, trust someone who has barely any experience as a writer to move the organization in a direction that is relevant to your professional career? Equally importantly, if you were a brand-spanking-new science fiction writer, with your very first book contract in hand, why on earth would you join a professional writer’s organization whose president has less personal experience with book contracts than you do?”

– John Scalzi, Former SWWA President

Other related postings

Victoria Strauss: It’s Not a Death Threat . . . Just a Wish!

DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski

How Pathetic Can Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski Be?

SUPPORT THE WRITE AGENDA

References:

A Gut Check Moment for SFWA

“ASPIRING AUTHORS: BE AWARE OF AMERICAN BOOK PUBLISHING!” HubPages  Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://hubpages.com/hub/Be-Careful-of-Online-Information-Preditors-Editors-Creator-Sued-for-Libel&gt;.
Cretella v. Kuzminski | Citizen Media Law Project.” Home | Citizen Media Law Project. Web. 12 Mar. 2011. <http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/cretella-v-kuzminski&gt;.
“Cretella v. Kuzminski.” Justia Dockets & Filings. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://dockets.justia.com/docket/virginia/vaedce/3:2008cv00109/226711/&gt;.
“David Kuzminski, You Naughty Boy | Www.writersnewsweekly.com.”www.writersnewsweekly.com | “Writing Something Worth Reading; Doing Something Worth Writing About.” Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://www.writersnewsweekly.com/kuzminski.html&gt;.
Elkins, Deborah. “Lawyer Has Defamation Claim for Online Post « Virginia Lawyers Weekly.”Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. <http://valawyersweekly.com/blog/2008/06/09/lawyer-has-defamation-claim-for-online-post/&gt;.

Florida Literary Agency and Publisher Reaches Settlement on FDUTPA Litigation with Florida Attorney General

In Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Atlanta Nights, Attorney, Attorney General, Attorney Victor Cretella, Author, Author Boycott, Author Contracts, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Criminal History, Crispin, Crispin Dead, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski, defamatory, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, Legal Issues, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Mark Coker, P.N. Elrod, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Randi Shapiro, Randy Dotinga, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Published, Self-Publishing, State of Florida Inspector General, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strategic Book Group, Strategic Book Publishing, strategic book publishing and rights agency, Strauss, Subpoena, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, The Write Agenda: Top 10 Blog Posts for 2011, The Write Company to Keep, Theodore Beale, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victor Cretella, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Whatever, Writer Beware, Writer Beware & Others, Writers, Yog's Law on March 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Robert Fletcher, CEO, Successfully Overcomes Damaging Allegations and Declares that Settlement is a Victory When Dealing with any Government Agency.

“Anytime a business settles litigation with a government agency with no admission of guilt and no violation of the law, it can be considered a victory,” said Robert Fletcher, the CEO of a group of companies that have been dealing with government litigation for over six years.

“Unfortunately, most consumers believe that litigation equals guilt, but that simply isn’t true.  This suit should never have been filed,” Mr. Fletcher continued. “If the litigation had any merit, they would have pushed it harder and not taken six years to deal with it.  Furthermore, the attorney who filed against us was asked to leave her job for ethical and competency issues.  Mr. Fletcher went on to say that, “settlement was the best action for our constituents as it allows us to concentrate on the future and not continue to pour money down the legal drain hole of America’s quasi-political legal process. Most importantly, we want our authors to realize that this litigation did not include our current businesses.  The suit was only directed at older companies that had a completely different business model and had already been dissolved”.

Mr. Fletcher concluded by looking to the future. “With this settlement, our family of authors and employees can rest assured that our business principles are sound and fair.  I am extremely happy for our authors, clients, and employees who have had to deal with the uncertainties of this misguided litigation for the last six years.  We have now formally put this behind us and we feel stronger than ever.  Let’s get back to business.  We have our clients’ books to publish and sell and distribute around the world.  And we would like any potential client that turned away from us because of this issue to please reconsider joining us.”

Therefore, the witch hunt perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware and the SFWA has been discredited; the The Florida Attorney General is NOT ACTIVELY collecting complaints and information.

So, the question is, will Robert Fletcher again pursue legal action against Victoria Strauss, SFWA, Writer Beware & others?

