Ada Wilcox is one of the heroines in the Bride by Arrangement anthology. I wrote her story in “The Purchased Bride” novella. Janet Syas Nitsick wrote Opal Preston’s story in “She Came By Train.” Both of these novellas are in Bride by Arrangement.
Today, Ada wanted to come in to talk to me, so I thought I’d bring her on this blog (because it’s always more fun when the characters express their grievances in public).
Ada: I have every right to be upset.
Ruth: I didn’t say you didn’t. I just don’t understand why you want to swap places with Opal when you have a perfectly good plot in my story.
Ada: My plot sucks.
Ruth: You’re a mail-order bride. You’re going to get married. Opal isn’t.
Ada: You’re right. She isn’t. She’s going to be a governess. That’s much better than being sold by my idiot brother to some man I never met. I mean, what kind of man has to purchase a bride? What could possibly be wrong with him? There are so many horrible things that can happen. Give the role to Opal instead.
Ruth: Opal isn’t my character. She belongs to Janet.
Ada: Great. Then send me Janet’s email and I’ll ask her to let me be in Opal’s place.
Ruth: But I don’t have a role for Opal in my story. I only have a role for you.
Ada: My role sucks.
Ruth: No, it doesn’t. I don’t give sucky roles to my characters. Besides, Opal’s going to have her problems to deal with. It’s not all sunshine and fluffy clouds for her either.
Ada: Oh right. Her big ordeal is that she has to choose between two men who are vying for her affection. I can see how awful that is. *rolls eyes* I don’t know why you couldn’t have been as awesome as Janet and given me that kind of plot instead.
Ruth: Because it’s no fun to read the same story.
Ada: It wouldn’t be the same story.
Ruth: But it would be the same plot in the same anthology. And really, you should be happy. Do you even know how many people love mail-order bride stories?
Ada: But those mail-order brides agreed to be one. My brother arranged everything behind my back, took me to a train station, and told me I was going to get married.
Sam: Oh, Ada, it wasn’t as bad as you say.
Ada: I know. It was worse. No one can understand how awful it is to find out you’re brother sold you to a complete stranger.
Sam: I realize it looks bad, especially with the way you reacted to it.
Ada: How else am I supposed to react?
Sam: A couple of tears is fine but crying nonstop and telling me I’m ruining your future…
Ada: You are ruining my future. Marriage is a lifelong commitment. You’ve bound me to someone I know nothing about.
Sam: I’m giving you your best chance.
Ada: I don’t believe that’s up to you.
Sam: It was back in 1876. What kind of life do you think you’d have otherwise? You have no men coming around to court you–
Ada: Thank you so much for saying that in front of the entire world. Now everyone’s going to think I’m a loser.
Sam: No one is going to think that you’re a loser. If anything, they’re going to think I’m a jerk because of the way I was portrayed. I mean, is anyone going to emphasize the fact that I’m the only one left to try to put food on the table and keep the rent paid for our brothers and sister who are too young to work? No. They’re only going to see me through your point of view and as we can see, that’s not a very pleasant one.
Ada: You’re no hero, Sam. You didn’t ask me if I wanted to be a mail-order bride. You just told me I was going to be one. And not only that, but you sold me. You gave me up for some money. I have every right to be angry with you.
Sam: It wasn’t the way you make it sound, and sadly, I don’t think anyone who reads the story will truly understand the situation as it really was. If anyone should be upset, it’s me.
Opal: And here I thought having a snake slither over my feet and a boy put a frog in my pocket were going to be rough. After hearing all this, I need to send my author, Janet, a bouquet of flowers for being so nice to me.
Ada: You know, now that I think about it, being a mail-order bride isn’t so bad. It can be romantic even. We should trade places. I don’t mind unruly kids or creepy crawlies.
Opal: Nice try, Ada, but I’m perfectly happy with my story. It’ll all work out. You just have to trust that Ruth knows what she’s doing.
Ruth: Thank you, Opal.
Opal: Even if she doesn’t know how to put her characters in historically authentic clothing.
Opal: Got to go. The kids need their lessons. Historically authentic, of course. *leaves before Ruth can reply*
Sam: ID 31290998 © Racorn | Dreamstime.com
Opal: ID 18978921 © Konradbak | Dreamstime.com