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Hill and Hill Literary Agency (Christopher Hill)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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I have been watching the threads with interest, as a (now) ex-Client of H&H. I agree, he was plausable, as most con-men are. He struck me as genuine and I had no reason to believe he was not doing what he said he was. I paid no money whatsoever, but some of the reports from Publishers were odd in that that there was nothing to say from whence they came. Some of your experiences are parallel with mine. I have ascertained from three Publishers they have never heard of me, my tome, or H&H. I had been sitting on the fence, wanting to discuss the situation with Hill, but he would not contact me, so I have made it quite clear 'that is that'. It is impossible to see what he was getting out of it, but for me, it is doubly irritating, because I spent 5 years with an Agent who said he was submitting MSS and also, trying to get either a film or a TV series floated ( I have written a series of books about a specific character). To go from him to someone almost the same is beyond belief. Who said lightning never strikes twice? To those worried about their contracts, they are at an end for at least two reasons (at least, from a UK law angle). One, Hill and Hill are in fundamental breach of contract as they are not submitting anything! You may accept that breach as terminating the contract. Secondly, the contract will, in any event, be frustrated, because the object of the same is now no longer possible,as the Agency has ceased to carry on business. I too, am in the legal profession.
 

Del723

Hi, I signed with H&H 3 months ago and have been reading these pages with interest. I actually met Mr Hill prior to him sending out my submission package. He was charming but had done his level best to avoid the meeting, with a multitude of excuses, culminating in him having a day off - but I pestered and eventually he did agree to meet with me. The only time he could make the meeting was at 9.30 in the morning - so I duly booked a hotel for the night before (I live in Cornwall - 10 hour drive away) and met at the Balmoral Hotel for a coffee. He was slick but believable and did pay for the coffee, keeping the receipt for 'tax purposes'. I have subsequently received update e-mails every two/three weeks, the last e-mail being the 'Spain' one.

The updates chronicled the journey my work was taking via nine different publishing houses. Within weeks, all had requested the full manuscript and then four sent this In-House. I was pleased with the seemingly positive direction of my manuscript and was excitedly awaiting my next update when I received 'Spain'.

Like everyone else who have had dealings with H&H, I was naturally very upset. However, on the same day, I contacted a previous agent and got taken on. The first job I asked my new agent to do was to track down my manuscript and find out if H&H really had sent it out to the nine publishers. This he has done and the result is a little surprising. Of the nine, six had never heard of with me or Hill and Hill. However, three had received the submission package - but they had rejected it within two weeks, as it was not a suitable genre for submission to their House. So, it seems Hill did try - at least a little, but then thought not to tell me the truth about what was going on. Instead of letting me know that three houses had sent it back within weeks, he thought it was better to lie to me and tell me that it had been received positively and was moving in-house and towards Chief Editor!

Also, the 'Spain' e-mail mentions that all clients concerned had been informed prior to the move. The first I knew of any of this was the Clare Ashton e-mail. Nobody called me or warned me about what was going on in advance.

Finally, my stepdad is a VAT man, and he has checked out H&H - they are not listed or registered anywhere!

I feel foolish that I was so taken in - especially since I did know the 'real agents don't charge' rule before signing with H&H. However, when you approach the non-charging agents and they dismiss you out of hand with a 'not taking on any more clients' before even seeing your work, then you do feel driven to take action that you may not ordinarily take. I just wish all H&H's ex-clients the best of luck in finding other agents and getting published.
 

Stuart Hades

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I would just like to state that I have nothing to do with this agency. My posts here were some time ago and I reported that I had found links to named authors, some who are posting here now.

I submitted work to various agencies some time ago, I have never acted as a reference. This thread was bought to my attention by a friend who spotted my name.
 

Rob Plumpton

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Stuart Hades said:
I would just like to state that I have nothing to do with this agency. My posts here were some time ago and I reported that I had found links to named authors, some who are posting here now.

I submitted work to various agencies some time ago, I have never acted as a reference. This thread was bought to my attention by a friend who spotted my name.
That's not entirely true is it, Stuart? You contacted me quite recently (16/08/2006) stating that:

"we are from the same stable, the Miles man got me the deal I was after and I hope you can achieve the same. Love the work, you have style. Drop me a line and we can have a chat sometime"

For those not in the know, the 'Jeff' you are referring to here is Jeff Miles, a name mentioned by Mr. Hill, with great frequency, an allusion to the individual who travels the world over to speak with 'buyers'. This entry has been left on my guestbook for anyone doubting the veracity of my claim.

Anyway, later you responded to an email I sent out to you. I received this response on 19/08/2006:

"Rob, Things are looking good. Love the site my man, read through the samples posted, really think you are onto something there.
So how much work have you completed, is Jeff pushing the concept or are you looking to sell the serial? I know you have had advice along these lines from Jeff probably but a good friend had a hell of a time pushing ideas, and you get no copyright coverage. Hey I'm babbling, too much coffee, I am based in Amsterdam, just rolled in, should hit the sack but am slightly buzzed!
We should catch up, compare thoughts, we work is more run of the mill, thrillers etc, though I try to be as off beat as possible, I think if you give characters that extra dimension you might attract a decent actors interest.
What package do you use for your screenlays?

