Now this attack on Sharon was probably the second worst attack I ever saw. (Mine being the worst) Or at the very least, in the top three.
One of the things the bullies have preached about me is that I "attack" women. Well, we're going to see them attacking them too. After all, you'll be hard pressed to find another lady as the lovely Sharon Desruisseaux. She's polite, well mannered, intelligent, insightful and pleasant all the way around. She's also a mom. If her children are anything like her, and I'm sure that they are, then one could only imagine how wonderful they are.
The point here with this post is simple, too often we see people on the internet as nothing more than a name on the screen. The bullies on Goodreads and Amazon often cry about their feelings and that they are real people and human beings too. Well guess what bullies? So are authors. Machines don't write those books you read, people do. Human beings. They (we) have feelings too.
But this attack on Sharon pales in comparison to the attack on me where reason is concerned. This attack on Sharon was led by none other than the jealousy and envy of one Angela Horn. The self anointed master of the internet universe and Bully Nation spokesperson on cyber-harassment 101. While Angela Horn roams the web-pages with hate in her veins in search of more victims, Sharon Desruisseaux is just trying to live her life by writing good books and raising her children.
In Sharon's attack, over 175 screenshots were taken. Yes, I said 175!
I won't be posting these hateful screenshots because Sharon has deleted the worst of them. The good news is, she had many supporters come out and help thwart the verbal blows from her attackers. It is to my understanding that these bullies continue to this day to attack her. And why did Angela Horn and her bully pals attack Sharon? Because she asked one tiny little innocent question. Sharon was unaware at this time about Angela Horn and Bully Nation. Sharon wasn't even aware of STGRB at this time. Sharon had no involvement at all with any of this stuff. She hadn't even heard of me before this attack. Nope, she hadn't any knowledge what so ever about the hate group on Goodreads known as the "Badly Behaving Authors". She was just an innocent lamb happily grazing in the field of contentment, minding her own business and living happy and free ..... until the big bad wolf Angela Horn came strolling by and had poor Sharon in her sights.
Angela saw how lovely and successful Sharon was. (Still is) Angela couldn't handle it. So Angela gathered up her goon squad and they meticulously planned their evil assault. They set poor Sharon up, and like a spider and its web, Angela and Bully Nation baited Sharon and when Sharon asked a question, that was all Angela Horn and her demonic gang of internet terrorists needed as their excuse to open the flood gates of hate and hell and institute their internet crimes against her.
Before we start the interview process, let's take a look at some screenshots of her attack, shall we? Remember when I said that prior to the attack, Sharon had no idea about STGRB? Well, it was during the attack when "Ceilidh", one of the bullies, brought it to her attention.
And then again a little later when she accused Sharon of having deleted her initial comment where she informed Sharon of STGRB. (Notice that Sharon didn't delete her comment at all.) But lying is a common practice within Bully Nation.
That's right "Ceilidh", Sharon didn't delete your initial comment about STGRB. Both of your comments are still there. But I thank you for revealing STGRB to her because she did go there and check them out and guess what? She saw the truth and started to understand that she wasn't the first person you bullies have attacked. She got to discover that she wasn't alone.
The bullies say the same things about me as they do about STGRB, that they post lies when in fact, they post evidence and document it. The thing is, when people actually go to STGRB, and sift through the many articles, they see evidence of the bullies being bullies. This is why the bullies hate STGRB so much. They are the only place on the internet where a person can see actual proof of bully attacks. And let's face it, you can't dispute actual evidence, except for the bullies. They dispute it religiously. Even to this day, many refuse to see their true bully selves when looking right at the evidence.
Anyhow, Sharon has, and still does, receive constant support and encouragement from her friends, fans and supporters. This is the silver lining to the dark cloud these hateful people have cast over Sharon's world. And with that being said, let's dive into this interview and learn from Sharon's own words and experience, how she has learned to cope with this horrible event.
Carroll: Sharon, what can you trace back to that you could say what caused these people to attack you? How did it begin?
Sharon: I saw a review on Amazon from a swp that was horrible.I did not think anything about it then-as authors get a bad review once in a while, and then moved on. I had read about that somewhere as that was my first bad review. Not that much later, I noticed some shelving going on under the "Legacy of the Moon" book. Then I saw the review by Linda Hilton. Naturally, I was curious and politely contacted them and politely inquired if they could elaborate on why they rated and reviewed them that way, mentioning that I was very interested in reader input. Well, the rest is history: Angela posted my letter and even wrote a blog about me and then the whole pack came in for the kill. I save everything-so I am sure I even have those messages from back then.
Carroll: Describe your initial reaction to the attack when you first saw it. A week later, and to now, what are your thoughts and feeling?
