I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

So…there’s this…thing. It’s not really a SEKRIT thing, it’s just a…work in progress thing. My enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron has a project coming out soon [Patreon link: PAY UP, BECAUSE SHE IS MADE OF WIN] and has, despite both my better judgment AND willingness to participate in such shenanigans (who am I kidding? I’m always up for shenanigans!), convinced me to join her in its fruition. (She has a knack for doing this – she knows what buttons to push/tribute to offer.)

I can’t say much right now, as it’s still in development, but once the details are hammered out, I will share it with you.

I am up to no good. There will be vampires involved.

Five Evil Years – NOT APRIL FOOL’S

ELEW_logo

So yes. April 1 is by far the most evil day of the year, but it being the anniversary of the Evil League of Evil Writers was (almost) entirely coincidental. April just happened to be the closest upcoming month back when we were going public with the Evil League of Evil Writers, and what better day to celebrate eviltry than the day of trickery itself?

Loki Oh Yes

I realize this does come with the side effect of our celebratory posts being sometimes taken as April Fool’s pranks, but that’s not our problem. Evil does not care if you believe in it or not.

Having said that, five years of mayhem deserves special recognition, and today we have the honor of hosting a dark lord. No, really. Go and read the interview for yourself. There’s a giveaway included! (Spoiler Alert: It’s JIM BUTCHER! No foolin’!)

Speaking of giveaways, five years is a big deal, and we’re celebrating in style. There are fantastic gift packages with all sorts of shinies in them, including some things that are specific to giveaways. That is, you won’t see them anywhere for sale – the only way to get them is to win them. Books! Gift cards! More books! Click on the pic to see what’s up for grabs and enter!

Giveaway Pic

Trick or Treat!

I’ve spent the last few weeks brewing up this Halloween treat in my cauldron of doom, just for my mischievous readers. I’m not going to blurb what goes on in this story, because Halloween is about spooky surprises and scary monsters. And candy. And pumpkins.

Enjoy!

Click the pic below to download the PDF. (As this is a free story, this is the only format it’s going to be available in.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

Cover art and formatting done by the wonderfully talented IndigoChick Designs.

Of Spammers and Asshats

Last night before heading to bed, I check my email. This arrived, subject line “Hi Dina, how are you today?“, along with the little paperclip icon that indicates an attachment.

Now, normally, I don’t even bother looking at such things. I don’t open emails with attachments, or with idiotic subject lines like that, but something…I don’t know what…compelled me to open it. Go on, laugh. I don’t mind.

Finished? Onward then.

Here’s the email [sic], with specifics redacted, as I don’t want to give any undue attention to this spamming asshat:

Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me.

I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature.

I am working on another 2 series also ..
< conveniently provided links to Amazon and their blog >

Now, this email rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons. Mostly in the “Oh HELL NO YOU DO NOT SPAM ME WITH YOUR SELF-PUBBED BULLSHIT” way, but I’ve learned to let things sit for awhile before writing something in anger. So I let it be for a day, and wrote back today. Here’s my reply (again, particulars redacted):

Dear < SPAMMING ASSHAT > (may I call you “< REAL NAME FOUND VIA GOOGLE-FU >?”),

I think perhaps this email has been misdirected, for surely it was not intended for me. I am a writer, not a book reviewer of any kind.

However, perhaps this email was intended for me. I noticed a few days ago you added me on Google Plus. It often happens that people add me there because they are friends or fans of my work, but it seems you have added me for another reason – because I have “writer” in my profile. With that in mind, let’s assume this email was for me. As such, I will address it line by line in reply. My responses will be in red (ETA: italics for this blog post) for your convenience.

On 4/15/2014 12:26 AM, < SPAMMING ASSHAT > wrote:
> Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me. Actually, no, I wouldn’t consider reading and reviewing it for you, as you have sent it to me unsolicited. This means “I did not ask you for it.” This is considered extremely rude in the writing community – it’s rude in general, known as the “hard sell” – and only serves to set you apart as an unprofessional salesman and alienate your target audience, which, by the way, I am not. Why would a paranormal writer wish to read and review erotica?

> I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature. This sentence is incomplete. You have just published what? I am guessing you mean “book,” but at 21,000+ (I am guessing again here that you mean “words”), it’s actually a novella, which is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words. Also, if all you have to say about this work is that it’s “mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature,” you might want to look into how to pitch a novel. There are a hundred websites out there that will help you figure this one out.