For further reading see:

Florida Attorney General Investigated by the Florida State Inspector General – Strategic Book Publishing Prepares Countersuits.

Florida State Inspector General’s Final Report 

Comments on the Death of Ann “A.C.” Crispin (Ongoing)

In 666, A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Crispin, Crispin Dead, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, lawsuit, lawsuits, Legal Issues, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, SFWA 2013 Elections, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strauss, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Whatever, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on September 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

“The idea that it’s okay to lie and smear people you don’t know doesn’t die with them.  I see from all these trolls that Victoria and company has taught them that this, and a ludicrous arrogance, is okay.  They haven’t an idea just how much damage it does to them.”

“Ann Crispin has done similarly, cancer often being the result of years of misdirected anger or feelings of martyrdom.”

“Some people make the planet a better place for having got the hell off it, eh?”

“We might wonder what Victoria Strauss was actually doing for that month ‘meeting a deadline’ for her latest claimed paint-by-numbers flotsam. I don’t follow her or any of these dishonest cretins, but I’d probably have heard if she’d said another word about it.  What was she doing?  Is she also ill?”

“One down and 1.5 to go . . . if Richard White (Who?) really counts.”

“The end of Writer Beware is on the horizon. Victoria Strauss lacks the competence as a researcher and is a literary underachiever. Why would anyone trust an author that has produced 8 novels that have flopped; she’s not a household name. Keep the pressure on The Write Agenda!”

“So, ‘A.C.’ has died. Allow me to be the first to extend my hand to her family at this difficult time…and then slowly raise my middle finger.”

“Crispin was Crispin. Crispin was Writer Beware. Victoria Strauss isn’t Ann Crispin . . .  the rest is history.”

“Strauss doesn’t have the skin (or ovaries as you say) to do justice to Writer Beware. Crispin’s death marks the death of Writer Beware too!”

“Amen The Write Agenda. Amen.”

“I never understood the Writer Beware concept. It’s not like they really accomplished anything other than regurgitating information. Posting shit on people or organizations that they have not been involved with is reprehensible. Yet, I never liked Crispin, not at all. That last thing she wrote isn’t a novel anyway, whatever it is. I don’t like it. Not at all. It suffers horribly  and it’s so narcissistic. And to me, also, it seemed so false, so calculated. Combining the plain woman with an absolutely megalomaniac egotism. I simply can’t stand it. Victoria Strauss . . . seriously?”

” Crispin’s work and and Strauss’ are evil, and they are the most unhappy beings of whom one can say that it would be better had they had never been born.”

“Crispin’s prose is a cold black suet-pudding. We can represent it as a cold suet-roll of fabulously reptilian length. Cut it at any point, it is the same thing; the same heavy, sticky, opaque mass all through and all along. Rest in Hell Bitch.”

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” – Dalai Lama

“May she live in the land of publisher’s advances beyond her wildest dreams.  Meanwhile, we still have work to do.”

“I doubt that any BIG publishing entity will take the time to eulogize Ann Crispin. May this fact serve to prove how SMALL she really was.”

“Ann Crispin spent her time fooling authors and convincing them that purchasing her books (and Victoria Strauss’) was a ‘show of support’ for the not-for-profit thing better known as Writer Beware. Fortunately, she only fooled the under-educated author and the Kool-Aid drinking minions . . . a very small group of literary putzes.”

“The Write Agenda (TWA) has done an awesome job weaving the cast of characters in the literary folly perpetuated by Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, James Macdonald, Macallister Stone, Lisa L. Spangenberg, Teresa Hayden, David Kuzminski, Writer Beware, Making Light, Absolute Write and Preditors & Editors. In this effort, it does appear that Yog’s Law is true. Money does flow to the author . . . especially those authors listed above. Keep following the money TWA! You’ve certainly pissed off this group and that has validated you; they are not ignoring you. Keep exposing their scams that are being perpetrated on the unknowing author.”

