I’m back in Cynthia’s flat and the main characters from my very-soon-to-be-published novel are all staring at me. They don’t look happy.
“The book’s going to be out soon. Aren’t you pleased?” I say brightly.
Connor stares at the bottom of his empty wine glass then looks directly at me “We’re pleased that you’ve set the wheels in motion, so to speak.”
“Good.” I nod. “I’ll get the draft copy of the paperback around Easter.”
Connor looks around the room at his fellow characters. Cynthia nods at him.
“Well, Ms Hall, the thing is…”
Lucy interrupts. “We’re sorry,” she says, squeezing Pierre’s hand, “but we’re not really sure about the cover.” She smiles at me weakly.
“Oh?” I shake my head. “Have you any idea how long it took and how many versions of my beloved’s artwork I uploaded before we, or rather I, was happy?” I frown at them all. “I’m really pleased with it. It looks really…”
“Old-fashioned.” Gina interrupts.
I was going to say ‘retro’ actually. Like a Penguin Original.”
“But why a drawing?” Lucy says, fiddling with her long golden hair. “Why not a nice photo of all of us?”
“That’s, er, not going to be possible.” How do I tell them they don’t actually exist?
Another true-life story of an author and her characters 😉