Anyway better sign off before I collapse.

Get back when you can!!
Cheers
S."

Now, that email was received from the address matching that found in your guestbook entry (we record email addresses AND IP addresses, Stuart - I am no cowboy operation). Now then, there are either TWO writers named Stuart Hades, in which case you are the unfortunate victim of mistaken identity. However, the odds against two individuals with such a unique name (be it a pen name or no) having similar ambitions and conacting the same agent, seem rather slim.



OR ...



... You are the same Stuart Hades as the individual posting from IP address 213.123.140.248, in which case you HAVE acted as a reference for the agent, and HAVE maintained contact with the agency as they, apparently, got you

"the deal [you were] after".

So, which is it? Are you trying to pull the wool over our eyes, or is it that you are simply unfortunately named?

Rob Plumpton
 
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FergieC

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I see the first posting here was in May 2005. How long was he 'at it' before then? If he's been going for three years he still cannot of mad a fortune from this.

I'm 99% sure 'Christopher Hill' was in the Writers and Artist's Year book in 2000, when I was looking for agents to send my first novel attempt to. I noticed because he was close to Edinburgh, where I was based at the time. That's a long time to run a scam but, as has been suggested, maybe he started hopeful but was just incompetent. Bizarre all the same though.
 

Dollywagon

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Blast!

I've just donated that edition to the local flea market:rant:
 

Stuart Hades

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For information I do not write screenplays, nor do not know anyone named Jeff. Perhaps it might not have crossed your narrow mind (considering the comments said about yourself here beforehand I find that strange) , that an e-mail address can be requested by anyone. I have certainly never e-mailed your site nor given other reference.

Considering what I have read here is it not plausible that someone has used an e-mail with the name Stuart Hades on it? Why on earth would I come here to refute? I could have simply stayed away! A writer with a poor imagination is a poor writer, I suggest you think before you write.
 
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FergieC

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Blast!I've just donated that edition to the local flea market

Yeah, I think I've got rid of mine too, otherwise I'd check. I'm pretty sure though - Tranent is an odd place for an agent, it stands out. I'm sure I had him on my list, but realised the novel was a pile of kack before sending out more than a few subs. :Ssh: )

It would be interesting to find an old copy though, just to check. If he has been on the go since 2000 or before, that is really a long time for a scam.
 

Rob Plumpton

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Stuart Hades said:
For information I do write screenplays, nor do not know anyone named Jeff. Perhaps it might not have crossed your narrow mind (considering the comments said about yourself here beforehand I find that strange) , that an e-mail address can requested by anyone. I have certainly never e-mailed your site nor given other reference.

Considering what I have read here is it not plausible that someone has used an e-mail with the name Stuart Hades on it? Why on earth would I come here to refute? I could have simply stayed away! A writer with a poor imagination is a poor writer, I suggest you think before you write.

OK Stuart, I am imagining the possibility that you are a victim, in which case I see the following scenarios:

***

1) Your email address is hijacked. Somebody used your details to post on my website as Stuart Hades.

Well, I sent an email to that address, prompting the reply shown above. You would still have received an email from me in your inbox. I received no querying email with regard to how I know you.

2) Somebody has set an email address up in your name.

Plausible. If this is indeed the case, you have my sympathy. You probably want to get the email address closed down ASAP ... don't you? You see, Stuart, you have not asked me any details concerning that email address, be it in the forum, via private messages, or by email (since a contact email is shown on my website). You don't seem overly keen to stop this fraudulent activity.

3) You ARE the Stuart Hades who posted, and you DID reply to an email I sent to you.

I am not accusing you here - I am simply imagining the possibilities, as you have advised.

***

I have simply taken a step back and analysed the situation in a cool and collected manner, looking at the evidence and presenting it to you. I simply showed facts and possibilities. You, Stuart, have anal-ised the situation, attempting to direct scorn toward me by bringing my imagination, ability and forethought into question. You did not have to respond in that way.

Had you approached this in a more civil fashion, I would have let this go, but I resent any attempt to 'get personal' in these forums. The pen is mightier than the sword, so they say, and I will say this:

ANY ATTEMPT TO BRING MY PROFESSIONAL OR PERSONAL REPUTATION INTO QUESTION WILL BE RESPONDED TO IN A SWIFT AND AGGRESSIVE MANNER.

Do not get personal again, Stuart. I am not in the mood.
 

Dollywagon

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Fergie, I may be able to buy mine back - but not while next Friday!

Mr Hades pc will be logged through this site anyway, won't it Roger?

Maybe be won't come back anyway, cos he seems to have upset Rob a bit. Can't see why, but there you go;)
 

Stuart Hades

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I believe this made personal when you insinuated I was a liar with your first comment.

I was simply stating if someone sets up an account with my name, uses my name as signature does that make them me?

