Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Authors Behaving Badly: Richard Brittain

While most authors are wonderful, some authors are not. That's why I'll be featuring some of the worst behavior of authors in this series. Today, the worst response to a bad review ever.

I think every author is upset by bad reviews. Some authors don't read reviews at all. Some authors read reviews, just swallow the pain and go back to writing. Other authors get into long and heated arguments with their reviewers online. One author Richard Brittain took his anger way, way too far.

In 2014, Richard Brittain published The World Rose, self-described as an "epic fairytale romance." Before this incident, Brittain was best known as a former champion of the TV quiz show Countdown in 2009. His book, however, didn't receive positive reviews. One particularly long review by a reviewer named Paige Rolland on Wattpad seemed to have sent Brittain over the edge.

In October 2014, Brittain used Facebook to track down the eighteen-year-old Rolland. He traveled from England to Scotland (a distance of 400 miles) where Rolland worked at a grocery store. While she worked stacking cereal, Brittain picked up a bottle of wine from a shelf, snuck up on her from behind, and smashed the bottle over her head. Then he walked out.

Rolland was knocked out briefly, and ended up going to the hospital with lacerations on her scalp. Doctors said if the blow had been harder or in a slightly different part of her head, it would have killed her.

That's right. He knocked a woman unconscious and sent her to the hospital. Over a bad review.

Brittain was later arrested, confessed to the police, was charged and put in prison. Last we heard from him, he claimed to be hearing voices that told him to stare directly at the sun for several days.

As of this writing, his book The World Rose has a one-star rating on Amazon. But no one's been hit over the head with wine bottles for those reviews, so there's that.

UPDATE: So the story gets worse. It turns out the main character in The World Rose was based on a woman Brittain had been stalking for years, both online and in real life. Guess that's where he learned his mad Facebook stalking skills.

More aliens and planets lie ahead as the journey continues in Heart of the Nexus, part two of the Nexus Trilogy!

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