Wednesday, March 04, 2009

In Defense of Assistants

It seems like I have to make this post every six months or so, but let us try again.

I have an assistant.

Her name is Jodi Meadows.

She works very, very hard, reading my slush pile, and allowing me to do things that make actual money--such as marketing film rights, talking to foreign agents around half the world, and working on selling books to US publishers. Without her help, my response times to slush would be vastly increased. I am only one person.

Hiring Jodi is the smartest thing I ever did as an agent.

So it distresses me when people think that she is somehow not good at her job. In particular, in this post, there are a handful of comments from people saying that she's rejected their query, but if *I* had read their query, I would have asked for their novel.

That's not true.

If Jodi rejects your query or your partial, she's rejecting it for me. She knows my tastes incredibly well. We talk every day. We discuss slush, almost every day. We confer on things together. She is an extension of my brain, when it comes to slush-reading.

So if she's rejected your query or your manuscript, then it is the exact same thing as if I rejected it. Do not second-guess her judgment, because in essence, you are second-guessing my judgment.

And frankly, I don't have the time to deal with the endless queries I receive for things that I don't even represent. The screenplay queries; the queries for picture books; the queries for the best non-fiction that's about a subject I couldn't care less about. We get queries for all of that material, along with the material that I do actually represent. We've had almost 100 queries this week already, if not more. I'll get the current count tomorrow morning, when Jodi wakes up.

Please respect my assistant's judgment, because she is very good at her job, and she helps me be good at mine.

And all of you who are assistants out there, in any field? You have my undying respect and gratitude. You deserve a round of applause. =)


Elissa M said...

I personally think Jodi is awesome. Despite all the millions of things she has to do (on top of being your assistant), she recently helped out at a proposal package focus group I was participating in. Needless to say, her comments were welcome and extremely helpful. The woman deserves an award. I thumb my nose at anyone who disses her.

Jodi Meadows said...

<3 <3 <3

green_knight said...

I just went to re-read the comment thread, because I didn't remember it like that; and I'm mostly seeing 'I\ve reworked this, so shall send it again' which I think is a perfectly fair comment (or else I, for one would not have made it. It's wonderful to know that you *are* looking for that kind of book - I just need to make it good enough.)

But yes, I've heard that sentiment before, in relation to other agents or editors, that someone who is only an assistant/intern/slushreader cannot possibly know what the agent will fall in love with.

Which begs the question why someone would want to work with an agent who has too little sense to hire and train someone who is intelligent and able to recognise good writing... unless they suspect a sinister conspiracy of assistants of the world banding together to keep brilliant books from being published.

Hm. Sounds like there is a steampunk novel in there, with lots of derring-do. It's a pretty silly assumption in the real world.

E.B.L. Gorton said...

Jodi is a great person, and I personally value her opinion. When I have something submit worthy I certainly look forward to getting rejected by her.


Keep up the good work Jodi, you are doing an awesome job imo.

Jodi Meadows said...

For the record, "I sent you X but you rejected it" is a passive-aggressive comment. Even if it's not meant that way, it's easily taken as such.

We're not against requeries. If you've improved your manuscript or query letter, write again. But don't imply (even unintentionally*) that you gave us exactly what we asked for and we're fools for rejecting it. If it was exactly what we wanted, we'd have requested it and taken it on.

*As writers, you should be mindful of your words and consider the multiple ways your comments will be taken.

josephrobertlewis said...

Go Jodi! She's already rejected me once this year, and I hope to have a new novel for her critical eye by the end of 2009!

Joseph Lewis said...

I'm a daily reader both here and on Jodi's blog, and the query stories are hilarious (and baffling!). Keep them coming...when you're not busy, you know, working and stuff.

Justus M. Bowman said...

I think Jodi does a swell job, and she's rejected me twice.

Don't worry, Jodi. There won't be a third time. Perhaps another day, another novel.

ryan field said...

This is a totally objective comment, because I don't really know Jodi and I've never queried her about anything.

But I do follow this blog and sometimes Jodi's and I've always been extremely impressed at how she handles everything.

Julie Butcher-Fedynich said...

Dear Jodi,
Your rejection was the most helpful, polite and kind rejection in the world. It gave me a lot to think about and a ton of re-writing. Excellent. People do not appreciate how much help an unbiased opinion can be.

Thank You

lotusgirl said...

