Finally got around to writing to the woman sueing J.K. Rowling. Behold. Contempt, contempt. Bwahah. ;)
Dear Mrs. Stouffer;
I find myself wondering, after going through your site, whether you've read the Harry Potter books at all. Your references seem to come from little more than skimming and your understanding of their nature is, at best, flawed - and along the same lines of interpretation as other detractors such as the infamous mud-slinger Jack Chick. It seems to me that you seek simply to capitalise on a convenient co-incidence of of a relatively common term in your work and J.K. Rowling's in order to gain public attention and/or profit. If this is *not* your intention, however, I would strongly suggest that you re-think your "campaign", because if I'm mis-interpreting you as seriously as all that, it's probably not my error, but yours in presenting your case. (Given that you come off as a jealous coattail-chaser.)
I also find myself wondering, with some concern, about your meaning in this statement:
"I strongly believe that children, while still at very impressionable ages of between 3-13, should not be entertained or baby-sat by violent or complex non-traditional entertainment products, including books; especially when reading or participating involves complex judgment skills."
...at first glance my reaction was to consider the statement patently ridiculous. To say that children should not be challenged with complex and intricate plots is to discourage the development of their reasoning and imagination - this is why the Harry Potter books are so popular, beyond the admittedly excessive marketing campaigns. The HP books contain engaging plots, complicated and interesting characters, and most importantly, provide a mild form of escapism, which after all is one of the integral components of any form of fantasy writing. Fantasy is one of the more well-loved genres for children *because* it involves complex judgement skills, because it allows for the development of abstract thinking and the ability to expand one's imagination to conceive of planes of existence and possibilities beyond what we can see and touch.
And what do you mean by "non-traditional"? If you refer to a religious basis I'll have to change subjects now for fear of writing biased - because inserting the clearly-recognizable doctrine of an organized religion into a children's story is, as I have always believed, not only inappropriate but hypocritical.
And finally, some constructive criticism. Reading the exerpt from the introduction of your book "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles", I discovered two things. One, that in my opinion this work requires some serious editing and betaing. I have recently read *fanfiction* of a much higher quality, grammatically, structurally, terminologically, and in terms of plain old content, than everything presented in your introduction. A lot of it is abrupt, confusing, and dis-organized, imagery is disjointed and overblown in several places; being lost halfway through a paragraph and being forced to re-read it in order to make sense of the story is hardly conducive to creating a fanbase. I've been reading fantasy and sci-fi since I was a small child, and even reading Tolkien made more consistent sense than this did. There's no "flow". The story doesn't perpetuate itself as good stories should. While the basic idea is interesting, the execution needs serious work; though that's only my opinion, of course. But reading this intro in no way made me want to read the rest of the book.
Also, especially taking into consideration your own statements about what forms of entertainment are appropriate for children, this does not read like a children's novel. I can't think of many children with the attention span for political stories, and this intro seems to be filled with dis-organized politics. And for the life of me, I could find no significant similarities between your book and the Harry Potter books. I don't know how anyone could even draw connections between the two works, beyond the word Muggle, which is used in such a radically different context and with such a completely different definition that it's almost ridiculous to bother trying. In fact, all your intro called to mind were the similarities between it and "The Chrysalids" - this story also took place in a post-nuclear-holocaust scenario, also had islands of mutants and outcast persons as the main characters. Perhaps John Wyndham should sue *you*? (Assuming he's still alive - I don't know for certain.)
I found some of your statements worrying - not because I believe them, which I don't - but because of the underlying tone. It appeared that you were attempting to curry sympathy and cast dispersion on a now well-respected author. It appears that you are attempting to cash in on the fame of someone who has worked very hard to accomplish something that makes a lot of people very happy - and not just children. Adolescents and adults read Harry Potter, too. And love it.
Finally, I just want to say that I've never heard of you, or your books. I find it difficult to believe they ever left the state in which they were published. I live in Canada. My parents named me out of The Lord of the Rings. And if your stories had been available, I would have heard of them. But I didn't. And I'm glad. It means I only had the chance to encounter this fiasco at an age where I can be rational about it and not simply contemptuous - which I also am. Make no mistake.
I am a great supporter of the protection of intellectual property. As a writer myself, I'm usually ridiculously protective of my work, my characters, the worlds I've created. So; if your work *has* been stolen, which I doubt, and can find no evidence to show this to be the case, more power to you and your lawsuit.
But if it hasn't, I will say on behalf of all of us who call ourselves writers: shame on you. Writers who lie and cheat and whinge and whine and do what they do purely for the money and nothing else are a disgrace to the calling. So let me say this with the utmost sincerity...
...I hope you get exactly what you deserve.