I had to call in Joel Larson today because of the stunt he pulled late last night while I was writing Shotgun Groom. As it turns out, today he was being just as obstinate so I dragged him in for an interview. So, here’s my conversation with Joel…
Ah ha! I got you, Ruth!
So you did. You do realize, however, the story isn’t even halfway over.
Are you kidding me? There’s no way you can proceed with this book. I’m being a total jerk. I’m supposed to be a hero, but I’m not acting like a hero. Your readers are going to hate me, and that means you’ll get emails full of complaints about how you disappointed them. You’re known for having sweet heroes. If you go through with this book, you’ll ruin your reputation. And that is just one way to kill you in the 101 Ways to Kill an Author book I’m reading.
Oh, you’re not a jerk. You’re only being a jerk because you hope April and Sep will haul you into town and drop you off so you can get out of marrying her.
That’s not true. I really am a jerk. I bragged on myself. Then I spilled lemonade on the table and tracked snow into the house on purpose!
Eh, minor things.
Minor? Are you kidding me? My ma would’ve had my hide if I did that on purpose when I was growing up.
As I recall at the very end of my writing session today on Shotgun Groom, April just dumped a bucket of cold water on you for being the “jerk,” so she got even with you.
Yes, and you stopped it right at that instant. Why didn’t you keep going?
Because my kid came home from school and I had to get him off the bus. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, you might be acting like a jerk in the only way a Larson male could, but deep down, you’re not a jerk.
You don’t know me. I can keep being a jerk. All through the book, too! Why, you just watch. I’ll give April’s kid syrup and let her run through the house with it!
Oh yeah, you’re a real dangerous guy, Joel. 😛 Remind me that I shouldn’t let you at a pair of scissors while you go by the curtains in the parlor.
Hey, are you laughing at me?
Okay. So you threw me for a loop last night when you accused April of flirting with you in chapter one. That wasn’t part of the plan, but you decided to steer off course from the storyline. You were acting like your ego was bigger than the house. But you underestimate me, Joel. I’ve been at this writing thing for a long time, and I’ve come across surprises before. I’ve already figured out what I’m going to do to get even with you for this.
Really? Bring it! I dare you. There are 100 more ways to kill an author that I haven’t tackled yet. This book is going down!
You know what your problem’s going to be?
A crazy author who insists on writing romances all the time and picked me as her latest victim?
Okay. So you have two big problems. However, I was thinking of April. She’s not going to tolerate your “jerkish” behavior, and guess what?
You’ll like that about her.
I will not!
You know what your greatest weakness is?
The fact that you created me?
No, silly. Your greatest weakness is that you’re driven to help people. That’s why you became a doctor’s assistant.
I don’t want to help anyone out enough to marry her.
No, of course not. I’ll have to force that one. The book is called Shotgun Groom for a good reason. You’re going to learn some things about April and Sep after you get married that will make you understand why they’re forcing you into this marriage.
I seriously doubt that.
Well, it’s true. And just so you know, it does have to do with that third bedroom with the door that always stays shut. I know you’ve been wondering about it, and yes, it plays a part in the book. It’s not the main reason why you’ll want to protect April and Sep, but I expect it to be one of those moments that will make your stance on not finishing the book crumble to the ground. You’re not as much of a jerk as you think. Nice try though. I admit you threw me off guard last night, but I’m bouncing back and you’ll find I can counteract whatever you got planned. So as you said, bring it on!
(At this point, my kid needed me so I had to end the interview.)