Monday, March 22, 2010

Death Threats!

I'm working through a backlog of email that stacked up while I was laid low with The Galloping Crud, and found this:

I'm not sure if you're aware, but it appears someone hacked into your Blogger account. I received this creepy comment on my blog last night from your username and it links back to your private profile, with the same Blogger ID number.

Holy Moly!
My email hacked! My blogger account hacked!
To quote one of my favorite writers "what the skedily fuck?"

So I went to the blog in question.

Hey, I remember this. I found it through a link on twitter. There was a nice post on revealing things in the right order.

And then there was the offer to contribute:

Your turn. Share some reveals from your story, or make up some new ones. The funnier, the better.

And I had:

I'm being blackmailed.
If I don't do what they ask, I'll be killed.
What they're asking is for me to kill someone.
That someone is you.


Reading that out of context is a little creepy!

This is exactly what can happen in a query. Something you think is edgy or funny, is completely misinterpreted by the reader. Be really careful with things like

"By the time you receive this letter you will know that someone has kidnapped your child—that someone is me. I can promise you that this time you will not be sending me a rejection letter.”

And I guess I should be first in line to follow my own advice, huh.


Bradley Robb said...

Bait and switch!

I started to read the post under the impression, "Whoa, Janet passed on a novel and things are taking a turn for the worse." Instead I get a lesson.

Granted, the lesson is the better of the two outcomes, but it leads me to wonder - has rejecting a query every gone really, really South?


Karma is quite the kicker, isn't she?

Susan at Stony River said...

I'm sorry but I laughed out loud at this exchange -- each of you made perfect sense, but what a misunderstanding.

It reminds me of the people who actually "Honk if You Love Jesus", only to get the finger from the person getting honked at. Oops!

Lydia Kang said...

Yes, out of context, that is pretty scary. On the upside, your blogger account is safe and sound. You're free to scare other bloggers out there now!

MeganRebekah said...

Oh my, who would ever make such a crazy misunderstanding? I hope you tarred and feathered this person. Maybe cajoled a shark into carrying out that death threat.

Wait. I haven't fallen prey to any killer sharks, but the dogs in my neighborhood have been attacking in force the past week. I'm sure you wouldn't know anything about that. Right?

kah said...

As the ransom note receiver's friend, I too thought someone had hacked your account when she told me about "a creepy comment from someone pretending to be Janet."

I never pictured you for the creepy type. But when we found out it actually was you, your coolness factor went up even higher than before.

In or out of context. We had fun laughing about it.

Botanist said...

So, would it be entirely out of order to close a sci-fi query with "Thank you for your time and consideration, and please be assured that the warship hovering ten miles above your office is merely a formality for insurance purposes"?

Josin L. McQuein said...

Wow. That's just... totally the kind of thing I'd post thinking it was funny at the time.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that people reading can't "hear" the inflections in what we type.

Agree with me, or you'll be sorry. ;-)

Ronda Laveen said...

Without a voice for tone, written words, in edgy situations, don't always show true intent. Great illustrations. Spooky, but great.

Kate Evangelista said...

It's a little funny reading it from the outside, but I'd agree about it being creepy if I received one.

Unknown said...

Wow. I know I've heard this somewhere before...oh, wait, here. LOL!

GalaktioNova said...

LOL! Happens all the time on the Internet because all the communication is done in writing. That's why they invented smileys, to help the reader understand the writer's true intentions.

But you can't put a smiley on a query, can you? It's even creepier! :-))

Unknown said...

Creepy? No.

Funny? Oh, yes.

Great illustration even if I do think the blogger in question was quick to jump the shark.

Anonymous said...

It would sure make the job exciting.

Hart Johnson said...

BUWAHAHAHAHA! I'm sure this was no fun in the midst of it, but what a hysterical story after the fact! Oh, the misunderstandings we can create when we are limited to 140 characters...

Dale Bishop said...

Everyone has a different sense of humor, too. I once queried a guy and told him he was cute at the end of the query. He shot back that he was married, had a kid, and didn't go for that sort of thing.

I only said he was cute. I didn't want to go for drinks.

Slamdunk said...

Great exchange--thanks for the mid morning laugh.

Rebecca Knight said...

HAHAHA! This is great :). It's amazing what happens when we can't use body language or tone to convey how hilarious we're being. Dang!

Heidi Willis said...

well, it might be creepy if it came from someone I didn't know.

With your blog address to it, though... it's just plain funny.

(Is it bad that I think that's so you a thing to do??)

Terri Molina said...

OMG Too Funny!!
Had I read it on my blog I would have taken it for what it was...a joke...but then I'm morbid that way. I'd also be awed that Janet even stopped by my lowly blog to comment..hah.

Janet, I think that qualifies for the humorous story at the DR Conference...might even top Toni. ;-)

Jai Joshi said...

Great way to make your point!


Sheila Deeth said...

Okay, that was definitely fun - and an interesting warning...

Debra Driza said...

Bwahaha...hilarious post! Also, thanks so much for the linky love! :)


Crystal Posey said...

Sorry, but this was the best laugh I've had today. :)

jurassicpork said...

Chapter two of my latest novels goes something like that and adding to the potential of misinterpretation is the fact that the victim is a fictional literary agent in NYC.