The writing club members are seated at their table in Alfie’s Coffee Shop.
Tina, the thriller writer, is unusually excited for a Writing Club night. Her sparkling eyes and huge grin catch everyone’s attention.
‘Do you want to go first with your update Tina?’ asks Matt, the Writing Club leader.
Tina lets out a little squeal causing Richard, the military history writer, to shift uncomfortably in his seat.
‘My book has gone live on Amazon!’ gushes Tina, clasping her hands together in front of her.
‘Congratulations!’ exclaims Matt giving her a clap.
‘Well done!’ says Moira, the romantic fiction writer, giving Tina a friendly pat on the shoulder.
‘You finally finished it then?’ asks Richard stirring his tea.
‘Yep my sequel is out there!’ exclaims Tina, pouring herself a celebratory cup of peppermint tea.
‘How long has it been since your first book?’ asks Darcy, the chick lit writer, in between eating an oat biscuit.
‘Three years’ says Tina, before taking a sip of her tea.
‘Well done Tina for getting it out there’ says Karl, the comedy writer, leaning back into his chair.
Richard is still stirring his tea. Moira nudges him to stop.
‘How’s the pre-launch book promotion gone?’ asks Stacey, the apocalyptic horror writer.
‘I haven’t really done much pre-launch promotion’ says Tina. ‘I tweeted a bit for a week or two but stopped as there was little point in carrying on.’
An awkward silence descends upon the Writing Club. The only sound that can be heard is Richard starting to stir his tea again.
Karl breaks the silence. ‘I think pre launch book promotion is so overrated’ he announces looking around the table.
Tina grins. ‘Me too Karl! My first self-published book got loads of five-star reviews’ she says quickly. ‘It’s only been three years. I am sure my readers will remember me!’
Richard stops stirring to scratch his balding grey head. ‘I can’t remember what happened last week let alone three years ago’ he says staring into space.
‘It will be fine Tina’ soothes Moira.
‘I know it will do well ‘ says Tina reaching in her bag to look at her phone. ‘No sales yet but once my readers see that I am back out there the reader floodgates will open!’
‘Are you planning on doing some more book promotion, to let them know you are back?’ asks Suzie looking at Tina, with a puzzled expression.
Tina pulls a face and laughs. ‘Oh no! I am done with promotion. I read somewhere that a good book sells itself!’ she says in a high-pitched voice.
Another awkward silence grips the Writing Club members. Moira taps Richard on the hand as he reaches out to resume stirring his tea.
Matt breaks the silence. ‘Will your readers be expecting a sequel?’ he asks looking at Tina.
Tina grins. ‘I didn’t mention anything about there being another book but I believe the readers of ‘Intrigue’ will have been waiting patiently for a sequel….’
‘For three short years’ interrupts Karl with a smile.
Tina ignores Karl and carries on enjoying her moment. ‘The reviews on my first book scream sequel’ she says, sitting back and grinning.
‘A lot can happen in three years’ says Richard settling back in his chair, stroking his beard and looking like he is about to launch into a lengthy reminiscing session. The sight of him starting to count the number of caravan holidays he and his wife have taken in three years makes Karl start to fidget.
‘Ok Stacey’ says Matt, ‘what’s your update?’ Karl flashes Matt a look of gratitude for moving on the conversation.
‘I hate all my reviewers’ hisses Stacey, stabbing her notebook with her pen.
‘Can we ask why?’ asks Karl, his eyes fix on her pen stabbing action and a look of fear spreads across his face.
‘They said my book is too gory’ says Stacey, her voice tinged with anger.
‘Too gory?’ asks Matt. ‘How blood thirsty is it?’ He stares at quiet looking Stacey, with her angelic face, long blonde hair and billowy floral dress.
‘I created some zombie cannibals’ she mumbles. ‘If you ask me they were pretty tame. My reviewers said they made them feel sick’ says Stacey continuing to stab her notebook.
Alfie hovers behind Stacey with her second coffee. On hearing her writing update he moves in and places her drink on the table.
‘Why don’t you write something nice and romantic?’ he asks, smiling at Stacey.
Her eyes grow dark and her face becomes shadowy. Alfie mumbles something, wipes his sweaty brow and scuttles to safety behind his counter. Karl slowly inches his chair away from Stacey.
‘Six caravan holidays, two hip operations and a new extension on the kitchen’ pipes up Richard.
‘Two hip operations. Gosh Richard that must have been hard for you’ says Moira turning to face Richard with a sympathetic look.
Richard smiles and leans back. ‘Moira let me explain’ he sighs.
‘I can’t believe there have been no sales yet’ says Tina staring gloomily at her phone.
‘Maybe you need to do some more book promotion’ asks Suzie, causing Tina to scowl.
‘As I said earlier Suzie, a good book sells itself’ says Tina folding her arms across her chest.
‘Obviously’ says Suzie quietly.
Karl leans across to whisper to Matt ‘it’s going to be a long night!’
More from The Writing Club next week. If you want to read other Writing Club stories please click here.
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