Sharon: My first reaction to the attack: I was initially hurt and sad and took it personally (That was the first bad review I had ever received and to have so many people involved with such degrading comments-it was bewildering). I actually cried quite a bit over it and thought possibly they were right and that I was a horrible writer. The doubt in my own ability and hard work was very strong as the review was quite scathing. The next day actually, after a good cry (girls tend to process mean things this way-I call it "washing out the bad to allow the good to come in"-I have three daughters! lol!)-my mind cleared dramatically and the strategist kicked in. The next day I saw it for what it was-an obstacle. I had overcome many such obstacles in being a single mother-so I took all of that horror I had initially over the issue and used it to fuel my strategy.
By the end of the first week subsequent-the attack was still going strong and I had researched quite a bit on the matter while they screamed away on the comments after the review. There was even a hidden review as well that I could not access (I actually came across this recently and have it all copied). I looked at their shelves and contacted the other authors on there who were also horribly shelved and was starting to notice a pattern.
Since then, I have certainly learned a lot about that issue and have met such wonderful people out of it. Before this issue, I was pretty much swimming blind in a sea of sharks, having no idea what was out there. From all of the information gained on this issue, I hope to reach out to other authors affected and ridding the on-line community of the trolls. I have contacted the other author victims to offer them support and affirming that it is not a personal matter and that the troll group is relatively small-just very sneaky and dominant on some sites. Knowledge is power and with all I learned I hope to reach as many others as possible.
So many authors have been so mortified that they left those sites or have quit writing all together due to the trolls venomous remarks. It is not about the bad review as you know-we get those. It is about personally attacking certain Indie authors and all they associate with intent to destroy their careers as writers and their reputations. To me, this is criminal-when slander is thrown about solely to degrade the author and all associated with them for either vindictive reasons, maniacal amusement, jealousy (as the most vicious are authors and they target books they consider their competition). I honestly hope as more of us Indie authors are banding together in this common goal of ridding the book sites of the trolls and their negativity, that we succeed in making a difference. There should be more laws to protect the Indie writer. Currently, it seems as if the trolls can say anything they want and if we dare to comment back or to defend ourselves or someone else-WE are banned from sites as the trolls run rampant creating larger lists of victims and laughing all the way. I just want the fun back in reading. Those sites should be a safe and positive haven where there is constructive communication between the author, writer, and reader. Currently-the writer is debased with no hope of defense as all who jump in to protect the persecuted author are banned-as well as the author who speaks out against such an attack.
Carroll: One of the worst attackers you had was fellow author, Angela Horn. How well did you know her (or of her) before she came after you?
Sharon: Yes, her and Linda Hilton-both, have fun in ganging up on me and stalking me it seems. The only contact I had with her was in noticing her comments and the shelves and politely inquiring her of it. I belive I even have those messages saved as well. She then went on a tirade and pursued me with a vengeance, with her minions in tow after that and the rest was history...
Carroll: Does any of your children know what happened to you?
Sharon: My daughters are actually older, aged 14,19, and 23 so it was important to discuss this with them. All of them have had bullies in school torment them for some reason. My middle daughter actually has Autism, and the kids have made fun of her the most. However, I have raised my girls to be strong and we have open discussions about their bullies and mine. Unfortunately, there will always be bullies in the world and it is best to know how to deal with them and to not let them get to you or bring you down in any way.
I was also a victim of bullies as a child in junior high as I was the "smart kid" and was literally beat up brutally. The leader of that actually contacted me three years ago on Facebook and apologized profusely for her behavior when we were kids and told me that she had been looking for me for ten years to reach me. She told me that it had nothing to do with me, as I actually was a good friend. She suffered from abuse and got into the wrong group at school and I became an easy target as I cried easily. She felt horrible about it and we have since been in contact. My daughters know of this story of my own history as well as what I am going through with the trolls as it is truly a life lesson. That being victimized is sometimes just due to your reaction, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sometimes they have their own issues.
I naturally thought that by contacting Angela Horn and inquiring about the issue-it would have been resolved right then and there. However, it was only made worse. So, I assume that she is in the mentally challenged department of the bullies. My daughters have been wonderfully supportive the whole time, and even wanted to talk to her as well! lol! Naturally, I told them-no way!
Carroll: Yeah, that would be a bad idea at this point. I have seen attacks that Angela Horn has engaged in recently and she might have rabies at this point. She is off the rails. So let me ask you this Sharon, did you complain to Goodreads about your attack?
