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Agent attacked, allegedly by rejected querier

September 16, 2012

Last Friday was a difficult day for agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg. She was attacked, allegedly by a writer whose manuscript she had rejected. With her child and two dogs in the car, the attacker smashed the passenger side mirror then rounded on agent Vlieg with his baseball bat, smashing her head against the steering wheel.

Her Jack Russell terrier was the hero of the story, biting the attacker and chasing him off. According to the LA Times, police asked for Vlieg’s work emails and identified a  man threatening her. Sadly this was not the first time for work-related threats, said  the agent for Larsen Pomada–and a blogger for the popular bookalicious.org kidlit site. Agents get that all the time, she told the police.

Finding the man’s address on his submission, police went to his home and found the alleged attacker with a tell-tale dog bite. Vlieg has followed up the LA Times, HuffPost and other reports, however, with her own post. She says: “Until I get updates that there was an arrest and a court date and someone is convicted, this guy who queried me is innocent. He could be at home right now nursing his lawnmower wound. It still could just be a random thing.”

In the meantime, Vlieg has blocked her social media accounts and removed photos of her child from tweets related to the incident.

Vlieg is in no way responsible for the attacker tracking her down. But the incident has lead to posts on the dangers of living life so openly on social media, including the popular FourSquare, which allows users to pinpoint their actual locations via phone.

Many top professionals live life in the limelight, enjoying the fun and excitement of sharing via social media. It’s a way to enhance both social and professional lives. The question is, where do we draw the line? And are the social media sites doing enough to protect us from predators and the disgruntled losers that follow along like faded shadows?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. H. R. Smith permalink
    September 29, 2012 4:37 pm

    You can thank Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, Absolute Write, Preditors and Editors, Making Light, Jenna Glatzer and Macalister Stone, Wikipedia, and sociopaths like Kristen Nelson and Janet Reid and the evil Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for encouraging this type of behavior against literary agents. It was bound to happen

    • September 29, 2012 5:46 pm

      Why would those in the publishing field encourage attacks on themselves? Deranged individuals, sadly, are everywhere–recently a long-time UPS driver was killed making a delivery to a Minneapolis sign company. The killer was a man recently fired, whose family was concerned about his mental health.

  2. August 9, 2013 4:19 pm

    We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web
    page repeatedly.

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