I love Jodi! I feel bad that people think she doesn't know what you like. Hello. She talks to you on a daily basis. It's not that hard of a thing to figure out. I think it's just sour grapes on their part. What they don't realize is that, when they gripe about Jodi, they alienate you.

Kristine Overbrook said...

Jodi is fabulous!! I've been rejected by her too -- during the wonderful, "detailed response" insanity.

I feel very very lucky to have had her input to my query letter. And because of it, I may be picked up elsewhere.

Craven said...

Of course Jodi is exceptional at her job. What agent would want an assistant throwing potential income into the rejected pile.

I'm sure if a manuscript skirted the line, she would pass it up for a final opinion. If it didn't get past Jodi, it wasn't that close.

An agent's job is sales and plucking the money out of the pile. Writer's should understand it's a business, and there is a reason you trust your assistant.

Oh, and dissing the assistant is just plain dumb on any author's part. It's pretty clear that one day Jodi will be an agent and you'll be querying her. "Oh, I remember this guy." Tsk-tsk.

green_knight said...

"I sent you X but you rejected it" is a passive-aggressive comment. Even if it's not meant that way, it's easily taken as such.


Thank you for clarifying. I don't parse it that way at all, and I was honestly puzzled by the reaction.

I think it's a given that merely submitting something an agent says they would like to see is the road to success (and think of the desperate scrambling as writers try to meet those elusive targets) - if the quality isn't there, or it doesn't fit in for other reasons, it's going to be rejected.

I'm just happy to see that there *is* a market for my kind of book. I also want to see more of them on the shelves so I can read them.

Jodi Meadows said...

Thanks, guys! Hearts and flowers to you. I like helping. :)

s9 said...

"...there are a handful of comments from people saying that she's rejected their query, but if *I* had read their query, I would have asked for their novel."

I hope you didn't misinterpret my comment mentioning her name as saying that. I know well that's the not case, and I'm pretty sure I didn't actually say that. I was saying that if I sent you a different query letter than the one I sent, you might have a different opinion. Of course, I'm not going to make the mistake of re-querying, so there it is.

Now, if that's being passive-aggressive, then, well, um, gee I think I better go polish my floors or something.

Lisa Iriarte said...

Jodi is also fantastic about answering my endless newbie questions on her blog. And I love her ferret stories.

Lisa Iriarte

Sarah Jensen said...

Sorry, I don't understand attacking people for doing their jobs. If your query isn't getting the response you want, then rework it.

Historical Author said...

I don't think any of the comments on the last post were meant that way. Most of them that mentioned rejection seemed to be, "I wrote what's on your list, but you rejected it, and I've since realized my mistake and would like to query again" or something to that effect. I didn't see anything that seemed to be an attack on Jodi's judgement, or a suggestion that yours would be better.

Do not second-guess her judgment, because in essence, you are second-guessing my judgment.

I feel that's an unfair thing to say. Writers are likely to second-guess the judgment of someone who rejects their work, no matter if it's the assistant or the agent doing it. And I think that's a fair thing to do.

I'd be surprised if there are many writers out there who get a rejection and think, "That was the right thing to do. My story is crap and will never sell" instead of, "I think this person made a mistake." Whether it's from Jodi or directly from you, a rejection isn't likely to be a welcome response to a query, and no matter who it's from, I think it's fair to second-guess the choice. After all, if you truly believe you deserve to be rejected, why are you bothering to query? Agents aren't infalliable, and neither are their assistants. Sometimes they make a mistake on what will sell well. Just look at Harry Potter.

On the other hand, it's totally fair for an agent or their assistant to say, "This isn't right for us." A writer can still say, "You made a mistake in not taking on this project" but it's harder to argue with "Not something I'd represent" as opposed to "Not something that will sell" you know? If an author is saying Jodi doesn't know what you'd like, that's one thing. But if they're saying they think the book has more potential than Jodi saw, that's quite another. The first is unfair, and wrong. The second is a totally fair complaint.

For the record, "I sent you X but you rejected it" is a passive-aggressive comment. Even if it's not meant that way, it's easily taken as such.

We're not against requeries. If you've improved your manuscript or query letter, write again. But don't imply (even unintentionally*) that you gave us exactly what we asked for and we're fools for rejecting it.