“To her credit, Ann Crispin was a public person and visible. Victoria Strauss, who is publically shy and painfully reclusive, hides behind Twitter and other online services and pales in comparison. If Writer Beware is going to survive it’s going to take a more publically stable individual; I’ve personally witnessed the public Strauss and it isn’t pretty. Writer Beware cannot thrive solely on the narcissistic endeavors of a reclusive hag like Victoria Strauss. Writer Beware is surely to follow the same fate as Ann Crispin . . . DEATH. Strauss will not be able to hack the challenges without Crispin and her ego would not tolerate a replacement.”

“What? Writer Beware’s & Victoria Strauss’ first post . . . FIRST POST! . . . after the death of Ann Crispin links to Twitter postings by The Write Agenda? Seriously? Rock on The Write Agenda . . . you have arrived as a worthy opponent to the reclusive one (Victoria Strauss). Strauss states:  ‘I was considering letting the blog sit silent for a week–but in light of the fools and trolls who are dreaming of Writer Beware’s demise, I’ve decided to carry on as usual. It’s what Ann would have wanted’ . . . it’s no ‘dream’ Strauss, The Write Agenda has called you out and Writer Beware will ‘sit silent’ soon! It’s a great day to be a ‘fool’ and a ‘troll’ people because Victoria Strauss could not remain silent! Strauss can’t sell any of her dreadful books . . . how will she continue to sell Writer Beware? There’s no validity here; not with the author and not with the mission she claims to advocate for. However, you can purchase her books as a sign of ‘support’ of Writer Beware. I hope the people that are reading this are now puking. You just can’t make this shit up!”

“Strauss has BIG shoes to fill and obviously The Write Agenda has become public enemy #1 to Strauss & Co. The death of Crispin is a historical benchmark and a pinnacle turning point for the future of Writer Beware. The Write Agenda has obliviously intimidated the living shit out of Victoria Strauss! Savor the moment The Write Agenda. Victoria Strauss should have ignored you . . . she didn’t. I agree with the other commentators . . . the death of Writer Beware is foreseeable, Strauss avoids facts, Strauss uses ad hominem tactics, avoids real issues (hmm like Charlie Petit?) and makes personal arguments against an opponent instead of against their argument. Strauss doesn’t have the moxey to publically represent Writer Beware in a fashion anything near to Crispin. She had to comment to save her face. Thank you The Write Agenda!!!! When a person is ‘saving face,’ they are struggling to keep their reputation and the respect of other people . . .  clearly The Write Agenda has injured Writer Beware and Victoria Strauss.”

“Hell hath no fury like one author gleefully savaging another author’s work. That’s all I can say.”

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often wanted to criticize Ann Crispin, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from other readers; and therefore I had to stop every time I began. When’s the funeral? Or, are they going to toast her remains? If not,  I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

“I couldn’t stand Crispin (I despise Strauss). Nobody will think to ask because I’m supposedly jealous; but I out-sell both of them. I’m more popular than they are, and I don’t take either of them very seriously…oh, they come on like the authors advocates, but they are just boring little middle-class girls hustling their crappy books. Crispin dead? Great! Now this group is left with Victoria Strauss: What she does is not writing, that’s typing.”

“I’ve followed Writer Beware since its inception. Conceptually, it has been a great idea and they have accomplished some great things. However, as a dues paying member of the SFWA I’ve had issues with Crispin and Strauss using the site as a marketing tool. The SFWA is a not-for-profit organization; Crispin and Strauss have, as The Write Agenda has indicated, pressured followers to purchase their books as a ‘sign of support’ for their volunteerism. BULL SHIT! This is wrong and they know it’s wrong. However, it’s not that it really matters because only a small group of worshippers have actually bought into this marketing ploy. Neither Crispin nor Strauss have become household names resulting from this activity. Crispin had her 15 minutes of fame and now her flame has burned out; Strauss, now beyond middle-age, dreams of just having a public spark. Strauss is wiped out and has little chance of redeeming herself. I agree with the post regarding the ‘public’ Victoria Strauss . . . is really is not pretty. She may be able to maintain Writer Beware as a recluse but to build credibility beyond the comfort of her home in Amherst, MA . . . it’s probably not going to happen. Crispin and Strauss both have maintained independent sites; that’s where you market your book . . . not on a not-for-profit site. I’m also very concerned about the selective ‘reporting’ of Writer Beware. For example, an attorney retained by the SFWA commits fraud and it’s swept under the table; not reported by Crispin or Strauss? The American Book Publishing story by Strauss . . . so what? A ‘police investigation’ that may have actually been fabricated by Strauss herself? The Write Agenda caught my attention when you contacted all of the police organizations in the jurisdiction and found nothing to substantiate Strauss’ claims. I’m a loyalist by nature; with personal difficulty I commend The Write Agenda for calling out Crispin and Strauss to be honest. The SFWA is beyond housecleaning; John Scalzi is a putz, Crispin & Strauss  . . . self-serving and new President Steven Gould . . . G-d help us . . . Gould truly is the rectal spawn, of former SFWA President, John Scalzi that was fertilized by author James C. Hines. I will not be renewing my SFWA membership.”

