You couldn't make this up if you tried

A guy has been squatting on Patrick deWitt’s website (author famous for often looking like he’s just leapt from one timeline to another and is in the process of figuring out what year it is), holding it for ransom. The price? He wants deWitt’s publishers to read his manuscript. As you can imagine, the response from deWitt has been definitive: meh.

I shit you not. I am almost dehydrated from cry-laughing.

There are traditional ways to get a book published—pitches, queries, agents, enduring months and years of soul-crushing work and silence—and then there’s blackmail.

A writer is currently squatting on Patrick deWitt’s website, which they’ll return to the award-winning author if he reads their “very unpublished novel.”

The squatter has not identified themselves (they call themselves a “bad boy” on the contact page), but their demands and motivations are clear:

“Mr deWitt, If you want the site back, just let me know. I’m not trying to blackmail you, your producers, the publishing house or your literary agent. I just want y’all to read my manuscript.

“Oh fuck, I just realized that’s the dictionary definition of blackmail. Sorry, I guess I just meant I don’t really give a fuck about money.”

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