> I am working on another 2 series also .. Here you conveniently provide me with links to your work. I cannot begin to describe the absolute rudeness and audacity of this action. Not only have you sent me your work unsoliticted (some refer to this practice as “spamming”), you have also shown me where to purchase your work, with three links to various incarnations of Amazon, and one to your blog, ostensibly so that I may keep up with your progress because I am bound to be so enthralled by your work that I will wish to keep tabs on you. As I said…this is beyond rude.
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < POPULAR BLOGGING PLATFORM LINK REDACTED > Really? And you want me to take you seriously as a professional author? Also, “< REDACTED >” is synonymous with “basic,” which you might want to look to in you’re not of a mind to call the intelligence level of yourself or your audience into question. FYI.

Then, after all of this, you attach a free PDF copy of your work for my reading consideration, in the hopes that I will not only read it, but review it for you as well. < REAL NAME >, I don’t work for Fiverr. I will not be giving you a review of any kind, ever, for anything. You have just guaranteed that with this email. I will, however, remember your name, and know to steer clear of you from here on in. (All links are broken to get around spam filters, because I want to ensure you get this email, so take out the spaces and replace [dot] with a period.) [ETA: link restored for the purpose of this blog post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-shaffer/five-stars-for-five-dolla_b_3997107.html

With this email, you have just done the complete opposite of what you hoped to accomplish. You have ensured that I will never, under any circumstances, have anything to do with you or your work. Now, maybe this is an innocent error. Maybe you just read on some idiotic self-publishing site or forum that this is the way to do things/get sales/promote yourself. Listen to me very carefully – THIS IS WRONG. This is very, very wrong, and you are only hurting yourself as a writer by doing things this way. This, by the way, amuses me, because you refer to yourself being somehow above other writers in one of your Amazon reviews. My views on self-publishing aside (which you would know, had you actually investigated who I am instead of just mining G+ for writers), your behavior is exactly what gives self-pubbers the reputation they have.

If you want to ever be taken as a professional writer of any sort (and there are professional erotic authors out there), you will stop this idiotic spam attachment campaign immediately. Most people will delete this kind of thing without reply. I have taken time out of my evening to answer you, in the hopes that you will educate yourself and stop being such an ignorant douchebag asshat. (Again, if you’d bothered to investigate me at all, as I’ve done with you, you’d know I am an evil bitch who does tolerate bullshit like this from anyone.) Please be advised that I will be writing a blog post using this email (with details redacted, as I won’t be giving you any kind of promo whatsoever) to illustrate what NOT to do as a writer. I thank you in advance for your shining example of douchebaggery. I am also as of this moment blocking you on G+ because of this email.

Here are a few links of my own in return for those you kindly provided me (again broken to get around spam filters):
[ETA: Links restored for the purposes of this blog post – they were originally broken in the mail]

On “the hard sell.” Please read this and pay close attention to it – https://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/the-hard-sell-doesnt-work-redux/

On wordcount – http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/wordcount.html

On how to be a professional writer – http://www.dinajames.com/writing/how-to-be-a-professional-writer/

How Not To Be A Douchebag Author (bookmark this site and keep an eye on it – it’s full of writing advice weekly, though they are on hiatus this month)- http://evilwriters.blogspot.com/search/label/HNTBADBA

Best,
Dina

P.S. It’s spelled “Vader,” not “Vador.” His Lordship would Forcechoke you for your misstep. Though I suppose it’s better than “< OTHER USERNAME REDACTED >.” Are you seeing a pattern here, < REAL NAME >? The Internet is forever, and Google is an amazing tool.

Dina James
Chronicler of the Paranormal
http://www.dinajames.com

Spamming Asshat didn’t take too kindly to my reply. They wrote me back with various – I can only call them “illiterate,” despite them considering themselves a writer, as they clearly have no reading comprehension whatsoever – threats and comments, culminating in them posting the above email, my address and all, on their own blog. I’m not really sure what that was intended to do. Show I’m a bitch? That’s kind of obvious.

All I did was call them out on their spamming. They did the rest. I won’t repost the threats and other charming responses this individual sent, but thought I’d put this here as an example for other self-published writers of what not to do.

Hear that, writers? DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO RANDOM PEOPLE UNLESS THEY ASK FOR IT. See the links above. (I’ve restored them so they work for this blog post.) DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO PEOPLE YOU HAVE NOT RESEARCHED. They could be someone offended by your work, or an evil bitch like me, or not a fan of self-publishing, or whatever! Research people before you send them anything. This spamming asshat just mined G+ for anyone with “writer” in their profile and sent them their book out of the blue FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO GET REVIEWS/GENERATE SALES. This is SPAM. DO NOT DO THIS.

And so, as promised, here is your cautionary tale about spamming people with your shit.

The end.

ETA April 19: Apparently our lovely spammer did indeed follow through with their threat to spam their mailing list (which is looking like it was collected via mining social networks for certain keywords), as I’ve heard from a writer previously unknown to me that they were spammed with my name and reply mail. So there’s that.

