Saturday, April 7, 2012

Valentine's Day, Shakespeare, and Salvation's Release

Me: Hi, Beth.

She looks up from her own manuscript. There are about fifty pages (and a pen) in her hand and stacks of papers all over the table, but none on the floor. A definite achievement for Beth.

Beth: Hello.

Me: Umm. I have news.

She adjusts the grip on her pages.

Beth: Must not be good, or you’d be talking to Salva first.

Me: Why would you say that?

Beth: Because he’s cares about being first. And he’s stubborn. And can go for days without talking if he’s in a foul mood.

Me: A bit of an exaggeration. Don’t you think?

She’s gives me a doubtful look.

Me: OK, maybe you’re right. So I have news. And maybe you could help me share it with him?

Her pen falls to the table.

Me: The release date for Salvation has been changed. Again.

Her jaw drops.

Me: It’s been moved to January 2013.

The papers fly everywhere.

Me: (lifting my arms to avoid the spray) It’s not my fault! I swear. I submitted on time.

She sputters.

Beth: Anne, we worked our tails off so that you could have that first submission done. A year-and-a-half ago.

Me: Yes, Beth.

Beth: And then we worked straight through last spring for the second submission. Even though that’s our busiest time of year.

Me: I know.

Beth: I missed Senior Prom.

Me: You missed the prom for other reasons.

Beth: This is so unfair.

Me: It isn’t bad news. Your book is going to be the only original story released by Penguin in January.

Beth: Uh huh.

Me: Which means it will get more attention than if it was competing with something else.

Beth: We have Salva. Mr. All-State Quarterback. He can totally handle competition.

Me: Also, this means Salvation will come out when readers still have Christmas gift cards.

Beth: Are you kidding me? If I had a Christmas gift card, I’d spend it the day after Christmas.

Me: That’s because you’d lose the card otherwise.

Beth: (grudgingly) I might.

Me: And the best part . . . (I bend down and start picking up her pages)

Beth: Yes?

Me: Your story will be coming out the month before Valentine’s Day!

Beth: Right.

Me: Which means Salva will be in a good mood.

Beth: (glaring) As opposed to how he’s going to react to this news.

I hand her back her pages.

Me: An exceptionally good mood.

Beth: How exceptional? Are we talking chocolate?

Me: I think chocolate is a little mundane for Salva.

Beth: Flowers?

Me: Flowers in February are kind of expensive.

Beth: Shakespeare?

Me: Shakespeare will definitely be in order.

Beth: (giving a long dreamy sigh) I’ll tell him.