Today I received this letter from Lady Roderick (heroine from An Inconvenient Wife) in my inbox:
Dear Ms. Nordin,
I quit. I will not partake in the travesty of the book you called An Inconvenient Wife. If anything, it should be called An Inconvenient Husband because that idiot you paired me up with has been a royal pain in the you-know-what ever since you introduced me to him. He’s self-important, stubborn, and negligent.
I could be in a thriller, running from danger at every turn. I could be solving the mystery of who killed someone’s aunt. Or I could be in an actual romance where the hero isn’t a jerk. I have talent. I’m a great character with lots of potential, but unless I have an author who can give me a plot to reach that potential, I’m wasting my time.
Really, what I’m saying is “Take this book and shove it.”
Very annoyed you’ve chosen me to be in An Inconvenient Scribble by An Inconvenient Author,
Miss Claire Lowell (soon to be renamed and given to another author’s book)
Ruth: Well, this is the thanks I get for spending the past week agonizing on where I went wrong in this book. I knew something was off and had been brainstorming what I could do to correct this problem. I ran through a couple of scene swaps and subplot changes, and yesterday, I finally nailed it down and have put the story back on track. I went through all that aggravation and turn around to get this email in my inbox.
Claire: Aggravation? How much aggravation can it be to make me miserable? I’ve been spending an entire month at Lord No-Where-to-be-Found’s estate, and you are aggravated? You have a lot of nerve! When I signed up to partake in this ridiculous book, I don’t recall “dying of boredom” among the plot points. You don’t know aggravation until you’ve spent a bunch of rainy days stuck indoors without anyone to talk to while you scribble pictures of flowers that resemble something that a kindergartener did. What am I? So stupid that I don’t know when to quit something I’m bad at?
Ruth: Oh come on, Claire. It’s actually funny that you keep drawing even though you’re bad at it.
Claire: If it’s so funny, then why am I not laughing?
Ruth: Because you don’t have a sense of humor?
Claire: Ha, ha. Such wit. *rolls eyes* Remind me to nominate you for comedian of the year.
Ruth: You’re too impatient for things to get better between you and Lord Roderick.
Claire: They won’t get better.
Ruth: Sure they will. It’s a romance novel. The first rule in romance is the happy ending.
Claire: I can make it a happy ending. A simple game of fencing gone wrong. I slip and kill him. Then I marry someone who knows how to treat me like I deserve to be treated.
Dave Larson: I’m glad you’re speaking up, Claire. It’s about time someone besides me took a stand. Ruth’s been abusing us far too long. She doesn’t listen to us. We’ve had to do all sorts of stupid things to make her happy for the sake of “creative license” she “employs” as an author.
Ruth: What are doing here? This isn’t your book. It’s not even your series!
Dave: Justice knows no limits, Ruth. I’m standing up for the rights of your characters in all the series you’re writing. I’m working on the Characters for Better Treatment Union. I’m calling it CBTU for short. Claire, would you like to be the first to sign up?
Dave: Great. Let me put you down.
Ruth: I can’t believe this. Dave, I’ve been patient with you. If there’s anyone who should be creating a union, it’s me after all the crap you’ve been pulling. You’re always coming on my blog (which is my personal space, by the way) to whine about something I’m doing, and then you give me a list of demands when I write your books. You’ve called out for a boycott on my books twice, and now you’re creating a union? I’ve humored you up to this point, but now I’m putting my foot down. I can stop writing Forever Yours.
Claire: If I call for a boycott and a union, will you stop writing An Inconvenient Bore, too?
Ruth: No. What you’re not telling everyone is that you were the one who had a hand in creating the plot to your book. I didn’t pick you; you picked the book you were going to be in. All I do is come up with the plots. It’s you characters who jump in to tell me how the book is going to go, and for some reason, you weren’t happy when I wrote the original version of An Inconvenient Wife. You mandated that I go back and add some scenes because you thought it was unbelievable that you and your husband would fall in love that quickly.
Claire: Oh yeah. That was a bit rushed. I mean, the guy’s a total jerk in the first part of the book, and I have one decent conversation with him and am expected to sleep with him? I’m not cheap. He’s going to have to earn the right to sleep with me.
Ruth: And since I’m doing what you wanted, you’re giving me a resignation letter?
Claire: When you put it like that, it does sound like I’m being unreasonable.
Dave: Ugg! Claire, don’t you see what she’s doing? She’s twisting things around so that you’ll do what she wants. She’s making it sound like your grievances with the book are all your ideas. Don’t fall for it like my brothers do.
Claire: Well, I did want more to happen before Lord Roderick went to the gazebo with me.
Ruth: Lord Roderick has a very good reason for being away so much. He has a lot of debt to clear up that his brother accumulated before he died. You can’t begrudge him for leaving you to yourself for a month, and you don’t know what really happened on your wedding night because you were drunk. If you knew what happened and why, you wouldn’t be calling your husband a jerk.
Dave: Don’t listen to her, Claire. You said that you’re stuck with a stubborn, self-important, and negligent husband.
Ruth: Hmm… Stubborn and self-important. That sounds a lot like that hero in Eye of the Beholder and To Have and To Hold.
Dave: See what I mean, Claire? She twists everything to serve her agenda. The important thing is, do you really want to be with Lord Roderick?
Claire: Well, there was that really nice time he and I shared in the gazebo once we worked through our problems. He was sort of sweet.
Dave: A temporary lapse. I’m sure the guy’s a jerk through the rest of the book.
Claire: No, not really. He did agree to have my sister come for a visit even though he didn’t like her husband.
Claire: I’ve decided I’ll stay in this story, Ruth. Disregard my letter.
Ruth: Dave, I’ve had enough of this. I’m going to take care of that ego of yours when I write Forever Yours.
Dave: Whatever you have planned for me, it won’t work. I’ll give you writer’s block.
Ruth: I’ll push through that writer’s block. Even if the book turns out to be a total dud, you’re getting an attitude adjustment so you won’t come to my blog spouting off about boycotts and unions anymore. You’re going down, Dave. You’re going down.