I think that's a very subjective thing, and how it's taken depends on how close one is to the situation. I understand how you read them, and I can't argue with someone's opinion. But I read the very same comments, and it seemed more to me that they were saying, "Hey, I wrote that thing on your list, but you didn't seem to like it. I'll try again."

You're right when you say that writers should be extra aware of how their words can be taken, but the fact is, there are few ways to word something like that that won't get SOMEONE'S dander up. Everyone is bringing their own interpretation to the table, and one person will take something differently from the next.

For example, I found your comment really aggressive and defensive. I don't know you at all, but from the comments praising what a great person you are, I doubt that was how you meant it. Or maybe it was. I don't know.

And I think that's the important thing to remember. When reading comments that are directly or indirectly about you, you have to remember that unless something is blatantly insulting, it might be a kind, "I submitted this, you rejected it, but now I realise I pitched it wrong" as someone in the other post said.

I think it's best to assume that, unless it's expressly obvious the poster meant to be a jerk, no offense is intended. It's hard to tell, after all.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

I'm just going to sit back in my corner now, and invite anyone who'd like to respond to Historical Author's very long post to feel free to do so in a polite and civilized way.

She or he raises a number of interesting points, although I do not agree with them.

Elissa M said...

Well, Historical Author's post is too long for me to comment on everything, but this bit stood out to me:

"I'd be surprised if there are many writers out there who get a rejection and think, 'That was the right thing to do. My story is crap and will never sell' instead of, 'I think this person made a mistake.'"

When I get a rejection, I never think either of those things. I especially never thing the agent made a mistake, and it seems like a very strange thing (to me) for someone to believe.

Sometimes a rejection makes me look over my submission materials to see if I could have done a better job. Mostly what a rejection makes me think is: "This agent isn't interested in this novel." And I move on. No "second guessing", no requerying that agent with the same novel.

I. Move. On.

Second guessing, over analyzing, sending emails asking "Why?", and requerying the same novel to the same agent are, in my opinion, major time wasters. Time that is better spent improving one's writing, because there's ALWAYS room for improvement.

Jodi Meadows said...

Historical Author,

Thank you for your thoughts.

My form rejection says "This isn't right for us." (Obviously that's not all of it, but that's the relevant part.) And I mean it. Everyone's submission shows some kind of potential, whether it's the premise, prose, characters -- whatever. Still, something about it isn't right for us, and it's up to the writer to decide what that is, or if it's anything at all. (Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the query is wonderful, but it's not something either Jenny or I am interested in. It's not fair to waste anyone's time in that case.)

I'm sure that none of the comments on the last post were meant badly. I know Green Knight from elsewhere and, while I don't know S9, I'm pretty certain his/her comment wasn't intended the way I first took it. Unfortunately, I *have* received email replies to query rejections telling me to send their query and synopsis on to Jenny because they're confident that even though I didn't like it, Jenny would.

That was one of my first experiences as a slush reader. Another was stumbling upon a forum where people were discussing my rejections and someone said they'd wait until the regular intern was back because a substitute wouldn't do a good job.

Having been on both sides of the slush pile now, I completely understand how easily wearied agents are. They *are* second guessed so much it's hard to see when innocently-intended comments are, in fact, innocent. That doesn't mean that people need to walk on eggshells, but it would be helpful for people to consider how *easy* it is for their words to be mistaken.

As a writer, my solution is usually silence. I have come away from rejections feeling the agent was wrong, like they didn't even read what I wrote, and like their comments were so perfectly on the spot I don't know how I could have missed that in my story. I usually write back with a quick thank you,* and then move on. I never mention my submission on an agent's blog. It's unnecessary to remind anyone of my rejection. :)

Do I feel that's the only appropriate response? Certainly not. But it's the one that's kept me from that uncomfortable foot-in-mouth sensation, regardless of the actual location of my foot. It's the response I'd recommend.

I hope that clarifies things. :)

*Some agents don't like thank you letters. I know they're just another email in the inbox, and I won't thank someone if I know they don't like it, but mostly people get thank yous. Thank you letters make *my* slushy world go 'round.

Joseph Lewis said...

Historical Author:

(1) Agents (and their lovely assistants) are business people making business decisions. They do not owe you anything.

(2) If someone is offended by something you did/said, your intent is irrelevant. You have caused offense, and if your intent was to be nice, then you should apologize instead of trying to justify yourself. (Note: It's not all about you.)

(3) If a professional evaluates your work and finds it lacking, as subjective as that might be, their evaluation is no less valid just because you disagree with it.

