On March 17, 2018 the Tattler published a protest by Miss Elise Van Demer heroine of a work in progress by Miss Rue Allyn, author. Miss Van Demer objected strongly and at length about Miss Allyn’s invasion of character privacy when writing romantic novels. In the spirit of fairness, The Tattler invited Miss Allyn’s rebuttal. We have, to date, not received such a document. We have, however, received the following letter penned by no less than Her Grace the Duchess of Stonegreave and endorsed by a number of august and highly revered persons, as you will see below. But first Her Grace’s letter.*
Dear Mr. Clemens,
I write in response to the dire accusations made by Miss Elise Van Demer against a kind and generous author, Miss Rue Allyn. Miss Van Demer could not be more wrong, and I hope this letter will at some point serve to help her understand the true purpose of Miss Allyn’s writings and the relationship she seeks to have with all her characters.
To wit, Miss Van Demer accuses that Miss Allyn invades privacy without seeking a character’s permission. This is categorically not so. No author, can write a work of fiction (all of Miss Allyn’s stories are fictions) without the permission both implicit and explicit of the characters involved in that story. How else would she discover the series of events, or the emotional cause and effect surrounding those events? The characters must tell her. And by telling her, they accept that she will record the story for posterity and the entertainment of interested readers.
You are, yourself, Mr. Clemens, involved in just that sort of business by relating incidents from the lives of socially important persons for the delectation of your reading audience. I suspect in many of those cases The Teatime Tattler does not have the explicit permission of the persons involved. Hence there ends the similarity between your activities and Miss Allyn’s. She does have permission from her characters, else their stories would never be published.
But I digress. Miss Van Demer states that her own case is typical of the treatment Miss Allyn offers characters. This is not true. In my own case, Miss Allyn’s publication of my story helped to rescue my reputation and correct the impression of the ton that I was callous and unfaithful. She has served this same truth revealing purpose for numerous other characters including Lady Juliana Verault, now wife of Sir Robert Clarwyn (Knight Errant). Lady Jessamyn Du Grace now wed to Baron Raeb MacKai of Dungarob Scotland, (Knight Defender) and two of Miss Van Demer’s personal friends Miss Kiera Alden wife of former US Marshal Evrett Quinn (One Night’s Desire) who have endorsed this letter with their signatures, as well as many other characters who could not be reached for comment. (Check out Miss Allyn’s website or Amazon page for more information about her books.)
Miss Van Demer makes much of the issue of a character’s name. This is a piffle not worthy of argument save to say that few characters actually introduce themselves to an author. Rather the author is usually forced to discover the character’s name as the events of the story reveal themselves. Thus it may seem to an author as if he or she created the so named character.
Another objection from Miss Van Demer is that she has worked hard to erase her name from memory in the Wyoming territory of the 1870s and Miss Allyn’s story will destroy that work. I suggest, if Miss Van Demer is ashamed of her name, she should not have confided her story in Miss Allyn, thus giving implicit permission to have the story told. A secret is only a secret, my dear Miss Van Demer, if it is never shared. The same is true of a disguise. I should know. I tried to disguise myself on a number of occasions and each time lead me to further disaster. Exposing the facts is by far the better choice, and Miss Allyn is an excellent accomplice in that endeavor.
Last, Miss Van Demer pins her ‘only hope’ on the timing of Miss Allyn’s publication. I and every character who has endorsed this letter can attest to the fact that Miss Allyn has never published any story before the end is told. She has, as any good author must, given hints and published teasers. However, she publishes nothing before its appropriate time. I am saddened to believe Miss Van Demer does not understand this.
I do hope that Miss Van Demer succeeds in one of the aims that motivated her to write. I hope that her protest will awaken the public not to the existence of unprincipled authors—for there are such—but to the very excellent work done specifically by Miss Rue Allyn.
Please Mr. Clemens, I urge you not to ‘wage war in print against such authors,’ but rather to endorse the story telling ability of fine, upstanding authors such as Miss Rue Allyn. I for one will never rue the day (please forgive my small joke, as I could not resist) I encountered Miss Rue Allyn.
With Kind Regards,
By the grace of God and the King of England,
Duchess of Stonegreave
The following signatories endorse the meaning and sentiments expressed by Her Grace of Stonegreave above.
Lady Jessamyn Du Grace aka Baroness Jessamyn MacKai (Find my story and Raeb’s in Miss Allyn’s book Knight Defender)
Baron Raeb MacKai
Lady Juliana Verault aka Lady Juliana Clarwyn (Find my story and Robert’s in Miss Allyn’s book Knight Errant)
Sir Robert Clarwyn
Miss Kiera Alden aka Mrs. Kiera Quinn (Find my story and Evrett’s in Miss Allyn’s book One Night’s Desire. You will also find the early events of Miss Van Demer’s life related there.)
Mr. Evrett Quinn, former US Marshall Wyoming Territory US of A.
*Editors note: Mr. Clemens states categorically that he doesn’t give a fig about the privacy of characters fictional or otherwise.
About Her Grace of Stonegreave’s story: Like countless men who faced the French armies, men who loved Lady Marielle Petersham, Duchess of Stonegreave usually died. Hence the ton dubbed her The French Duchess. Because of one indiscretion Marielle retired from society. Now, she must risk more than the censure of the ton. She must risk her life and everything she holds dear or more of her loved ones will die.
About Rue Allyn: Award winning author, Rue Allyn, learned story telling at her grandfather’s knee. (Well it was really more like on his knee—I was two.) She’s been weaving her own tales ever since. She has worked as an instructor, mother, sailor, clerk, sales associate, and painter, along with a variety of other types of employment. She has lived and traveled in places all over the globe from Keflavik Iceland (I did not care much for the long nights of winter.) and Fairbanks Alaska to Panama City and the streets of London England to a large number of places in between. Now that her two sons have left the nest, Rue and her husband of more than four decades (Try living with the same person for more than forty years—that’s a true adventure.) have retired and moved south.
When not writing, learning to play new games, (I’m starting to learn Bridge) and working jigsaw puzzles, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at contact@RueAllyn.com She can’t wait to hear from you.
What Rue likes best about the belles is their can-do spirit. This group isn’t afraid to try anything the publishing world can dish out. The only other place I’ve found such completely supportive energy is with my fellow sisters-in-arms, the RomVets.