Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A punch in the face...and a hug.

Today I want to share something. It is real and personal. And I won't be pulling punches like I have for quite some time. While not exactly stepping off the Crazy Train, there will be a moment or two of "rant-like" behavior. So...if that is not your thing, move along. Oh...and I will be putting up an encore post Friday since it is the 4th of July and most folks here in the states will be celebrating our Nation's Declaration of Independence in the exact way that the Founding Fathers envisioned...Blowing stuff up and grilling copious amounts of meat (I will actually be wearing a replica of the British Flag at MY grill station in an ironic twist).

In the recent past, I have had my personal history exclude me from some of the "reindeer games" that many of my zombie author brethren have participated. A select (and I could add, COWARDLY) few have taken it upon themselves to basically bully others who might dare to include me in such things to the point where I simply stepped down to avoid others from sporting my mud on their shoes.

{An interesting note...this also ramps up whenever I have a new release.}

Let's get something straight...I have gotten to where I am all by myself. The only person whose belief in me I require is that of my wife. Everybody beyond that is a bonus...pure and simple. I would like to point out that I am probably the most transparent person in the business. What do you really know about your favorite writers and their personal lives? Because let's face it...everybody has skeletons. Sure some may be smaller, but they are there. Even more entertaining is what some people THINK they know. Umm...unless you were there, can I just say that YOU DON'T KNOW JACK.

However, despite the best efforts of the mindless militants (who I actually believe are motivated more out of petty jealousy and insecurity than anything else), there are some who refuse to be cowed or pushed around based on a situation that they don't honestly know the core facts (and let me say that in just under 7 years from now, I WILL be sharing MY side publicly). So, it is nice when you receive a letter like what I am going to share. NO, I will not name names and I have removed a few parts that could possibly give away the identity of the author.

"I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with so much author hate lately, too. I had no idea there was anything going on until I started receiving messages from authors telling me I needed to click links or pull my support from you lest my own reputation be tarnished by association. I can tell you that, as much as I’m finding people wanting to stir the pot, I have no interest in it. And I refuse to be bullied into thinking otherwise. Whatever you have or have not done is none of my business, nor will I hop on any bandwagons. (Hell, I won’t even click the links sent)

This was my response to a personal message I received “warning” me that supporting you, or allowing you to support me, is something I would ‘regret’ if I didn’t publicly denounce you...

“Thank you for thinking of me. I've decided to take the stance of Switzerland. While I by no means condone any acts as indicated by what others have alleged, I have decided not to engage in what is none of my business. Todd has been a valuable source of encouragement for me as a writer and has helped me tremendously in my journey. I have no knowledge of the accusations being spread about his alleged past and had to evaluate carefully how I chose to deal with this information. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it had no bearing on my life...”

I have been torn up about this for a month now. I don’t want to know anything about it, I am not looking for any explanations. But I wanted you to know, regardless of what actually transpired, I believe in rehabilitation, regardless of circumstance. I will continue to read your books, because frankly I enjoy them. Again, I’m sorry you have been dealing with this. And I’m annoyed with extremists...I’m sad at how rotten some people can be."

Now, this is NOT the first such email that I have received. Oddly enough, I have a large number of my peers who don't buy in to the threats of a few scrubs who probably got pushed into the lockers one too many times while at school. And here is the kicker...I do actually know who a few of them are, but I won't name THEM either. The last thing that I want are for a few of my friends, fans, or people who are simply bored and looking for the next broohaha, to start harassing or announcing boycotts of these sad and pathetic souls. Did you know that some of these wretched souls go so far as to click on the "no" button at the bottom when you can vote for any positive reviews written about other author's work? How sad is that?

My work stands on its own merit. Like it or hate it...that is a choice, and one that I will always respect. Any writer who thinks that he or she will be loved and adored by all is delusional and will probably always live in a self-created personal Hell that allows them no real joy. But here is a fact that the detractors and hate-filled souls will have to deal with: my books do have a following. I marvel at it thankful of it constantly...and I have done so DESPITE YOUR BEST EFFORTS. Hell, it is the sole reason that I was able to give my wife her dream house for her birthday and a bedroom set that brought tears to her eyes. How does that feel?


  1. Todd, you know I consider you a great friend and a wonderful person. You said it: we all have skeletons in our closets. I am not sure what-all went on in your past, but my "who cares" stance is still firmly in place.

    I've not been around a lot lately and have not been such a great friend. We are in domestic upheaval as we ready our house for sale. What a crazy time. Anyway, I've been so distracted, I missed all the drama. Sometimes we just have to let other people hate us, you know?

    You are one of the toughest, most resilient people I know, Todd. Keep on rocking.

    1. I can't begin to imagine selling a house AND buying one. I had enough headache just buying one. I wish you the best. If the housing market is anything in your area like it is here, that bay should get snagged fast.

      Here is wishing you a happy and safe 4th! Now get that new Peri Jean story out!

  2. Here's to you kid! I will continue to love your work and to promote you tirelessly. You are an amazingly talented writer and that is what counts to me.

    1. Thank you, Michele. And thanks again for your notes on the beta read. You helped make this volume a better read.

  3. Jackasses try to bully your fans too. Not only have I remained a fan, but I am determined to get others addicted. I didn't care for bullies when I was younger, I don't care for them now.

  4. I don't know you personally I just read your books - or more specifically listen to them. It would be disingenuous (or stupid) of me say that I didn't wonder why you spent time in prison or what the circumstances were, but I do wonder why someone - other horror writers it appears - would be out to sabotage you? By that I mean: what kind of crack head assholes are they? You did your time, the State of Oregon is letting you get on with your life without further penalty, and you're making a living writing fun stories about people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Makes you wonder about folks. 'Course they may know you and just not like you but you'd think they'd have better things to do than try to sabotage your reviews and harass their fellow authors!

    BTW, keep those audio books coming. I'm about to finish "Siege & Survival" and I don't what to have to go back to straining my old eyes :)

    1. Good news Joe, book 6 just came out on Audible today. As for the rest, I have beat that dead horse, but the last time I addressed it directly (but certainly not the first) was my Jan. 9, 2013 blog post. Just so you know.

  5. I'm proud of you, Brother. You been entertaining and inspiring me from the moment I picked up Zomblog. I feel sorry for the people who have to cling to the negative. They will never see any of the good that the world is throwing at their feet. Well, leave them to their personal, self-created Hells and keep on kicking ass.