How An April Fool’s Joke Led To a Stalker and Being Published

The year was 2006. #ThePhilFactor was about a year old. I had a small but loyal following. I thought up the prank about two weeks before April Fool’s Day and set it in motion. I first wrote a small post about my response to a fictional overly amorous woman who had gone outside of blog comments and emailed me directly. The prank was that my readers didn’t know the woman was a fictional character.

Over the next two weeks I wrote three or more posts where I asked the woman to stop messaging me through Twitter and email. My readers implored me to ignore her rather than to feed her ego with my public response. Some even suggested that law enforcement might be needed. I openly blogged about stopping The Phil Factor to end the harassment.

Finally, on April Fool’s Day, I revealed that it was all a ruse. Only one of my readers figured it out and had messaged me the day before.

In 2013 my then editor, Cynthia Shepp  and Renee Folsom, who created the covers for The Sneaker Tree and 50 Shades of Phil for me, had posted on Facebook that they were looking for writers to submit short stories, up to 10,000 words, related to the theme of stalkers. I remembered my old prank and wrote it as a story as if the reader was reading my blog posts (with some of the real comments), e-mails and Twitter messages with the stalker. For the story I added a bit of a wicked twist at the finish.

The book, pictured above, includes 17 stories from a bunch of great writers and I am proud that my store was chosen as the closer. Neither myself or any of the writers get a dime from sale of the books, but it was an opportunity for us to get some exposure. It’s gotten great ratings and reviews on Amazon. If you like suspense stories and are looking for a new favorite author, this might be the collection for you. You can find it in paperback or Kindle version HERE on Amazon.

Happy Easter/Passover/April Fool’s Day! ~Phil

6 responses to “How An April Fool’s Joke Led To a Stalker and Being Published

  1. An interesting back story, Phil.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s great: “you have to be in it to win it”, and I’m glad you had the smarts to recycle your story : ) Congrats

    Liked by 2 people

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