Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Authors Behaving Badly: A shocking story

We've all heard the stories about authors stalking those who didn't like their books, usually online, hidden behind their computers or getting their fans to abuse someone. It's the ugly side to being a book reviewer isn't it. But this story shocked me so badly that I had to write this post. It is the story of UK author and Countdown Champion (A tv show in the UK) who stalked a girl that he took a fancy to all over the country to her obvious alarm, then wrote disturbing blog posts about it and got himself into plenty trouble over it. He travelled almost 500 miles all the way up to Scotland to attack another young woman with a bottle to the head, leaving her with a head injury that required stitches-because she didn't like his book and said so online. This is the full shocking story, for those who did not hear about it last year when it happened.

Richard Brittain became obsessed with a young woman and started to stalk her, sending her gifts, love letters and messages, following her around the country and this is an extract from the creepy blog post he wrote about her.In the interests of fairness I should point out that he has amended the start and end of the story with an apology for his behaviour which I hope he means.

On Valentine’s Day 2014, I sent her another card, with an elaborate drawing of a wild scene. In it, she became the character Ella Tundra, and that is how The World Rose began.
Seven months later, when it was complete, I decided to try to make my book known by getting into the national news. I found out that she worked in Glasgow, so I travelled there with a plan. I was going to tell her that if she came with me, and we faked a kidnapping, we would both become famous. We would go into the hills and camp out for a few days while the nation searched. I had brought the necessary supplies.
I would like to reiterate that I was not plotting to kidnap her. I was planning on asking her if she would be interested in pretending to be kidnapped, so that we would make the news and people would learn about our story.
Yesterday, I saw her on the street and approached her, and called her name, but she freaked out.
“How?” she said. “How are you here?” She turned and snapped me on her phone before hurrying away.
I didn’t even get to tell her about my plan. I didn’t want to make a scene because people were staring. I also realised that I didn’t have the heart to ask her if she would like to be kidnapped.

Read the whole scary post here:  https://richardbrittain.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/the-benevolent-stalker/

The book he wrote based on this poor woman,  The World Rose, was put on WattPad, Amazon and Goodreads and Paige, amongst others was not impressed by it and said so. I do not have access to her review so I can't say if her comments were just negative about the book or something unpleasant about the author. However I do not condone stalking and violence in any situation. He hit her from behind with a wine bottle and did this to her:

Nice huh? Paige tells her story here: 

You don't think that writing a negative review of a book can put you in this kind of danger. This guy seems to have a thing about stalking people in Scotland so if you live there, I suggest you don't review his book... He has yet to be sentenced but pled guilty in  court to stalking the first woman and assaulting the second.


  1. OMG that is a terrifying story. Sad to think of the lengths some people will go. Authors need to realize, and probably some do, that their books aren't for everyone. I try to be honest when I review a book which is bound to make some people upset. Glad I don't live in Scotland.

    1. It is pretty scary to think that some people are this deranged. The one he stalked must have been scared rigid of his antics especially when she saw what happened to the second girl.

  2. How the hell did I miss this, I read the Daily Record (must have been looking at the pictures), that is truly terrifying. The guy is deluded, a proper author will realise that not everyone likes their books and they will look at any bad reviews constructively. What a prize prat!

    I can't believe it was in Fife, I'm in Perthshire, poor girl!

    1. The whole story gives me the creeps. It goes to show how easily someone can track you down using what you put on social media pages. I find that pretty scary!

  3. Omg that's awful! It makes me feel quite scared to be honest, also grateful that the most I've had to put up with is pushy authors. Thankfully none have bad mouthed me because it's constructive criticism. For every person who doesn't like the book, there must be about 5 who love it... I wonder why they fixate so much on the people who dislike their book? Scary!!!

    1. I've had a few unpleasant comments on Goodreads about reviews, usually from readers who don't like me slagging off a book they like. I find ignoring them and not replying can be pretty effective-it really bugs them if they can't get you into a fight! I've been pretty lucky with authors so far-a couple of rude and pushy ones but no psycho so far...!

  4. I just saw a post about this on Facebook yesterday. This is so scary! Especially after that one author that was the big issues last fall with going to the reviewers house and blogging about it. Thanks for sharing the whole story here.