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Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday - Nestor Maronski, noted book critic, has disappeared!

Nestor Maronski has been abducted. While it doesn't surprise those of us familiar with his scathing reviews of independent authors or those who have met him personally, it has come as a shock to others who have never met the man.

I had an interview scheduled with writer Richard Jameson, but after his involvement with Nestor Maronski surfaced, I worried that he might back out. Instead, he answered more questions and even allowed me to interview his wife, Lily.

Richard Jameson, indie author of the book The Red Barn, joins us today on my blog.
Tell me, Richard, what prompted you to write your book?

‘The Red Barn’ means so much to me.  I was inspired to write it when my friend Dar Templeton told me he’d written a book.  He had a bit of success with it when he self-published, and it was looking as if he would get a publishing deal.  I’d always loved creative writing but had never seriously considered that I could write a novel.  Then one day, my wife was busy with our new-born daughter, and I was alone in my room.  I started to get the basic idea for a story.  I started writing and never looked back.

Tell us a bit about it.

It’s semi-autobiographical.  I based the main characters on myself and my wife.  A young couple moving to a new town when they got married.  They come across a derelict barn, not far from their house, and they hear rumours that the barn is haunted by the ghost of a man who was murdered there.  No one would go near the barn for fear of seeing the ghost.  Another rumour is that once a year, on Halloween, the ghost returns to seek out a victim and kill them.  It’s not far from the truth.  Lily and I used to live in a small town, and there was an unused church at the end of our road which was said to be haunted.  Every few months we would hear wailing sounds coming from inside, and no one was brave enough to go inside.  Until one day, the police were investigating a crime and searched the church.  They found many dead bodies in there, all in various states of decomposition... some had been lying there for years.  It was frightening.  We moved out of that town after we married so I don’t know what happened to that church, although I have heard that it was demolished.

Why self-publishing?

I had heard that these days, because it’s so hard to get a publishing contract with a mainstream publisher, it’s best to self-publish and then once you have kept a record of your sales, and have built up a following you can approach agents and publishers... they are most interested in investing in books that will sell well.

I know this may hurt but, your book is a total flop. In fact, I can't find it anywhere. Does this have anything to do with the review written by the noted literary critic Nestor Maronski?

Definitely.  It’s all because of his review.  He is influential.  The Post has massive circulation, and Nestor Maronski is very rich and knows a lot of people.  He can make or break an author.  I was shocked when I heard that he was going to review my book.  I was trying to avoid that because he had reviewed my friend Dar’s book ‘Day of The Vampire’ and given him 1 star.  Dar became suicidal over it.  I knew what a jerk Maronski is, so I didn’t want him to get anywhere near my book.

So why did you let Maronski review your book? Was it just chance or did he go looking for it? Did someone give it to him for review?

I didn't send him my book.  I deliberately avoided sending it to The Post.  I sent it to a couple of newspapers hoping for reviews.  It turns out that one of the directors at The Post, Sal Waters, also works on another magazine, The Literary Month, where I sent ‘The Red Barn’.  Sal sent me an email saying that he’d sent the book to Nestor Maronski for review.  I was so angry, but there was nothing I could do about it.

Nestor disappeared recently. You were named as a person of interest. In fact, he disappeared right after reviewing your book. Can you comment?

All I know is that he disappeared.  I saw him the night before, because I had a book signing at The Book Nook which was next door to the bar where Maronski always did his reviews.  I knew he was going to be reviewing my book, so I went in to speak to him.  My wife suggested it.  She said if I got to know him, gave him a signed copy of my book, he’d be less likely to write such a scathing review.  It didn’t work.  He still wrote the worst review ever.  The bastard.

What about your wife and daughter? Did you think of them before getting involved?

Involved?  What do you mean?  Are you trying to implicate me?  No.  You’ve got it all wrong.  I don’t know where you get your information, but I know nothing about Maronski’s disappearance.  Nothing.

You were seen arguing with Nestor at a bar the night before his first attack.

Arguing?  No.  I was talking to him.  We didn’t argue.  Journalists like to add something to make a story more interesting.  There were witnesses there.  The barman will tell you that Nestor was arguing with him... something about not putting any cherries in his brandy.  I had a very polite conversation with Nestor.

