The Facts

This post is being done on behalf of Author Kay Maree and myself – Author Susan Horsnell.

It is with frustration we are compelled to set out the facts due to our names being the subject of slander, Kay’s in particular is being unfairly tarnished. So, after seeking the advice of a well-respected lady in the industry, we have decided to follow her advice and put the facts to all authors and readers. If you are looking for drama, this is not the post for you. I will set out facts and facts only. The reason we decided on a blog post was so I could lay out the facts in an understandable timeline.

So, as some of you may have seen, there is a post from an author who goes by the name of Sondra Dalelene Hicks, Sondra Dalelene Tinnin, Sondra Hicks, Misty Rice and one other I have heard of, but as she does not have a facebook page and it has only been heard in passing, I do not consider it a fact and therefore, it will not be mentioned. For the purpose of this post, I will refer to her as Sondra.

On March 5th 2018, Kay messaged me, excited about wanting to do an anthology called The Dirty Dozen – The Princess Edition. I have mentored Kay for the past 2 years and we have become good friends. I gave her my advice about the pitfalls of anthologies but said if she wanted to go ahead, to keep costs to a minimum, I would do a cover, format and publish to her dashboard at no charge and offer her support whenever needed. Kay would deal with all financials.

On March 7th 2018 Kay decided to go ahead and a FB group was set up. She spoke to authors about participating and the journey began. Release date was to be Valentine’s Day 2019 with all manuscripts to be sent to me by February 1 2019 so I could format and upload for pre-order by February 7 2019.

These screenshots clearly show, from the very beginning, Sondra was in the anthology. I will answer her claims of being “forced” shortly.

The same day, a poll was created for length of story. Sondra participated in this poll – she was the +2 in the 15-20k bracket.

I still cannot see how she was “forced” to participate but I will continue.

In addition to the FB page, a group chat was set in place.

On March 12 2018 – the conditions were clearly stated on both the FB Page and via the chat.

This clearly shows, Sondra agreed to the terms. Still not seeing where Kay has forced her.

Sondra was sent an invoice and Kay allowed for part payments, full payment etc

On March 14 2018 Invoices were sent out, below is mine. So you can clearly see, I was not the requester or recipient of any funds as Sondra has alleged.

March 21 2018

The anthology, as per terms was to be available for a period of three months, after that, we had the option to extend our stories, publish as is or shelve. A few of us made covers in anticipation of releasing our stories at a later date. This was Sondra’s cover for hers.

Again, where was she being forced to participate? Up to the point she paid the buy in, Sondra had ample opportunity to cite personal issues, or to say she did not want to be involved.

March 21 2018, Kay ran a poll about the option for a coloring book. Please note Sondra was in the +8 and see comments below. Is this the response of someone being forced?

We were invoiced for $25US on March 27 2018. Mine is below.  As with the buy in invoice, Kay was very generous with allowing time for payment from those who needed time.

From this point, everything continued as planned. We did have two ladies who had to pull out due to personal circumstances but Kay was able to replace them and with full credit to both of them, their stories were in well before time. One of the late starting ladies actually had a newborn so a huge achievement for her.

As time rapidly approached, stories came through for format but Sondra had become worryingly silent . She was contacted and assured us her story would be forthcoming.

Kay contacted Sondra also for the buy in payment of $50 which to that point had still not been paid. This request began 30 December 2018 and payment was finally made on 12 January 2019. Remember, invoices originally went out in March 2018. As at 12 January 2019, she had still not begun her story and it was due in just over 2 weeks.

February 1 came and went with Sondra advising she had around 4,000 words written. This was a huge concern but we gave her an extension to 3 February. On 6 February, Kay was still asking for the story.

 

 

 

On the 6 February 2019, Kay and I made the call to go ahead with the anthology without her and I pm’d her as such. All hell broke loose after this.

Having Sondra fail to honor her commitment was a huge issue for me in particular and I discussed this with Kay. We had advertised The Dirty Dozen. How could we dishonor our readers by releasing the anthology with only 11 stories instead of the promised 12. Kay had expensive advertising in place and other promotion for a Valentine’s release. We needed to honor these.

When Sondra failed to provide her story, it didn’t only affect Kay and I, it affected the 12 other ladies in the set (2 ladies write together), the readers, the promotions company, advertising and bloggers. It was unacceptable to me to allow Sondra’s actions to have this affect. So, for the next 3 days, with Kay and Aleisha Maree’s help, I typed out a 20,000 word story to place into the boxed set.

Unfortunately, it was too late for pre-order and the anthology actually went straight to being live on 13 February.

Sondra has accused us of being inconsiderate, scammers, con-artists (that was me because I wouldn’t give her money back – money I had never asked for or received.) We were accused of taking food from her children’s mouths, yet her excuse for not finishing her story was that she was fighting to get her children back because the authorities had taken them away. I believe, but it is NOT FACT, that this transpired in the last 1 or 2 months before the release was due. So, what happened to the previous months?

From March 11 2018 to February 1 2019 was 327 days

20,000 words over 327 days = 61 words per day.

I don’t feel we were unreasonable in expecting her to honor her word.

The following are pm’s which should have remained private but Sondra was hell bent on making this public and posts to her pages.

N

 

 

Neither Kay, nor myself ever denied Sondra paid the two invoices. Her page DID go into the coloring book as it was loaded and printed for some ladies who wanted it for a book signing so we were forced to let it go.

The point I attempted to make with Sondra was, she had paid the buy in knowing there would be no refund. Was it fair of her to expect one when we were forced to wait until 6 days after the deadline to find out she would not honor her obligation? Kay had paid for a $120 gift card we agreed to give to one lucky reader. She had paid for advertising. She had paid for other promotion. So, because Sondra let everyone down, should Kay refund the money and be out of pocket herself?

It would have been easy to refund her the money, I mean it’s not a huge amount BUT, would she do this again and again. Somewhere along the line she needs to take responsibility for her failure and stop slandering and blaming other people.

These are the FACTS. In the past, I am well aware readers and other authors have not been particularly generous to those who do not do the right thing by their colleagues or readers but I am asking you, to please not go after Sondra. Kay and I want this matter to fade away, it should never have been brought to light.

And, please be careful of the comments you make without knowing the facts.

 

We have no idea what these two posts are about? Kay has never claimed to own or having anything to do with whatever this is. Sondra is also claiming Kay uses false names – Her real name is Kaylene Cangiano, this FB page is for close friends and family only. Her author name is – Kay Maree – a derivative of her real name.

On a final note, I do have access to a contract lawyer who has assured me, Sondra’s actions and comments are as good as a signed paper contract in a court of law. Regardless and more importantly, she gave us her word and we trusted her to uphold it.

Thank you for taking the time to peruse these facts. We would recommend you are cautious about having dealings with either this person, or her company –

Lelene Designs.

Kay Maree and Susan Horsnell.

 

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