“I’ve always thought that The Write Agenda (TWA) was FOS (Full of Shit). However, I’ve honestly discovered that TWA does tell the truth. Admittedly, I’ve been a SFWA & Writer Beware fool. The ‘under-informed’ & Kool-Aid drinking flying monkey! Yes, that was (was) me. Thank you TWA for the epiphany! The wakeup call was well deserved . . . mea culpa! I have also witnessed ‘the public’ Victoria Strauss and completely agree with the other posters here. If Strauss is going to redeem Writer Beware  . . . she has to get schooled in PR (how to do public appearances) quickly. Ann Crispin is well documented on video sites like You-Tube etc; there are no videos of Strauss. TWA you have hit the nail on the head. If Writer Beware is going to survive, Strauss (and only Strauss; Richard White is a peon and has less credibility than Strauss) is going to have to step up. That is going to require her to get more factual in her “reporting” and become a more public. Personally, I don’t see that happening. Strauss has been in a comfort zone, she’s publically shy and she’ll always be in the shadow of Ann Crispin.TWA you have successfully converted this SFWA member; I’m also not renewing my SFWA membership. Well done TWA! To my SFWA (soon to be former) BUY the TWA books posted as a ‘sign of support’ for their work.”

Available on Amazon.com

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Strategic Book Publishing: Florida AG Set to Begin Trial?

In Attorney General, Florida, lawsuit, lawsuits, Legal Issues, Publisher, Publishers, Publishing, Robert Fletcher, Scams, Self-Publish, Self-Published, Self-Publishing, Strategic Book Publishing, strategic book publishing and rights agency, The Write Agenda, Untraditional Publishing, Vanity, Writer, Writers on May 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

An anonymous source has indicated to TWA that the Florida Attorney General may begin a trial against Publisher Robert Fletcher and his publishing entities. The source stated that the trial could begin in July and run through September.

Stay tuned.

COMING SOON – PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware & Others

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Authors, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION, defamatory, ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, John Scalzi, lawsuit, lawsuits, Legal Issues, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Miss Snark, Mystery Writers of America, Passion Blew, Passion Blue, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Preditors & Editors, Publisher, Publishers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, The Write Agenda, Travis Tea, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Whatever, Wikimedia Foundation, Writer, Writer Beware, Writers, Yog's Law on February 13, 2013 at 3:12 am

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Dissention on the Rise Within the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA): Scalzi’s Departure Raises Concern About Undesirable Presidential Candidate(s) and the Future of Writer Beware™

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Amazon, Amazon Rankings, amazon sales, Amazon Sales Rankings, American Book Publishing, Amy Sterling Casil, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Attorney Victor Cretella, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION, ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, Legal Issues, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Mystery Writers of America, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Preditors & Editors, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publishing, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, The Write Agenda, Theodore Beale, Victor Cretella, Victoria Strauss, Vox Day, Watchdog, Whatever, Writer Beware on February 7, 2013 at 3:01 am

“SFWA members: this year it’s IMPORTANT to vote in the upcoming officer elections. Theodore Beale, a.k.a. Vox Day, is running for SFWA President. If you know the name, you’ll know why that’s scary. If you don’t, read the post below… My cat would be the better choice. And my cat is dead.” [Emphasis added]

Victoria Strauss on Facebook 2/1/13

Normally, the members of the SWFA and Writer Beware™ cast their aspersions on publishers, literary agents or their critics. In the wake of SFWA President, John “No Balls” Scalzi’s announcement that his current term, which ends on June 30, will be his last, they are attacking their own members this time . . . and it’s getting very ugly.

