Pseudonymity

prose
Pseudonym means, literally, fake name. Theodor Geisel had three. Lawrence Block had six. At last count Dean Koontz had eleven. Sam Clemens only used one, but then, he only needed one. Same thing with Stephen King.

There are a lot of reasons why a writer would choose to use a pen name.

Career complications. It might be problematic for a doctor or lawyer to write erotica, or even horror. If a writer’s work might cause complications in other aspects of his or her “real” life, they might choose to use a pen name. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Different genres. If a well-known author of children’s books decided to try something more risky, or horrifying, his or her fan base would probably be quite shocked to discover that they’ve bought something that wasn’t what they expected. If you’re used to seeing an author write about butterflies and kitty cats, you might not be prepared for a gore-soaked tale about legions of the blood-sucking undead. It would make sense to use a different name to publish such a different subject matter.

Mathematician Charles Dodgson wrote fantasy novels under the pen name Lewis Carroll, for example. Those are vastly different topics and is therefore understandable.

Keep in mind that I’m talking about dramatically different genres. If, for example, a self-supposed author who writes smut decides to write smut with a werewolf in it instead of a witch, that does not constitute a different genre. Smut is smut. No other names are needed, unless there are duplicitous intentions at play.

Another author already uses your name. This is what happened in my case. If you Google Jeanne Larson, you’ll find a whole lot of people that aren’t me, including a couple that write books about self-help and sundry other topics. So I use the initials JT with my own, real last name – Larson. Please note, I don’t have dots after the letters. It’s a little thing, but it bugs me when I see people writing it out that way. Especially if they’re trying to insult me in some way. I mean, if you’re going to diss me, at least use the right name to do it with.

Cultural or gender bias. Unfortunately, this does still exist. Some people, consciously or not, will think less of a book if they see a woman’s name on the cover. “They can write children’s books or recipes, but leave literary fiction to the men.”  Rubbish. There’s a whole roster of female writers that would beg to differ. I’m one of them. But I go ahead and use the initials to avoid gender bias. I don’t want gender bias to factor into my work in any way, so I avoid it all together. I don’t hide who I am, and neither do many authors that don’t use their exact names.

Stephen King just wanted to know if people would buy his work without his own name on it. They did. A lot.

So, yes. There are a lot of legitimate reasons that authors do use pen names.

When is it NOT okay to use pen names? The short answer is: When it becomes fraud.

False information. If an author makes up  fake identities, that’s fine, as long as the backstory is the same as the original author’s. It becomes fraud when someone not only makes up fake names, but also creates false backs-stories for them. When they create information that doesn’t exist or gives an alternym attributes or achievements they have not earned and do not have in reality, it’s not okay.

It’s fraud if an author gives a pen name experiences or areas of expertise which s/he does not possess. Someone who has not earned a degree in criminal justice can’t claim that a pen name has. An author that hasn’t learned to speak French cannot claim that an alt is a French scholar. A person who isn’t gay, a different ethnicity, older, younger, or abused in any way can not make claims of these characteristics for an alt. When this happens, it’s not only fraud, it’s offensive.

One example is an author who claims that she or one of her alts has been domestically abused in order to seem sympathetic to a reading audience, or even to raise money for a domestic abuse charity – only to keep the funds for herself. That’s not just criminal, it’s an insult to any real woman that has, in fact, been a victim of domestic abuse.

Don’t do it.

Identity theft. Tabetha (Hoover) Jones writes under multiple identities. She claims that it’s because each one of them represents different parts of her personality. That’s not okay. Pen names are about writing, not about dissociative personality disorders. If the alts exist so that each can write in different genres, that’s fine, like I said before. But when they’re all different names that write the exact same crap, then it’s very not okay. Especially if one of those alts is given the name of another, existing author.

One of Tabetha’s Alts is Ivy Sinclair. That would be fine and dandy, but there’s already an established author named Ivy Sinclair. Using the same name could (and probably should) get Tabetha sued by the existing author. Especially if the real Ivy Sinclair doesn’t write smut, and doesn’t want her name associated with that genre.

