For years, I’ve been telling victims of a scam publisher to stand their ground. When they’ve considered changing their pen names, change their social media, even leave the internet forever, I’ve urged them to reconsider. “Don’t let her run you off,” I tell them. “It’s your name. Own it. Work it.” That sort of thing.
Now, I find myself in the same position.
This blog is named Lepplady. It may not be my name, but it’s me. It’s the identity I’ve had online since LONG before I ever hear of that hag, and it’s the one I’ll have long after. I’m Lepplady on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and everywhere else I can think of. There’s only one of me. Accept no substitutes.
When I decided to dedicate this space to exposing a scam publisher, I didn’t think twice about putting my name on it. I jumped in with both feet, hell-bent on saving authors who had already fallen victim and warning new ones to beware. I didn’t mind a bit that my screen name was on it.
Here we are, years later. The monster has been defeated and new authors are safe. Unfortunately, past victims are still burdoned with the lingering effects of that albatross hanging around their necks. Their books have never been removed from circulation like they should have been when their former
publisher abuser went out of business. Well, she was never legally in business. Maybe it would be more accurate to say ‘when she stopped trying to convince the world (and new victims) that she was legitimate’. Until those authors take the initiative and demand that the distributors take those books down, their names will forever be associated with her.
And so will mine.
When I first put my screen name on this blog, I wasn’t thinking about how I’d feel after that task was finished. I wasn’t thinking that there would come a time when I wanted to remove that horrible woman’s name and reputation from my life. I wasn’t thinking that I would want to eradicate her from my memory, to bleach the foul smell of her out of every aspect of my existance.
Yet here I am.
For weeks, I’ve given very serious consideration to changing the name of this blog so that I can start a new one with my online name. One that would be about me. Not her. I even looked into whether or not that’s possible. It is.
Knowing that I could do it, the battle waged within me about whether or not I should.
If I change the name of this blog, I’ll be changing the web adress of it, too. That means that all of the links to this blogs, or to posts within it, would be rendered useless. That means that all those warnings would be gone. Do I want to do that? I hung in there for a long time, sorting out the facts, sticking to my guns, stalwart against the storm. Do I really want to throw that away?
No. I don’t.
I’ve gone back and forth. Ditch the bitch. No! Hold the fort! Stand strong!
Then it hit me. I was trying to make the choice based on thoughts of her. I was doing the same thing that I try to tell her victims not to do. Letting her loom (very) large in the forefront of my decision process.
This is my blog. It’s got my screen name on it. Her multitude of aliases might appear all over it, but never once has she topped the page. That was, is, and forever will be me. I’m keeping the blog intact, as is.
I’ve evolved over time and my interests have turned to much healthier pursuits, and I intend to explore them. My books, my paintings, my quilts, my cats. Personal triumphs and happy days. Or the occasional rant about the price of gas or gaining a few pounds over the holidays. Whatever. My blog, my choice.
So, in short, yes. This will remain the Lepplady blog. Good, bad, or indifferent. Make no mistake. If that scam rears its ugly head again, I will nail it to the wall. And the archives of this blog will forever remain, a warning to authors to carefully consider who they work with. But barring that, look for happier topics about happier days ahead.
So, onward and upward. I’ve got a painting to finish for an exhibit at a museum in June. Two paintings, if I’m feeling prolific. And two festivals later this year where I can peddle my bows and quilts. And a backlog of books that aren’t going to finish themselves.
So much to do! But at least it’s happy, healthy work.
For all of you reading this – including you. Yeah. I see you over there. I wish for you the same. Healthy work and happy days.