Apart from the money and travel and perks, there was something else in play. The nature of the book, "Words Never Spoken," was a spiritual, personal development book (from what I gather - I never was given a copy) that seemed to fit in perfectly with my journey at this point. Even more importantly, this author was head of a children's foundation for abused and neglected kids. It was an opportunity for me to learn more and perhaps receive help in my quest to found The William Ledbetter Foundation for Children. It was, in a word, perfect.
A meeting was set for all of us to get together, receive the book, review and sign contracts, and receive some upfront money. The meeting was canceled. The author got pneumonia and could not make it. It was re-scheduled for a few days later for lunch.
The lunch meeting was canceled. Something came up at the last minute and it was pushed to dinner for this past Tuesday. A car was to pick me up at 7pm. At 3pm that day, I received a call from my friend, Jim, who was with the author, and I was informed his ex-wife and son had been in a serious car accident. His ex was killed; his boy in a coma. But the tour was still going to happen. A meeting was set for tomorrow, Saturday, at an office downtown at 9am. Everything would be solved with respect to the tour at that time. I just received a call saying his boy had died and now everything has been pushed to next week.
Red flags started going up from day one. I have never been offered a job without meeting any of the parties involved. The money offered was too rich for a depressed industry like publishing. The tour was too elaborate for a first-time author. The emails I received were grammatically unsound from someone in publishing. The delays of the meetings were growing more and more outrageous in their excuses to be canceled.
But I kept the faith. My faith is wobbly at best but I was convinced, somehow, that Billy was still looking after me. Even after doing due dilegence on the project and finding nothing to support any of the author's claims, I kept the faith. Today it all seems like a cruel and inexplicable hoax.
My question is why? Why would someone go to these lengths to perpetuate a bizarre scam on someone they never met? Why would someone make up a story as horrible as having your ex-wife and son get killed? What gain does someone have in the leading, and continuing to lead, this level of lie when it involves other people? I may never find these answers but I am certainly going to try and find this "author" and have a "conversation" with him.
I really didn't need this right now. I am hanging on by my fingernails and I really didn't need this unexpected turn. The silver lining I find is that for two weeks, I have been happier than I have been in the last eleven months. My faith was becoming solid. My future seemed to be going in a wonderful and positive direction. I found a purpose and a way out of the rut I have been trying to escape. It is a very, very thin silver lining.
Does anyone have any reasonable explanation?