When Truth Is Truly Stranger Than Fiction

by Debra Eve | @DebraEve

Post image for When Truth Is Truly Stranger Than Fiction

As her boyfriend rides his Harley into the Big Sur sunset, an author (we’ll call her Anne) contemplates dozens of rejection letters, the last few dollars of her savings, and a lifetime flipping burgers at MacDonald’s.

Then a UK magazine that accepted one of her stories folds, but the bad news brings good news.

Her editor says he’s been hired by a small UK book publisher. Did she, by any chance, have an unpublished novel?

Anne sends him one her agent rejected as “too over the top.”

Within weeks, the editor — a former BBC comedy writer — accepts it. The company has just moved into a 19th century mill in Lincolnshire on the banks of the river Trent (which George Eliot fictionalized as “The Floss”). The editor invites her to England to finalize and promote the book, and offers accomodations at the new headquarters.

A writer’s dream! Anne knew the company mainly published erotica, but was branching into mainstream and literary fiction. They’d already published the first novel of a distinguished poet. Plus, a famous Chicago newspaper columnist was in residence, awaiting the launch of his new book.

But when Anne arrives, she finds the famous columnist has stormed out, the “erotica” is serious kink, and the mill on the Trent looks more like a 19th century workhouse. Her accomodations are a futon and old metal desk, hidden behind stacks of remaindered porn…

Is this tale truth or fiction?

Both, of course! This week at Write It Sideways, I interview author Anne R. Allen about truth vs. fiction, among other things.

Anne R. Allen

Author Anne R. Allen

I’m currently reading her novel Sherwood, Ltd., which uses that Lincolnshire experience as backdrop to a comic mystery (what else?). If I didn’t know Anne, I’d never believe the reality behind that wacky setting.And if Anne’s name sounds familiar, she’s the daughter of author Shirley S. Allen, the astonishing 92-year-old author I interview here.

I count Anne a friend and fellow late bloomer, so I invite you to download Sherwood, Ltd. free at Smashwordsthen go read the interview (where Anne also plans the literary dinner party of the century). Thanks so much!

P.S. Here are links to US and UK paperback versions.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy | Treatment Talk

Sounds interesting! I will definitely check out Anne’s book. Take care.

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Debra Eve

All Anne’s books are a lot of fun and highly recommended. Thanks, Cathy!

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Anne R. Allen

Thanks so much for featuring my wacky story here on Later Bloomer along with the interview on Write it Sideways. Yes, it’s all true! I ended up living in a porn factory with a bunch of wild and crazy British blokes–when I was in my 50s! The men were pretty terrifying when I first met them, but they all turned out to be lovely gents in their own way.

For the treeware lovers out there–Sherwood Ltd. is also available in paper on both sides of the pond.

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Debra Eve

It was so fun hearing your story, Anne. Thank you! I’ve added links to the paperbacks.

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David Stevens

More intrigue, truth & fantastic ‘images’. Thankyou Debra.
be good to yourself
David

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Debra Eve

Thanks, David. I love fiction, but truth and life hold the most inspiration!

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florence fois

Debra … glad you posted Anne here as well. Already enjoyed the interview and Anne knows I love her work. Coming here and reading Anne on her blog helps me stay encouraged. As a later bloomer myself, I can relate to “it’s better late than …” Well you know :) Thanks again.

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Debra Eve

Thanks, Florence. Your support means so much!

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Chris Edgar

Definitely sounds like a fun story — I hope the famous columnist didn’t mysteriously turn up in The Floss with a stiletto heel lodged in his head. At least, not in real life, but I suppose it would work for a comic mystery!

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Debra Eve

Ha! No, I think he just decided his interests lay elsewhere. Though I’ve since finished Anne’s book and have to admit she came up with a great storyline there. Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

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Jennette Marie Powell

Wow, how did I miss this? Gotta LOL at that misrepresentation, though I’m sure Anne wasn’t at the time! Thanks for sharing!

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Debra Eve

It’s a great story, isn’t it? I just finished the book and she’s done such a fabulous job with it. Funny, romantic, and a bit mythic at the same time. Thanks for stopping by, Jennette!

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