Sunday, September 10, 2017

Crazy Train

Tickets! Get your tickets to the Crazy Train here. One free ticket per person please. This is a ride you won't want to miss. 

There is apparently something in the air that is bringing the crazy out in folks lately. One day I have an author post a snarky comment on like a three year old review, then a couple days later a crazy from my past returns for another round of harassment.

If you've been with me a while, you may remember my blog post from a little over three years ago titled Author Bullying: When the Shoe is on the Author's Foot, but if not, you can get acquainted with it now simply by clicking the title (it'll open in another window for you). After I created that blog post, there was more drama on Amazon, which has largely been lost to Amazon deletion (I was not a screenshot expert at that point in time, and never would have imagined that I'd possibly need screenshots from it three years later. I was such a sweet summer child). But if you are so inclined, here is the link to my review on Amazon where you can read the comments that survived from myself and other people that stumbled upon the review (I seriously have no idea where they came from) that can give you a general idea of what was going down.

At this point, you might be wondering why I'm bothering to blog about this again. That's simple really. After this author spammed several of the public posts on my Facebook wall (I was super easy to find because I won her book through a Goodreads giveaway, so she had my name, although I use my real name on Goodreads as well, and I'm the only Katie Harder-Schauer in existence. If you want to see the harassment first-hand, it should still be visible on my wall, feel free to search me on Facebook), and then eventually blocked me when I challenged her to provide proof of her assertions (among other things which we will get to, I promise), she also choose to come anonymously comment right here on this very blog.


While I had initially intended to blog about the harassment on my personal profile, after some thought, I had decided to just leave it be as long as she did (I was getting ready to go on vacation and had other things to worry about already), but she had to go and comment on a blog post with her asinine assertions, which shows me that I can't trust that this will be the end of her harassment. So I'm publicly documenting her harassment, and since most of the interactions you will see here took place in a public forum (with the exception of the Goodreads message screenshots you'll see here in a second) I have no qualms about sharing this crazy ride with all of you. 

The Backstory

So I already shared the link to my original blog post, but in case you're too lazy to go read a whole other post and because I'm much better at taking screenshots now, we're going to run through the original drama/harassment. 

So I won a copy of her book on Goodreads and she pretty much immediately sent me a message congratulating me on the win. 
So the first message from her wasn't bad. I wasn't exactly excited about the win because my husband was just starting a three year contract in Germany where I don't speak the language and job opportunities on base are few and far between (especially the base my husband was working at). I wasn't exactly preparing to be applying for jobs in the near future, but figured the book could maybe come in handy when we return to the states. 

I don't know how long I had had the book in my possession at this point, but I'm pretty sure it had only been a couple weeks and I had several other Goodreads wins that had arrived before this. At that point, I was trying to read them in order. 
So her next message was a little bit worse than the first. Just because I had received the book does not mean that I had read it yet (and I hadn't when she sent the message or I would have already shared my thoughts on the book because I'm obsessive about marking books as read on Goodreads as soon as I finish them). But since this book was significantly shorter than others that arrived before it, I decided to go ahead and read it since she was taking the initiative to reach out to me about it. It wouldn't take THAT long to read after all, just a couple of days. 

So I read it. And then I wrote this review. 

I put a fair amount of thought and effort into this review, trying to detail exactly what didn't work for me in the book. 
Now I understand that getting a two-star review sucks. I stand by my statement from my review that a competent editor could have prevented that from happening. It took me copying the review to Amazon (which due to major issues getting internet connected in Germany, took a few days as I was waiting for our high speed internet to reset so I could actually get online on my computer where copy and pasting is much easier than my iPad) for the "fun" to begin. 

Well that escalated quickly. 
So at this time, I had copy and pasted several reviews in one day on Amazon, two of them happened to be by black authors. Both of those books were two star reads for me. This one for the reasons mentioned above. The other one because of poor character development, a weak plot line, and probably excessive grammar and spelling issues (I think, I don't remember for sure, but I know it fell flat for me). But here's the thing, the other book that she referenced, I was reading because I'd signed up for a blog tour for the second book in the series (it sounded really good). When the first book disappointed me, I noticed that Tonya (who was reviewing here at the time) had rated it highly, so I asked her if she would take over the blog tour review for me because she had a much better chance of enjoying the second book. She agreed and everything was dandy. And that author did not go off on me because I two-starred her book (although I can't read anything else by her now because I worry that my opinion of the book will be negatively affected by her association with this nonsense, even though she probably doesn't even KNOW that she's associated with this nonsense). 

