The first person to add a comment to my post on the May Writers' Group pointed out the similarity between the fulsome solicitations writers have been receiving from this supposedly brand-new agency, and the equally smarmy solicitations sent out by Michele Glance Rooney, a fee-charging, track recordless literary agent featured on Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Agency List and in several entries on this blog.
Given the name of the mysterious agency's equally mysterious owner, Shelly May (Michele Rooney has used the nickname Shelly in some of her solicitations), and the agency's Michigan address, which isn't present on its website or in its solicitations, but is revealed to writers who respond to its email (Michele Rooney is a Michigan resident), it seemed like a reasonable guess.
Turns out it's more than that.
On a tip from a helpful Writer Beware reader, I visited the Business Name Search page of the Oakland County, Michigan government website, and plugged "May Writers Group" into the Business Name box. I clicked on the resulting link, and here's what came up:
MAY WRITERS GROUP, 32667 HAVERFORD, FRANKLIN, MI 48025
File Date: 06/15/2007
Expires On: 06/14/2012
Oakland County File Number: 200704543
Type: Assumed Name
First Name: ROONEY
Last Name: MICHELE
There you have it.
This is the first time we know of that Ms. Rooney has used an actual alias. It's not, however, the first time she has changed the name of her business. If you plug her name into the Owner Name box on the search page, a whole slew of registered businesses comes up:
- CREATIVE CONCEPTS LITERARY AGE (File Date: 02/02/1998. End Date: 02/02/2003)
- CREATIVE EDITING SVC (File Date: 07/02/1998. End Date: 07/01/2003)
- CREATIVE LITERARY AGENCY (File Date: 12/03/1998. End Date: 12/02/2003)
- MAY WRITERS GROUP (File Date: 06/15/2007. End Date: 06/14/2012)
- SIMPLY NONFICTION (File Date: 11/12/2004. End Date: 11/11/2009)
Missing from this roster is the Michele Glance Rooney Literary Agency, which is the name most often associated with the complaints we've received over the past couple of years, and, interestingly, the only one apart from May Writers' Group to have a website.
If anyone is wondering how agents make it onto WB's Thumbs Down list...well, this is a good demonstration. I'm off to update the list. Again.