So What About That Cantarabooks Situation

See here, here, here, and here for background.

It’s been over a month since my last post on this topic, and several people have asked me if there are any updates. The short answer is: no.

Cantara did send a message out to her mailing list yesterday with links to my blog posts and her own summary of the situation so far, but the upshot is that she STILL doesn’t have control of her bank accounts and STILL doesn’t even know what John Gill is suing her about. That all seems odd because I would think that the lawsuit should be available as a public record, but I can only take her at her word on that.

Cantara does have a lawyer working on the case, but no concrete results to speak of yet.

UPDATE: This just in from Cantara:

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Dear Comrade-in-Letters –

A small step, but a step nonetheless.

Our lawyer advised Mr. Gill’s attorney of the fact that Michael and I have been living in California since 2007 and she’s requested a copy of our lease to back this up – not a problem. (To show why we didn’t receive the Summons and Complaint at our old residence in Woodside last year.)

She was also informed that a copy of the Summons and Complaint was TAPED to the door of our mailing address at 204 E 11th Street in the East Village. Those of you who live in NYC might picture that and understand why we never received it, either.

Her letters to WAMU on our behalf have been redirected to another WAMU address. Copies of her letters going to Gill’s attorney are also being sent to this WAMU address… So it looks like we’re starting a case file there as well. Hope it doesn’t get too thick.

Once the entire batch of affidavits, document copies, etc, is complete, it’ll be sent to Gill’s lawyer, the court, and WAMU.

And AFTER THAT – we’ll probably still have to answer the original complaint. Will keep you posted.

– Cantara

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So What About That Cantarabooks Situation

Reposted from my Billy Wayne Carter blog.

See here, here, here, and here for background.

It’s been over a month since my last post on this topic, and several people have asked me if there are any updates. The short answer is: no.

Cantara did send a message out to her mailing list yesterday with links to my blog posts and her own summary of the situation so far, but the upshot is that she STILL doesn’t have control of her bank accounts and STILL doesn’t even know what John Gill is suing her about. That all seems odd because I would think that the lawsuit should be available as a public record, but I can only take her at her word on that.

Cantara does have a lawyer working on the case, but no concrete results to speak of yet.

UPDATE: This just in from Cantara:

Dear Comrade-in-Letters –

A small step, but a step nonetheless.

Our lawyer advised Mr. Gill’s attorney of the fact that Michael and I have been living in California since 2007 and she’s requested a copy of our lease to back this up – not a problem. (To show why we didn’t receive the Summons and Complaint at our old residence in Woodside last year.)

She was also informed that a copy of the Summons and Complaint was TAPED to the door of our mailing address at 204 E 11th Street in the East Village. Those of you who live in NYC might picture that and understand why we never received it, either.

Her letters to WAMU on our behalf have been redirected to another WAMU address. Copies of her letters going to Gill’s attorney are also being sent to this WAMU address… So it looks like we’re starting a case file there as well. Hope it doesn’t get too thick.

Once the entire batch of affidavits, document copies, etc, is complete, it’ll be sent to Gill’s lawyer, the court, and WAMU.

And AFTER THAT – we’ll probably still have to answer the original complaint. Will keep you posted.

– Cantara

Another Update from Cantara

Though it’s still not clear exactly what’s going on, my publisher Cantara Christopher has sent me a couple of updates that she asked me to repost here. One development is that she has retained a New York lawyer, so she should soon have more of a handle on what the actual lawsuit is about and hopefully will have access to her bank accounts again. Here’s the latest message I got from her. Most of what’s new info here is just further evidence of Gill’s general fishiness.

One of our authors just sent me PDF attachments of documents related to North Eagle Corporation. North Eagle, you’ll recall, is the non-profit organization which publishes the North Atlantic Review, a literary annual. President of North Eagle and publisher of the Review is John Edward Gill, a former author of Cantarabooks, who I learned two weeks ago managed to illegally seize not only my company’s bank account but my personal joint checking account and the personal checking sole account of Cantarabooks’ editor, Michael, who is my domestic partner but is in absolutely no way an officer, investor or employee of my company.

– Annual Financial Report of a Charitable Organization (for 2006 and 2007)
– Short Form Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (for 2006)

I read the documents and recognized the name of the accountant. This is the accountant Gill offered to pay to do the taxes for Cantarabooks. He even offered to put Michael and me up in a fancy hotel in Stony Brook while the accountant worked on them. After about a month he dropped that idea. Never found out why.
 