There’s a whole list of reasons an author makes up fake names. Their own name might be so tarnished, for example, that to use it would negatively impact upon their ability to generate sales. Their reputation precedes them.

To avoid Taxes.

To avoid breach of contract.

To avoid defamation suits.

Deceit in general.

To sum it up: if you see an author that uses one or more pen names, it’s entirely possible that it’s an innocent, professional act. If, however, you see someone that’s got different names under which they make fake claims, or display underhanded motives of any kind (including the use of a name another author already uses), chances are that that it’s not innocent or professional at all.

Don’t be that person. Keep it legit. Do your homework. Be professional.

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Pay it Forward

According to the Phoenix Fire Facebook page, Weebly page and Blog (No, all three sites don’t have the same names), these are all authors that are currently involved with PF in some capacity:

TN Allan
Ty Arthur
Amelia Birch
Chantal Boudreau
Mike Casto
Rina Dinis
Robin Wyatt Dunn
Shaye Evans
Emerald Rai Fleurs
Thomas Folske
Carl Thomas Fox
Joy Fulcher
L.D. Gliddon
Jennifer Oneal Gunn
L.D. Hutchinson
Mathias Jansson
Eris Kelli
Lisamaria Lamb
Anna Lovelace
Gary McGrew
Kate Monroe
Jewels Moss
Lee Mountford
Huey Musselman
Diana Nixon
Charolette Ondac
Nikki Palomino
Jodie Pierce
Juan Qutierrez
Rena Robinett
Dagny Rose
Ruby Rose
Andre Sanders
Ivy Sinclair
Mark Slade
Matthew Smallwood
Grant Elliot Smith
Andrea Staum
Kim Stevens
Shay Summers
Zoey Sweete
Mistress Thanatella
Jeffery Todd
Jay Wilburn
Amanda Williams
Timothy Wiseman

Many of the newbies are on each other’s friends lists. From the look of it, Tabetha trolls FB looking for new authors. She gets on an author’s page, solicits them, then goes after author friends of theirs on their friends lists, and so forth. Like a string.

We all know from experience that a good number of the names on the list above are Tabetha’s alts. And alts of alts. And maybe even alts of alts of alts. So not all of the people on this list actually exist.

But some do, and they deserve to know what a scam they’re dealing with. So if you know any of them, be sure to let them know about Phoenix Fire Publishing’s F rating on the Better Business Bureau. Let them know about Phoenix Fire on Writer Beware, Editors and Predators, the Absolute Write water cooler, Emily Suess’s blog, Dear Cuss’s blog, and invite them to read this one. Even if you don’t know them, drop them a line and tell them.

I know a good few authors who wish that they’d been told about Tabetha Jones and Phoenix Fire Publishing before they signed on the dotted line. Their lives would have been spared a nightmare if they had. So let’s do everything we can to make sure new victims know all about her so that their nightmare can be avoided. Or, if they’ve already published with her, they’ll know what to look for: Lots of excuses but low (if any) royalties, every quarter even though Amazon/Createspace pays every month. Let them know that Phoenix Fire doesn’t exist as a legal company, so their contracts aren’t legally binding, either. Authors can take their work and walk away if they want to, and there’s nothing legal that Tabetha can do to stop them. Let them know that they don’t have to become or remain victims. They don’t have to deal with her alone.

A couple of the people listed aren’t with Phoenix Fire anymore, but she hasn’t gotten around to taking their names off of her sites yet. That’s another tactic of hers, hoarding names to make her scam company look more impressive than it is. Even after an author demands that their names be removed, it takes forever to make that happen. So if you know of an author that’s left Phoenix Fire, but their name still appears on this list, be sure to let them know so that they can get on her to make her remove them from her wretched company.