(4) Agents, like many people who interact with the general public, are the recipients of constant insults, rudeness, and even threats. They have every right to be as defensive and cautious as they deem necessary.

ryan field said...

Jodi said it best...

NewGuyDave said...

LOL. When I read this, I thought this line was funny:

"Without her help, my response times to slush would be vastly increased."

Don't worry Jenny, we know what you meant. Jodi rocks!

Thanks for the help with the proposal package focus group and on the email list. Much appreciated.

stephcamp725 said...

I queried the agency this morning and received a prompt and very helpful reply from Jodi! Although it was a rejection, she took the time to explain her reasons and that was very much appreciated! I used to work as a paralegal and drafter lengthy and intentionally wordy and confusing documents all day. I have struggled with ditching the habit and Jodi's comments were very helpful in that regard. Thanks! :)

Lisa Iriarte said...

I agree with Elissa M. about moving on, though perhaps not in the same way. I may very well requery an agent with the same novel, but that would be after some major reworking of the query, the synopsis, the pitch, and the sample chapters. The point is, if I am rejected by an agency, particularly if constructive criticism is included in the rejection (and Jodi often includes constructive criticism) I try to make good use of that criticism. It might hurt at first.

No, scratch that. It DOES hurt at first.

But, I am the newbie writer. They are the professionals. I am far more willing to believe their criticism than that of Uncle Fred or my best friend Gilly.

I can tell you that during one of Jodi's "personalized rejections" sessions, she made some very good comments on my synopsis. I rewrote it, and got several requests for partials after that. I appreciate any advice I can get from those "in the know" because I know such advice is often given sparingly due to busy schedules.

And if something is simply "not right for them" and no details are included, then, yes, I would scrap that novel for that agency and try something else when it's ready.

green_knight said...

Historical Author, I cannot speak for anyone else, but my situation is that while I believe that *one* agent can err, _all of them_ are unlikely to. (Well, I haven't queried all, but I have queried a number.) I'm at the point where my writing is pretty good, where it does get praised... but where it isn't quite there yet. Good, but not good enough to stand out and to excite readers. Possibly good enough to sell if I find the one person who falls in love with it... but I'm too professional to want to rely on finding that. It's a frustrating place in many ways, because it gets harder to find people who can see and communicate how it can be improved. (Harder. Not impossible.)

So I went and got more opinions on it; and had the good luck to find someone who could show up a problem in a manner that I understood, and it's well within my skills to fix it, I just didn't see it myself because I'm too close to the story. Happens. Happens to better writers than me.

If it can be made better, it's my job to do so, and making it better improves my chances of publication.

Also, I don't think that something as subjective as 'I am not enthusiastic enough about this to want to sell it' can ever be a mistake. In every viable business there are more potential clients than you can cope with; and part of the trick is finding the ones you _want_ to work with - because jobs you are enthusiastic about and people you like working with are the best use of your time, and as long as you make _enough_ money (for personally defined values of 'enough') it's a perfectly good business strategy.

Historical Author said...

Elissa M, That's great! Everyone responds to rejection differently. Some think the person reading the materials made a mistake. You move on. And that's wonderful.

But some people don't operate that way. Some need to vent, or spend some time being frustrated, before they do what they need to do and get on with their search for an agent. I think thinking of it like breaking up with one's boyfriend or girlfriend is an acceptable parallel. Some people get over it quickly, while others have to wallow a bit first.

By second-guessing, I don't mean asking the agent why, or doing any of the other things you suggested, either. I don't believe I even suggested those options. To avoid possible confusion, allow me to clarify what I meant. I meant thinking to oneself or talking to one's friends, and just venting, or whatever one needs to do. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

I also don't think there's anything wrong with re-querying if an agent is fine with it. If he or she is your dream agent, and is willing to give you another chance, then I don't see a problem in taking advantage of that. I wasn't suggesting it in my original statement, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it under those circumstances.

Additionally, the portion of my comment you responded to was my response to Jenny's post, which suggested to me (and I'm probably wrong about her intent, but this is how I read it) that it wasn't okay to second-guess Jodi, because that's like second-guessing Jenny, and that's not okay. My point was that some people will second-guess no matter what, are more likely to second-guess than to think they've written something horrible, and that when you're dealing with something as personal as a manuscript that an author has put a lot of work into, an, "Okay, but I think she's wrong" response isn't unreasonable.