In the mist of the controversy is SFWA member, and author, Theodore Beale. Beale recently announced his candidacy for the post being vacated by John “No Balls” Scalzi. One thing that has become very clear, especially from those that have the most to lose (e.g. Victoria Strauss etc.) he’s (Beale) a serious threat to the “cultish” status quo of the SFWA.

“ . . . . [H]aving been a member on and off (currently on) for well over a decade, I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that the downside of it far outweighs the positives. SFWA has become a cult, dedicated first and foremost to the preservation of the cult. It has increasingly little to do with creativity, commerce, or the actual business of science fiction.”

 Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Husband of Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Scalzi, in his departure discourses, has stated the following: 1) that he’s “delighted and honored to [have served his] fellow science fiction and fantasy writers; 2) that he “had a hell of a lot of fun” and 3) that he “published three novels during [his] tenure” as President of the SFWA. These are pretty lame statements to be making while exiting an organization. Exactly how did Scalzi serve the members? Sure, on an author’s salary, getting free meal tickets (at the expense of dues-paying members) can in fact be “a hell of a lot of fun.” In addition, the audacity of Scalzi to even mention the publication of three new books when, in fact, there were overdue compliance issues and tax filings that required more attention for the SFWA. So, either it takes very little effort to actually write a Scalzi book or Scalzi’s presidency was more akin to the half-hypnotized, “do-nothing” Peter Gibbons in the movie Office Space. Scalzi’s blog, entitled Whatever, clearly seems to support the notion of his lackluster performance as President and how he approached the day-to-day business of the SFWA. Moreover, it appears that Scalzi is more likely a man of words  . . .  not a man of action. Author Jim Hines hinted that this post has its challenges . . . it may be that Scalzi is simply burned-out. (Note: He recently took a cruise [i.e.  “I need a vacation.”] with his wife and committed not to be on the Internet for 10+ days . . .  sound like a burn-out?) Beale also has been critical of Scalzi’s authorship and of the SFWA:

 “I do not wish to have what passes for John Scalzi’s stature in the science fiction field.  If I had any desire to write unoriginal and derivative takes on Heinlein, Dick, Piper, and Star Trek, I would do so.”

–          Theodore Beale

Most outgoing officers of organizations will tout their personal accomplishments and successes. “No Balls” Scalzi’s discourse appears to be devoid of delineating any accomplishments. Moreover, it appears that his term in office was nothing more than a self-serving, self-indulgent and self-promotion opportunity. Seriously, what did “No Balls” Scalzi accomplish?  His dialog almost seems analogous to SFWA member Robin Wayne Bailey, who stated: “I do it for power and popularity. It’s all about the power. And the popularity.[sic] Really. It used to be about fame, fortune and free sex.” Yes, this is the face of your current SFWA.

If “No Balls” Scalzi accomplished anything at all it was bringing the SFWA into compliance by finally assuring that the Annual Reports and Federal tax returns were completed. The organization, which does have one full-time employee (paid), was non-compliant in this regard for years.

2012 appears to have been a busy year for compliance filings for the SFWA. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division of Massachusetts received six years  (Yes, six years.) of Annual Reports from the SFWA’s Treasurer’s (there’s been several elected and none of them appear to have been capable to fulfill the duties that they were elected to execute; e.g. filing a posted-dated “Annual Report” for 2001 in 2012? 11 years late?)  Really, what does “annual” mean? If Scalzi and the one full-time employee can’t get the job done . . .  who can?

Filed on November 1, 2012 were the “Annual Reports” for 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 on behalf of the SFWA . In addition, our research has also confirmed that the SFWA had not filed federal tax returns (Form 990) for 2009, 2010 or 2011. We recently posted the updated Tax Returns which were “filed” during 2012. Note the date stamps of the IRS; not the date in the signature line. See Science Fiction Writers of America – Tax Returns.