It’s all about exposure, folks. Tabetha counts on sliding under the radar, sneaking around on the sly, and snagging authors that she hopes haven’t heard of her yet. She wants to sign them to her illegal contracts, then bully them with the threat of legal action when the author wises up and tries to leave. Expose the truth to those poor souls she’s trying to ensnare and rip off. Let them know about her bogus company, phony contracts, devious tactics, scamming reputation and penchant for skimping on royalties. Let them know that they don’t owe her a dime if she tries to make them pay to leave. Let them know to yank and republish their titles so that she can’t continue to sell them without the author’s knowledge. (Beth Wright’s book The Devil’s Pet Kitten is STILL for sale with PF listed as the publisher even though she left Tabetha years ago.) Let them know that they aren’t alone. They can always come here and talk to others that have stood in their shoes. We can tell them exactly how to deal with Tabetha Jones.

Don’t let that scheming weasel slime around under the radar continuing to victimize authors. Cut her off at the pass, and save these new authors the pain of dealing with her any longer than it takes to get their work away from her. They’ll thank you, believe me.

People helped us find out what a scam, fraud, and thief Tabetha Jones is. Pay it forward and help those she’s trying to scam next.

Cheat repeat

How many times have we heard Tabetha Jones say “I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned from them as I grow, building my company,” or some such? She said it here more than once, and she’s said it many times before, to get the people she’s scamming to forgive her for the glitches that pop up. Including oopsies with her accounts that prevent them from getting paid. People, being kind and forgiving souls, are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, while she laughs all the way to the bank. So which is she? A cold, calculating scam that’s steadily lying to author after author for as long as she can, putting their money in her pocket? Or a bumbling, kind-hearted business woman that’s just trying so hard to get it  right?

Let’s take a look at that.

Perhaps her favorite tactic is making up aliases to defend herself. She did it on Emily Suess’s blog back in 2012 when one of her former authors stepped forward to warn authors about getting scammed when Tabetha changed Mystic Press over to Phoenix Fire. I’m sorry to say that Emily subsequently took her blog down because she got sick of dealing with the unpleasantness. I can’t say I blame her. I get sick of having such an unstable scam artist invade my day in any way.

Tabetha did it on Cuss’s blog, too. Check out comments by KJohn on Cuss’s post titled Phoenix Fire Publishing – avoid it. Dear Cuss busted her on it.

Undaunted, Tabetha did it here, too, as recently as yesterday. Check out these posts titled Stripper Drama and The Stripper saga continues, from August of last year. First, she impersonates her favorite stripper, Draven (AKA Mr. Shadow – a name taken from his Gmail account, I believe). I guess she didn’t think anybody would actually ask him about it. They did. He confirmed that it was not he. Then she impersonated a whole SLEW of strippers to try to defend herself. When totally busted, she tried to blame the whole thing on some other Draven fan. A lame diversion attempt that didn’t work.

Are we seeing the pattern yet, folks?

Same thing with her lawyer. She’s been throwing those threats around for a long time. Check out dear Cuss’s blog from January of last year, titled “Months and nothing.” Tab posts under multiple ID’s on there, including at least two versions of her own, and encourages one of her employees to do the same, posing as a relative. Sound familiar? That’s another pattern she repeats: getting her supporters to make up fake names, to defend her with, too. Check out dear sweet Aunt Martha.

If only Emily S. hadn’t taken her blog down so that we could see those posts. That would show the pattern so clearly.

Good thing she put the blog back up, bless her. You can read the first post about Mystic Press becoming Phoenix Fire HERE. Be sure to read all the comments so that you can see all the names that show up to defend her.

And you can read Emily’s subsequent post HERE, where she proves that Tabetha Jones posted fake testimonials to back herself up on that first post. Those comments are interesting, too, including Tabetha’s threat, saying

Keep on lying about me and my company because the same will happen to you. You wan t to play dirty. You all want to play dirty, I have contacts and I can make sure you never publish again. No one will blick at your work. And this blog will be reported because you are bashing and slandering and lying about things you know nothing about. Calling my authors fake oh just wait. Your shit is about to get blown up because they wont take lightly to that. Again I have been civil about this and tried to be nice but now the botch comes out to play and none of you will like it.