It has also come to my attention via a friend that our dear spamming asshat has ragequit the internet. Checking the folder I filtered any of their future spam to, they had indeed sent me the same message this blog post from a book reviewer details wonderfully – chucklesbookcave.blogspot.ca/2014/04/rude-authors-1-gn-grayson.html. So, despite “threatening” to remove me from their “friends list,” they apparently kept me on it. Big shock there. This “threat” *cough*butthurtragequit*cough* was apparently true as well, though. Their webpages and profiles have indeed been deleted, as well as both of their blogs, and the links to their books are no longer working. I guess I wasn’t the only one to tell them to call them on their asshatery.

A Reward and A Dare

I was updating the perks at the Evil For Julie fundraisers. I saw the numbers.

Dean Holy Shit Eyes

$3330 [ETA April 16 – $3425] for the Writer Edition.

$6705 [ETA April 16 – $7545] for the Reader Edition.

If my math is correct (and unlike Tony Stark’s, it usually isn’t, but I digress), that puts us at $10,035 $10,970 for both campaigns.

You know, when we were pulling this together and deciding on a target number for our goal, I made the comment that if we raised $10,000, I would make a video of me dancing like a freak (I can’t dance…no, really, I can’t. I just wiggle my butt and flail my arms.) at various Oregon Coastal landmarks within driving distance of me.

I said it sarcastically. Because, you know…$10,000? Yeah, right. We’d be lucky to make half that, but we decided to go for it anyway. $5000 was lofty. $10,000 was laughable.

Sarcasm or no, I said it, in front of witnesses. As such, the video will get made. It will be finished and uploaded sometime in May, after all this is over.

Just so you know, I made another comment about our fundraiser goals, and this one is on the Internet, WHICH IS FOREVER.

The price? $50,000. The perk? I will karaoke Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On,” get it on film, and post it to the Internet.

Try reaching that one, evildoers. I DARE YOU.

buffy-come-at-me-bro

ETA: Upon conferring with my enablers, I have agreed to do the same with Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” at the $25,000 mark. Because Dean Winchester. BRING IT.

Signal Boost – Abasement

I said ABASEMENT, not a basement. A basement is where I keep…uh…LOOK OVER THERE!

Want to see me abase myself? It will cost you $5000.00. Well, $4397.00 at the moment, really. Here’s how you can get me to do it:

Go to this blog post. Pick a charity. Donate. Send confirmation of your donation to the address on the post. Make the meter go up. When the meter hits $5000.00, I will sing Air Supply’s “All Out of Love.”

No, I mean it. I will. I said so, right here.

So yeah. Go forth and donate! There are shiny things there, too! Even if you don’t make me sing, you can still make Skyla watch all the Twilight movies back to back. And she’ll live tweet it, too.

Fundraising is evil.

It’s A Trap!

Or a conspiracy.

I’ll go with conspiracy.

My friend Skyla Dawn Cameron is having a birthday this month. She’s doing something a little different for it – she’s giving other people presents. Well, people and animals and so on, because she’s a hippy. No, really. She is. Like with vegan cheese and everything. But I digress.

Here. Go see. There are shiny things. Also…

Also…

ImayhaveagreedtosomethingtotallyunGothlythatisprobablygoingtobackfirebecauseIhaveevilfriends.

Okay? There. I said it.

Want to see me sing Air Supply? It will cost you. $5000.00 in fact. No, I’m not lying. Go read Skyla’s blog post and see how this can happen. And just to taunt you a second time, for $10,000.00 I will sing both “All Out of Love” by Air Supply AND “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” from The Lion King.

Now, you have the whole month to make this happen. So, go. Tell your friends. People on Twitter are already conspiring how to make this happen to get me to sing, and the post saying I’d do it just hit the blogosphere like an hour ago. There’s talk of collection jars on office desks and all sorts of things…it’s wild!

Via Skyla’s Twitter:

I say, BRING IT, BITCHES! I HAVE NO FEAR! NONE! You raise $5000.00 for Skyla’s charities, I will sing the shit out of a soapy 80s ballad.

If it’s good enough for Dean Winchester, it’s good enough for me!

Living For September

I know.

I know how long it’s been since I last blogged here. (A month today, I see.) Honestly, I have no excuse for that other than general apathy. I am still blogging every other Monday over at the Evil League of Evil Writers with the “Ask Dr. Dina” series I’ve been writing since January, but other than that, haven’t been doing much with the online thing.

Yes, I’ve been busy. I’m working on stuff both professional and personal, and most of you who read my blogs/tweets/FB/whatever know I’m not a real joiner/sharer-type. (Yes, I’m aware of the irony of an anti-social person on social networks. Go with it.)

