On the peculiar joy of feeding trolls

Earlier today I stumbled on a tweet from malicious troll account, which stated this lie:

2019-09-09

I wrote the following Twitter response for the purposes of clarity:

Nobody from Bookends has charged me for anything, least of all @NaomisLitPix, and I did NOT consent to be used as an “example” in this tweet. This guy has always been a running #amquerying joke so I try not to engage, but for me, this libel warrants a categorical refutation.

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A few people have asked me what on earth is going on with this guy. I kind of have a lot going on in my personal life right now and don’t really feel like dealing with this, but the whole ridiculousness is also beginning to be exasperating, so maybe it will save me time and blood pressure to lay out a few facts on my blog. Just the once.

In short, there is a writer by the name of Gary Kadet–author of a single BDSM book and proud owner of a restraining order for stalking women–who has an unpleasant habit of harassing other writers on Twitter. He particularly targets women and self pubbers, and has a special reserve of dislike for Bookends agency (that’s the agency I’m signed with, to be clear.)

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Below, here is a short, truncated history of my encounters with him.

More than a year ago, I responded to a thread asking about beta readers (people who read your manuscript and give feedback). Kadet took it upon himself to inform me that only crap writers use beta readers (??) and that someone like me would never be agented because I was clearly terrible if I needed feedback.

His comments were bizarre to the point of insanity, as well as patently untrue, so I blocked him and moved on. He was, of course, completely wrong. Feedback makes writers better.  I did find an agent, despite my apparent weakness in using beta readers.

A couple years passed, during which time Kadet had continued to wind up writers, agents, and editors alike, got himself banned multiple times, and subsequently remade his account to continue trolling. I mostly ignored him.

Eventually, we had another brief run-in on the #amquerying hashtag. Kadet was going through his usual spiel of slagging off fantasy writers (those who have encountered him will know what I mean) and exhorted me for not reading the “right” books, which seemed mostly to be Dunsany and Lovecraft, as far as I could tell. Anyone who knows me at all will know that I’ve read both–Lovecraft exhaustively, in fact–and most of the other “classical” writers of fantasy and horror who he puts on a pedestal.

That’s no criticism of people who haven’t, btw, or at least not from me. Readers should read what they enjoy. But fair to say, I do like quite a bit of the older stuff, including Dunsany and Lovecraft and the epics.

Anyway, that made Kadet angry. He took issue with me for having read the books that he was shouting at me for not having read (???). This, you see, is part of Kadet’s mental gymnastics: he needs to feel justified in his over-the-top hate. He hates women (five minutes of interacting with him will make that astonishingly clear) and needs them to be stupid, as he defines the word, so that he can take pleasure in putting them down.

Basically, he was angry that I’d read books he liked because he felt it robbed him of the opportunity to tell me that I’m poorly read, stupid, and uneducated.

He changed tact, and progressed to insisting I hadn’t read Lovecraft “well” enough or something, so it didn’t really count (lol) before switching to insisting I was just lying. When that didn’t work he went more personal, telling me that I’m pretentious and fake, and suggested at one point that I only got picked up by my agent because I’m autistic and she has a “thing” for autistic people.

His tactic has a name: moving the goal posts, and is an informal but common logical fallacy in discussions or arguments. Basically, it means that someone asks for evidence, and when it’s provided, they change the threshold or criteria to exclude the answer you’ve given. It’s very tiresome, honestly.

Younger me might have stuck around out of morbid curiosity, but I no longer engage in discussion with people who rely on logical fallacies for the brunt of their discussions. This is because someone who is de facto illogical cannot understand logical arguments, and so cannot be argued with. At least, not by me. They can only be quarantined.

In other words, don’t feed the troll.

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The next I heard of Kadet, he was wittering away about Naomi supposedly fleecing me for services.  He also, in my limited experience of him, takes great pleasure in slagging off individual agents who he thinks don’t do well enough. And he wonders why industry professionals don’t want to work with him. Can you blame them?
At some point, Kadet must have gone through my profile and picked out things to tell porkies about. As for why he might single me out at this particular juncture, I suppose I tick a lot of Gary’s pet-peeve boxes because;
  • I’m female
  • I write fantasy
  • I’m autistic
  • I’ve read books that he likes
  • I’m agented

The last one (being agented) is particularly sour, I suppose. Kadet carries a deep conviction that women are holding him back, because many editors and agents are women, and he sees them as responsible for his lack of career progression in writing. He is therefore perpetually resentful of women writers, believing that women editors and women agents are conspiring to lock him out of publishing on the grounds that he is a man. (Yes, really.)

And… that’s it. I’m afraid if you were hoping for a “better” explanation I really have none to give!  Really, seriously, that’s all this is; Kadet making a great big song and dance over not much. If he has any special skill, it’s his capacity to spin absurd drama from almost nothing at all.

Congratulations, troll. You got me to feed you one last time.

My advice to most writers is to not engage, and block when you see him. And if you see him posting odd things about people you know which don’t make sense, definitely take it with a grain of salt.

PS – Bookends don’t charge for their services. That should probably go without saying, but still.

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