Finding Reality in Hate: Personal Attacks, Stalkers, Unethical Competitors

On January 5, I contacted a guy who appears to have been writing malicious nonsense about me since at least 2009 and asked him to remove an objectionable review from GoodReads. This also is a guy who is friends with many of the bloggers and several of the authors who have been writing personal attacks about me online for years.

I joined GoodReads at the beginning of January 2013. Immediately after I joined, Tyson was one of several people who modified their reviews. To me, it seemed these people wanted to make sure their reviews were the first thing anyone--and me in particular--saw when they looked at particular books I'd written. All sort of a welcome to GoodReads greeting for me from these folks.

In this particular case, Tyson reposted his review from 2011 to give it a new date, January 5 2013. He also added the text of the review which had been on his blog. This moved his review to the top of the listings and made it appear as a new review.

Reading what follows should help you get a feel for just how far outside of reality all this nonsense that they keep cooking up really is and just how much rage some of these people have inside them. As you read this, note the timestamps: The conversation via GoodReads messages is finished when this person goes over to Sffworld and tries to stir up the mob, saying specifically "I haven't heard anything back from him, but then again this just happened tonight."

For the record, the ____ I've inserted replaces a threatened act that I stated in the message but is best left in private, regarding a specific incident, which was prosecuted successfully in April 2012.

Tyson lives in Lakewood, WA. From his messages, he believes I don't know that (and that I don't know what he's been doing). In his messages, he tries to act like he's offering helpful advice while he twists the knife with the other hand.

Let's start with his nonsense on Sffworld. His alias is DurzoBlint:

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January 6th, 2013, 02:40 AM #1

Just Threatened by Robert Stanek on Goodreads

I am sure that many of you are familiar with Mr. Stanek and way back in mid-2011, I wrote and posted a review of his book The Kingdom and The Elves of the Reaches on Goodreads. When I originally posted my review, I heard absolutely nothing from him. That is until about a week ago when I changed my review from a link to my review site to the actual review for all the world to read.

Now, Mr. Stanek is threatening me with slander (slander for those of you keeping score at home is defamation that is spoken [not written as in my review]). He also claims that my review has in fact harassed children that enjoy his books. Not sure how that can occur. Has anyone else had this issue with him, or with a different author? How did you respond, if you gave any response at all.

I did respond and told him I would alter the review where I felt he could possibly feel that he was being personally attacked as to avoid "libel" or where children could be "harassed"(I even went so far as to set him straight on the two forms of defamation). However, I remained vigilant in my rights to post a negative review of his book.

I haven't heard anything back from him, but then again this just happened tonight. I am not worried about any repercussions but I am curious as to what other reviewers have done in the past if something similar occurred to them.

Didn't quite know where to post this thread, so Mods feel free to move it to its proper location if this is not the proper place.

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Although Tyson says he didn't quite know where to put his post, I'm fairly confident he knew exactly what he was doing when he posted that message to the Books and Literature - Fantasy / Horror discussion. This location ensures his post is seen by just about everyone who logs in to the site, which is what he wanted.

He's been an active member of the site since March 2009, having actually participated in other threads there and elsewhere regarding me specifically. What he wanted to do was to get the most eyeballs, stir up the mob, get people angry and have them retaliate--as ever.

So what precipitated this? Here are the GoodReads messages between Tyson and myself.

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My message:

Jan 05, 2013 09:40pm

Dear Tyson,

I understand you did not enjoy my book. However, many readers have and most of my readers are children. As a result of posts like yours, many people have been harassed and most of them were children who were unable to defend themselves.

What you've written constitutes slander and under defamation laws you are personally liable for any damages caused by such. Rather than pursue legal action, I simply ask you to do the right thing.

I do not appreciate your personal attacks. I ask you to remove your review and refrain from posting in the future.