Blogging/Twittering/IRL socializing takes a back seat to a lot of things. It’s not real high on my priority list. Now, when I have something to say, I say it. When I have thoughts that I think are interesting, I share them (usually – politics/religiosity/activism are generally things I keep to myself for various reasons). When I’ve got something going on I think you’ll be interested to know, I’ll tell you (if I can). When I need to rant, I rant. (You all KNOW I rant….)

I don’t blog just for the hell of it. I know a few people who update their blogs daily for whatever reason, and if that works for them, yay! Some people need that connection. Some people have a rabid fanbase that gets bitchy if that person isn’t there to constantly entertain them with what they ate for breakfast that morning. Some people need to feel like they’re part of something, like they’re being heard.

I don’t have those needs, and if you’re one of my fans, you don’t have the need for me to entertain you daily, which is good, because I ain’t gonna.

I’m an introvert and always have been. As I’ve gotten older, that’s become a larger part of my nature. Oh, I can socialize. I’m not afraid to, or shy or anything. I’m just not very social. As I said above, human contact isn’t all that high on my priority list. This leads to a lot of “are you still alive?”-type questions, and for that I apologize. I know friends and fans worry when I “go dark” (so to speak – points if you get the reference!), but I promise you all, someone would let you all know if some tragedy (or on-purposory, like, you know…jail for some type of crime ending in “-cide”) occurred. Probably Skyla Dawn Cameron. She’s always a good one to pester if you’re worried about my silences.

Also, I’m pretty much in a type of reverse hibernation during the summer months. Summer in my area brings a lot of things that I have absolutely no desire to be involved in or associated with in any fashion, so I pretty much just go to ground from May through September. When the tourists and the Daystar go south for the winter, I come back out. Summer means long, hot, bright days full of people. Fall and winter mean long, cool, dark, quiet nights. Hot tea, warm socks, darkness, short days, darkness…did I mention it’s darker in the winter? Like lots of it? For a long time?

I may have.

So yeah. Summertime is not Dina-time. I’ll be around a lot more in about six more weeks. Even more in about nine weeks, when the autumnal equinox comes and the days start getting shorter. So don’t worry if you don’t see me around much until then. If I’ve got something of interest or import to say, I’ll post. Or if I have a rant that I need to let out.

Until then.

Oh, for those wondering, Death Knell (Stranger Things III) is on track still for a Fall 2013 release. No specific date yet, but I’m thinking late October, early November, but that could change. More as it develops.

No Promises, But…

…I have this idea. Well, sort of. I was randomly looking at something and then someone who enables my evil suggested something and and one thing led to another and….

Here’s the thing. I want to know if anyone reading this would be interested in a Billy short story.

If I were to write a Billy short and put it up here as kind of a donation/fundraiser/penny-tossage thing, would anyone be interested in that? It would be totally self-serving. Because there’s Something I Want. As all the pennies I’m saving this year are going For Scotland, this would be an extraneous thing to indulge a completely selfish “Dina Wants A Shiny” thing.

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue as I would just tell He Who Enables My Crazy that “I wish to own this shiny thing” and it would appear because he loves me. However this year, I am being good. I have forsaken my yarn. I have said “no” to new Lord Vader things for my collection.

But this shiny I want. This I greatly desire. No, I’m not telling you what it is just yet, but those who have seen it have all said the same thing: “You must own that.”

For this shiny, I will write an exclusive short story I will offer to you, my readers, in exchange for some pennies tossed at the Shiny Thing Fund I will set up if this idea generates enough interest.

Now, I’m busy writing Stranger Things III (Death Knell), so I need to know if there’s enough interest in a short in order to spend time on it. So, I created a poll:

Feel free to comment. I don’t discriminate between encouragement and dissuasion.

Do keep in mind that this eviltry is still in the “idea” stage, and I’m just gauging interest. It might go absolutely nowhere, so don’t get your hopes up. We’ll see. If there is enough interest, I will post a link/pic to the shiny thing I’ll be raising the money for.

Program Complete. You May Enter When Ready.

It’s not 100%, but it’s close. There’s still some tweaking I need to do, but it’s essentially finished. Check out the new digs! A shiny new website I made all by myself! Well, not entirely “all.” I looked a a lot of other writer’s websites and various themes and layouts and decided on what functionality worked best for me.

There was vast amounts of techy work involved. I will now drink my tea and eat more chocolate in celebration of this occasion.

Have a look around. If anything doesn’t work for you or shows up funny, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to fix it. Please let there be nothing insanely wrong with this new site. I’m wary enough as it is!