Thursday, April 10, 2008

stalked

In December 2006 I had a party to celebrate the completion of YNH. I invited lots of people, including a reader who had sent me an e-mail, a Russian punk rock musician living in Berlin. X has just been ringing at the door downstairs. I don't need to look. X rings again. X rings again. Time passes. X rings at the door of the apartment (someone must have buzzed him in). X rings again. X rings again. X bangs on the door. Sometimes X calls on the phone. I never answer the phone.

I often go out and forget to turn the lights off. The thing to remember is that, if you don't move, you can't be heard; you might perfectly well not be at home.

X can't really use e-mail, he got a friend to write the e-mail for him. So I can't send him an e-mail telling him to stay away. I have tried to explain on the phone and in person that he must stop coming. Well, it's tiring.

Some time ago I came across a post on an agent's blog, a type of post that's very common on agents' blogs: a be-nice-to-assistants-or-else post. (I will track down the link if I'm not too lazy.) I sometimes think agents have an odd idea of a writer's life. People write. A was thinking of jumping off his 56-floor balcony, came in, read the book, still wants to jump. B is going off his head in Iraq. C is going off her head in the Israeli army. D says he will do anything to help and is never heard from again. E says he will do anything to help and is never heard from again. I was once attacked in a park near my house in London by someone I met in a pub. People write in quite a friendly way and then turn abusive. Something gets under the skin. I can't believe I'm that interesting, but books should be that interesting. Anyway, one wants a business representative, an agency, that is a haven of professionalism and efficiency.

I was going to write about something different, YNH. People write to me under the impression that YNH is a work of fiction on which the world of commercial publishing has turned its back. This is not really the case. The problem is just, I hired an agent early last year who claimed to be enthusiastic, but who proved not to be a haven of professionalism and efficiency. I couldn't deal with it. If a book has no agent to send it out it is unlikely to find a publisher.

It's been quiet for some time now. I think I'll go to Yorckschlosschen for a coffee.

7 comments:

Jenny Davidson said...

Hmmm, very stressful, difficult... I hope you have at any rate had a lovely & restorative coffee...

ghost said...

What has turned the man into a stalker? Has he fallen for you? Are you his favorite novelist (ever!) and he wants to bask in the genius you radiate? Is it very smart to mention the coffeehouse you visit (possibly on a regular basis?). Oh! So intriguing, this. And I was just listening to Les Rita Mitsouko: "Même si, même si tout s'effondrait / Je serais près de toi". Sung by X this would collapse into creepiness, no?

Ithaca said...

X thinks I am the best female writer ever - better than Agatha Christie, better than Iris Murdoch, better than Virginia Woolf. He hates computers and never goes online (the e-mail he first sent was written for him by a friend), so he is unlikely to pick up references to local cafes here - and in any case he explained on a previous occasion that he once got thrown out of Yorckschlosschen when he was busking, so he's wary of going back. For a long time I tried to be pleasant and polite; he would come round, sometimes with his son, and I would have them in, or I would go out and have a coffee with X. But there is no way to do this without offering encouragement, so after a while I said he must stop coming round because I was trying to work, and he ignored this.

ghost said...

Oooh Iris Murdoch. Ah. (brief fanboy interlude)

Where were we. Ah, right. Why not be really really rude to him. Medieval-style, buckets of water, frogs or locusts. I think it's not illegal to douse a stalker with locusts.

nsiqueiros said...

Can't you maybe pretend to not know him? Next time he comes round, be like, "I'm sorry but I have no idea who you are; I've never seen you before in my entire life; have a nice day."

Ithaca said...

X has a history of violence, alcoholism and drug abuse, so these are inappropriate suggestions.

nsiqueiros said...

I would search the web for ideas on how to rid oneself of a stalker. I have no doubt that sites exist with information for just this occasion.