In August 2015, I was preparing to enjoy my birthday party at a sister's house, my family was around me, a small nephew was instructing me on the correct way to build with lego, and the cake was flowing. I made the mistake of looking at my email.
"Hi," said and eagle-eyed reader who'd seen my novels on the Meryton.com site. "I didn't know you'd published your stories."
Celebration ground to a halt, I rampaged around Amazon - horrified to see that someone had smooshed my two stories together, under a hideous cover, with an ungrammatical title and using the pen name I'd used on-line. Horribly, this meant it was someone who'd read my stories in a closed group I'd thought was a safe space, perhaps even someone I'd interacted with socially.
It took me two days to get Amazon to admit that the stories were mine and take them down, followed by Nook and Barnes and Noble. "Phew," thought painfully naive me. "Thank heavens that's over." Of course, I never saw a penny/cent/pesos of what the plagiarist had made but I consoled myself that they probably didn't either and that it had all disappeared into Amazon's coffers.