Sharon: I have ignored, blocked and flagged their posts, and profiles. I have gone onto reviews and flagged their malicious comments for that of trolls and requested they be removed. The response I got back was; they did not find anything wrong with what they wrote and that the abuse was well within their standards. I contacted them about the latest books on there "A Tenacious Grasp on reality" and the "Chronicles of a Dynasty Past" as put on there without my permission. I wanted to keep them off the site and away from such attacks as they have both received since-just what I expected. Linda Hilton, I believe put them there and then went on to write her typical scathing and intense review. Their (Goodreads)response was: my books were well within legal rights of being public property in being listed. I have those responses as well saved. I told them that they were copyrighted under myself only, and they stated that the book itself was public and reviews are the property of the reviewers and will not be removed. I pointed out to them that the comments were abusive and were supposed to be on just the book itself-and those comments were abusive and derogatorily libelous. Ignored and they (Goodreads) still protested their legal rights. GR also told me not to comment on their (troll) reviews as that is prohibited! I did not like any of those responses and am wondering how they get away with it.
Carroll: We're all wondering how they get away with it. But it is telling that when you reported these ToS violations and cyber crimes out to Goodreads staff, they failed to respond accordingly. More proof that Goodreads and their staff, including community manager Patrick Brown, endorse, condone, and encourage these cyber bullies and their hate crimes. In this shot of Ade, one of my attackers, we see how she lies, claiming that Sharon attacked a reviewer when in fact all Sharon did was ask a question to clear up some confusion. Look on the bright side though, at least she didn't Sharon a racist. (But I'm sure she was thinking it.)
Now back to the interview.
Carroll: How long has the attack on you been going on for?
Sharon: I believe that it started in January of this year from all I could find. However, I have suspicions that it started initially on Amazon with a horrid review. With my initial contact with Angela Horn- she had mentioned that her friend gave me a review on Amazon and did not like the way I reacted to it. Odd in that all I did was question about it as it seemed way too harsh for just a simple review and I was startled by it. I have suspicions that it was really her-though cannot prove it. That occurrence happened in December. I have learned quite a bit about the whole issue since then...
Carroll: What actions have you taken, or currently taken, or will be taking against your attackers?
Sharon: Currently, I am conducting my own investigation as I know it will be more effective with the more evidence obtained on the whole matter. I have a legal background and understand the importance of a paper trail for possible pending litigation. I am looking into that, though want to make sure I have enough to present to plead my case. It has also helped in realizing the whole realm of the troll world the further I have investigated them. I have found out that the two main ones are also authors and probably view this attack as some sort of publicity stunt. I am also suspicious of some psychiatric issues in their persistence of their stalking persecution of my work. And I have also found that one of the trolls is actually a kid of 19 years old! Sorry, but that just proves the mentality issue and how best to proceed through all of this in order to be most effective in my goal of ridding the trolls from reading sites to make them more enjoyable and of improving policies on those same sites to protect the authors from such attacks.
Carroll: Has this attack on you by the Goodreads bullies affected your sales any that you can see?
Sharon: In a way, it has actually increased my sales for the most point and has given me more exposure. This is not the way I play however, and have always prided myself on achieving goals through hard work and creativity-NOT on negativity. It has also allowed me to meet and network with other authors. I believe, that despite the whole horrific ordeal of their trauma inflicted-it has had a rather good and positive outcome, after all. I am the type of person to really look for the silver lining and this time-it is clear. It has given me a goal, I did not know that I had-if I had not ever been a victim. The goal is to network with the other authors affected and those in range of their target-to see the bullies for what they are to lesson their power, to educate them with positive steps towards a good outcome. It has helped me to heal with all I have gone through and all the wonderful supporters I have met throughout. So, the sales were a boon-despite the horrific amount of negativity unleashed towards me and others-yet all else gained-priceless. I write because I love to write and cannot picture any other way to be-it is who I am. The money gained from writing, certainly helps to pay the bills and to meet life's needs-but the whole experience and lessons learned have proved more valuable than the actual money amount either way. :)
I wish to thank Sharon Desruisseaux for holding this interview. I know it wasn't easy for her to relive those moments, but it takes a lot of courage to stand up to these ruthless people.
For everyone else, I want to clarify that the only crime Sharon committed was to ask one of the bullies a question. That's it! She wasn't / didn't complain about a bad review or rating. She was just asking a question. Unfortunately, she asked that question to a Goodreads bully. These people can not be confronted in any way, shape, or form without risking an attack by them. They have become self anointed judges, jury, and executioners of the publishing world. They think authors aren't people too and shouldn't ask questions or speak their opinion. And if one does, they won't keep it just between themselves and the author, oh no, they have to round up their army and attack for no other purpose than out of meanness. They are hateful little twerps with no heart, soul, compassion or conscience. They don't care about other people's feelings and they don't just do it to defend their right to review, they do it to try and hurt the author's reputation and sales.
I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this is the Looking Glass.