Jodi, that does clarify things. I definitely see where you're coming from, and why you'd recommend silence. I've said enough things that were taken the wrong way to realize later that silence truly is golden.

I still don't think there's anything wrong with saying "I submitted, you rejected, and I revised" to an agent. I have no idea why anyone would do that, unless they're trying to show that they're learning, and the agent is helping them with that. I agree it's not necessary, but as most agents are unlikely to know who is talking, I don't see the harm, as long as no one is launching personal attacks. If they truly meant it as innocent (or to show they're trying to improve, or whatever), I don't see why they should feel like they stepped in it.

Anyway, thank you for your response. I really appreciate it. And I'm sorry queriers were so hostile when you started. On the bright side, it looks like they've gotten over it.

Alicia Muhlestein said...

I just sent a query today. I eagerly await either Jenny or Jodi reading it and giving any type of feedback. The fact that Jenny went so long without an assistant and read all those queries herself is absolutely amazing. I'm surprised Jenny has time at all to blog, participate in discussions and help sessions, answer tedious questions from the zillions of writers out there, and champion her chosen manuscripts. The volume of letters she receives would cause me to go into a query coma.

Historical Author said...

I want to apologize in advance for the length of this post.
Joseph Lewis and green_knight, your comments weren't visible when I responded to other commenters. I wasn't trying to ignore you.

Joseph Lewis,

1. I never said that I, or anyone else, was owed. I'm not even sure how you could have got that from my comment, but however you arrived at that conclusion, you are mistaken as to what I meant. I would really like to clarify whatever it is you misunderstood, but I honestly don't know where in my comment you saw that sentiment.

2. I don't know if you mean a general 'you' or me specifically (which wouldn't make sense has no one has yet accused me of causing offense), but I think you're being very discourteous. The point you are making is fair, but the way in which you make it feels unfairly hostile. I was not defending myself. I was providing another view on a comment someone else left.

In any event, I don't think offense = automatic apology in every situation. I'm offended by the tone I perceive in your comment, but I won't ask you to apologize for it. When all one has to go on are words on a screen, I think it's important to consider intent. How you decide it was meant is not always how it was meant. In my opinion, words by themselves are not the only factor in deciding how something should be taken when words are the only things you have to go on.

And I don't think someone who misinterprets something automatically gets an apology because they misinterpreted. Sometimes, yes. But not always. I think they should consider other factors before interpreting, thus decreasing the chances of misinterpreting.

Someone can say something insulting in an affectionate way (i.e., teasing a friend), but while one can tell a good natured insult from a mean-spirited one based on tone of voice, body language, past relationships and so on, those things are gone when strangers interact via words on a screen. You have have meant to be as rude as I found you, but you may have just been trying to make a point and been unaware how you might come across. I don't know, and i can't tell with 100% accuracy.

I really think there's something to thinking before replying. Even on this post Jodi admitted the comments probably weren't intended in the spirit she took them. A little space can make things like that clearer.

I think if someone makes a real effort to be kind in what they say, and someone else takes it the wrong way, that's not the first person's fault. They've done their job by trying to be as respectful as they can. The second person should consider if something is as negative as they think before they reply.

In an online forum, courtesy is different than offline because online there is a lack of crucial components of offline communication. Offline conversations rely more heavily on the first speaker to be sure his or her words are received the right way.

Online, the onus is on both parties. The first person needs to make sure his or her words and intent are as clear as possible. The second person needs to consider if it's at all possible the way their brain interprets the words is not how the words were meant, and then respond accordingly. There's no sense in getting into a fight when pausing for a moment can avoid it. But that's just my opinion.

I think if a statement is largely true or fair, it's better to just assume no offense was meant, if for no other reason than it's not worth the aggravation or emotional energy for what, in the grand scheme of things, matters very little. But that's my opinion. You're welcome to disagree. But don't tell me I'm wrong. As these are opinions, neither of us can be right. Respect my opinion as I respect yours.

3. I never said their judgement wasn't valid. I said it's possible they are wrong (like those who thought Harry Potter wouldn't sell), and authors have every right to second-guess it if they so choose. If they didn't, I'd have missed out on some great books.

Also, professionals or not, they are still humans with opinions and therefore not infallible or automatically right, as many agents themselves have said. That doesn't mean their opinion isn't valid, just that it isn't the end-all and be-all.