Thank you,

William Robert Stanek

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Jan 05, 2013 11:19pm

His response:

Mr. Stanek,
Grow up. Stop using children as a shield to protect yourself from negative reviews. There is no slander in the review (for your own information slander is spoken, libel is written). I maintain my right to freedom of speech by posting a negative review. Since I reside in Korea, I am not under American jurisdiction of defamation laws. Which even if I did, your case is about as solid as a wet paper sack. Considering you are a veteran, I would assume you of all people would support a person's right to free speech. And would have enough backbone to be able to take a little criticism, guess not.

The review has been up for quite some time (Mid-2011). The change was making the review for all to see without needing to click on the actual review website. You didn't have an issue with the review until it was made plain for all to see. However, since you have an issue with parts of my review, and to appease you I will remove the first paragraph of the review where "children" could, for some reason, known only to you, some how be harassed. Which should appease you under Section 230. The remainder of the review stands as is.

This is why you have such negative press. You take everything as a personal insult instead of taking reviewer's critiques and using them to improve. You would win over more readers and fans if you engaged them intellectually instead of cramming a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that anyone with a high school diploma knows is total malarky. It is your online antics that have turned the reviewing community against you.

While I commend you on publishing books, that does not automatically mean that you are an accomplished author or that you should receive automatic acceptance. Accomplished authors work with their peers and constantly work to improve themselves while building a rapport with their audience and fans. Something you have failed to do.

Tyson Mauermann
PS- We are not on a first name basis.

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Jan 05, 2013 11:39pm

My response:

Dear Mr. Mauermann,

I appreciate this change. As an associate of multiple people who have written personal attacks against me online, you know very well what has been going on and that it has been going on for many years. These persons were extremely vindictive and personal in their attacks, and this is something you also know.

I've rarely engaged these persons, though they seem to have created all sorts of untrue nonsense stating I have.

Children have been harassed because of related nonsense. One of these persons threatened to ____ a child. Hope you can live with that on your conscience.

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Jan 06, 2013 12:17am

His response:

Mr. Stanek,

Really? You really think that the allegation that someone else threatened a child is going to make me not sleep at night, or somehow make me increase my opinion of you? Simply by using this random fact in correspondence with me has lowered my opinion of you a hundredfold. I have absolutely no connection with a random act of violence and you want to put the blame on me? I sleep quite well at night. It is silly, over-the-top antics like your last three sentences that have put you in the doghouse with the reviewing and online community at-large.

Do not presume to know what I do and do not know; however, if you are referring to who I think you are, they are highly regarded individuals in not only the reviewing community, but the publishing community as a whole. While they may have personally attacked you in the past, your attempts to elevate the argument only proved that they were not dealing with a rational person. Which again, I direct you back to your last three sentences you wrote to me.

Book reviewers, fans, and the occasional reader love their books, but never have I been witnessed to anyone threatening a child with physical harm. Not sure who these individuals are, but the online community would certainly condone that type of behavior and seek to identify that individual so that the proper authorities could take any and all legal action pursuant to the the law to prosecute them. I personally feel as if you are a bit delusional about a great many things.

This is all very unfortunate as I can tell you have a great passion for your novels and the world you have created; however, the way you have gone above and beyond to vilify and discredit negative reviews and book reviewers has led to the position you are in. My advice to you, and you can take it or leave it, is to grow from each positive and negative review instead of lashing out at the individual. Not everyone's tastes run as parallel to your own. That is the beauty of a review.

Furthermore, you have no inkling as to who I am. For all you know I could be in law enforcement or serving in the armed services and have seen many horrible things that far outweigh [what you attempted to hang upon my conscience.

I have done my best to be civil and not hang any moral obligations on you. I have also done my best to give you some advice as someone who is involve in the reviewing community. You can take it or leave it. But I ask you to refrain from contacting me again. I will uphold my end of the bargain and leave the review in its current form (which you have stated is adequate) and refrain from reviewing anything else in your catalog and in return I ask that you abstain from anymore correspondence with me as I plan to do the same. This will be the last time you hear from me. Best of luck in the future.

Tyson Mauermann

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