The reports and return show not much activity, not much expenditure.

Gill is listed as a professor of English at Suffolk Community College. Community college instructors are not known to make a lot of money – yet Gill’s home address is in an upper-class area of Stony Brook.

His home address is also listed as the address for North Eagle Corporation and his other nonprofit, Children’s Rights of New York, Inc.

When I started my business John urged me to apply for nonprofit status and seemed mightily disappointed when I didn’t. I had absolutely no desire to apply for nonprofit status for Cantarabooks. I wonder how he would have tried to get his hooks into my company had I gone the 501(c)3 route.

Because we were never at any point served papers informing us of a judgment or even a lawsuit, I spent a frustrating two weeks trying to understand Gill’s complaint toward me. Was it defamation, for example, or did he think I failed to fulfill my part of his book contract?

But another one of our authors gave me some good advice. He said, “Follow the money.” Because what it came down to, simply, is that Gill is on the swindling side of the business world and I was the most available mark. It had nothing to do with a breach in good faith and absolutely nothing to do with literature.

It shocks me to realize that one of my other authors, Stephen Gyllenhaal, was also being sized up by Gill, who asked me at one time, point-blank, if “Stephen would be interested in putting money in my [meaning Gill’s] company”.

Another near-mark, I’m sickened to realize, is a writer acquaintance, mutual to Gill and me who lives in Greenwich. When her husband died two years ago he came calling with flowers, invitations to dinner, offers to make her paid senior editor of the North Atlantic Review… This woman is a rather gentle character and not given to think the worst of people – but when Gill came around so soon after her husband’s death she was appalled and sent him away.
 
How I got to meet Gill was through the CLMP and the Small Press Center (now the New York Center for Independent Publishing), but at this time neither organization wants to touch this story with a ten-foot pole, which is understandable.
 
How Stephen got mixed up in all this is that he employed a well-known, well-respected writer’s service in New Jersey to send around his work, and North Atlantic Review was on their list of publications. There’s been no comment from them either.

Incidentally, by a strange coincidence, right before Michael and I went down to LA I got a hold of the first chapters of Clifford Irving’s new unpublished novel and struck up an acquaintance with him. He phoned me while we were having lunch with one of our authors so I owe Clifford a call back. Maybe I’ll email him about this whole thing, see what he says, if anything.

– Cantara

Another Update from Cantara

[reposted from my Billy Wayne Carter blog]

Though it’s still not clear exactly what’s going on, my publisher Cantara Christopher has sent me a couple of updates that she asked me to repost here. One development is that she has retained a New York lawyer, so she should soon have more of a handle on what the actual lawsuit is about and hopefully will have access to her bank accounts again. Here’s the latest message I got from her. Most of what’s new info here is just further evidence of Gill’s general fishiness.

One of our authors just sent me PDF attachments of documents related to North Eagle Corporation. North Eagle, you’ll recall, is the non-profit organization which publishes the North Atlantic Review, a literary annual. President of North Eagle and publisher of the Review is John Edward Gill, a former author of Cantarabooks, who I learned two weeks ago managed to illegally seize not only my company’s bank account but my personal joint checking account and the personal checking sole account of Cantarabooks’ editor, Michael, who is my domestic partner but is in absolutely no way an officer, investor or employee of my company.

– Annual Financial Report of a Charitable Organization (for 2006 and 2007)
– Short Form Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (for 2006)

I read the documents and recognized the name of the accountant. This is the accountant Gill offered to pay to do the taxes for Cantarabooks. He even offered to put Michael and me up in a fancy hotel in Stony Brook while the accountant worked on them. After about a month he dropped that idea. Never found out why.
 
The reports and return show not much activity, not much expenditure.

Gill is listed as a professor of English at Suffolk Community College. Community college instructors are not known to make a lot of money – yet Gill’s home address is in an upper-class area of Stony Brook.

His home address is also listed as the address for North Eagle Corporation and his other nonprofit, Children’s Rights of New York, Inc.

When I started my business John urged me to apply for nonprofit status and seemed mightily disappointed when I didn’t. I had absolutely no desire to apply for nonprofit status for Cantarabooks. I wonder how he would have tried to get his hooks into my company had I gone the 501(c)3 route.

Because we were never at any point served papers informing us of a judgment or even a lawsuit, I spent a frustrating two weeks trying to understand Gill’s complaint toward me. Was it defamation, for example, or did he think I failed to fulfill my part of his book contract?