I've never been rejected, but I bet if I were, I'd think one of a very few things. Either, "Okay, not right for them, nothing I can do about that", or "They're wrong, and their advice is off. I'll find an agent who agrees with me", depending on what they said when they rejected me. It's also possible whoever responds will have great advice. The point is, "Not right for us" is something with which it is pointless to argue. But when an agent or their assistant offers more than that, an author is free to disagree and second-guess. That doesn't mean that agents or their assistants have invalid judgment. It just means one can disagree with that judgement.

4. This seems contradictory to your second point. If, as a result of their job, agents or assistants are offensive in their defensiveness, shouldn't they apologize and never do it again?

In any event, I was referring to a specific comment that was responding to a non-threatening or harassing comment. I was not referring to all agents or assistants at all times. I was providing someone with my interpretation of that comment, and using that to illustrate a point to someone who acknowledged that she was probably mistaken.

I don't think dealing with jerks gives one license to be a jerk, as you seem to imply. Many people deal with rudeness in their jobs, but they still need to be professional when they are representing themselves in a professional arena, which includes non-personal blogs.

I'm not saying Jodi was a jerk or unprofessional, because she wasn't. However, I do believe everyone should be as polite as they would like others to be to them. Otherwise, they'd be hypocrites because they are demanding treatment they are unwilling to give. Andi f that are not dealing with someone who is insulting, rude, or threatening, they need to be professional.

I'm not sure where the cautious bit came from. In ever suggested they shouldn't be.

And to make sure I am being clear, I am not saying Jenny or Jodi was unprofessional. I am saying that just because done deals with jerks in one's job, one does not have an excuse to be rude in all situations.

Because people seem to misunderstand what I am saying, let me give you a succinct summary of my thoughts.

1. Nowhere in my original comment or in any subsequent comment did I say agents or their assistants owe me or anyone else anything.

2. I disagree. I think in any only forum, other things need consideration. But that's just my opinion, and your disagreeing won't change it. And since I doubt I will change your mind, arguing would be pointless. Let's agree to disagree.

3. Nowhere in my original comment or in any subsequent comment did I say that if I disagree with an opinion, that opinion is invalid. I said it's okay to disagree with someone else's judgement. But disagreement does not automatically equal "not valid".

4. When in a professional arena, professionals need to behave that way. Sales people have to be polite even when they have jerk customers because they have a job to do. They can't be rude to a customer because three customers ago, they had to deal with a jerk.

A few queriers might have been insulting, rude, or threatening to an agent, but that does not give agents or assistants a free pass to be rude to everyone, which is what I interpreted your comment to mean. In my opinion, your excuse doesn't work. But if it does in your opinion, then it doesn't matter what mine is.

If you're going to continue to respond to me, which is perfectly fine, I would appreciate it if you were more polite. I have not intended to be rude in any of my comments, and I am still trying to be polite. I would like that consideration in return. Thanks.

green_knight, I'm not exactly sure why that comment was directed at me. All my comment said was that second-guessing a person who rejects your materials is fair, and that neither agents nor their assistants are infallible. I never said all agents are likely to make a mistake. I'm also not sure why you're telling me about improving your writing. I never said anyone should submit anything substandard or not edit their work. And just because something was rejected doesn't mean it was substandard. It means that the agent didn't like it for any number of reasons.

I never said that "I'm not enthusiastic enough about this work to sell it" was subjective. That actually isn't subjective, in my opinion. If a person isn't enthusiastic, then he or she isn't. That's a fact.

What I said was that there is a difference between "I don't think this will sell" and "This isn't right for us". One can be wrong, and one isn't, which I said in my original comment.

I really think you misunderstood what I said. I certainly never mentioned money specifically. And I never even approached discussing agent-client compatibility. I'm not sure where you saw those things in what I said.

Jodi, I want to thank you once again for your response. You seem to be the only person who understood what I meant and didn't go on the attack or put words in my mouth. I truly appreciate it. If this is how you deal with the people who query Jenny/you, it's no wonder so many people sing your praises.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

Popping in from Shreveport to say that comments are now closed on this post. I understand Historical Author is being extraordinarily polite and I respect that she/he have a different opinion than I do.

But I am wary of the possibility of this escalating to a flame war, so if you want to continue this debate, I invite Historical Author to open one on their blog.

*Much love for civil discourse*