And as far as that comment about kids books goes, at that point in time, if my kids clamored for me to read a kids book to them more than once, it got five stars from me. And I reviewed those books because I believe that having a high verified to non-verfied review ratio helps keep my non-verified reviews from being deleted by Amazon (I haven't lost reviews in any of Amazons purges in the past three years).  I have since adjusted my kids book rating scale some. 

But wait, there's more!
This message really had me stumped, honestly. Like what person believes that someone reads thousands of books in days? (I add lots of books to my to-read shelf on Goodreads daily as I enter giveaways, but I certainly don't read that many books that quickly.) And like I mentioned above, I had gone on a review copy and pasting spree because my internet had reset. I tried to explain that to her...

My single reply on Goodreads. 
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory since it's from my side to begin with (so I shouldn't need to elaborate on what I was trying to get at or what I was thinking at the time).  On a side note, I find the numbers that I quoted at the beginning rather cute now as my to-read shelf has over 100K books on it and I have 31 books that I'm currently reading. 

This message didn't make it into my original blog post because I received it after publishing said post. 
It was at about this point that I started to wonder if she had commented on my review on Amazon too. I actually didn't realize there was anything there until after I published my original post about this craziness. I find it interesting that she interpreted my comment about insane claims (because it IS insane to claim that someone read thousands of books in days!) as saying that she's insane, but she clearly did. It's also telling that she didn't bother to read my response. I wonder if she ever bothered to read my response. And while it's true that I do get a lot of free books from Goodreads giveaways, I also one-click quite a bit too and buy loads of books at the thrift store now that I live close to one again. 

And I didn't bother taking a screenshot of her last message (which was sent after the back and forth on Amazon) because it's clearly visible in this screenshot and a few others because of the way Goodreads displays messages. 

Present Day

So fast-forward three years, four months, and some days and I wake up one morning (afternoon. I'd been up late the night before finishing a proofreading job) to seven notifications from one person. Guess who! (In the interest of saving space and because her comment is the exact same in all seven posts, I have combined screenshots some). 

I'm not sure I took these screenshots in order.
Here's one and two.

Three and four. 


Five and six.


And seven.

This was a weird thing to wake up to. For one thing, I'm not sure what she's even talking about for most of it. Like I get her calling me a racist. That's old news from her. I haven't called anyone gay who wasn't out as gay since I was an immature teenager (and I feel horrible about my teenage self's actions now that I'm older and wiser). I'm not the type of person that threatens violence under normal circumstances. I don't think I even know anyone who lives in Missouri, but if I do, they live on the Missouri side of Kansas City (I'm originally from Kansas, by the way, in case you're not aware of that). And my friends from Texas are mostly the Platypires (who are big proponents of reading diversely) and a few military spouse friends who are simply currently stationed in Texas. And I think she means Sandra Bland, the black woman who was found dead in her jail cell, hung up by plastic garbage bags after a routine traffic stop that resulted in her arrest because she was smoking a cigarette, if I remember correctly. 

But she said she has screenshots, and if those things exist, I want to see them. Because maybe I got drunk some night and went crazy on Facebook and actually did say the things she claims. So I asked to see the screenshots. 


So conversation pretty much immediately devolved. I probably shouldn't have expected any better, but at heart, I'm a bit of an optimist. At this point, I would like to address her claim that she's just seeing what "us creeps" wrote. One of my friends posited that stuff pertaining to this drama just recently showed up in her Facebook memories and that's why she came back. The only problem with that is that the original drama was in April, three years ago. She wouldn't be seeing memories from April in August. So something inspired her to look me up on Facebook now, and then scroll through over three years of public posts to discover this one (why I posted it publicly I don't know, but since it was public when the harassment restarted, I'm going to leave it as such because I guarantee it's where she got the screenshots she claims to have from. I just spent half an hour combing through my timeline review to find that post. And I did find the gay reference. I was not the one who said it. And I think it's pretty clear it was sarcasm.) 



