Thomas Wictor

A nation of mice

A nation of mice

In the book Alfred Hitchcock’s Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries there’s a great story titled “The Mystery of the Three Blind Mice,” about a rich old bastard who everybody hates.

The story begins this way.

Forever after, Andy Adams would remember that tremendous, metallic voice screaming for help, bringing him out of a sound sleep with the blankets tangled around him and his heart thudding wildly.

“Help!” the voice shouted, echoing through Andy’s bedroom. “Help!”

To Andy, still half asleep, it was like the voice of a giant in the room with him.

“He’s shot me!” the voice cried, as Andy struggled to wake up. “I suspect mice…”

Here the voice faltered. Then the unknown speaker tried again, each word seeming to be a terrible effort.

“I suspect mice…”

That’s great writing. I was hooked immediately.

Mice haven’t shot me. Yet. But they’re all around me—scampering, cowering, squeaking, trembling. We’ve become a nation of mice.

I’m the only (former) author willing to speak about how Mike Albee and Lura Dold of Sandpiper Publicity defrauded me. In my case they stole $40,000. All the others insist on remaining anonymous, even though Albee and Dold took them for only $1000 to $3000 each. These authors are afraid.

Last night I got an e-mail from someone I’d contacted to publicize my story. He writes for a blog run by the toughest-talking, two-fistedest, chain-smokingest, liquor guzzlingest iconoclast out there. The blog motto and logo are ultra macho, and the posts are stuffed with profanity of the manliest kind: “cocksucker” is one of the most frequent epithets.

The commenters all have user names that include descriptions of sex toys, genitalia, and defecation. Giant breasts—on women—are always a topic of conversation.

A central concern of the blogger is moral corruption and the decline of standards in our society. He writes massive posts on them. Who better to help me expose a merciless con artist, right?

Wrong. The two-fisted blogger is terrified of lawsuits and of having his real identity exposed. Also, I’m not important enough. He’s a big cheese hobnobbing with the movers and shakers, while I’m a peon. Here’s part of last night’s e-mail.

I don’t think [redacted] is going to want to cover this. It doesn’t sound like something he’d take an interest in.

Though the blogger rails against injustice, he doesn’t see what’s in it for him to tell my story. Since he uses the term “cocksucker” every three seconds, maybe he’d take an interest if I made him an offer. If he doesn’t like beards, I could hire as my stand-in one of the large-breasted porn stars he loves so much. He’s a person who reveals far more about himself than he knows.

It’s clear that he’s obsessed with Japanese porn, the most anti-erotic erotica on earth. Western men who like the rapey, baby-doll, passive, schoolgirl imagery of Japanese porn have lethal deficits in the adequacy department. But my brother Paul tells me I’m too harsh and judgmental, so forget what I just said.

Whattaya say, big blogger-fella? Cover my story if I can arrange a visit from this stunning specimen?

Several people in the media have told me that they’re taking a pass on what Mike Albee and Lura Dold did to me because they don’t care (“Unfortunately, at this time, I am not doing this kind of story.”) or it could result in lawsuits. This is truly pathetic. Albee has no history in the publishing industry. He’s a complete fraud. In seven months and after $40,000, here’s what he got for me:

1. One short interview in a local newspaper.

2. One interview in a classical-music bi-monthly.

3. Three short radio interviews.

4. Three book reviews, one by an Amazon reviewer.

I’ve documented the fact that he not only didn’t do the search-engine optimization (SEO) for which he charged me $2250 a month, he actually de-optimized my Website. He billed me for work that he never undertook. This is irrefutable.

Also, I never signed a contract agreeing to pay Albee $2250 a month for SEO. He simply began billing me the day after my mother died, and since I was crazy with stress, PTSD, brain fog, and pain, I numbly paid.

Albee double billed me for three months. I never signed a contract agreeing to pay a $3000 monthly retainer for Chasing the Last Whale. Show me the contract, Mike. I’ve got the invoices. Let’s match them up with the contract.

