What We Know about the Freydis Moon Scandal

Over the weekend, accusations against Freydis Moon took over X and Bookstagram. Here’s what we know so far.

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The book covers for "Heart, Haunt, Havoc" and "Wolf, Willow, Witch" have a "no" symbol overtop of them against a black backgrounded. They are surrounded by pink and green question marks.

Following the Cait Corrain scandal at the end of 2023, the world was confronted with the continued discrimination against LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities (and the added surprise of it being committed by someone who was a known member of the LGBTQ+ community). However, reports of a similar scandal emerged over the weekend, revealing that some authors may go to any lengths to get the book deal of their dreams.

A History of the Scandal

In June 2020, an author known as Taylor B. Barton came on to the queer fantasy and sci-fi scene. Two of their books were published, The Ninth Life and Full Moon in Leo. However, they were soon accused of racist bullying by their fellow authors. Self-identifying as trans, Barton then took up another pen name, Brooklyn Ray, and offered an apology. Barton later became defensive after they were dropped by their publisher and agent. And both books were quietly shuffled out of print.

The following year, a new author, Jupiter Wyse, appeared on the literary scene. They frequently alluded to their Latinx roots, identifying themselves as “qtpoc” (queer, trans, person of color). However, internet sleuthing, all done by an anonymous X (formerly Twitter) user, noticed that Barton and Wyse used similar Christmas trees, cats, and zodiac signs in their images, revealing that Wyse was actually a creation of Barton, who is white. Subsequently, Wyse was dropped by their agent in a public X post for misrepresenting their racial identity and publishing history.

A brown house is surrounded by animal mouths with sharp teeth. In the foregrand, a male figure with red hair looks back at another figure with brown skin and blood on their hands.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

Then in 2022, Freydis Moon emerged into the queer erotic horror spotlight, publishing their first two books in The Gideon Testaments series (Heart, Haunt, Havoc and Wolf, Willow, Witch). As they prepared for the release of their next book in the series, a beta reader noticed in the drafts that Moon had sent that they resembled pages from an old Wyse draft. Ella Porter compiled the evidence together to substantiate the claim that Moon is the disgraced Taylor B. Barton, who went by a number of other pen names.

The Other Pen Names

Currently, it’s believed that Freydis has used over 10 different pen names, including:

  • Taylor Barton
  • Taylor Brooke
  • Brooklyn Ray
  • Jupiter Wyse
  • Hunter Taylor (written under Stacey Anthony)
  • Bailey Greene
  • Cordi/Cordelia Lynne
  • Saint Harlow
  • Hunter Llewllyn

Freydis’s former literary agent confirmed that Freydis operated under various aliases and worked with multiple literary agents under different ethnicities.

The Publishing World’s Reactions

Shortly after the allegations broke, Weaver Literary Agency announced on X (formerly Twitter) that they had parted ways with Freydis. Furthermore, Third Estate Books, who were working with Freydis as an editor on an anthology collection called Spectrum: An Autistic Horror Anthology, announced that they were removing their contribution.

FaeCrate

FaeCrate, a book box subscription service that offers special editions of books, made a statement Saturday on X that they were investigating the claims. On Monday, they officially announced on social media that they were cutting ties with Freydis and returning their book rights to them, also taking their rights to profits, meaning Freydis won’t receive anything from sales.

They also announced that they would be opening a Google form for those who wanted a refund on their special edition copies of the book.

D.N. Bryn and Rainbow Book Crate

After reports of the scandal emerged, author D.N. Bryn posted a series of reels to their Instagram page of their dealings with Freydis. Bryn revealed that they and Freydis had been friends, and Bryn mentioned that they noticed several red flags about Freydis, causing the two to eventually fall out.

Both authors were also connected via Rainbow Crate Book Box, a subscription service that exclusively features LGBTQ+ and BIPOC books. A Redditor reported that in August 2023, Freydis accused D.N. Bryn publicly of racism and bullying, claiming that they circulated an 11-page document to ruin their career. Freydis took these claims to Rainbow Crate and asked them to drop Bryn, which they did.

Rainbow Crate released a statement Monday on the incident. However, it doesn’t appear as though they are apologizing for dropping Bryn, and many feel that their statement is in support of Freydis and that their refusal to make a carousel of the statement is, at best, “sketchy.”

What’s Next?

As of Tuesday evening, Freydis Moon has not responded to the allegations. In reply to a commenter who inquired as to whether they would, Freydis replied that they would not be and refuted the allegations, claiming that people buying into the narrative could unfollow them.

Weaver Literary Agency also announced that they are in contact with Freydis’s publisher to determine what to do moving forward.

Debates online are also questioning what this means for aspiring authors who wish to remain private. For now, the question remains: Will publishers and agents require authors to provide their real names and faces before they decide to publish them? We will see what the future holds.


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