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Lone Star Publications

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JoeD37

Holy Moley, so much going on. I really have no idea as to what is what anymore with Capri. Frankly, this has heppened to me before - twice, in fact! I must be cursed! The first time was when I sent off two of my
children's manuscripts to a company called LoneStar Publications. The
editor was a woman nemed Tamra Dickey. Okay, to make a long story short, this Tamra Dickey tells me that she and the entire LoneStar staff, which I now think may have consisted of her and a janitor, absolutely loved my two stories, and they want to publish them. I call her at the number she gives me, which was a cell phone, and we talk awhile. She also says she wants the rights to any future stories I may write. Then, as if that isn't enough to make me delerious with joy, she mentiones giving me a $1,000 advance!
A week later, here comes two contarcts and a check for $500, which was
good! When I asked her by e-mail where the other $500 of the advance was, she said that it would be coming when my two books were released a few months later. She also told me then that she wanted to fly me out to
Dallas (where LoneStar was supposedly located) and have me go on a book tour all over Texas, all expoenses paid of course. Again, I said Holy Moley!
I couldn't believe it when her $500 check did not come back unpaid! It was actually a good check! Well, a few months later, nothing was happening with my stories. I was supposede to get cover shots, etc. proofs, etc., and I got nothing. All I had for loneStar was a P.O. Box, and when I investigated, I could find no business listing for them anywhere in Texas! They were notlisted in the phone book either, white or yellow page sections. Pretty soon my e-mails went unanswered until I did more investigating, and was able to get Tamra/s home address and phone number. I ent her a registered letter and asked for cancellation of my two book contracts. She was livid that I had been able to get her home address and phone number, but she at last did cancel my contarcts, and that was that. She neve even mentioned the advance she had given me. I am still amazed that her check was good!
I wonder if anyone here ever had any dealings with Tamra Dickey and/or LoneStar Publications of Dallas, Texas? Best wishes, Joe D.
 

victoriastrauss

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There's no sign of the book listed on Lone Star's website as "coming November 2006." Missed publication dates are not a good thing; often, they're a warning sign of a troubled coumpany. In fact, only one of the books mentioned on Lone Star's website is available on Amazon (with a pub date of August 2005). The company's website is copyright 2004, so it has been in business at least a couple of years now. It's not good for a publisher to start off with too many books, but too few isn't a good sign either. Along with that missed pub date, one book released in two years raises serious questions about the company's viability.

Something else: given that the website has been around since 2004, you'd think they would have found time by now to put something on their FAQ and About Us pages.

I found this on the Rip-off Report. Unless there's more than one report of problems, I take stuff on this site with a LARGE grain of salt, but sometimes it's possible to glean interesting info by reading between the lines--especially, as in this case, if someone who is the target of a complaint responds.

Joe, when did you contact Lone Star?

