Monday, January 13, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Last May, at the RT Convention in Kansas City, I commissioned Mr. Quill to create two prints for me of one of my AKM characters, Micah. He gladly charged me $400 and told me it would take about three months to create the prints. Here is what has happened since:
In June, I emailed him to ask him if I paid for VIP service. I couldn't remember if I had and wanted to make sure I did. No response.
In October, which was five months after RT and two months after I should have received my artwork, I emailed Mr. Quill to inquire about the status of my order. I had given him two extra months past what he had stated for my delivery, but it was time to begin inquiring. No response.
October-December were incredibly busy months for me with a book release and a huge blog tour, so I didn't get back around to following up with Mr. Quill until last week, because, honestly, time got away from me. I could barely remember what day of the week it was and forgot my own birthday. I emailed him again January 2 to inquire about my order. No response.
I contacted the RT organizers and asked if there was anything they could do to help facilitate communication with Mr. Quill, since it was there that I met him. I also wanted to let them know what has happened so they would reconsider allowing him to have a booth at future RT conventions. They assured me that he has been banned from the convention in the future, because apparently, they have received a lot of complaints about him similar to mine. They also said one of their organizers would attempt to contact him to try and get a resolution to my situation. No response from Mr. Quill.
I emailed him again yesterday morning, stating clearly in my subject line that he needed to reply immediately to avoid legal action. No response.
However, I'm pretty sure Mr. Quill has received my messages, because in the five days since I emailed him on January 2 to today, he has shut down his website. I pulled it up last week to ensure he was still around, and it was there. This morning, I tried to pull it up, and it's gone. UPDATED TO ADD: Lo and behold, his website came up again about an hour ago, as of 1/7/14.
Hmmm. Not a good sign.
So, this morning, I filed a dispute with my bank for the $400. I asked them, "What if he doesn't respond to the dispute?" and was told, "He has to respond." I was like, "Well, he had better say yes to my dispute, because if he says no, I'm taking him to court."
During my research into how to reach Robert Quill, I found that I'm not alone in my troubles. Check out these links to others who have also been unable to get a response from him. Note that Robert (and his wife) did reply on the blogs. Interesting that they can respond to public outcries against him but not to private emails.
Abbielog - Deadbeat Artist
Killian McRae - Author-to-Author Warning
For those like me who are unable to receive responses from him, perhaps these links will help. I'll be saving these for my own files in case I have to sue him to get my money back:
Here's a listing for him on Wizard World
Robert Quill on Facebook
Better Business Bureau Listing
That's my story. Be warned and stay away from this guy. He took advantage of me, took my money, and that's the last I saw or heard of him. I guess I should have known something was awry when I returned to his booth at RT (when he told me to so I could see the sketches of the artwork he promised me) only to receive a curt and almost rude remark of how he hadn't had time to do it, yet...as if it was my fault. I should have asked for a refund then. Live and learn. But hopefully I'll help others learn from my mistake.
UPDATE: I did send Mr. Quill a Facebook message this morning, as well, notifying him that I've been trying to contact him and that I've filed a dispute with my bank for the $400. So far, no response. We'll see what happens.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
I won't always do a weekly recap, but since this series is still so new, I thought it appropriate this week.
We started the 365 Ways with last week's blog post on creating a 5-Year Plan. Since I already spent ample time on that topic, I won't rehash it here. The other topics I hit this week are:
- Know yourself
- Read "On Writing" by Stephen King
- How to start your story.
- Your pregnant heroine walks in on her husband in bed with another woman. (What will she do? Will she leave him? Will she meet someone new? Will she be able to make it on her own?)
- A mother is getting her kids ready for school when an explosion shakes the house. (What caused the explosion? Will she be able to save her kids? Will their crumble? If so, then what?)
- Your middle-aged hero is unjustly fired from the job he's held for ten years. (Will he be able to find a new job? Why did he get fired? Will he sue? Will he get retribution against his former employer?)
- Your heroine opens an envelope which contains divorce papers. (How long were they married? Do they have kids? Was he cheating? Was she cheating? Why are they divorcing? How old is she? Is she scared to be single again?)
- Your hero is in a car accident and loses his leg. (Was it his fault? The other driver's fault? Is he hurt? How will this affect his life? His job? His relationship?)
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Since it's January 1, I thought this would be a great time to talk about Nugget #1: The Five-Year Plan.
Every writer should have a five-year plan. You have to know where you're going and what you want to achieve if you're going to get there and achieve it. Think of your five-year plan as your road map to reach the destination you've projected for yourself.
What do you include in your Five-Year Plan? This could vary for everyone depending on where you are in your writing journey, but it could include:
- Your targeted annual sales for the next five years
- How many books you want to publish each year (including their titles. Use "working titles" if you haven't yet named a manuscript.)
- How many drafts you want to write each year (including their titles or working titles)
- Total number of words you want to write (make sure the number of words you're targeting makes sense given the number of drafts you want to write and the number of books you want to publish. For example: If you plan to write three novel-length drafts, you will need to write a minimum of 180,000 words)
- How many books you want to read on the writing craft (including the titles of those books if you already know them)
- How many writing classes you want to take (and the names of those classes, if applicable)
- The number of conventions you want to attend, including which ones and the dates.
- Any contests you want to enter
- Your five-year bio
I've been planning for the past couple of months to devote all of 2014 to writing. Everything I've done since the end of October has been to prepare myself for one solid year of writing. There's a few reasons for that, some personal and some professional, but this change in plans made me pull out my the Five-Year Plan I worked up in May and revise it. This is what my 2014 plan now looks like:
As you can see, I have a MAJOR writing year ahead of me. Will I reach all my goals? I don't know. All but three of my planned drafts have been started. I just need to finish them. And all but two of the books I plan to publish have been started or are in some stage of editing. But I know one thing for sure. If I don't map out my goals, I definitely won't reach them, and I won't have anything pushing me to keep surging forward when I would rather take a day off. Goals give you that. They give you a guide and motivation to keep going when you would rather watch TV.