In mid-September a Swedish book fan was ordered by Stirling Sheriff Court to leave her favourite author alone, and to go back to Sweden the next day. And no, that wasn’t me.
The author in question is Stirling historian Neil Oliver, who has been bombarded with letters and photos and CDs by this woman over the last year. Her stalking continued when she turned up at a book signing Neil was doing at Waterstones in Glasgow this month, trying to hand him an envelope.
I understand that this must have been upsetting for Neil. I’m wary of people knowing where I live, so for his address* to have become known to her will have made him feel unsafe.
But, the man appears on television regularly. It’s easy to ‘fall’ for a charismatic television presenter at the best of times. As an author he’s a bit of a public figure. At a bookshop signing he is doing a public event.
It’s tricky. I understand her fervour, and I get his fear. I don’t know what the solution is.
But I can sort of see myself in her place. It can be hard not to admire too much.
(*The full name and address of the poor fan has been made public, with the help of the Stirling Observer. This is something that wouldn’t happen in Sweden.)
Btw, I love you all!!!!!!