Who should be held accountable for the lack of timely reporting? Its President, John ScalziScalzi, in our opinion, appears to be more interested in self-promotion, selling his books (which he’s doing a great job of) and pompously celebrating his status as president of the SFWA; while doing absolutely nothing . . .  NOTHING . . .  to enforce the fiduciary responsibilities of the SFWA’s officers as well as his own duties. Scalzi, who has historically been elected on marginal votes, completely ignored his fiduciary responsibilities to the SFWA and its membership.

Let’s revisit some of the voting results which led to putting Scalzi in the position of President of the SFWA. The SFWA claims to have a membership of 1800. During the 2010 elections, only 305 ballots were received (16%). 44 ballots were discarded due to SFWA procedural requirements; leaving 261 qualified ballots (14%). President, John Scalzi received merely 208 votes. Therefore, approximately 11% of the entire membership voted Scalzi into office. Treasurer Amy Casil Sterling was elected with 151 votes (8% of the entire membership). Comparatively, national voter turnout in federal elections has been as high as 56.8% in recent years. What was the cause of this dismal voting behavior? Was it due to disenchantment or indifference?

This is the perfect time for a shake up within the SFWA and Writer Beware™.

Victoria Strauss’s Reactions to Theodore Beale’s Candidacy

“If he did win, he’d be like the dog that caught the car–Holy shit. This wasn’t supposed to happen. What do I do now?

–          Victoria Strauss

Pointing her Facebook friends to a blog posting by the always over-reactive Jim Hines, Victoria Strauss has now has launched her own hate and a “Get Out the Vote” Campaign against Theodore Beale. Strauss stated: “My cat would be the better choice. And my cat is dead.” Speaking of “dead cats,” let’s not forget that it was Strauss and Ann “A.C.” Crispin, the “watchdogs” of the SFWA sponsored Writer Beware™, that failed to report the Charles E. Petit scandal visited on the John Steinbeck Estate. Petit was one of their own, as is Beale, and was at one time the attorney for the SFWA . . . prior to being disbarred. The mere fact that Strauss has come out swinging against Beale (and not Petit) appears to indicate that Beale’s candidacy is something more than an idle concern to her . . . it’s more likely a threat to her position with Writer Beware™. It’s interesting to watch Strauss & Company treat their own members as vermin and with the same disrespect for the “trolls” on the Absolute Water Cooler forum. (Also See: American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims.)

Strauss, who rarely makes public appearances, unless they are online, has never indicated what her day job or true occupation actually is. Judging by the copious daily Internet postings it’s likely that she doesn’t have one. Her income has to come from other sources or a sugar daddy; it’s certainly not from book sales (based on her sales rankings). (Note: Interestingly Strauss’ Amazon Rankings are pale compared to Beale’s.) There has to be a hidden agenda to Strauss’ heightened concerns. Would a Beale Presidency threaten the continued existence of Writer Beware™? We could only hope so.

Both Strauss and Ann “A.C.” Crispin have served more than their fair share of time as the administrators of Writer Beware™. Moreover, Crispin is in the middle of a very aggressive battle with cancer and her continued contribution to the site is highly questionable. Therefore, one can reasonably assume that a possible vacancy at Writer Beware™ may be on the horizon.

Regardless of whoever eventually wins the election as President, it is readily apparent that change within the SFWA and Writer Beware™ is both timely and necessary. Considering Strauss’ strong emphasis on how “IMPORTANT” this election is, it’s a very clear indication that her post may be in jeopardy. However, change would bring about more responsible reporting of literary scams and move Writer Beware™ back into a credible and worthwhile resource for the publishing industry; something that it has lacked for a long time.

Considering that both Strauss and Crispin have utilized Writer Beware™ for self-promotion purposes. It’s time for new blood and it’s time for Strauss and Crispin to have the ovaries to step down. John “No-Balls “Scalzi’s words are most appropriate and should be heeded:

“I also believe that SFWA as an organization is not well-served by its leadership role remaining static for too long. It’s time to let someone else take the wheel.” [Emphasis added]

–          John Scalzi

Public criticism of the internal processes and workings of the SFWA (and Writer Beware™) are vital to this election process. It is rare for those within the SFWA to be so openly critical. Nevertheless, it should prove to be quite entertaining to monitor. Considering that Scalzi was voted in on only 11% of the members votes, hopefully this will result in a higher voter turnout. Moreover, we pray that the process puts dedicated and responsible officers in place for the organization.

