2018: A New Year’s Resolution

As I mentioned here earlier, 2017 was a very good year for me overall. And the new year holds the promise of an even better year.

But there is one last bit of business left to tend to before I close the books on 2017 and with about an hour left I figure I’d better get to it. Recently, I mentioned a problem Goodreads has with online trolls.

Back on Christmas Day, of all days, a friend of mine on Twitter was being insulted and attacked by a young woman from Alabama. This friend is a Navy veteran who served his country and is deserving of nothing but respect – even during times of disagreement. This Alabaman was doing anything but, in my opinion, and I became involved in the exchange because I am just old-school enough to stand with my friends when they are under assault and punch back hard. Which is what I did in this case.

So our young lady from Alabama decided, after I had blocked her, to do the troll thing and attack me on Goodreads. Soon after a troll account – JOHNNY WALKER – was created and every single book associated with me received a 1-star rating. It isn’t the first troll attack I’ve put up with and, sadly, it likely won’t be the last.

Like any author, I was not happy to see this happen. But I am blessed with a solid group of fellow author-friends and one of them raised a very valid point after looking over this young woman’s Goodreads profile. She’s in her mid-30s and apparently very alone and she is also wanting to become a writer but can’t seem to find the time to write her book (one could say if she spent less time attacking people she disagrees with politically and calling them names online, she’d have more writing time).

So after going back and looking at her profile again, I have realized that I am not angry with her at all. Actually, I feel nothing for her except pity. I was 33 once (yes, it was way back in the before time) and wondering if my career path was going to take me where I wanted to go. Fortunately, it has.

But it seems that maybe it hasn’t been the same for her and that must be both devastating and frustrating for one so young. But the good news is that she has plenty of time to get back on track and I am willing to help her do just that.

As you know, I am a business partner with another author. Our company, Tuscany Bay Books, specializes in helping first-time authors get published (and we pay 60% royalties, not the miserly 15% the traditional house parcel out) and learn how to become Independent authors.

So, if Ms. Janet is reading this, and if she is serious about becoming an author, I am inviting her to finish her book and send it to us. We’ll take a serious look at it and see if it is a project we can help land on a bookshelf at Janet’s local bookstore. There’s even a bookstore we work with in Southern California that sells only Indie Published books that we can set you up with to get your book in their store.

I’m offering you an olive branch, because I truly want to see everyone who wants to be an author succeed in making their dream come true, even Janet.

And, if you’d rather not have anything to do with us, I’d still encourage you to spend more time writing on and finishing your book and less time publicly boycotting authors like myself, Anne Rice, Brad Thor and the many others you’ve placed on your GR author-boycott shelf. I think you’ll find yourself a much happier person.

As for my new year’s resolution, here it goes: For 2018 I will no longer engage the obvious trolls on any Social Media, nor will I pay them the slightest attention on Goodreads or Amazon.

Because, at the end of the day, these trolls are just sad pitiful creatures and life is just too precious and too short to waste any time on them. They’re the ones the block and mute buttons were created for.



  1. That’s an interesting telling of this tale, Richard.

    I was the one who had been insulted and attacked on Twitter. After I wrote a tweet that he didn’t agree with, he said I was a man, he said I was incapable of thinking, etc. He had repeatedly called me names and had made racist & sexist remarks toward a friend of mine. I pointed this out to you and you started making sexist remarks toward me. No, I didn’t respect your friend after he began harassing me. No length of time in the military excuses harassment.

    I don’t know anyone by the name of Johnny Walker and I don’t have troll accounts. I did put you on a will-not-read and my author-boycott lists, but that shouldn’t bother you. (It also shouldn’t bother you that Anne Rice or Brad Thor is on that list, and I won’t explain why any of them are on the list because it’s not your business. Just know that I keep that list so that I personally know which authors I don’t want to read.) You had already said that you didn’t want me or my friends to read any of your work.

    I would love to know who your fellow author-friends are, especially if they’re making determinations about my life that are obviously very flawed. One could say that maybe the reason that I’m so busy is that I design jewelry and am the sole caregiver to a mother with kidney failure and a father with dementia, but that would require one to actually put forth a little more effort than just reading a years-old bio on Goodreads.

    I don’t care that you pity me. I don’t want to have a hand-up or a hand-out from you because I don’t trust you. You have done nothing to make me think that you’ll actually help. If/when I decide to finish my books and try to get an agent and a publisher, then I want to do it on my own.

    P.S.: It’s Alabamian, not Alabaman.



      1. I tried at least. BTW, I’ve been a pro writer since 1983. You have no idea how much damage you’ve done to your writing career before it even got started. No agent, no publisher, will want to deal with someone who intends to damage another writer’s sales over a disagreement on social media. They’d be too worried you would do the same to them if you ever got mad at them. Easier to give you a form rejection and move on. And trust me, this little tantrum you threw on Goodreads is going to be seen by every agent and publisher you submit to when they Google your name. Good luck with your career. I think you’re going to need it.


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