Skip to comments.Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's Latest Lunatic Ravings
Posted on 10/27/2006 10:42:45 AM PDT by Kitten Festival
To the students at ANHS who insist on harassing me...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BESTSELLING NOVELIST FINDS HERSELF THE TARGET OF REAL-LIFE HIGH SCHOOL "HATERS" AFTER WRITING ABOUT THEM IN HER POPULAR FIRST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL, "HATERS"
Talk about life imitating art.
When bestselling novelist Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez put pen to paper to come up with her first young adult novel, she knew she wanted to write about a psychic girl from rural New Mexico who ends up at an Orange County, Calif., high school, the target of "haters," or the popular, ruthless kids who make life miserable for so many youngsters, and have for years.
What the author didn't know was that her life would come to mirror the very book she wrote as the result of some unfortunate coincidences and one apparently egotistical and motivated English teacher.
Valdes-Rodriguez set the novel at a real school, Aliso Niguel High School, because she used to live up the hill from it during her time as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She did not realize that by choosing a real school - as she did in her bestseller The Dirty Girls Social Club, where the characters met as freshman at Boston University - she would invite all the real-life "haters" from the school to attack her through emails and a smear-campaign on MySpace and amazon.com.
"I have been inundated with hate mail from Aliso Niguel high school," said the author. "I had no idea so many kids would believe an obvious work of fiction to be about themselves personally, or that they'd spend so much energy cursing at me and threatening me in efforts to prove that they aren't hateful. I've been threatened, called a "f***ing bitch" and a "douchebag" and all manner of obscenities. Charming."
(Excerpt) Read more at myspace.com ...
Hear how she squeals.
The remainder of the press release:
But it's not the kids who are to blame, according to the author. It's a grownup named Paul Biggs, who is "psychotically" convinced a teacher in the book is supposed to be him, and who has begun a legal and logistical battle against the author.
"Paul Biggs is delusional," said Valdes-Rodriguez. "I had never heard of him until the book came out and he began papering my publisher's office with legal threats claiming one of the fictional characters in the book was supposed to be him. At first I felt bad for him, but the more he persisted in slandering me and spreading lies to his students about me and the book, the more I realized this was a man who was basically out to lunch."
Paul Biggs, a teacher at Aliso Viejo, became convinced the character of Mr. Big in the novel was based on him after reading the book.
"It's completely absurd," said Valdes-Rodriguez. "Big is a common English word, and I picked it for it's obvious symbolism and relationship to Sex in the City. And, frankly, it's egomaniacal and more than a little off-balance, psychologically, for this man to believe A) that I know him or B) That I would have any reason to try to slander him in a novel. He also must assume I'm an idiot, because if I were, in fact, looking to slander him or anyone else in a novel I certainly wouldn..t be stupid enough to use his real name or one so similar to it. Please, Paul, get a life. If it's money you're after, sweetie, I don't have any. Find another victim."
Valdes-Rodriguez created her character of Mr. Big with the name of a Sex in the City character for comedic and symbolic effect.
"I have never, I repeat never, met Paul Biggs, and I did not model this character after him. I modeled it partly on two teachers I had in middle and high school, one of whom was a coach and English teacher, and the other of whom flirted with students. Paul Biggs is someone I only had the 'joy' of discovering when he started firing off hysterical emails claiming I was out to get him."
Biggs has apparently been telling students at the school that the author chose his name and gave his real wife's name "Jessica" to the character of the most popular girl in school. And the students believe him and have begun a cyber campaign to harass the author.
"I chose the name Jessica from a census list of the most popular baby names for kids born sixteen years ago," said Valdes-Rodriguez. "Look it up, Biggs. Jessica was the top name for girls that year. That's why I picked it. The most popular sixteen-year-old in the novel got the most popular name for the year she was born, period. Only an attention-hungry freak would think I picked the name Jessica because it was the name of the wife of a man I had not heard of until the book was published. Please."
Paul Biggs claims his reputation has been harmed because the character Mr. Big sleeps with his students.
"You have to wonder how he came to that conclusion," said Valdes-Rodriguez. Mr. Big never sleeps with students. He is the victim of a smear campaign by Jessica, the hater in question, who threatens to tell everyone he flirts with students unless he stops trying to keep her from hurting the main character, Paski. "You have to wonder what he's doing teaching English with such low reading comprehension," added Valdes-Rodriguez.
Biggs has also told his students and the press that his good looks are proof that the attractive Mr. Big character is based on him. Valdes-Rodriguez laughs at this assertion.
..This man - Paul Biggs - also points to his own "attractiveness" as "proof" that the character was based on him, as he seems to think he's a handsome man. Since getting his email I've had a chance to see a photo of him googled for me by my editor. In my opinion, this man is not handsome. Okay? Right there you know he's a liar."
Nonetheless, students at the high school have followed their teacher's example and directives and have all but declared war against the popular author.
"It's the last thing I expected," said Valdes-Rodriguez. "I feel like my lead character - hated and misunderstood by the students of Aliso Niguel high school, the target of malicious attacks. In a way, it's more proof that Paul Biggs is nothing like Mr. Big. Think about it. In the book Mr. Big was the good guy, on the side of justice and truth, protecting the new girl from the haters. In real life Paul Biggs is an egomaniac who uses children to fight his invented, paranoid battles for him. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetically sad."
From the looks of her lunatic ravings she has a busted pinata for a brain.
I'd say 'gourd.' Pinata is too intelligent.
I don't know how they are at Aliso Viejo, but I know how they were not too long ago at Mission Viejo, and I know how the kids are these days at similar schools in San Diego, and I can tell you that kids are for the most part pretty good, in spite of the libertine upbringing that baby boomers are trying to pass along. There's not a lot of "hating", probably less than in the last 2 generations. But that wouldn't fit into stereotypes, now would it?
And she claims to know nothing about the school. Or teacher Biggs. Yeah. We believe that. *snerk*
She has contempt for all her characters - just as she has contempt for all her readers. She is really a piece of work.