I’m no longer auditioning stalkers. The position has been filled.

It’s my own fault, really. In my newsletter a few months ago, I wrote about auditioning prospective stalkers. By my thinking, to feel like a real writer, a successful writer, I needed a stalker. I go to all these message boards and I see these obsessed trolls haunting their favorite writers. I guess I had a case of stalker envy.

With the goals of shepherding my very own personal fans dedicated to starting arguments with me on message boards or sending me strange e-mails/postings spoken in some language that they assume to be English (though it might not adhere to any of the standard rules of grammar, spelling, or punctuation), I sent out my casting call for stalkers.

The way I saw it, there were three different kinds of stalkers:

The Good: the obsessive fan, the Blog reader-cum-best friend. I have a writer friend who has one of these. Sure, this brand of over eager fan can be a little creepy when she bumps into him at a convention, rambling on about her latest family situation as if he’s her friend (remember, we only have ourselves to blame for this since we post this stuff on our blogs), but he buys her stuff. At least be cute.

The Bad: the creepy type. Again, I have a (different) friend with one of these. This troll follows my friend from convention to convention, even visits him on his job on occasion. This brand of stalker goes as far as to mail him various random news clippings. The worst part? He never buys my friend’s stuff.

The Psycho. Yeah, I’ve seen Misery. Nuff said.

I figured that if I put them through a vetting process, it might work out better for me. At the moment, I have one of the good, she’s cute, reads all my stuff, anxious to buy anything of mine that hits the stands. Everything I want in an obsessive fan. Unfortunately, I have too many of the bad (admittedly, I don’t help the situation any by continuing to correspond with them). However, I figure that I’d be better off to close the interview process now before I inadvertently pick up a psycho. Then again, I just received this missive:

“Dear Mr. Broaddus, You are an excellent writer. I really enjoy horror/sci- fi books. Would you please send a personally autographed photo of yourself? My address is …”

Could be a hoax. Could be a weirdo. Either way, I’m just vain enough to send him one.

Because I never learn.

Comment on this bit of rantus interruptus anyway you want (I don’t know where you’re reading it from) but if you want to guarantee me seeing it, do so at my message board.