Instead of saying "Hi it is Rob, someone called Stuart Hades e-mailed me was that you?" You jumped to conclusions, the same as others did with yourself. And you reacted in the same manner I did!
 

Dollywagon

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There you go, I was wrong again!

Thing is, Mr Hades, you don't seem overly concerned that somebody is going about impersonating you. Most people would be more than a little miffed.
 

xhouseboy

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Del723 said:
Finally, my stepdad is a VAT man, and he has checked out H&H - they are not listed or registered anywhere!

That's what I was trying to establish in a previous post. The fact that he charged clients VAT did not necessarily mean he was registered. He could be registered as a sole trader, but if not even that, then he has also committed VAT fraud.

He could be looking at a stint for that. And if those who are looking for him send copies of their VAT receipts on to Customs & Excise, and suggest that you have reason to believe you may have been charged VAT by an unregistered trader, they'll find him for you.

You don't mess with the VAT man.
 

Stuart Hades

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How has anyone impersoanted me? Who am I? Have they given out my details, my address my phone number? What am I supposed to have done? I once wrote a few posts here and that is that! Now I find according to some here that I am in league with the devil. All I was stating was the fact that I, as in the writer of this post, have nothing to do with Hill and Hill. So someone has used the name, what can I do about that? I am here to say it was not me! Anyone can use a name, if they are claiming to be me I need to see evidence of this, like address or anything personal.

Yikes, I wont bother next time. Like others have said on this site anything questioning is received with anger and contempt. I wont be bothering to try to help anymore.
 

Roger J Carlson

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Stuart Hades said:
So someone has used the name, what can I do about that? I am here to say it was not me! Anyone can use a name, if they are claiming to be me I need to see evidence of this, like address or anything personal.
OK, how about this. As Dolly hinted, the mods here can see the IP addresses of every poster. The IP address is the address that your ISP assigns to YOUR computer to communicate with the outside world.

The IP address that you registered here at Absolute Write and the address for EVERY post you've posted is 213.123.140.248, the same address from which "someone" posted to Rob's guestbook. Unless someone broke into your house and used your computer, you're the same person that contacted Rob.

Interestingly, this is also the same IP address used by PrivateEye, another contributor to this thread. In addition, this IP has not been used by ANY other poster here. Quite a coincidence -- not.

Sockpuppets are so tiresome! Especially when they're not very good at it. It's probably best that you don't bother again.
 

GeoffNelder

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James D. Macdonald said:
The lights turn on or off for particular accounts logged in or not.

Which is all very off topic for Hill & Hill.

Please keep focussed on Hill; the internicine squabbling is so tiresome.
James it could hardly be more ON topic. A Stuart Hades worked for H&H. Roger tells us the Stuart Hades here has the IP address of Privateeye, which is the IP of Claire Ashton - a biggie at Hill & Hill.
 

MildlyMiffed

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Just done a quick 'whois' of that IP address...

inetnum: 213.123.136.0 - 213.123.142.255
remarks: *******************************************************
remarks: * Please send abuse reports to [email protected] *
remarks: *******************************************************
remarks: * USED FOR CUSTOMERS WITH SINGLE STATIC IP ADDRESSES *
remarks: *******************************************************
netname: BT-ADSL
descr: Single Static IP Addresses
country: GB

Essentially, this is an IP address in a range that assigned to a single users - ie not on a DHCP system. This is the IP address that was the originator of the Claire Ashton email and all the emails from Mr H (at least the ones that I've checked, a few dozen).

It would therefore indicate one of two things:

1) Stuart's posts are originating from the same machine, on a BT ADSL link as the emails received from Claire Ashton and Mr H.

2) That Mr H has relinquished his BT account and the IP address has already been recycled.

Personally, I'm not drawing any actual conclusion myself, simply offering the alternatives.
 

James D. Macdonald

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It strikes me, Geoff, that you didn't read the post I was replying to.

For reasons that seem good to him-or-her, "Sundial" is deleting his-or-her posts almost as fast as he-or-she posts them.

This is a tiresome waste of time, and makes replies to those now-you-see-it-now-you-don't posts seem to be non sequiturs in the overall thread.
 

SUNDIAL

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Just goes to show that you never know who can be trusted.

And so we go full circle.

I hope you are enjoying this game Mr H.

:flag:But I'm afraid it IS time to surrender.
 

GeoffNelder

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James D. Macdonald said:
It strikes me, Geoff, that you didn't read the post I was replying to.

For reasons that seem good to him-or-her, "Sundial" is deleting his-or-her posts almost as fast as he-or-she posts them.

This is a tiresome waste of time, and makes replies to those now-you-see-it-now-you-don't posts seem to be non sequiturs in the overall thread.
Apologies, and I agree but Sundial had her reasons.
 

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I'm getting confused but is someone suggesting that 'Privateye' is one of Hill's own aswell?

And Stuart Haydes you don't seriously believe that anybody's swallowing your waffle do you? You're just as sad as Hill - but then, you are Hill.