So someone I know almost wound up in a potentially predatory situation and I just want to leave this here in case something similar ever happens to you. I’m being as vague as possible to protect identities and disguise the situation, but there’s an important lesson to learn and I think it could help somebody. I’m putting it below the cut because it’s kind of long.

This girl is an undergrad, underage. She and a fellow female classmate had lunch with this older gentleman to learn about his career. He formerly taught at the school and has a distinguished career. He treated them both to lunch, and then dinner. Then at some point he also invited them over to his house. His wife is out of town. During the course of the conversation, he talks openly with them about how “every man cheats” and it’s something he’s done before. He also serves them alcohol, despite knowing they’re both underage. 

Today he invited one of them to lunch in a town half an hour away. He would drive them, and told her “I can only invite you because the Porsche only fits two.” She accepted the offer because she’s broke and wanted the free food, and also she left something at his house.

After mentioning this to me and our mutual friends, the warning bells started to go off. This man was displaying extremely predatory behavior. She was reluctant to admit it at first because who would want to assume the worst out of someone whose career you admire and with whom networking could be very beneficial? Besides, “He’s so nice.” We helped her reframe the situation, and when she realized what it meant that he’d served them alcohol and how creepy that was, she immediately emailed him back and got out of the plans. 

Let me break it down:

  • An old man “courted” two underage girls by wooing them with tales of his career and influence. This didn’t seem weird at first.
  • He continually treats them to dinner. What college student turns down free food?
  • He makes comments about their figures, including how nice they’d look in bikinis if they worked in Buenos Aires. Creepy, but maybe just in an “old dude” way?
  • He talks openly with them about being willing to cheat on his wife. Getting gross.
  • He then narrows down his options to the girl who is not engaged. Emails her privately. 
  • He tries to isolate her and separate her from familiar surroundings. He is her only transportation to and from the location. 

All the red flags are going off for me and our other friends at this point. When we lay this out for her, in less direct terms, she sees what we see. But imagine if she had gone with him? I’m not saying anything awful was guaranteed to happen–but it could have. And no amount of free food or networking potential or anything is worth the loss of your health and safety. 

Ladies, it can be so, so tempting to dismiss our inner voices that tell us a dude is no good. It doesn’t ultimately matter what their intentions are, whether they truly mean you harm or not. What matters is that we look out for each other and watch for these patterns of behavior that tell us something is not right. I’m so thankful we were there to keep her from accidentally getting in a situation she couldn’t get out of. She’s a very smart girl and these behaviors can be easy to dismiss, especially when they come from someone we’d like to be able to trust. Listen to those inner voices; listen to your friends; and know what warning signs to look for so you don’t become a victim of someone who was supposed to have your best interests in mind. 


My beta reader is going through my second book right now and she just sent me a message last night that she’s halfway through and it’s so amazing that she’s not sure what she’s going to put in the critique letter yet.

That’s like, such a big deal, because I worked my ASS off on this book over and over and over again. Tweaking and poking and prodding. I remember being unable to finish the draft and needing to print it and spread my chapters out all over my living room floor because I was so frustrated. From the sounds of it, all the hard work is paying off! I might not be totally done yet, but it’s such a relief to get some positive feedback on it!

Hello! Do you remember which courts fought for the humans and which ones against them in the war in ACOTAR?

I …. I’m blanking on this one, actually. I know Spring fought with Hybern (and maybe Autumn)? And obviously Night fought with the humans. Day might have as well. The rest in not sure about, but I thought I had this figured out at one point! Lol, sorry!

At a glance I thought your book title was “Uprooted” and was like “isn’t there already a fantasy called “Uprooted”?” Then I reread it and got “Unrooted”. That said, you aren’t worried about copyright issues because of the similar title and genre?

Copyright doesn’t factor into it at all. It’s not the same title despite it’s similarity, so there’s no problem there (and I’m pretty sure you can’t copyright a title that’s so common a word anyway). You won’t be the only person confused about it, but my publisher isn’t worried and I’m trusting their judgment! Plus, once the book is out there, it’ll be pretty clear that this is the right title for the book and that it’s a very different story from “Uprooted.”