Her typos, not mine.

That is the face of Tabetha Jones, a spiteful, hateful, vindictive person. Question her, demand hard answers about your work with her instead of swallowing her excuses whole. You’ll see it for yourself.

These are just a couple examples of how she repeats her behaviors, repeated over the course of two years now. Is she really that bumbling and inept? Or is it a pattern of behavior? You tell me.

Authors, models, editors and artists, do not be fooled by a fumbling, bumbling sob story. She hasn’t “made mistakes” that she’s “learned from” over time. It’s a pattern that she has no intention of correcting. As long as she can get you to buy her excuses, she’ll keep right on repeating the same actions that take money out of your pocket and put it in her own. Don’t let her.

The Plans…

Wink and nod to Ramsey:

From the Lake Fossil Press page on Facebook:

“Mary, like S.G. Cardin and Vicky were all introduced in Tabloid Purposes One. Of the three within this original roster — Mary will be billed as Mary Rose to keep the original integrity with this one. The Decade Treatment is going to have commentary on stories where the writers got published in bigger places as I reunited with members of the first book. Nickolaus Pacione here and I got the original RTF document to work with so that means thsi thing is going to get all the treatments that Tabloid Purposes IV got when I rebooted that. Mary was part of One, then re-joined on 3 and came with Cardin and Gary Starta on Tabloid: Book Five. Tabloid Purposes sequel for CreateSpace will have IV darkness with One’s original power. I guess Tabetha Jones couldn’t keep up with such a veteran roster — as all of us on Tabloid Purposes One are now veterans.”

Does this mean Ms Jones and Mr Pacione have parted company?

How will this affect the “plans” for her ‘company’ she’s been cooking up?
When you see what she’s been up to, you guys won’t know whether to laugh your ass off, roll your eyes, or throw up in the grass. Maybe all three.

Wait for it.

Midnight madness

Funny how Tabetha waits until the middle of the night to pull her shenanigans, when I’m not around to be the calm voice of reason.

Seems there was quite a tiff on my blog here late last night. Or early this morning, depending on how you want to look at it. First, she took a quick snipe at me about the links to those horrible pictures of hers, maybe to see if I was around. When I wasn’t, she lit in on Eric, who, I’m sorry to say, rose to the occasion. He held his own, though. So props to him for that.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of what was said because, really, it was just the two of them bickering over semantics, with Tabetha trying to be clever, and delighting in the fact that she got him to argue with her. Of interesting note is that Jacqueline chimed in to support Tabetha. After weeks, maybe months of telling everybody what a crook Tabetha is, and telling some tales out of school that Tabetha would probably rather she didn’t, buddying up to other former authors and trying her level best to wiggle her way into my confidence, she piped up in support of Tabetha.
Am I surprised? Not entirely. Tabetha’s been trying to get a mole inside my defenses for quite some time. I’m not quite stupid enough to trust somebody just because they turn on a dime and say “Oh, you’re right. Tabetha’s a thief. I hate her.” Sorry, but this old gal wasn’t born yesterday.
But here’s the real secret: I don’t have anything to hide. Except my phone number. Still didn’t get that, did ya Tabs? Why do you want it so badly, anyway? We can say whatever we want to right here. Judging by the number of times you drop by in a day, you certainly don’t have any problem finding the place.

No. The fact is that I say the same thing in private conversations as I do in public ones, because I’M NOT THE LIAR. So, sorry. She didn’t get any hot little tidbits that she can use against me. Just the truth. That doesn’t change no matter what sneaky little tricks she tries to play. And the truth is that she’s a scam, a fraud, and I can hardly wait for the day when it all catches up to her. And it will.

So Tabetha danced around the fire like a victorious little injun, thinking she put one over on us, and in a couple of cases, she did. Yet again, Tabetha used somebody else to do her dirty work, not caring who got caught in the crossfire, or who got hurt. That’s fine. She can celebrate, thinking she put one over on us. All it does is show how petty and small she really is. And by small, I mean insignificant.