But another one of our authors gave me some good advice. He said, “Follow the money.” Because what it came down to, simply, is that Gill is on the swindling side of the business world and I was the most available mark. It had nothing to do with a breach in good faith and absolutely nothing to do with literature.

It shocks me to realize that one of my other authors, Stephen Gyllenhaal, was also being sized up by Gill, who asked me at one time, point-blank, if “Stephen would be interested in putting money in my [meaning Gill’s] company”.

Another near-mark, I’m sickened to realize, is a writer acquaintance, mutual to Gill and me who lives in Greenwich. When her husband died two years ago he came calling with flowers, invitations to dinner, offers to make her paid senior editor of the North Atlantic Review… This woman is a rather gentle character and not given to think the worst of people – but when Gill came around so soon after her husband’s death she was appalled and sent him away.
 
How I got to meet Gill was through the CLMP and the Small Press Center (now the New York Center for Independent Publishing), but at this time neither organization wants to touch this story with a ten-foot pole, which is understandable.
 
How Stephen got mixed up in all this is that he employed a well-known, well-respected writer’s service in New Jersey to send around his work, and North Atlantic Review was on their list of publications. There’s been no comment from them either.

Incidentally, by a strange coincidence, right before Michael and I went down to LA I got a hold of the first chapters of Clifford Irving’s new unpublished novel and struck up an acquaintance with him. He phoned me while we were having lunch with one of our authors so I owe Clifford a call back. Maybe I’ll email him about this whole thing, see what he says, if anything.

– Cantara

Who Is John Edward Gill?

As of this morning, Mr. Gill has not responded to my message yesterday. My publisher still has not seen the lawsuit and doesn’t know how Mr. Gill has siezed her personal assets as well as those of Cantarabooks.

A couple of interesting things to note just from digging around. On his website, he claims that his book Sacred Hearts was nominated for a Hemingway/PEN award. But of course, anyone can nominate a book for that award; however, one requirement for eligibility is that the book NOT be self-published.

The publisher for Sacred Hearts is Steel Press Publishing, based in Pittsburgh. There’s very little information publicly available about this company, but it’s website and email address are always listed as Gill’s website and email address. I called the number I found for the company, and it was disconnected. Orders for the book are placed through Gill’s non-profit organization, Children’s Rights of New York (based in Stony Brook, NY, and not to be confused with the better known Children’s Rights organization based in NYC). Is this organization even legitimate? Is there really such a company as Steel Press Publishing? it may be that they went out of business since 2003 when Sacred Hearts was published.

I still have no idea what to think about all this yet.

Who Is John Edward Gill?

As of this morning, Mr. Gill has not responded to my message yesterday. My publisher still has not seen the lawsuit and doesn’t know how Mr. Gill has siezed her personal assets as well as those of Cantarabooks.

A couple of interesting things to note just from digging around. On his website, he claims that his book Sacred Hearts was nominated for a Hemingway/PEN award. But of course, anyone can nominate a book for that award; however, one requirement for eligibility is that the book NOT be self-published.

The publisher for Sacred Hearts is Steel Press Publishing, based in Pittsburgh. There’s very little information publicly available about this company, but it’s website and email address are always listed as Gill’s website and email address. I called the number I found for the company, and it was disconnected. Orders for the book are placed through Gill’s non-profit organization, Children’s Rights of New York (based in Stony Brook, NY, and not to be confused with the better known Children’s Rights organization based in NYC). Is this organization even legitimate? Is there really such a company as Steel Press Publishing? it may be that they went out of business since 2003 when Sacred Hearts was published.

I still have no idea what to think about all this yet.

More Thoughts on Cantarabooks’ Problems

Regrettably, my initial post about my publisher’s legal issues was very emotion-driven and one-sided. Of course, my relationship with Cantarabooks has been and remains cordial, but I decided today that I should try and contact John Edward Gill to see if I could get the other side of the story out of him. After all, his web site is that of a serious person and not one who should seem absurdly vindictive or frivolous. And it seems like it should be easy enough to get in touch with him.

So I sent him an email, and we’ll see what happens.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the message I just sent him.

Mr. Gill,

I’ve come to understand that you are undergoing some legal complaint against Cantara Christopher and/or her publishing company Cantarabooks. I am also a Cantarabooks author, and although my interactions with the company have been professional and on the up and up, so far as I can tell, I wondered what the nature of your complaint is and if it is something other authors represented by their imprint might need to be concerned about.

Yours,

David Hornbuckle