Dear Mr. Myers,
Thank you for your interest in my novella Murdered by Human Wolves. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you showing up at my place of employment for a second time to demand my attention and a copy of the book. Please forgive our school secretary, but I hope you can understand that part of her job is to keep the students and faculty separated from random people who walk in off the street. Also, please understand that I do not sell my books from my classroom. I attend many conventions and other public events where I do sell my books, and it is available from any bookstore, including Amazon.com.
It was nice of you to leave your home phone number, (405) 261-0960, as well as your cell number, (405) 202-7547. However, based on previous communication with other members of your family, I regret to say I will not be able to find the time or inclination to call you before Hell freezes over. I understand that you are a family member of Katherine Cross, and the grandfather of a sweet young lady I had in my classes for two years, and it is for her sake that I am being so polite in this letter.
The e-mails I received from a relative of yours mentioned a slander lawsuit over my book. While this person’s lack of understanding of the law, or even the correct definition of "slander", was humorous, such an e-mail is not the way to my heart. Nor is the impolite and incorrect review posted on Amazon by another of your family members. The note from an ordained Baptist minister — your grandson — posted on my bulletin board, again refers to the possibility of legal action. Anyone who has read the book can see that your minister grandson is leveling accusations without actually reading the book. And, honestly, if one of us is guilty of libel (which is what you call it when harmful lies are put into print; slander is verbal), it would be your grandson, Scott Cross, who may have cost me sales and thus hurt my livelihood with his false statements in a public forum.
If Scott can be trusted at all and you are indeed the younger brother of Katherine, you have my condolences on the untimely and tragic death of your sister. As to his accusation that I did no research, I can only reply that I tried, but was told that all the relevant records were destroyed in a fire. A scrap of a Seminole newspaper and a few online accounts were all that was to be found. Perhaps the sinister forces that caused Katherine’s death are still at work in Konawa. I imagine the doctor and school teacher had relatives, too.
My publisher informs me that your family was given the chance to tell your side of Katherine’s story prior to the publication of the current edition of the book. No one responded to the offer.
I will give one piece of advice to you. Should you find a lawyer desperate enough to take your case and unethical enough to take your retainer, think first about how the sales of Marilyn Manson concert tickets and The Tin Drum film skyrocketed following the publicity generated when "moral" leaders tried to ban them in our state. There is virtually no chance of you winning a lawsuit against me, for a variety of reasons. The book has earned me almost no money at all, so the only way you could get anything would be for the book to suddenly sell well due to the publicity your frivolous lawsuit would generate. In other words, your family suing me would only benefit me because people would want to know what the book is all about.
Finally, I must ask that you cease and desist trying to contact me through my employer. If you want the book, buy it in a store. If you want to talk to me, come to one of the events I attend. I’ll be at this one Friday and Saturday. I will not have a conversation with you at the school. Oh, and stop playing dumb. You know damn good and well the book is named for Katherine’s epitaph; it is not named Hands of the Wolf like you told our secretary.
Steven E. Wedel