I do have to say I’m severely disappointed in Jacqueline. She seemed like such a reasonable, likable person when we talked. But by doing Tabetha’s dirty work, she’s burning a few bridges that will never be mended. I hope she’s happy, betraying good people for the likes of Tabetha Jones. Because there’s no going back, and all she’s left with is a liar and a thief that used her to hurt people. I hope it was worth it.

I’m also disappointed to find out that she’s another mother that’s willing to expose herself and her child to a ranting psychopath with delusions of grandeur and a history of illiteracy, not to mention one of the worst reputations in publishing history. And the new guy they just signed on.

Eric, I was sorry to see you bantering back and forth with Tabetha, because in doing so, you gave her exactly what she wanted: your attention. And, by taking up so much space on my blog, mine. Poor insecure thing just can’t get through her day without it. How will she survive when they lock her up? My advice: If you really do have information that CPS should be aware of, don’t bicker with Tabetha about it. Just pick up the phone.

Tabetha can keep jumping around screeching “I’ll get you my pretty!” As if it’ll take the spotlight off of her own illegal crap. I’m sure Big Bertha will be amused by her lunatic ramblings in the deep dark nights in prison. Space isn’t the only place nobody hears you scream. And the nights in prison are long.
She’ll find out.

Homophobic

Tabetha recently announced that she’s all set to work with Nicklaus Pacione, an author/publisher whose infamous homophobic rants have gotten him black-listed from at least one publishing service and gotten him written up on even more blogs than her.
nickp
Tabetha has tried to publicly humiliate her ex by exposing him (with her typical vulgarity) for being bi. That blew up in her face because most folks don’t bat an eyelid about such things in this enlightened day and age, but it showed that she remains biased. That’s enforced by her renewed association with an adamant and professed homophobe.

If that’s the sort of association Tabetha wants to have in her life and in her “company” that’s her business. But how does it reflect upon her authors? Are they okay with being directly linked with a raging homophobe? Is that what they want linked to their work?

I know I wouldn’t.

The big day

Tomorrow’s the big day.

Tabetha promises that her company is going to have some major project coming out tomorrow that’s going to change everything and launch her into stardom. We’ve figured out that she plans to write a book about the La Bare club, which she insists she has permission from the owner to write. And she planned to release it tomorrow, in order to cash in on the fact that a movie about the club is coming out. And not just to cash in. For some reason, to her, La Bare is the end all, be all in glamour and sensuality. It’s her dream environment, where the objects of her unrequited erotic obsession work. She’s dated some of them, she’ll tell whoever might believe it, and they’re all such great friends with her. So much so that they’ve all shown up on my blog to defend her. Because that’s just how they roll. You mess with her royal bitchiness, you get them, too.

Oh. Right. Those were all Tabetha using their names.

Models and strippers so buff and beautiful that fawn over her, a lie she tells herself so she can feel wanted and attractive. Time and time again, she tries however she can to interject herself into their world. Writing a book about them and releasing it on the same day isn’t just a a bid to cash in; it’s one more way for her to try to photobomb her way into their social circle.

She doesn’t have permission to write a book about La Bare. Nobody does. So, now that the world knows what she’s up to, she’s changed the name of her Opus, insisting that she did it for her own reasons. Because the book is inspired by the club, she says, Not actually about it. Her attempted end run around the legal consequences if they find out. And they will. I guarantee it.

What will she write about, I wonder? How drugs got dealt out of the club? And by who? The models? The management? Her? Who’s been sleeping with whom? Who she wants people to think slept with her? Will she agonize over a fallen model, trying to use his passing to get money and attention for herself? I wouldn’t put it past her. Any of it.

Will she release her book tomorrow anyway, knowing that she’s being watched? Will she let the big day come and go without trying to cash in on it for herself? Can she resist? What do you think?