I had a fit and then everyone lived happily ever after
I got frustrating news from my literary agent today. Understandably, I think, that puts me in a pissy funk for the rest of the day.
Ava tried to make it better, really she did. She agreed I had the right to be crabby. She made what she thought were helpful suggestions. I didn’t agree with her, loudly and with much attitude until she stopped. I guess she finally sensed that I wasn’t going to be agreeable with anything.
I wasn’t. I write historical romance. At this point, I think I could be the best, most magnificent historical writer in the entire history of publishing and editors would still be too terrified to take risks right now. Historical isn’t selling, they tell me. That’s four frustrating years of pulling words out of my head to craft these books I’m quite proud of to absolutely no avail. I don’t write this stuff for my own pleasure, although I do enjoy writing very much.
I write to be a successful writer. I hope to get the hell out of corporate banking. Actually any banking or any corporate. OUT. I want out. I don’t have delusions about a million dollar book deal or anything. My delusions are much more attainable.
It’s just that on days like today my “attainable” seems quite delusional indeed.
I decided that I’m writing the wrong thing and, in a fit of pique, I threatened not to finish the current book I’m writing – book 3 that finishes my trilogy.
That frustrated Ava. “That’s just stupid.”
“Why?” I wanted to know. “There is still easily six months work left on that book. What the hell is the point? I should stop and write something that’s going to sell. Like contemporary.”
“You don’t want to write contemporary,” she insisted.
“I want to write something that sells,” I yelled at her.
The conversation continued on in this vein for quite some time. My “voice” would work very well in contemporary novels. I’m funny. Funny works. I’m not even exactly sure what her point was, but her words were irritating.
At lunch I wanted to go to the church and look at the new releases and wallow in the fact that my books are not there and don’t seem to be showing up anytime soon.
Our bickering picked up right where we left off. “You don’t want to write this crap,” she said and thrust a book with an admittedly bland cover at me.
“How do you know it’s crap?” I asked. “You’ve admitted over and over you don’t read the genre. Someone, somewhere does. Lot’s of someones since it’s the #1 selling genre every time they run the numbers.”
She didn’t have an argument for that, yet she continued poking the bear.
“Here,” she read the blurb of a book I’ve seen many times, not read, but been intrigued by because the story sounds very funny. “You could write this. Why haven’t you been writing this?” she demanded.
Now keep in mind that we’re in the Barnes & Noble having this loud discussion, shoving books at each other and generally being obnoxious. What else is new, you’re thinking.
“BECAUSE I’ve spent the last four years of my life writing ‘brilliant, funny’ prose THAT NO ONE IS BUYING!” I yelled at her. Another patron snorted and turned her face so I couldn’t see her laughing. Oh, but I saw. I SAW.
It was then that a third deep voice boomed over the shrillness of ours. “Hey, keep it down in the bookstore, ladies!”
Ava immediately shut her trap, feeling both chastised and afraid that we were finally going to be thrown out of the church for good. I, however, was in no mood. It had been a crappy day and I was all fired up because Ava was being a horse’s ass. I turned to throw the man a look my mother has named “the pirate look”, the look that says, in no uncertain terms, that you should run away because I will cut you.
Only it turns out it was an old acquaintance of ours from a previous bank. He was delighted to see us and I had to pull back my claws because seeing him was so unexpected and not awful. He wanted to know what we were up to and I told him, duh, fighting in book stores.
So, to recap, we’re still welcome in B&N, my snit will run its course by tomorrow, I’ll finish book 3 because I always complete my projects, and I think I’m going to start thinking about a plot for a contemporary.
And I was so irritated with Ava by the end of the day, I just wanted to slap the shit out of her.
Ava has been forbidden to read whatever contemporary I write. Ever.
That’ll teach her.
Where have you had the best public fight? Better yet, where have you been thrown out of? A bar? A country club? What were you doing? Dish!