The Bad, the Weird and the Ugly

I thought I’d share my experiences with you about a particularly INSANE person who calls himself a writer. For his privacy, I’m not going to mention his name or the name of his book, so please don’t ask me to. I’m just sharing the hilarity. There’s quite a lot of text here, so here’s a picture of a puppy.

Photo credit goes to
Photo credit goes to

Now, I’m not one to be snobby or judgemental. I do my best to be the opposite of that. This guy contacted me because a mutual friend (or mutual acquaintance, really – we were both part of the same online writing group) recommended me to him as an editor/proofreader. I was freelancing at the time, and I was glad of the work.

She sent me a sort of pre-warning, though. “It looks like a first draft,” she said. “And it’s riddled with errors. I don’t have time to highlight every third word, so I recommended you to him.” Again, I was happy to get some editing work.

This guy messages me, naming himself ‘Novelist’ after his Facebook name. Cool, whatever. He sends me a very badly written email with his book attached. Maybe he was in a hurry and didn’t bother to proofread; it was only an email, after all. I opened the file and got stuck in.

You know, in the first few paragraphs I thought, “This isn’t that bad. He’s described the landscape a bit. It’s in the present tense, but let’s see if it works.” Oh wow, was I in for a ride.

I can’t begin to describe how bad this book was. I’m not exaggerating. As our mutual acquaintance had said, it seemed like a rough first draft. The first real scene with something happening skimmed over the action, with poorly-chosen vocabulary. This carried on for nearly 90,000 words. By the time I was done, every single paragraph was highlighted and commented and crossed out.

But that’s not the worst of it, and this isn’t about his.. ahem.. “book”. I’ve edited bad books before. That’s not where the insane comes in.

A few months ago, the same guy messages me and asks me to write a review. Well, I’ll let the screenshots do the rest. Enjoy.

Please click the image to enlarge it.


He was starting to bug me, but I didn’t think I would have to delete my review just because it hurt his ego. Then things got out of hand. By the way, this guy is in his sixties.

Please click the image to enlarge it.


Wow, right?

Anyway, just thought I’d share. I ended up blocking him on social media (even though he tried using his wife’s Facebook to get back in touch lol) and also reported him on Amazon. He’s taken his book down from Amazon since, maybe in the hopes it’ll make my review disappear. Hopefully that’s the last I’ve heard of him.


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