Be honest now, his review of your book was scathing. Surely you were angry at his brutal evisceration of your book?

I was angry, yes.

Angry enough to kill Nestor Maronski?

No.  I could never kill someone.  Even Nestor.  I will say this though, he deserves to die, and whoever has killed him has done us all a favour.

Oh?  So you know he was killed?

No.  I didn’t mean that.  I don’t know what’s happened to him.  But I mean, if he is dead he deserves it.

Share the juicy gossip, please. My lips are sealed. This interview is only going on my blog, which is read by only a handful of indie authors and personal friends. Tell us what really happened that night.

You promise it won’t go any further?

I promise.

Okay, I wasn’t involved with the initial attempt to kill Nestor, but I know who was.  I’m not telling you that.  I did get involved later... briefly.  Let’s just say a group of friends of mine who all had grudges against Nestor wanted him dead.  We did talk about the possibility of killing him.  But I realised that it wasn’t worth going through with it.  I have a wife and 3 year old daughter to think of.  I bailed out.  I have no idea what happened next.

Thank you, Richard, such an honest interview. You've really peaked my interest.

We also have the rare privilege of interviewing Mrs. Lily Jameson, wife of author Richard Jameson. Welcome, Lily. Can you tell us what it's like being married to an aspiring author?

He’s always writing.  All the time.  It’s his life.  Sometimes I wonder if it means more to him than Lacy and me.  He’d risk his life to get revenge for a bad review... even if that meant Lacy having to grow up without a dad.

What do you mean by ‘risk his life’.  Are you saying he was involved in Nestor Maronski’s disappearance?

No... no... of course not.  I was speaking metaphorically.  You get used to speaking in metaphors when you’re married to a writer.

What was the metaphor exactly? 

Can we change the subject, please?  It’s hard dealing with all the controversy surrounding Maronski’s disappearance.  Ever since Rich was implicated... he had to go to the police station take part in an ID parade, you know.  It was so hard.  We feel like people are pointing fingers at us because Rich was the last person to see Nestor Maronski before he was taken into hospital.  You have to understand, Rich works hard, his writing means the world to him... when he finished writing ‘The Red Barn’ he said to me that it was the culmination of his life's work. Not just as a writer, but as a human being.  That did make me wonder whether the writing meant more to him than me and Lacy.  I mean, surely having a child would mean more to him than writing a book?  Go figure, these writers live in a different world.  Sometimes I wish he would show as much passion to me as he does to the books he writes.

That sounds like a painful life. How do you cope?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Rich, and I know he loves me and Lacy.  Yes, it can be hard sometimes when all he talks about day and night is his writing, his books, the reviews, his writing sessions at the local library... I don’t mean to sound bitter.  I am 100% behind him and his writing.

So you have your own career that pays the bills at home. Does that affect your relationship at all?

I work hard.  And yes, I suppose I pay most of the bills.  But Rich has a day job, too.  He hates it though, and tells me that at every given opportunity.  Writing means everything to him.  He seems to be on a mission, driven to try to succeed in the publishing world.  I support him most of the time.  Of course, we do argue about how realistic it is...  Every now and them we have a major row and don’t speak to each other for a few days. 

Really, you can be honest here.

Okay, I’ve threatened to leave him a few times.  When he was writing ‘The Red Barn’ he used to shut himself away in his study for hours on end, hardly eating or sleeping.  He looked like one of the living dead, but he kept repeating that when the novel was published we’d be rich.  Of course, I knew that wasn’t a guarantee, but Rich didn’t seem to see failure as a possibility.  He said he knew that he would finally be recognised in the literary world.  He’d based the book on our relationship, which I found flattering at first until I read it and saw that the female protagonist was brutally murdered at the end of the book.  It does make me wonder where his mind is at sometimes.  But that said, I know that Richard is proud of his work and to fail is like a dagger in his heart.

So, Richard finally resorts to self-publishing. Reviews are initially good, then Nestor Maronski got his hands on the book. Were you hoping for a good review from him? Did you not know his reputation for skewering indie authors?

