She won the war
I won a small victory
October 2012 turned out to be a harsh month for me. I beat my harshest critic in a Facebook writing contest run by her friend's publishing house - 5 Princes Publishing. That was small solace for what was to come.
The result of the contest was my stories got rigged. The first time it went down to server error - Okay, that DOES happen. Why was I the only person affected? Why was the only story hit the one ahead of the lady responsible for "stitching me up."
I can't prove a thing, but later events bear me out. In the final weeks of the event, a "ringer" entered the fray. His story got 274 reads every day for nine days, then stopped, why?
Hacking the computer is the technical part of the equation. Once you're in the rest is basic maths. The story that came third stopped once it had pushed me out of the top 3.
The former friends who came first and second got anthology offers; the man who came third wasn't bothered; he already had writing jobs. As for me, I spent the last three years in oblivion - I can't even give my award-winning book away.
In the final week of the contest, there was an award for the best novel on the site. By this time, somebody had got into the site and cut ALL the links from the sitemap to the sections. I did warn the lady running the contest - when she asked me to join the contest - her friend was known on other sites for her Win at any cost mentality.
Chronicles of Mark Johnson
The fate of my award-winner is well documented on here and Facebook, after the award it died. How much this ladies antics on Goodreads affected sales is debatable, what isn't debatable is entering the contest was a gross mistake for me. By the way - I didn't want to enter in the beginning - and the lady running the contest saying my story was better than her friend's could only have made her friend mad.
The Lost Ship
The original was called The Lost Ship and is available to buy as Sea Ghosts.