7.34 p.m. I have locked myself away in my attic for a few weeks. It is part of an intensive programme of book research for my new novel.
I want to get inside my main character’s head. She is held prisoner in an attic and I want to experience what that is like and feed into my book.
It has been a week since Keith, my boyfriend, performed a mock kidnap on me in Tesco’s car park and bundled me into our attic.
His brief is to turn into Frank, the evil kidnapper in my story. He has to:
– Keep me prisoner.
– Act moody and sullen. (Should not be too hard for Keith).
– Keep my confidence levels low by making stinging remarks about me.
My brief is to turn into Vivian, my main character. I have to:
– Act terrified and lonely
– Look grubby, wear no makeup but look naturally beautiful throughout.
– Find my inner strength.
– Seduce my evil captor (Keith doesn’t know this yet), overthrow him in a dramatic fashion and escape (he doesn’t know this either).
Keith opens the attic door carrying two cups of steaming tea and a plate of biscuits.
He sits down at the end of my makeshift bed.
“How is the book coming along?” he asks, before taking a slurp of tea.
“It is going really well!” I squeal, clapping my hands. “I have been working hard on promoting it via social media” I explain, before letting out a little sigh of contentment.
“So you’ve written it?’ asks Keith, with raised eyebrows and a gaping mouth.
“In my head” I say, tweeting a little book teaser.
“Do you think it’s a bit early to start promoting it?” asks Keith, biting on a biscuit.
I exhale loudly and reach for a biscuit.
“Last night I sent a heads up email to a literary agent. You have to strike whilst the literary iron is hot Keith!” I announce proudly.
I watch as Keith chokes on his ginger snap.
“The literary iron hasn’t been turned on yet by the sounds of it” he says. in between chokes and wiping his streaming eyes.
“And what is wrong with alerting a literary professional that something amazing will soon be coming their way Keith?” I ask.
“Tina your book isn’t written” argues Keith, making me reach for another biscuit.
“Low level detail” I say, smiling as my teaser tweet is re-tweeted.
“Better get back downstairs then” he says, getting to his feet.
“Before you go Keith I need you to do a bit of literary role play with me” I say, opening up my email.
There has been no reply from the literary agent I emailed. It is likely they are still in shock after reading what I had to say about my new novel.
“Erm….I need to be going downstairs…I have to dash!” he says scurrying for the door.
“Keith!” I bark making him jump. “I cannot stop visualising the literary agent responding to my email. Can we just run through how I am going to react when they reach out to me?” I gush.
I watch Keith groan and shuffle back to the bed. He plonks himself down and exhales loudly.
“Ok, you can be the literary agent and I will play myself” I say, bobbing up and down with excitement.
Keith sits and stares at me.
“Well go on then!” I cry, “ask me anything!”
“Why did your self published book series fail?” asks Keith, giving me his serious face.
I let out a little yelp. I would have preferred a ‘tell me about your new book’ type question but I can’t have everything in life.
“The book covers could have been better!” I snap, “poor choice in book cover was the reason no one bought it!”
“For the entire series?” questions Keith.
“For goodness sake this is not how the conversation with the literary agent goes in my head!” I exclaim.
“Ok I have another question. Do you think you should spend less time on social media and more time on writing?’ asks Keith.
I gasp loudly.
“I am a writer Keith, writing and social media go hand in hand. When one is not writing they are tweeting and when one is not tweeting they are writing!” I say.
“Can I go now?” asks Keith.
“We are just getting started. Now why don’t you ask me something about my new book?’ I say giving him a little pout and twirling a piece of hair seductively around my fingers. I keep forgetting I am Vivian and not Tina.
“Is your book finished?” asks Keith.
9.09 p.m. Jot down some key thoughts about how I feel after Keith’s stinging questions.
10.56 p.m. Lie in bed and recall the end of the mock conversation with the literary agent (a.k.a Keith). It was my favourite part: seeing him on his knees begging me to send him my novel.