I’ll preface this by saying I’ve been having more trouble with An Inconvenient Wife than any other book I’ve done in a long time. The beginning and middle were great, and then something very odd happened, and it involves the heroine’s sister. I’m not sure if I should marry her off to the jerk, Lord Hedwrett, or save her from him. Such a decision shouldn’t be hard. I typically just follow whatever seems right for the book, but in this case, I’m not sure what the characters want. So in an effort to figure it out, I’m bringing the heroine and her sister in for an interview. I thought I’d start off with Claire, the heroine.
Claire: Oh, I thought it might be fun to do something unexpected for once. I’m terribly predictable in the book, so this is my only chance to break free from the confines of my character.
Ruth: Okay. So are you saying you don’t like how the book is going?
Claire: I’m not sure. You’ve switched scenes around, deleted scenes, added scenes, mixed up subplots. I don’t even know what the story looks like anymore.
Ruth: Well, yes. You see, part of that is because I’m not sure what to do with your sister.
Ruth: Yes. It’s hard to know what to do with her.
Lilly: What’s so hard to know? Maybe I want my own book. Maybe I’m the kind of character who started out as a secondary character but who wants to be a main one. Maybe I want the limelight. Claire gets her book. Why can’t I get mine?
Ruth: Because I don’t know how to wrap up such a plot point in this book. I’m afraid if I go with it, it’ll be a dangling plot point, and I don’t like doing those. I like to make everything complete.
Lilly: But you already did that in Restoring Hope when Julia and Chogan didn’t end up together.
Ruth: But that was for the Native American Romance Series. I’m not making the Regency books a series. I’m making them a collection.
Lilly: *shrugs* And the difference is….?
Ruth: The difference is that a series implies you have to read the books in order, and I don’t want these book to be like that.
Lilly: That’s just silly. Just put a note at the end of An Inconvenient Wife and say you’ll write my story in the future. You don’t have to write it next. You’ve put off Bound by Honor, Bound by Love and Runaway Bride for a long time. I mean, you left things off in Brave Beginnings with Onawa ready to marry Citlali. And in Suddenly a Bride, you left the end of the book with Mark hitting on Lexie who was engaged to another man. All you did on those books was give a brief book description of the book where those characters would become main characters. That way, you let people know you weren’t finished with them.
Ruth: Yeah and those are books I’m writing next in those particular series. I wouldn’t write yours next. The next Regency I’m doing is Her Counterfeit Husband.
Lilly: Which can include me to some degree if I marry the jerk Lord Hedwrett in An Inconvenient Wife. You just need to weave it in.
Ruth: Sounds like you’re trying to hog space in my books.
Lilly: Hog space? Oh for heaven’s sakes! No one hogs more space than that idiot Dave Larson.
Ruth: Actually, Sally Johnson (aka Sally Larson in Her Heart’s Desire) ends up taking more spotlight time (overall) in the Nebraska Romance Collection.
Lilly: Hmm…. And you’re working on her book right now.
Ruth: But she never left me hanging.
Lilly: *groans* You’re impossible. Just leave a note at the end of An Inconvenient Wife and tell people you’ll write my book whenever I see fit.
Ruth: You mean when “I” see fit.
Lilly: That’s what I said.
Ruth: No, you said it as if you’re the one who decides it.
Lilly: That’s just crazy talk. I swear, you’re paranoid. We all know you’re in charge of all of your books.
Ruth: Then explain why you won’t let me finish An Inconvenient Wife.
Lilly: Your writer’s block has nothing to do with me. Maybe Claire doesn’t want to be with Lord Roderick. Maybe she wanted to be with Lord Clement after all.
Claire: No, I don’t.
Lilly: That’s not what you said in chapter three.
Claire: Well, things have happened since then.
Lilly: You finally decided it was fun to spend his money?
Claire: No, and I keep telling you there’s more to marriage than money.
Lilly: I can’t imagine what that might be. Look, Ruth. I’m not a deep character…yet. I’m very shallow. I think a title and money are the only things that matter. To me, the best a woman can do is go shopping all day long and let people admire her because she’s “Lady So and So” instead of “Miss So and So.” It’s simple. Then I make the tragic mistake of marrying a jerk who treats me like crap. That’s where you end An Inconvenient Wife. Then at some point in Her Counterfeit Husband, you show me getting a reality check. How can you do this? Simple. Lord Hedwrett will be friends with Lord Watkins (at least before he dies and is replaced with that lookalike who has amnesia). I have a heart to heart with the heroine of Her Counterfeit Husband where I realize I made a horrible decision to marry Hedwrett. I think the scene can be a real tear jerker if you word it right. Even Claire can show up if she has anything of interest to contribute to the plot–
Claire: *clears throat* I’m right here.
Lilly: Oh, sorry, Claire. Sometimes you’re so quiet it’s easy to forget you’re still in the room. No offense.
Claire: *rolls eyes*
Lilly: So then I come back in another book where Lord Hedwrett dies and I set out to marry the man who loved me but I rejected in An Inconvenient Wife. After some struggles on his end since he’ll resist me (for plot’s sake), I’ll get my happy ending. I’ve been brainstorming some titles. Let me know what you think. The One That Got Away, Lilly Gets Her Man, Second Chances….
Claire: Ick to all of the above.
Lilly: Okay. How about Marriage by Design? Maybe I trick him into it.
Claire: Which is the only way you could get him.
Lilly: Oh and like you didn’t need our father to cry “scandal” to get your husband!
Claire: And you ran right in to help him by suggesting I’d be ready to lose my virginity on the grass of all places. Can anyone say bugs and dirt? Ewe!
Lilly: Stop being dramatic. No one said you were ready to take your clothes off or anything. We just said you were “intimately entwined” with him.
Claire: Like there’s a difference.
Lilly: There is.
Claire: Sometimes I can’t stand you. You twist things in such a way that makes you innocent when you’re really manipulative.
Lilly: You’re jealous because I know what I want and am not afraid to go after it.
Ruth: No fighting on the blog, guys.
Claire: Well, she started it.
Lilly: Did not.
Claire: Did too.
Ruth: Enough! Alright, Lilly. I’ll think about doing your book, but if I do it, there won’t be a happy ending for you in An Inconvenient Wife.
Claire: Works for me. And take as long as you need before giving her one in An Inconvenient Sister.
Lilly: You’re so funny, I forgot to laugh.
Claire: That’s so cliché.
Ruth: It’s time to go. Books don’t write themselves, and I’ll be doing good to make my word count in Her Heart’s Desire and Bound by Honor, Bound by Love.
Claire: Because you already made your word count in my book, right?
Ruth: Nope. I haven’t written more than 100 words in your book today because your sister has been giving me grief.
Lilly: Grief or fresh ideas? Seriously, I’m only trying to help.
Ruth: Whatever. I’m off to write. *walks away*
Claire: You better not mess up my book, Lilly.
Lilly: Mess it up or make it better?
Claire: I don’t know what Mister Morris sees in you. If he was smart, he’d run as far away from you as possible.