Baby steps lead to run for success

Most careers build step-by-step. Author and blogger Anne R. Allen writes in Los Osos. In 2011, her career was like an oil gusher, percolating, even surface bubbling, until her drilling launched the boom spewing black gold.

Allen hasn’t pocketed the gold, but realized a writer’s dream. She had seven books published in three weeks, and 2012 looks promising.

“It’s a long journey. Learn to enjoy all the stages of the journey,” Allen said.

Back in the ’80s, her day job was house matron for Patio Playhouse in Escondido. During her off time, she wrote fiction and looked for an agent and publisher.

She thought she’d made it when Bantam Books wanted to sign her. With edits to complete pre-publication, she moved to the Central Coast. Alas, four months later the deal fell through and her agent dropped her.

To put food on the table, she landed a 30-week episodic serial with New Times, a murder mystery based on the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce tourism theme “Coming up for Air.”

She continued to submit to literary magazines. One rejection came with an offer to forward her work to a publisher.

This was it, she thought. Sherwood Ltd., which later became one of her titles, optioned her two books, “Food for Love” and “The Best Revenge” with a liberal advance and an offer to live in Lincolnshire, England.

“I had a cubby in a big old factory overlooking the River Trent, stayed three years, but the boss was not a businessman. One day he sailed off never to be seen again. Both books were published, but ‘Revenge’ was not distributed and both were soon out of print.”

She didn’t give up. She read everything to achieve. “Build a platform,” they’d say.

Her Blog “Anne R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris: Writing About Writing Mostly” had 3,000 readers within six months and she won the chance to guest blog with former agent Nathan Bransford. Her readership grew.

After two decades of work, success arrived. Allen finished her book with Catherine Ryan Hyde. “How to be a Writer in the E-Age and Keep Your E-Sanity,” has been accepted for e-books and paper by Mark Williams, International Digital Publishing.”

Les Smith of Popcorn Press published “Food for Love” and “The Best Revenge,” and Mark Williams picked up her backlist for e-books: “Sherwood Ltd.,” “Gatsby Game,” “Ghost Writers in the Sky” and “Cowboys and Wine Tasting.” And she was invited to appear in two anthologies.

Find all seven on Amazon or at Los Osos’ Volumes of Pleasure.

“I’ve learned much about being a writer. You need to know as much about marketing as how to use a comma.”

Reach Judy Salamacha at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.