- Victoria
 

JoeD37

Re: LoneStar Publications

Hello Victoria, BatGirl, et al,
I first contacted LoneStar in 2004, right after they opened for business.
I initally submitted two children's manuscripts, suitable for kids, ages 8-12.
About two weeks later I received the first of many e-mails from Ms. Tamra
Dickey, who informed me that she was the editor of LoneStar. Her first e-mail
to me was a glowing report on both of my manuscripts, and she informed me
she would very much like to publish them. Time went on, and more e-mails,
and even a few phone calls. As time passed, I did some checking on her and
LoneStar, and the only things that sort of bothered me was that I could never
find a listing for LoneStar anywhere in the Dallas are, or in the entire state of
Texas, for that matter. None in the white or yellow pages. All the phone numbers she gave me were cell phone numbers (3 in all) and I found it rather
strange that LoneStar had no land line phone. I did still more checking and
discovered that Tamra was running LoneStar out of her residence. This was okay with me, and I continued e-mailing her, etc. She continually made mention of numerous employees she had there at LoneStar, and their titles, such as production manager, secretaries, finance people, etc. Finallly, in
February of 2005, she sent me two separate contracts for my two manuscripts, along with a check for $500. I felt a lot better when that check cleared the bank! I was told by her that I would be getting a $1,000 advance, but she later said I would receive the other $500 once my two
books were released, which was supposed to be "withinj a fewMonths" , as she put it. Then, shortly after that, she said one would be eleased in November, and the other in January. After that, I heard nothing more from her for a long time. I of course continued to e-mail her, but did not get any responses from her. I also tried phoning, and always wound up getting a recording and/or voice mail. I left messages, but they were never returned.
Then, In May or this year, after not having heard from Tamra or LoneStar
for over a year, I received a phone call from a guy named Seth, who claimed
he was the "new production manager" for LoneStar. He informed me that LoneStar was having some financial problems with their printing people, and
if I wished, I could wait it out or I could cancel my contracts. I told him I would think about it and get back to him. I then did still more investigating
and discovered that this Seth fellow was Tamra.s husband and father of their children! Seth is 26 years old nd Tamra is 27. BTW, I was told early on by Tamra that LoneStar wanted me to come to Texas when my first book was released (which it never was of course) for an all expense whilrwind book tour and book signing in several cities in Texas. Ha! That of course never happened either! Finally, in July of this year I wrote Tamra a letter, and sent it to her house, telling her all that I knew about her, Seth, LoneStar, etc.
She was livid that I had discovered so much data about her, Seth, and
LoneStar! She at once sent me a scathing e-mail, which I still have, and
would attach herein, but it says I cannot post atachments here. I never
answered her e-mail. That was the last I heard from her. It cost me about $100 or so to gather all of this information on Tamra, Seth, LoneStar, etc.m
but I figure it was worth it, and I am still $400 or so ahead with her, when
you consider the $500 advance I received back in early 2005. Now, here I am stuck again with regards to Capri. Ugh! Again, I must be cursed! I also had a terrible eperience with a shady film production company in Southern
California called Kokopelli Films, which was run by a guy named Donald C.
Taylor. He wanted, so he claimed, to make a film out of one of my stories
("Melanie's Magic Stones") and he went so far as to offer me $35,000, which I never got one cent of, and he even built a web site for the movie. He also
had a corporation made for the film, called Melanie's Magic Stones, Inc. and it was duly registered, and still is, I beleive, with the California Secretary of State, believ it or not! This went on for months, with him phoning me and e-mailing me, and sendingme budgets, casting calls, photos of the actors and actresses that would be in the film, and so forth. I ven have a picture of a bunch of people who he said was rthe "film crew on location", I finally found out that the address he had given me as his "large studio and office" was actually a pivate mail box center in Long Beach! I also found out that this Don Taylor owed money almost everywhere, and had in fact collected some
$250,000 from investors who invested in the "Melanie" motion picture! He of course spebt it all on himself, then disappeared! I have no idea where he is today. This all took place in 2004. Oh, he even told me that actor Chris
Atkins (from the old Blue Lagoon movie) had signed on to play Melanie's
dad in the film, and that Linda Blair (from The Exorcist) would be playing
Melanie's mom! The best part though was he had signed up, so he said, Dakota Fanning to play Melanie! Great, huh? Ugh! I wonder if anyone else has had an encounter with Donald C Taylor and/or Kokopelli Films? Well, so much for all that. What more can I say? If anyone would like copies of the data I have on LoneStar, Tamra, Seth, Kokopelli Films, Taylor, etc. please let me know via e-mail, okay? My e-mail is [email protected] Many
thanks for listening and my best to all of you. Thanks, Joe D.
 

soloset

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ow, here I am stuck again with regards to Capri. Ugh! Again, I must be cursed! I also had a terrible eperience with a shady film production company in Southern
California called Kokopelli Films, which was run by a guy named Donald C.
Taylor.

You're not cursed. You're not performing due diligence before signing up with these companies.

Please, please, please read over the threads on finding a publisher and an agent at the top of this forum, and maybe head over to Miss Snark's archives for a few hours.

A company doesn't have to be an outright scam to waste your time, money, and effort. These podunk nano-presses, usually run out of some woman's garage or basement part-time, are flat-out dead ends.

It can be very tempting to go with a company that expresses interest in your work. Who doesn't like being told they're fantastic? But if the company can't provide the basics (like distribution and marketing), signing with them is no better than publishing it yourself via Lulu and in some cases a lot worse.
 

Sassenach

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JoeD37 said:
Hello Victoria, BatGirl, et al,
I first contacted LoneStar in 2004, right after they opened for business.
I initally submitted two children's manuscripts, suitable for kids, ages 8-12.

:::::Snipped::::

You're not cursed. You chose to disregard some fairly blatant evidence: no land line, no communication for a year, promises of a "Texas" book tour, claims that a major star had been signed to be in a film, etc.

She did give you an advance, so you at least made some money.

Publishing's the same as any other business, in that "if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably not true."
 

aka eraser

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Joe, you appear to be something of a scam magnet. I'm going to propose that Victoria and Jim hire you to hang out here on B&BC. Once every two or three days, we'll do a sweep and peel off all the scammers stuck to you.


;)


You sound like a good sport so I hope you don't mind the wee tease. Please do spend some time checking out the stickied threads on the top of this board and roam around the forums too. There's lots to learn. Thanks for posting your experiences. It should help others starting out in this game.
 

Alan Yee

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I didn't notice this thread before.

Just for clarification, these guys have absolutely no connection whatsoever to Lone Star Stories, the bimonthly SF/Fantasy webzine run by Eric T. Marin. Eric Marin is an SF/F writer with some stories published, and there's some really cool stories on Lone Star Stories. The webzine doesn't pay much, but it's certainly a quality market for SF/F stories.
 

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