Thomas Wictor

A big thank you to everyone who read my book

A big thank you to everyone who read my book

Even though things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who read Ghosts and Ballyhoo and sent me messages. I read them all, and they mean a lot to me.

The next phase is going to be very satisfying. People who commit terrible acts of abuse—and are unrepentant—must be punished. I gave my publicists the opportunity to refund my money, but they didn’t even respond. Their plan is to move ahead as if nothing had happened. My plan is unfolding. It’s a bit more…elaborate than pretending that nothing had happened.

I’m sure that my fake former publicists are living far beyond their means. The boss of the company has absolutely no history in the publishing industry, even though he told me he’d worked twenty years for Random House. My guess is that he’s got a background in computer programming. What’s clear is that he’s not and has never been a book publicist. His spelling and grammar are atrocious.

He got into the book publicity business to take advantage of the explosion in self-publishing. The big publishing houses are in a death spiral because of their obsession with “chick lit,” books by and for wymyn. A giant book comes out with much fanfare, and then a few months later it’s in the remainder bin. The women who’ve taken over most of the publishing industry tend to be gender obsessed.

A female reviewer of my novel Chasing the Last Whale said that my female characters were “preternaturally beautiful” and that the main male character’s “turns as a ladies’ man are not believable.”

Of all the things to get hung up on, the physical appearance of the female characters is easily the dumbest. One character is beautiful, which is vital to a major plot twist. The other character would in my mind be called “striking” but certainly not beautiful.

But guess what? Some women are beautiful. And guess what again? The extremely average-looking guy writing this post has dated a lot of them. That’s because normal women don’t tend to care how men look. Also, most men are attracted to appearance. Hordes of men surround the beautiful woman at all times, so she can pick and choose.

It’s been my experience that beautiful women go through a phase of dating men whose looks match their own, and then—if the women are interested in having more than just superficial, physical relationships—they search for something else. So us really average guys can do pretty well in terms of “landing” attractive women.

Fat, balding Carlo Ponti was married to Sophia Loren for fifty years. She said he was the only man she’d ever met who could see past her looks.


I don’t care about gender politics, the battle of the sexes, the heterocage, the patriarchy, or all the other terms that people with destructive agendas use to divide us. Nor am I envious of anyone for being better looking, more successful, happier, or free from suffering. Their lives have nothing to do with mine. God bless them all.

Since Mom and Dad died, nothing’s really changed. The issues with which I was saddled are still there, and I’m still a target for predators. This is because I was groomed to be prey.

However, the year 2013 was different. It was the worst 365 days of my life. With the passage of time, I’m becoming myself again. Unfortunately for my fake former publicists, the person I really am is someone they’re going to wish they’d never met.

Wilbur Daniel Steel wrote my story. He titled it “Footfalls.” I read it in high school, and it stayed with me. Until now, I didn’t know why it struck such a nerve. It’s a tale of horrible fate, bad judgment, predation, isolation, justice, and recovery.

For recovery to take place, there must be rectification. One way or another.

This is not an easy story; not a road for tender or for casual feet. Better the meadows. Let me warn you, it is as hard as that old man’s soul and as sunless as his eyes. It has its inception in catastrophe, and its end in an act of almost incredible violence; between them it tells barely how one long blind can become also deaf and dumb.

He lived in one of those old Puritan sea towns where the strain has come down austere and moribund, so that his act would not be quite unbelievable. Except that the town is no longer Puritan and Yankee. It has been betrayed; it has become an outpost of the Portuguese islands.

This man, this blind cobbler himself, was a Portuguese from St. Michael, in the Western Islands, and his name was Boaz Negro.

He was happy. An unquenchable exuberance lived in him. When he arose in the morning he made vast, as it were uncontrollable, gestures with his stout arms. He came into his shop singing. His voice, strong and deep as the chest from which it emanated, rolled out through the doorway and along the street, and the fishermen, done with their morning work and lounging and smoking along the wharfs, said, “Boaz is to work already.” Then they came up to sit in the shop.

In that town a cobbler’s shop is a club. One sees the interior always dimly thronged. They sit on the benches watching the artisan at his work for hours, and they talk about everything in the world. A cobbler is known by the company he keeps.

Boaz Negro kept young company. He would have nothing to do with the old. On his own head the gray hairs set thickly.

He had a grown son. But the benches in his shop were for the lusty and valiant young, men who could spend the night drinking, and then at three o’clock in the morning turn out in the rain and dark to pull at the weirs, sing songs, buffet one another among the slippery fish in the boat’s bottom, and make loud jokes about the fundamental things, love and birth and death. Harkening to their boasts and strong prophecies his breast heaved and his heart beat faster. He was a large, full-blooded fellow, fashioned for exploits; the flame in his darkness burned higher even to hear of them.

It is scarcely conceivable how Boaz Negro could have come through this much of his life still possessed of that unquenchable and priceless exuberance; how he would sing in the dawn; how, simply listening to the recital of deeds in gale or brawl, he could easily forget himself a blind man, tied to a shop and a last; easily make of himself a lusty young fellow breasting the sunlit and adventurous tide of life.

He had had a wife, whom he had loved. Fate, which had scourged him with the initial scourge of blindness, had seen fit to take his Angelina away. He had had four sons. Three, one after another, had been removed, leaving only Manuel, the youngest. Recovering slowly, with agony, from each of these recurrent blows, his unquenchable exuberance had lived.

Read the rest here.