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Words to sign contracts by

As many of you know, I have been following the Ellora’s Cave v Dear Author thing closely–and quite likely will until it is resolved one way or another.

On the one hand, it is absolutely popcorn worthy entertainment. In a much smaller scale, it brings to mind Charles Carreon v The Oatmeal (beware, this is an utter time suck–don’t go too far down the rabbit hole unless you have a day or two to spare).

On the other hand, the resolution of this case will help set a precedent for book bloggers, reviewers, authors, editors, etc. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by threats of vexatious lawsuits by the bullies of the world.

I do pray rather fervently that the court forces EC to show its books and explain why they are sending checks through the mail in a way that violates USPS rules (undated metered mail–see this post)


On that note, isn’t romance a beautiful thing? The fundraising was made public in the morning on Friday October 3rd. Not even 12 hours later, the community had raised over $38,000.00. People, learn from TC/JB delusions and do not piss your target market off. They’ll band together and bitch-slap you. Hard.


But, back to the point of this post.


Rumour has it that the disgraced ex-owner of the now defunct Triskelion Publishing, Kristi Studts has opened a new publishing company. Of course, she’s not listed as the owner of Mystical Moon Press, but apparently she may be using several pseudonyms to hide her identity.

I got this e-mail from an ex Trisk author:

We (ex Trisk authors) have discovered that Kristi Studts has started up again. Or at least has something to do with this set up:

She is Magickal Media, the cover artist there (I think Dear Author did an expose a while back when she displayed our Triskelion covers on Magickal Media as her work, which they were). However, nobody I’ve been in contact with knows any of the authors there, and there are some names on the owner and author page that seem – a bit familiar. Perhaps you can get someone who knows a bit about computers and stuff to find out more.

What is annoying us, (the ex-Triskettes) is that Kristi isn’t coming out and telling people who she is. Nothing wrong, legally, with her doing this and trying to make a living, but unethical not to tell people who she is?

There are some very unhappy authors who never want to have anything to do with her again (yours truly included). But if she hides under pseudonyms and other names, we won’t be able to tell.

Does anybody out there know if A, she is actually the owner, and B, who the hell is submitting their work to her?

A fine week for the e-publishing industry isn’t it? Will this madness ever stop?

Methinks not.

I wonder what this will ultimately mean for this e-publishing house? They seem to be losing people hand over fist. Lynne Connolly’s gone too.

If I was a Trisk author, I’d be feeling pretty nervous right now, what with reports of bouncing cheques, unpaid royalties, being disinvited to the RWA, and now one of Trisk’s longest serving people has jumped ship, after showing severe signs of stress, and mental fatigue.

It all seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. Authors, you may want to start running towards the door… erm, don’t forget to take your rights with you…


I’m not really interested in debating this any further, other than giving my official stance on The Northmangate Scandal, hence why I’ve turned off the comments.

But you and I wouldn’t know about it without “The Leak”.

Somebody wrote that on the SB’s site, and I have to say, that’s simply not true. Quite a few of us were sent that e-mail, and I believe it was being forwarded to many others, via different channels.

It was simply a matter of time before it became blog fodder.

When I read the original e-mail, my first thought was, “What an absolute numpty! This was then followed up by, “What kind of fucktardly cabbage would write such personal shit about her children on an author loop?”

I pretty much still think that.

One thing I found interesting was that people were more than happy to blame the SB’s for posting this ‘private’ email, for various nefarious reasons, but not many people questioned the motivation of the person who had forwarded the e-mail in the first place.

What was their agenda?

Pissed off author? Seems likely. Maybe they were after revenge for some perceived/actual slight against them, wrought by the e-mailer, or Triskelion? Again, another possibility.

I’ve heard a lot of garbage about morals and ethics, but who the hell are we kidding here?

That highly unprofessional e-mail was sent by somebody obviously undergoing some emotional stress, and people have been very quick to point that out, but who’s to say that the person who forwarded the e-mail off the loop wasn’t going through their own mini trauma?

I tried to put myself in Gail Northman’s shoes, and wondered if I’d have possibly reacted similarly to her. In a word, no, I wouldn’t have.

Some people would argue that I couldn’t possibly know what I would do under similar circumstances, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s such a crock of shit. I’d have never sold my child down the river, by basically calling her a prostitute, on a group with over two hundred members. Never. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even call her that in a private one-to-one with my best friend. But that could just be a me thing.

I then tried to put myself in The Leaker’s position, but this was a lot trickier, because I simply don’t know what her motivation was.

Somebody asked at Dear Author if any of us would have personally forwarded the e-mail ourselves. Foolish, foolish question. The true answer? It depends.

Let me say this, If I felt I had been screwed over by the company I happened to work for, or shafted by the person who sent the e-mail, not only would I have forwarded the e-mail, (yes, probably anonymously) I would have made damn sure, that it got on every news channel going. Vindictive much? With the right provocation? Damn straight.

Would this have been the right thing for me to do?

Probably not, but then again it’s easy to have a high moral standpoint on these things, when you have no emotional investment in the situation. In the same way that Gail’s stress may have led to her idiotically posting that rant, The Leak may have also felt at the end of her tether. Who’s wrong? Who’s right?

As for the whole ridiculous issue of whether or not The SB’s should have posted the e-mail, why shouldn’t they have?

It was a very newsworthy item, gossipy even, but I can tell you that, had the bit about Northman’s children not been in there, the discussion would have been very different. Triskelion itself, would have been put under far more scrutiny, than they were.

The crux of the argument seems to be that the SB’s had a moral obligation to not publicly post the e-mail.

Total bullshit.

The original leaker of the e-mail was the person who had the moral/possibly contractual obligation to not forward the e-mail outside that loop. Once she failed to live up to that obligation, and sent the e-mail out of the jurisdiction of the loop, that e-mail was fair game.

Fair. Game.

The SB’s didn’t owe Northman a damn thing, whereas, she on the other hand, owed her soon-to-be team, the courtesy of A, behaving with some decorum, and not sounding off like a rhinoceros with an arrow up its arse, and B, not resorting to high school jinks, by giving her authors the middle finger, and trying to insinuate that they had no right to take their issues with Triskelion to the RWA. If promises were being broken left, right, and centre, I’d have been pissed with the publisher too.

The loop had over two hundred members, a few of which had obviously demonstrated their dissatisfaction with in-house events, by officially complaining about Triskelion.

That’s like me finding out that somebody had been leaking secret company documents, which were potentially damaging to me, then me sending them an e-mail telling them I’d kill them if they didn’t quit.

Does one really need a Masters degree in astrophysics to work out all the reasons why that would have been a really bad idea?

Bottom line, Northman shouldn’t have posted that e-mail on the loop in the first place. Also, The Leaker shouldn’t have forwarded the e-mail, but once she did, it was then up to the recipients of that e-mail what they did with it, and in my opinion, publicising it was well within the SB’s remit. They didn’t owe Northman or Triskelion a damn thing. End of.