Sweaty palms, racing heartbeat. It’s my first blog and I’m terrified I’ll do it wrong. That you’ll look at these few paragraphs, turn up your nose and move on to someone more exciting, more experienced, more adept. But I’ve been assured by everyone from my writing friends to my esteemed agent that I need to blog. So here goes.
Imagine a fancy conference room with a long walnut table and thick carpet. Four dark-suited executives are lined up on either side. At the head of the table is a frowning man with his hands steepled on the table in front of him.
“So Ms. Ashley, tell us what you write.”
My tongue feels as sticky as flypaper. I clear my throat and reach for the sweating glass of water beside my hand. “Speculative fiction.”
One of the men between me and the questioner leans forward. “Fantasy? Dystopian?”
I shake my head. “It’s set in the real world. Current time.”
A woman raises a hand and all heads swivel in her direction. “Does your novel contain superheroes?”
More of the dark suits wear frowns now. I’m losing them. I can’t lose them. “I think of it as X-Men meets Swiss Family Robinson.”
The suits exchange glances. The frowns are gone now, replaced by something else. Curiosity? Have I reached them?
“An ambitious concept, Ms. Ashley.” The boss folds his lips together for a moment before continuing. “Are you sure you have the talent to write this series?”
Acid burns its way up my throat. I wish I had an antacid. Or that I’d never dared come here at all. I shake my head and look down at my hands. “I’ll need lots of help.”
“And where do you expect to get such help?”
I know the answer to this question. I look up and smile at him. “From my readers.”
A gasp echoes around the room. All the suits are shaking their heads now. But not the boss. His stern expression softens. “You think they’ll give you the input you need?”
My nod is emphatic. My glasses slip down my nose and I push them back to the bridge. “I believe in them.”