So how old am I? Well I'm 33 now, I was 30 when the original drama happened. Maybe I should have asked her how old she was thinking that harassing someone on social media is a good idea. Missed opportunity right there. Do I have a degree? Nope. Dropped out of college because I felt isolated going to school out of state, got depressed, and stopped going to class. I was going to fail out if I didn't drop out. I moved back to Kansas, but not back in with my parents, and supported myself 100% until I met my husband. I do rely on him to support me at the moment, now that I've moved 1/3 of the way across the world with him because of his job, to a country where I don't speak the language and therefore cannot readily get a job to help pay the household bills. I did pose with a private part (although I personally prefer to just call it a penis) because it's my belief that you don't go to the Sex Museum in Amsterdam and NOT take a picture with the six foot tall phallus. Most people wouldn't make it one of their five featured photos on Facebook, but I'm not most people (you can see the unsolicited dick pic by searching for me on Facebook at Katie Harder-Schauer). 

I would invite you to click that link that I shared in the paragraph above these two screenshots to see that my post didn't mention her by name, nor did it include her picture or a plea to my friends to harass her on any public forum they may find. In fact, I specifically asked me friends NOT to engage with her on this issue. 

I have no idea what she's talking about with that bluff present comment. Even after finding the post she must be referring to. 



My friends discovered the drama (thanks to Facebook putting posts that are being commented on at the top of people's newsfeeds now). I truly believe that Adrianna and April's initial comments were trying to lighten the mood some. And I did chuckle, but as you can see, I did not react to their posts because I was trying to keep things civil I guess...or as civil as they could possibly be while I was being repeatedly called a racist for leaving a two-star review on a book (and then talking about the subsequent harassment from the author with my friends on Facebook). 


So here you can see her threatening to call the employers of my friends and family because I'm a racist. I'm not sure who the nurses are that she's referring to, so I guess my nurse friends should be worried, maybe, except I can't recall any of the ones I can think of being blatantly racist on my posts, so yeah. The Covet Fashion comment makes me giggle because she apparently doesn't realize it's an app. It's listed as one of my past jobs because someone I added on Facebook purely for having more friends while playing the game suggested it as a job (which I accepted because I assume they use that for classifying their friends lists some, and having that on my Facebook profile doesn't hurt anything. I used to have Farm Town listed under my previous employment.) 


These two photos are pretty self-explanatory I think, and don't really involve me, but they were on my post and I'm all about full-disclosure.


Then Lenora claims that other people had posted on this thread and then deleted their posts. April sets her straight. No one deleted any comments (unless they commented and then almost immediately deleted them, because I was pretty on top of the thread the whole time). Then she claims that I'm from a town with over 18 white supremacy groups. I'm baffled by where she got that number from because I did a Google search for white supremacy groups in Kansas and found one link that lists three hate groups, two in Wichita and then the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka (I'm not from either of those two cities). I spent my formative years in two small towns. The school system for the first 14 years of my life encompassed the entire county where my town was located. I think my class consisted of around 70 students. Then we moved to a smaller town. I graduated in a class of just 25 people. The average family in that town had four children. I'm not sure that town even consists of 18 distinct family trees because pretty much everyone is related to everyone else somehow. (I thought that'd make getting a boyfriend easier because I was fresh meat, not related to everyone. It didn't. Everyone just dated people from nearby towns.) 


And sadly she blocked me, April and Adrianna just before Judith got her comment posted, so Lenora never got to see it. Which is sad. Judith isn't my arch-nemesis for nothing (although I think Lenora may be vying for the title). 

So if you happen to see a random anonymous comment calling me a racist, just know that Lenora is up to her old tricks. 

And this concludes your trip on the crazy train. We hope you have enjoyed the ride and that you will consider us in the future for all of your crazy needs. - Katie 

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