And Albee sent me an e-mail admitting that the head of his “SEO Department” wasn’t used to working with authors. A book publicist whose SEO expert hasn’t worked with authors? I’ve got that e-mail in my hot little hands. Metaphorically. It’s actually in my extremely hot iMac. Firefox makes my computer into a grill.

One of Albee’s staffers said she was going to get me on the Danny Bonaduce radio show. Promise made, promise broken.

What is Albee going to sue me over? I’ve got the goods on him. He defrauded me. Look at his own Website.

Sandpiper was created in 2013, not 2007, so the very first sentence is a lie. And all anybody has to do is ask for the names of the clients who’ve appeared on those big shows. Mike and Lura should be able to produce such a list within seconds.

Here Mike says he’s got 1.5 million media contacts.

But here he says he’s got 30,000 media contacts.

Is he going to sue me for quoting him accurately? Will he take me to court for repeating his claim that he’s been in the publicity business for twenty years? He told me he’d worked for Random House for twenty years. Regardless, there’s no record at all of Mike Albee having worked in book publicity or publishing. None whatsoever. Is he going to sue me for pointing out that he lies about his career?

Here’s another lie from the Website.

There’s no comprehensive followup. Zero. Nothing. As just one piece of evidence, here’s a message Lura Dold sent me.

I contacted Mariell Wakim myself on January 21, 2014, after I’d discovered that Mike Albee and Lura Dold are complete frauds and con artists. Wakim confirmed that she did request and receive a copy of Ghosts and Ballyhoo.

Now, I made it clear in my e-mail to Wakim that I didn’t want to know if she’d reviewed it. I’d searched the Los Angeles Magazine Website and found nothing about it, so I assume that she didn’t. It would’ve been awkward for me to ask if she had or hadn’t. That would’ve put her on the spot.

The point is that my so-called publicists never followed up on whether or not Wakim would review it. It was their job to find out if it was going to be reviewed, and if it wasn’t, why not? I never heard anything about Los Angeles Magazine again. Sandpiper offers no followup whatsoever.

I’ve got several more e-mails in which Lura or one of her minions tell me that so-and-so has requested a copy of Ghosts, but that’s where it always ended.

You told me you loved me
So I don’t understand
Why promises are snapped in two
And words are made to bend

All you mice out there, what the fuck is this guy going to sue me or you over? He and his wife are the ones making the claims, lying, and defrauding. I wasn’t able to perceive it because I was insane with grief and horror. You little mousies have no excuses.

But that’s fine. I’m no longer interested in being a part of the literary “community” or the blogging “community.” I’ll finish the books I’m working on, and that’ll be that. Here’s a dirty little secret: The literary, blogging, media, and music communities are full of ingrates. I’ve done favors for tons of people who either haven’t even responded or have blandly turned me down and wished me luck.

My unsolicited advice? Assume that everyone you meet in the literary, blogging, media, and music communities are narcissistic turds who think of others only in terms of the value they bring to the turds’ careers and prestige. It’s a relief to be rid of them all. Except for Scott Thunes and a couple others.

Fake stockbrokers defrauded Tim when he was twenty-three. These con artists stole from over ten thousand investors. A legal case was brought, and of those ten thousand victims, only a few hundred were willing to testify. They were afraid. As the court date got closer and closer, victims kept dropping out until Tim was the only one left. He alone out of the ten thousand had the fortitude to confront the predators.

When Tim was on the stand, the defense attorneys tore him to pieces, trying to make him the criminal. They wanted him to prove that he wasn’t a crook. The judge didn’t allow any of their tactics, but the attorneys’ sarcasm, belligerence, and character assassination in open court were very stressful.

In the end Tim won. He got back almost all of his money.

I’m not afraid of Mike Albee, even if you little mice are. I’ll do your work for you and take the hits in my effort to put him out of business. But don’t you dare send me messages thanking me. I don’t want to hear from a single Albee victim who lacked the spine to come forward.

Mike Albee and Lura Dold used the suicides of my parents to take me for $40,000. Whatever he did to you doesn’t even begin to compare, so spare me your after-the-fact praise. It’ll just make me angry that you weren’t there to help when it mattered.

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