Of course we knew what Nestor Maronski was like, everyone knows... on Bestsellerrebound there was a whole group of indie authors who wanted him dead

Please continue.  What do you know about

Nothing, I know absolutely nothing... I just heard Rich mention something about a website that he’s heard about on the internet where indie writers talked about books.  Didn’t interest me at all, and Rich didn’t go on there either, he just heard about it.  He would never join anything like that... too busy writing.

So, what was your husband’s reaction when he heard that Nestor Maronski was going to review ‘The Red Barn’?

He was shocked to say the least.  He had sent the book to a couple of newspapers hoping for reviews, but had deliberately avoided sending it to The Post.  One of the directors at The Post, Sal Waters, also works on another magazine, The Literary Month, where Rich sent ‘The Red Barn’.  Sal must have decided that the book was more suited to The Post than the magazine.  He sent Rich an email saying that he’d sent the book to Nestor Maronski for review.  Rich almost fainted.  When I saw the email I told Rich he should try to get in touch with Nestor.  Everyone knows that Nestor frequents the bar next door to The Book Nook every Friday night.  I told Rich he should try to chat with Nestor, maybe give him a signed copy of his book. 

Why did you encourage your husband to do this?

I thought it was for the best.  I knew his world would be shattered if he got a 1 star review from Nestor Maronski.  Some of the things Nestor puts in his reviews can really cut deep.  He’s so influential.  I said to Rich that if Nestor could see the face behind the book, maybe he’d be a bit kinder in his review, when he knew he was dealing with a person’s feelings rather than just an inanimate object.  It didn’t work though, and I regret it now.  Somehow, when Rich went to see Nestor, it all became a bit more personal.

What do you mean ‘personal’? Are you saying Rich wanted revenge?

No... no, you’re putting words in my mouth.  By ‘personal’, I mean Rich was more offended by the review because he’d met Nestor... nothing more than that.

Okay, so when you and your husband read the review, what were your initial thoughts?

I wanted to kill Nestor.  I even said to Rich we should kill him...

Did your husband feel the same way?

Initially, yes.  But we would never have gone through with that.  I don’t think the rest of the group would have either, it was just words.

Who are the rest of the group?

Oh, did I say that?  You have to excuse me, my mind has been all over the place since Rich became a suspect in Nestor’s disappearance.  I was just speaking metaphorically again.

I know the police have asked you not to say anything, but what's the real scoop with Mr. Maronski's disappearance?

I only know what the police told me.  But if I’m honest, I hope the evil pig has gone to hell.  Obviously someone was brave enough to attempt what every indie author would love to do... kill Nestor.

So you do think he’s been murdered?

Er... as I say, I don’t know anything for sure... just that he’s disappeared.  I do hope he’s dead though.  Vile creature.

Anything else you want to add?

My husband is innocent.  He wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Well, I know he kills people in his books but he is a real softie.  I wish the police would leave him alone.

For more information on this investigation:

This t-shirt design was recently located uploaded to an online store. The alias links back to the infamous topic #777:


  1. Don't leave town, Joel. I think they want to ask you a few questions about that tractor...

  2. Forget about Nestor. We all know the man deserves to choke on his own words. I want to read The Red Barn! Is it still in circulation? Or will a revised copy be released soon? Rich, I'm waiting for a copy. We'll all review it on our blogs and show the world how wrong that troll Nestor really was!

  3. I think Rich pulled his book from all the sites. He's so upset over the whole situation he told me privately he's considering giving up writing to become a sales associate at WalMart. Poor guy. He's not responding to emails either. Now I almost feel bad for pushing so hard in this interview.

  4. A great scoop Jaleta! I think you pushed just in the right places with this interview. This lets us know a little more about what might have happened to the book critic Nestor Moronski.He is still missing you know!

  5. But what price for the scoop? I see too many authors doubting themselves, then something like this happens and poor Rich goes over the edge. If I knew he was that close, I would never have posted this.

    As for Maronski, does anyone really care? He was such a jerk.


Keep it clean, keep it nice.