In the last year I have distanced myself from the writing community to a certain extent, so a lot of the dramas and squabbles have passed me by.
This week, however, even I couldn’t miss the whole Santino Hassell business. When publishers are dropping an author you know this isn’t the usual cliquish bitching and infighting that goes on in any online community. I won’t go into the whole story – if you want to know then google Santino Hassell catfish and then read about what is probably the worst case of an author behaving badly I have ever seen. And in over 20 years online in various reading (and later writing) communities, that is really saying something.
I will say this though.
I will not let this latest scammer change who I am.
If I see someone who I believe is in genuine trouble, and if it is in my power to do something to help I will do so. Whether it is buying their book, sharing their post, or whatever, I will not let a scammer stop me from being who I am.
Of course we all need to be careful when it comes to scammers and if you are in any doubt about the truthfulness of someone who is asking for help, then step back from the situation before you get burned.
But I will not automatically assume everyone in trouble is a potential catfisher.
To all those innocent people who have been caught up in this mess, I hope things die down for you soon and that you can move on from this.