I was advised of Ms. Mills death in a message from her assistant. I was on her client list & found her to be energetic, helpful, & enthusiastic. I was kept up to date on submissions, etc. I realize others have had totally different experiences, but mine was quite positive. I'll miss her. BTW, she no longer charged an up-front fee for 'office expenses.'
I tried to locate Melanies obit. I couldn't find it online. I hope this isn't a fraud. Could she have felt some heat? The phone is disconnected. I hate thinking this if she has passed away. However, who really knows much about her. She could support herself on all the fees she was bringing in. Her daughter was Lisa. Why didn't she continue the business? should someone investigate this agency?
I'm a bit skeptical of the death report. It's my impression, based on the info I've been receiving over the past 6 months or so, that Ms. Mills' agency was in trouble. If you think about it, you can see how reporting your own death might be easier than formally closing your business: no upset/angry authors to deal with, no humiliating explanations to provide. I do know of questionable agents who've used a claim of death to avoid clients and obligations.
I don't mean to sound cruel or hardhearted. If the report is true I'm very sorry for this tragic event, and my sympathies go out to Ms. Mills' family.
Victoria, I know you weren't a client of Melanie Mills, but I wonder how many of the postings have come from writers who were. I hate to see a reputation being bashed unless it's justified. I'll reserve judgement until someone can settle the debate one way or the other.
At first when I started to read this, I was all set and ready to be angry at this woman Melanie Mills. What we have here is half the ppl say she's bad other half say she's good. Then when we hear reports that she has been killed instead of expressing sympathy, we think she's faking it because an obit can't be found online. Did anyone ever stop to think that her assistant problem warned her family of the claims of her scamming. Now if she were my family, I wouldn't want to have it publized that she was killed!! Simply because they are dealing with the loss of her, and they have to contend with ppl that still question her ethics. Are we that mistrusting, and judgemental that we would still hold a person to ridiculous standards even after her death. Think if this was your family member how would you feel?? I know for me I'm going to be sure to say a prayer for her family today!
In response to betjam above, I was told that Lisa Mills and Melanie Mills were the same person. Melanie, told me this. She said she changed her name. This whole situation just seems to get more and more strange. I think it is very unfortunate that a death report has turned into another question about fraud, but given what we know from this board, there are still a lot of question marks. Melanie represented two of my books, neither published. As far as I know, my second book was only ever sent to one publisher in the course of a year. With my first book, she did submit it, but it was bundled with other books--a practice which I came to find out is considered unprofessional. She also edited my second book (at my insistence). She did show me a book that she had agented and gotten published, but asked me not to tell anyone who it was for the author's privacy. Part of me hopes that the death report really is false and that Melanie is starting over, perhaps with lessons learned for the better. At this point, I would just like some closure on what has to be a painful subject for many of us.
I understood that Lisa was Melanie's daughter. If it's true Lisa was an alternate name for Melanie, this is getting closer and closer to some of the wilder cases of questionable agent weirdness.
I too find the "for the author's privacy" thing bizarre. How can an agent's claim to have sold a book impinge on an author's privacy? The book is out there, or going to be, with the author's name on it--there's no privacy in that. For a lot of reasons, I'd really like to know the author and the title of the book--please feel free to e-mail me privately if you [email protected].
That old Martha Ivery thing - still good entertainment
For those of you who don't know about the topic listed two posts up, you can read that story here. Martha Ivery still holds the distinct title of being the most entertaining Warnings investigation we've ever done at WritersWeekly. See:
Melanie told me that Lisa was her daughter???
If she has passed. I'm sorry for her and her family. If she was a scam artist I'm sorry for all those who she took for their money. Many writers are struggling to be published. The time and money wasted if she wasn't for real is sad. Writers have hopes and dreams for their work
and it shouldn't be taken advantage of. Some may have given up. It's not only cruel, it's criminal.
I checked newspapers in her area nothing. I think sites like this help keep us aware.