We expect this heated debate to continue and anticipate that others will join the race for President of the SFWA. Whether he wins or not, Theodore Beale may be the right candidate to bring about the necessary change. We fail to find this opportunity “scary.” Whatever.

REFERENCES & ADDITIONAL READING

“Absolute Write (MacAllister Stone) . . . is it ran out of a rental storage unit? Are Authors Paying the Rent via Google Ads? « The Write Agenda™.” The Write Agenda™. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski: The Write Agenda: 9781482354607: Amazon.com: Books.” Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Letter to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America « The Write Agenda™.” The Write Agenda™. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Office Space.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America: The Friends of Nancy Steinbeck: 9781482095159: Amazon.com: Books.” Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA) « The Write Agenda™.” The Write Agenda™. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Science Fiction Writers of America – Tax Returns – 2010, 2011 & 2012 « The Write Agenda™.” The Write Agenda™. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Search Results sfwa – Whatever.” Whatever. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Theodore Beale.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Vox Popoli.” Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

“Vox Popoli: Rabbits gonna rabbit.” Vox Popoli. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.

PUBLICATIONS OF THE WRITE AGENDA™

DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski

http://www.amazon.com/DEFAMATION-Cretella-Kuzminski-Against-Preditors/dp/1482354608/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360203209&sr=1-1

Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Blew-Scamming-Steinbeck-Attorney/dp/1482095157/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360203269&sr=1-1&keywords=passion+blew

DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski

In Cease & Desist, Christine Norris, Cretella v. Kuzminski, David L. Kuzminski, lawsuit, lawsuits, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Maryland State Bar Association, Preditors & Editors, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publisher, Publishers, Publishing, Scam, Scams, The Write Agenda, Victor Cretella, Watchdog, Writer, Writers on February 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Available on Amazon.com

DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski 

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[Note: David L. Kuzminski died of an apparent heart attack on August 13, 2013; 24 days prior to the death of Writer Beware’s Ann “A.C.” Crispin.]

COMING SOON: DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski – The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski – In Print

In Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Attorney, Attorney Victor Cretella, Christine Norris, Cretella v. Kuzminski, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION, Gordon and Simmons, lawsuit, lawsuits, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Libel, libelous, Maryland State Bar Association, Preditors & Editors, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publisher, Publishers, Publishing, The Write Agenda, Victor Cretella, Watchdog on February 3, 2013 at 1:44 am

DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski

The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski

The Write Agenda

8.5″ x 11″ (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
Black & White on White paper
164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1482354607
ISBN-10: 1482354608
BISAC: Literary Criticism / General
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On February 7, 2007, Victor E. Cretella, III sent a letter to Christine Norris in the interest of one of his clients, PublishAmerica LLP, declaring that Norris had produced some defamatory remarks regarding his client, and requesting that she quit doing so. At first, Norris declined to agree, yet on February 15, after she acknowledged a second letter, she responded by posting a remark on the Absolute Write Water Cooler (AWWC), an Internet discussion site for yearning writers, stating that Cretella was constraining her to quit posting dissenting comments about PublishAmerica.

The AWWC group responded rapidly and furiously to Cretella’s movement in the interest of PublishAmerica. Consistent with court filings, on February 16, David L. Kuzminski posted a remark stating that “it’s time to report Vic Cretella to the Maryland Bar Association for attempted extortion”  and that Cretella’s law firm, Gordon and Simmons, “might not want the black[]eye [that] he’s giving them.” Kuzminski likewise posted a duplicate of a message that he supposedly sent to Gordon and Simmons, and additionally some parts of the Maryland State Bar Association, stating that “Cretella seems to be involved in what I would characterize as extortion” and that Cretella is “actively . . . furthering [PublishAmerica’s] unethical[,] if not illegal[,] methods.” Kuzminski added that he “fully intend[ed] to report [Cretella] to the Maryland State Bar Association.” Kuzminski’s remarks were cited in some ensuing posts on AWWC, the greater part of which extolled his response.

