There's an email making the rounds of various writers' email boxes. It came to me a couple of weeks ago--now many people on the Sisters In Crime listserve say it's definitely a scam.
Here it is:
My sister is one of your biggest fans and she has terminal breast cancer and her birthday is coming up and I was wondering if I could get her an autographed copies of one of your books. She would enjoy it so much.Thank you so much.
Her address is below:
3816 Highway Avenue
The first thing that should have tipped me off is that Kathy Sickles never addresses me by name. (Neither did she address any other writer individually, I hear.) Second thing--I only have one novel that's available in stores. I had figured that the whole "biggest fan" thing was an exaggeration. Everyone does it. Third--It was written in some giant weird typeface that made it look kind of amateurish and childish. People don't really do that. Unless they're children. And was the "an autographed copies of one of your books" some kind of pathetic grammar trick to reinforce the amateurish/childish thing?
On the other hand (as two folks on the listserve pointed out): Who puts a street address on an email scam? And who would do this for books that they can already get on ebay for $.04!
I get at least one charitable request through my website each week. Charity is important to me. And I am naive--occasionally willfully so. I desperately want to believe the best about everyone I meet. I try to respond if I can.
Whatever the case, whoever resides at 3816 Highland Avenue now has two signed copies of IM--One from the UK because I thought it would be kind of fun. I really don't want to hope that Cindy Lewis actually lives there and truly has cancer. If she does, maybe her loving sister just wanted to flood her with books and good wishes. That would be a nice thing.
But I'm skeptical.
I don't know what to believe.