In the business of self-publication, reputation is everything. As an Indie Author myself, I have taken the True Review Pledge and committed myself to integrity above everything else – as every author of integrity should. It is unfortunate and hurtful for the entire industry I represent though when one of our own chooses to lie, cheat and steal – not only from her fellows, but from the public at large. It hurts our profession and it reflects poorly upon each and every one of us.
Such a person is Angela Townsend.
First, a disclaimer: I have a personal conflict with Angela Townsend. As readers of my blog are aware, her and I are in court over a trademark – the title “The Forlorned” – which she contracted from me and then stole for herself. But her duplicity and deception go far and beyond this, and I feel – in light of ongoing attacks made by her against me in retaliation for my filing suit against her for my creation – that it is time for me to speak in full disclosure as a cautionary tale against anyone else doing business with this woman in any capacity. I note that this article is being written now in defense of ongoing personal attacks Townsend has had leveled against me for some time, as this places all attributable information about her in one place.
Absolutely nothing about the woman is honest. Yet she presents herself to the public as a pillar of integrity while trying to destroy the reputation of others. Even her own personal pubic biography is a complete fabrication. For instance, on Amazon, her author profile reads:
“Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music, and Irish dancing. She resides on a ranch in rural Montana with her two children.”*
Angela Townsend has never written anything credible involving historical research nor writing, and she certainly does not have a career in it – much less writings in “local community circulations”. She has no published genealogical nor historical material, save for the fabricated content in her fictional stories. She has even confessed to me personally that teaching research seminars is an ambition, not something she has actually ever done. Her division of time may include writing, but it is around her work schedule, not around Celtic music and Irish dancing. She does not, nor has she ever, lived on a ranch with her children. Every bit of this is fabricated to create an illusion to hide the real person who is Angela Townsend.
Townsend is a paralegal and has worked for Dale McGarvey – a ninety year old attorney – for years. Her illicit relationship with this attorney – rumored to be carnal in nature, though I have no personal knowledge one way or the other – has led to him becoming her sugar daddy, backing financially the bulk of her publishing and production enterprises. This influence has most recently led to her getting him to create a joint movie making business, McGarvey and Townsend, Inc. – of which she is the chief executive officer of the corporation. Every bit of her business success is reliant upon Dale McGarvey and his financial backing, not upon any actual personal accomplishments.
I have personally been involved in fact checking Townsend’s fictional writing. Though she loves to write about historical themed stories, the truth is she is abhorrently wrong about just about every historical fact she claims to be true. For instance, when working on proof-reading her original book entitled Fears of a Fisherman (which I created the new name The Forlorned for), I found hundreds of completely fabricated historical points, including mad reckoning about the speed of communications between England, France and North America during the War of 1812. Townsend’s response to complaints of historical inaccuracies was always, “No one will check.” Literally, the entire foundation for her story was based upon fabricated history. And yet she represents herself as an historian.
Angela Townsend lives in a property purchased for her by Dale McGarvey, again as an extension of her illicit relationship, not on a ranch. You can look to her legal address on her business filing with the Montana Secretary of State, which is 1997 S Meadows Dr, Kalispell, Montana, where she has lived since 2012. A Google Map search will show this residence is not a ranch.
To make matters worse, Townsend is not even creative on her own. She posits an idea, then has other local writers help her frame her ideas into an intelligible format. I know, because for years I was one of these people “helping” her refine her work. I worked with her for two years before she came to me for help in rebranding her story – and then she took my creation, presented it as her own so she alone would gain recognition, and had Dale McGarvey raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a movie production – using my intellectual creation!
Finally, as if what has come before was not enough, Townsend fluffs her own reviews and books to lend a false degree of credibility. The bulk of her “positive” reviews on Amazon are either created by her under duplicate accounts, or by friends of hers trying to “help her out”. To her friends, she presents herself as a woeful, struggling single mother, and uses this wounded-duck routine to get sympathy and support in her efforts. Not many of her supporters have actually read her work, and those that have are only throwing their support behind her because of Townsend’s victim stance. She has also created online business accounts (or had friends do so on her behalf) to offer her books at ridiculous amounts to perpetuate a demand for the books that does not exist.
Recently, Angela Townsend tried to silence my speaking out against her trademark infringement. She actually wrote to WordPress and tried to claim that I was infringing upon her trademark and to have my blog shut down to quash the information about her fraudulent misconduct. Wordpress denied her request, finding no trademark infringement on my part, and sent me a text of her transgression. I sent her another cease and desist notice, and Townsend immediately went to Craigslist and tried to start another smear campaign against me for it.
This is not the first time Townsend has sought to slander me and silence my claims against her fraud – she successfully had both my Facebook author page and Goodreads account closed when she claimed I was “stalking” her on those sites by reporting that her title was purloined. Interestingly enough, the latter was only a mirrored post of a blog entry on this site – not on Goodreads itself.
The issue over trademark infringement is still pending in federal court (See Glick v. Townsend, et al, 9th Circuit Cause No. 15-35587), but regardless of the resolution of that cause, it does not change the facts. Angela Townsend stole my intellectual creation, abused my trust to profit off of it, and is using the financial clout of her relationship with Dale McGarvey to secure the theft.
Even if I do not prevail in court – even if the federal courts decide against my rightful claim – it does not stop me from speaking out against Angela Townsend’s duplicity and deceptive practices. Irregardless of whether her financial wellspring and legal connections buy her a court win, it does not change that I used the name in commerce first (you can see that here), nor that it was presented as my creation then and never disputed until after I sent her a cease and desist notice. Nothing changes that she stole the mark – and nothing will prevent me from speaking out against this incredibly duplicitous woman.
In truth, Townsend has many characteristics of antisocial personality disorder (something she recently tried to deflect onto myself when I prevailed in the WordPress claim). She is crude, abusive and provokes unrealistic aggression against anyone who she sees as standing in the way of her “success”, which is why she expends so much effort attacking me personally. She blasts me with vile accusations of deviant conduct on Craigslist and other public forums, and, as mentioned, slurs me to sites trying to shut down my pages. In my opinion, if evil had a picture in the dictionary, it might look like this:
I strongly urge anyone doing their due diligence to avoid doing business with Angela Townsend in any capacity. Unless, of course, you like the prospect of having her steal from you, as well…
*Upon publication of this article, Townsend went into her Amazon account and changed her author profile drastically, obviously to remove some (but not all) of the more damaging elements I have reported here. Unfortunately for Townsend, because she has print copies of her books, the original context of that bio still exists in her individual published books on Amazon. So if she seeks to allege I made that up, I recommend looking to her individual books for verification.