On February 13, 2008, Cretella sued Kuzminski for defamation in federal court in Virginia, asserting that Kuzminski’s charges were false and defamatory. Kuzminski responded with a motion to dismiss, stating that his articulations were just supposition or simply opinion.

The court dismissed two of the seven counts in the complaint, on the basis that the proclamations weren’t actionable. In any case, the court denied the motion as to the other five counts, holding that Kuzminki’s other asserted statements – the accusations of extortion and unethical conduct, embarrassment by Cretella’s former law firm, that Cretella took action against another author – all were proclamations that might be indicated to be false. The court held that “many courts have regarded accusations of unlawful activity as statements of fact.”

The matter went to the jury. On 2/4/2009, the jury returned a verdict for Cretella in the amount of $236,000.

 

The Friends of Nancy Steinbeck Expect to Release New Book: Passion Blew!

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Book Boycott, Boycott, Boycotted Authors, Boycotted Books, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION, Investigations, Jaws, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, Legal Issues, Mystery Writers of America, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, Passion Blue, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Recommended Book, Recommended Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, Shark, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware on January 27, 2013 at 1:16 am

The Friends of Nancy Steinbeck Expect to Release New Book: Passion Blew!

ISBN-13: 978-1482095159
ISBN-10: 1482095157
BISAC: Literary Criticism / American / General

It (Writer Beware™) purports that it “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.” Selectively? Maybe? Sure, until the scam strikes at home base.In 2007 it did; and, it’s a SCAM of EPIC proportions. It involves the estate of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck (i.e. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937) . . . yes, that Steinbeck. Huge? We think so. Was the failure of Writer Beware™ to report this scam an oversight or a case where they just turned their heads and looked the other way?What did this scam involve? In principle, it’s the kind of material that Writer Beware™ built its foundation on. Exposing scams that are relative to: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. These are the types of claims that spawned Writer Beware™ and its own version of their boycotts; otherwise known as their “Thumbs Down” lists. It’s time for the “bright light” to shine into the “dark corners of the shadow-world” of Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware™ and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA). There’s one name we will not see on any Writer Beware ™ list and we’ll let you decide exactly why that happened.He represented “people who claimed they were defrauded.” He also goes by “Jaws” on some of the infamous writer and author awareness blogs. He was also known as the “Authors Lawyer.” His ties to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA), Writer Beware™, Ann “A.C.”Crispin and Victoria Strauss are well documented; he worked “closely” with them and had frequent correspondence with Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. He called Victoria Strauss a “colleague.” Who was this highly lauded “scamhunter”? Charles Emil Petit. Also known as Charles E. Petit, Charlie Petit and/or C.E. Petit. AKA “Jaws.”Charles E. Petit is also believed to be an Absolute Write contributor and frequent commenter on Writer Beware ™. Confidential sources indicated to The Write Agenda that, at one time, all complaints and “cease & desist” letters regarding Writer Beware™ were to be directed to Charles E. Petit. On information and belief, it appears that he did accept service of process for several defendants in the Bauer vs. Glatzer in 2007. Petit never actually represented any of the defendants. He couldn’t because he’s not licensed in New Jersey. He did accept service and then referred the case to local New Jersey attorneys. He was subjected to disciplinary action, by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, after a complaint was filed by Nancy Steinbeck who was the former wife of John Steinbeck IV, the son of author John Steinbeck.

As of this writing, Charles E. Petit has not made any effort at restitution or returning the fees that he collected from Nancy Steinbeck.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

• Your purchase of this book has helped. Through The Friends of Nancy Steinbeck, proceeds from the sales of this book will be given to Nancy Steinbeck. Please refer it to your friends and family.

• Purchase Nancy Steinbeck’s book: The Other Side of Eden: Life With John Steinbeck. Available on Amazon.

• Boycott all of the books of authors Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and John Scalzi. Strauss and Crispin are the principals of Writer Beware™ which is sponsored by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). John Scalzi is the current President of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

• Contact Charles E. Petit, who now goes by C.E. Petit, on his blog site at http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com and request that he take the steps necessary to make restitution to Nancy Steinbeck.

Sincerely,

The Friends of Nancy Steinbeck

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