If you haven’t heard of the craziness that is Kathleen Hale, then prepare to be schooled. I need to rant about her exploits in craziness. There are some people who are just so messed up that it baffles me how they even function. Kathleen Hale is one of these people. Maybe her success in getting published or in staying out of prison is that people feel sorry for her. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t look like she could be all that threatening, but looks can be deceiving. After all, I bet that bunny didn’t think Glenn Close looked all that threatening.
Kathleen Hale is a writer.1 Her debut novel came out earlier this year. According to her, there were people who loved it and there were people who hated it. According to her own
confession article, she seems to understand why people might be a little turned off by the book, at first. But then she fixates on one negative review in particular.2 Most people3 tell her not to engage with that reviewer, but she chooses not to pay attention to the warning. Instead, she does background checks, travels to the reviewer’s house (multiple times), harasses the reviewer on the phone (multiple times), checks out the reviewer’s personal social media accounts, and then writes a “pity me” story for The Guardian about how this reviewer wasn’t completely honest online. The story outs the reviewer and gives away some pretty personal information about the reviewer.
Most people aren’t completely forthright on the internet. At least, not in public spaces. There are little things that they might decide to fudge. If a person wants to review books under a pseudonym, let them. Chances are they do that because they feel safer doing things that way. Do you know what might make them feel less safe? An author coming to their house because they made a bad review. That’s
sort of totally fucked up.
And it isn’t the first time that this particular author has done this sort of thing. In 2013, Hale wrote about a childhood acquaintance who made false accusations about Hale’s mother molesting her.4 Her solution, as an adolescent, to finding out that her mom had had charges filed against her was to throw peroxide on the accuser.5 She got arrested, but was released. After this, she monitored the girl’s AIM buddy list. When she finally saw the girl sign-on, she sent her multiple messages. Police showed up at her house and she was shocked. And she tried to grab the spotlight while explaining her harassment of the girl.6
She wanted the pity again, which is really all she deserves.
Well, that and jail-time.
Somehow, she has people supporting her in her bad decisions. There are people on Twitter who have called anyone who points out that she’s a stalker a psychopath or a sociopath. Except that they’re missing that those of us who point this out are empathizing with a person who’s been stalked, doxxed, and humiliated by a writer over a bad review. Yeah, that requires a real lack of compassion. I was unaware that feeling sorry for the victim of a crime was a socially unacceptable thing to do.
I hope that Hale gets the help that she obviously needs. If she doesn’t, then I hope she joins some Luddite organization that makes it harder to stalk people she doesn’t like. And I hope that people will seriously consider putting Hale on their personal author/book blacklists because having an opinion on her books could be risky.
For more on this whole situation, I’d recommend checking out the post about it on Dear Author.
Considering how many blacklists she’s been placed on, maybe I should say that she was a writer. A successful career in fiction may be a pipe dream now. ↩
She also harassed a person who wrote a 3-star review. ↩
Her mom is not one of them. She actually encourages her to continue finding more out about this girl. ↩
“Her” meaning the acquaintance, not the writer. ↩
An action her mother thanked her for. ↩
Her step-mom: You know that girl has bigger problems than you do.
Police officer: You think after everything else the girl needs this?
Hale: Those charges were dropped. We sued them back for defamation of character but we lost a lot of money and now there’s nothing we can do. Just because Lori is messed up doesn’t mean I’m not.
Police officer: Aren’t you the one who attacked her with some kind of chemical? I wouldn’t go around pointing fingers if I were you — you’re the lucky one. ↩