I’m sure you’ve all heard and read about stalkers once or few times in your life. Mostly you hear the word stalker mentioned when they keep annoying and even threatening Hollywood stars and some of the very persevering ones have even ended up in jail.
And, of course, for most people who read, Annie Wilkes instantly comes to mind, the mad fan thought up by Stephen King that was so perfectly brought to life on screen by the great Kathy Bates in “Misery”.
I think there is a fair share of writers who have had experience with very devoted fans that stalk their favourite author – I like to “stalk” my fave writers, too, though I am quite a watered down example as I am happily married.
Normally it takes a lot to shake me but I must admit I was taken aback and also a little scared when I saw a stalker close up and “in action mode” for the first time a few days ago.
I won’t mention if the stalker was male or female and therefore will sometimes just use the word “it”, nor will I tell on which author the aim was but it was surely scary to witness the situation.
It all started when friends of mine and I went to an author event.
Three writers were introducing and reading from their new books, there was a moderator asking questions and as the authors were all English speaking there was a professional actor who wonderfully read excerpts of the books in German.
When I arrived with my friends there was a nicely mixed crowd already, young and old, stylish and normal and – the stalker!
All three of us practically uttered the same word when we had sat down and stuck our heads together as it had been so fucking obvious! Unfortunately I can’t give a more detailed description, fact is it would have even been clear to Stevie Wonder.
When the event started I became totally creeped out witnessing how the stalker didn’t leave “its” object of desire out of “its” sight for a second, like a predator who was afraid his prey would vanish into thin air if blinking.
Strangely enough I had just read a book about amorous paranoia weeks before and so the stalker became an object to study for me, too.
No matter who of the three authors spoke, the glassy eyes of the stalker never left their special one and after finding it funny the first few minutes it became annoying.
Also spooky to witness was the filming part that started when mentioned author was speaking about her/his new book as he/she was zoomed in as much as zooming was possible – probably for the video to be watched over and over again by the stalker for 657 times in a row…
At the book signing afterwards we waited and talked to people from the publisher while the stalker waited ‘til everybody had had their books signed and then sat down beside the author.
The stalker forced “its” cell phone number on the writer and even offered the author to stay at “its” hotel next time – so much for fucking obvious and creepy.
Needless to say the eerie shadow was back the next day, keeping in close proximity to the object of desire, this time standing right next to the author and while she/he signed books “it” kept taking about 289 close up photos, almost shoving a camera in the writer’s face and “it” seemed entirely oblivious to the fact that other people were even approaching the table who wanted to have a book signed and a short chat with the author, too.
I couldn’t help it as the song text “You are an obsession, you’re my obsession, who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?” from “Obsession” by Animotion from the 80’s started playing in my head over and over again.
Being stalked was surely not very funny at all for the author as one could tell it was an irritating situation to say the least.
And it made me think about all the men and woman, normal people and celebrities, who have suffered because of a stalker. I have utter compassion for all of them.
I can only halfway begin to understand what it must feel like to be the target of a stalker and I think if I ever should become fucking rich and famous a stalker would be the very last accessory I’d ever like to attract.