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Jaq D Hawkins

Some Musings

I wrote a post here http://jaqdhawkins.moonfruit.com/#/oddities/4567209317 [no longer active] which was all I really wanted to say about this issue, but friends of the perpetrator have pushed and helped try to divert attention from five years of malice into an issue about a single piss-take article on a toxic person's website, so I will lay out a few details and evidence here for the purpose of saving repetition.

The fun bit is that I'm avoiding putting the guilty party's name in line in the text as I will not contribute to her efforts to link her names with mine on searches, but the screen shots have enough information.

Let's start at the beginning. I don't have an actual date for when that is, but over a period of years a name keeps popping up on the Internet expressing dislike of one of my books. Fair enough, no book appeals to everyone. She's copied her scathing review to various sites and does go on a bit, but I never said a word about any of it. I accept that this one person genuinely hated my book, it was inevitable that someone would.

Because it was an unusual screen name, it stood out whenever I did a search on either my own name or the title of the book. This is something that authors commonly do for a list of reasons, call it a periodic spot check of what people are saying. Mostly I get good reviews, occasionally I get troll bait since my appearance on Dragon's Den by which I mean nasty comments from people who obviously haven't read the book and get some kind of perverse pleasure out of making nasty comments on the Internet. We've all seen them in some guise, their comments roll off as inconsequential.

So one day on a search for my own name, I find a piss-take article spanning five pages of a website which at that time didn't have an obvious link from the front page. It was on the second Google page, clearly SEO maximised and serving no other purpose than to slag off my book extensively. The website has no reviews section, there is nothing similar anywhere. The article twists and misrepresents plot points in a way that shows obvious malice and even flat out lies about some.

Hmmm...

So, having few enemies and immediately suspecting someone specific, I looked to see who owned the website. The information was hidden behind an anonymous web hosting service, the domain of terrorists and trolls. Just my suspect's style. So I did a Google search and found that this host would turn over information if you stated a legal dispute. Having dealt with these in another context many years ago, I know the lingo.

So, I sent an email to the server and host, admittedly using strong statements and legal speak but it's the only way of getting the name of this person showing malice towards me. In the end, it didn't work anyway. I was forced to ask a friend who can get information to find out who this obnoxious person is and he returned rather more than I asked for.

Somewhat to my surprise, the name was unknown to me.

However, to my further surprise, a Livejournal page linked the offending website to an email I recognised immediately.

Now, "Robin" as she called herself on the IMDB forums,  chatted quite amicably with me about my book and film plans despite the fact that she said she didn't like the book. I did ask her once why she kept following progress when she didn't like the book and didn't expect to see the film materialise and she gave me 'just interested' as an answer.

Normal people follow projects they DO like.

She was even friendly enough to offer assistance with my website.

Meanwhile, under her other guise, she was slagging off not just the book but any future projects I might release. The film referred to is about ancient magic, spells gone wrong and all sorts, but she's encapsulated a statement to strip away all the relevant plot points.

So, noting that these screen shots cover 2006-2009 and that the clear malice goes on, we're looking at someone who has followed me around the Internet for 5-6 years, approached me in a  friendly manner under one name while slagging my work off under another, who hides behind an anonymous webhost and behaves very much like someone with a personal vendetta.

 

Yes I wanted to know who my stalker was, no apologies.

 

The question 'why' remains. She insists that she is not the obsessive I suspected and evidence to link them is no more than circumstantial. As she presumably has to use a real name to pay her web host, either the name I had was a pen name or she isn't the same person.

 

However, she is still the stalker as described above, using multiple names and obsessed with the idea of 'sock-puppets'. She regulary accuses any of my fans who appear on the Internet and all my good reviewers of being sock-puppets, presumably including the ones with several books of their own which would make me a very busy person indeed.

Normal people don't follow a person for 5-6 years because they don't like their book. There is something pathological in this stalking. I do have a right to know who and why.

Meanwhile she has whipped up a frenzy among a group of young women (always young women) and told them I'm attacking her for a review. When she initiated contact with me I made it clear in the first message that I didn't intend to sue her, yet her routine includes convincing these incredulous youngsters that the big bad author is suing the poor little reviewer because she didn't like the book.

 

What bollocks.

 

There is no lawsuit. There are no genuine reviewers who have had anything but polite thanks for their critical reviews.

What there is, is a person who has followed me with malice for several years repeatedly slagging off whatever I'm working on. She also created an updated link prominently on her front page and updated the extensive information of my every movement, including links I had never seen before finding her article page.

 

Obsessive anyone?

This is a 40 year old woman. Any observer would guess she was fifteen at most, even less mature than her followers who all appear to be just over twenty.