The gay book world has been rocked by a scandal involving popular author Santino Hassell. I have personally not been affected so I will refrain from commenting except to say that I DO believe the victims who have come forward about their experiences at the hands of the person calling themselves Santino Hassell and some of this person’s defenders. As a reader, I am heartbroken that an author whose books I greatly enjoyed is NOT who or what they portrayed themselves to be and has, in fact, possibly written novels based on other people’s life experiences without their permission or acknowledging that these works are based on real life events that were relayed to them by other individuals.
Although I am not directly affected by these unfortunate events, I have participated in blog tours featuring the releases of Santino Hassell’s novels. As of today, ALL of these promo posts have been deleted. While I have not officially reviewed any of Santino Hassell’s novels, I did read a novel for a book challenge and I am deleting the content from these posts as wells.
Both Riptide Publishing (read their statement HERE & Tumblr post HERE) and Dreamspinner Press (read their announcement HERE) are no longer selling Santino Hassell’s novels and all contracts have been canceled. As of this writing, neither Berkley Publishing, who have published Santino Hassell’s novels through their InterMix imprint nor St. Martin’s Press (who has a contract with Santino Hassell for a not yet released series) have made statements about their relationship with Santino Hassell.
Since I have no firsthand knowledge of the events nor any involvement whatsoever, I will not provide any details of what has occurred beyond my comments in this post. However you can find out more information by searching for “Santino Hassell catfishing” on Google or Twitter.
In closing, please be very careful in your interactions with people in the cyberworld. Do no take people or authors at face value, be suspicious of anyone who is trying to gain your sympathy and be cautious of donating money or giving gifts to people you have not met in real life. A healthy dose of skepticism might just save you from being duped by someone who is unscrupulously manipulating you for financial gain.
15 Responses to Santino Hassell Statement
WELL SAID! I totally agree with you. Even if they are your favorite authors for ever and ever and ever, I think a healthy dose of skepticism is always needed.
Thank you! Sometimes I think I’m too cynical but I would rather be cynical and skeptical than too trusting and end get up getting scammed!
Thanks for the post and advice Kathy!
I just hate seeing readers taken advantage of by unscrupulous authors and people.
I recall you being a stop on Santino Hassell’s blog tour. Thank you for this post.
You’re welcome. I felt like it was necessary to make it clear that Book Reviews & More by Kathy would never support this type of behavior.
Well said Kathy
Thank you, Timitra.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this sad situation. I also believe the victims and wish them peace & healing.
I absolutely hate that this happened.
Intermix posted on Twitter they have dropped SH from their contract.
Berkeley/Intermix posted on Twitter they have dropped SH from their contract.
Thanks for letting me know. I am glad they decided to follow Riptide and Dreamspinner.
Well said and thanks for your expressed support of the victims. I understand why pseudonyms are used, but not always comfortable with it b/c it can easily go beyond just the privacy issue to misleading, and in this case to catfishing, usurping others’ stories, collusion and greed, illegal harassment, and outright fraud … and not just on SH’s part. I won’t be following the other authors involved either.
Exactly! A pseudonym is understandable, but creating a false identity or claiming to be someone or something you are not, is unacceptable. I can’t help but wonder if the intention was always to manipulate readers/fans or if the idea grew out of popularity. I am honest to a fault so I certainly don’t understand this type of behavior.