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Anne R. Allen's Blog


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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I just read an enlightening piece by agent Jennifer Lawler in a June 1 Writers Digest post busting some wide-spread myths about agents. A real eye opener.

She says SILENCE DOES NOT MEAN NO, so it’s OK to follow up on a query or resubmit if you’ve heard nothing, because email evaporates so often.

And—most important to me at the moment—she explains why we’re getting those form rejections on partials and fulls.

She says, “If I believe a book could be improved by revision, I’ll make suggestions and ask the writer to resubmit, or I’ll offer representation conditional on certain revisions being made.”

Otherwise, she says, “I don’t think I have any business telling you where I think you’ve gone wrong.” Because “what I think is wrong with your novel may be what the next agent thinks is right with it.”

Yesterday I got a rejection on a full from an agent I had a lot of hope for. She gave a few reasons for her rejection—that the heroine and hero don’t fit traditional roles for romantic comedy. I spent the night wondering if I should revise, but after reading Ms. Lawler’s article, I’m not sure I will. At least I’ll wait to see if I get similar feedback elsewhere.



Blogger Creepy Query Girl said...

Good to know! Thanks!

June 10, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Fawn Neun said...

But I'm so SICK of "traditional roles" for romantic comedy. Isn't everyone?
Good luck, that's all I have to say.

June 10, 2010 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Emily Cross said...

I think it's admirable to have heroes/heroines that aren't 'traditional'!!

Thanks for your comment and for excellent advice too

June 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Tricia J. O'Brien said...

That's great information to share. Thanks. I think it's good to wait until you see if more than one person gives the same feedback. We all have personal likes and dislikes that may color our opinions.

June 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Piedmont Writer said...

The problem with SILENCE DOES NOT MEAN NO is what if it really does and you resubmit and get another no, or the dreaded silence. You're still no further ahead of the game and probably have pissed off the agent to boot.

June 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

PW, I'm as confused as you by some of this stuff. I think we have to be very careful to comb the agent's website and see if they have any "Don't ever darken our doors again if you don't hear from us" caveats before re-submitting. I wish they'd get together and have a uniform set of rules.

June 10, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger SAMUEL PARK said...

Great post. I'm glad you decided to keep it as it is. I personally believe that AT LEAST three people have to say the same comment in order for it to really count. One person's minus may be someone else's divine nirvana.

June 10, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Donna Hole said...

Everything is just too subjective now. I'm soooo tired of that word.


June 10, 2010 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger February Grace said...


Sorry about hearing you got a pass on that full. I can sympathize. Even though I'm so new to this submitting thing I have felt that pain and I am in the same boat as you are with my romantic comedies (two manuscripts)though I didn't get specific feedback on my book itself only on my writing overall (and it was kind feedback) Still it was a no :(

I bet your book is awesome. You post and tweet such wonderful informative stuff, thank you so much. Your blog is one I really, really appreciate.

Wishing for a world where more non-traditional heroes and heroines populate original romantic comedies...


June 11, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger February Grace said...

Oh! I forgot-

You said:"PW, I'm as confused as you by some of this stuff. I think we have to be very careful to comb the agent's website and see if they have any "Don't ever darken our doors again if you don't hear from us" caveats before re-submitting. I wish they'd get together and have a uniform set of rules."

I blogged recently on just this- "How standard is standard" and I totally agree- a general industry consensus would be beyond wonderful...I'm gearing up for another round of contradiction comparison because if I don't laugh about it I might well cry and I hate that.

June 11, 2010 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks everybody. You've all got wise things to say. I guess I'm over it now. I took the agent's eagerness to be enthusiasm for my writing, but it's an eagerness for my "high concept," which I'm not dealing with in a predictable way.

February, I've got to check out your blog. I've been thinking of blogging about those contradictory rules myownself. They're crazymaking.

June 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Vatche said...

Hey, Anne, I'm a new follower, but I could already see that you're a very talented writer by reading some posts on your blog.

I hate the typical hero/heroine MC in romantic comedies; I believe the reader's want something that is "out of the box," not something that is generic and common.

Write on, Anne!

June 11, 2010 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks Vatche. I appreciate your comments.

I fear my work breaks one of the cardinal rules of publishing: never invent your own genre. Unfortunately, I sort of did with my first two books. I write "bad boyfriend" comedies. The woman ends up alone but stronger and standing on her own two feet. A happy ending for an overpopulated planet.

June 12, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

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