***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** This post contains information about a previous story. If you haven’t read it, click here before reading on.
I jog to catch up to Yvette, calling out her name as she runs over the cobbled stones of town square, but her pace doesn’t slow until a paper flies from the stack she’s carrying.
“I’m sorry,” she says, panting lightly, “I don’t have time to talk, I need to be somewhere.”
“But we arranged to do your interview today.”
Her eyes bulge, a gulp sliding down her throat, “Was that today?”
She glances at the clock face in the tower at the center of the square. “An appointment is meant to be kept, but I have work to do, so follow me.” She jerks her head to the right and starts walking toward a small office supply store. “I need to have another couple of copies of my manuscript printed and bound, but my copier chose this morning to commit suicide.”
“Shouldn’t your publisher be doing that?”
She snorts. “I don’t have a publisher, yet. What I had, if you’ll recall, was a lunch with a publisher owner. He’s interested, but nervous because I’m a no-name.” Yvette goes to the counter and sets down her papers. “If you’ll give me a minute, I dropped these when I took them out of my car and now nothing is in order.” She drags a hand through her hair looking every bit as disheveled as her paperwork.
I browse the aisles until she’s ready.
“They’ll call my name over the sound system when my copies are ready. So, what would you like to know?”
“How did it feel when Delilah, the initial publisher you were talking to, turned you down?”
She takes a deep breath, puffing out her cheeks. “I don’t know how to explain it. Everyone told me to be ready for rejection letters, but to have someone I know be so brutally blunt with me, it was a shock to my spirit, my creativity, my ego. I don’t think there was any part of me that wasn’t affected because there isn’t any part of my book that doesn’t have me in it.”
“How did you meet, Delilah?”
“She’s a friend of my Mom’s. She’s the one who first pointed out my writing ability.” She laughs. “It was Halloween and I was seven. She showed my mom and dad a story I had written about a soul-sucking witch. My parents were horrified, but Delilah was impressed. She urged them to help me pursue writing and she’s read everything I’ve ever written.”
“What made you decide to keep trying instead of listening to her?”
She inches her shoulder toward her ears. “Maybe my stubborn streak, or maybe how much I love this book. Or maybe something about the situation just didn’t ring true to me.”
“Are you saying she lied?”
“No!” She adamantly shakes her head. “I know she was being honest, but something about her changed in the last few months. I think it was just time for us to part ways.”
“Do you think how she handled things was professional?”
“I’m not going into that. I’m not perfect enough to judge a word that came out of her mouth.” She stops walking, crosses her arms, and taps her foot. “I’m not going to speak negatively about anyone. If what you’re looking for is a salacious piece tearing down one of the most respected women in this town, then we can end this now.”
I take a deep breath and scratch a line through the next three questions on my note pad. “If you are offered a contract with Pages of Worth, will you take it, and why or why not?”
“If I’m offered a contract, I’ll have to read it and think about it. I’d be a fool to outright reject it without reason.”
“Even after how you were treated by one of their own?”
“I’m not answering that question.”
“Where do you want your career to go?”
“I want it to go beyond the edge of my ability, because that’s the only way to grow.”
“Final question: What would be your one piece of advice to other authors?”
“I’m not sure I know enough to be giving anyone advice, but I will say what I’m trying to learn. I need to believe in myself, and in my work. If someone doesn’t like what I’ve written, then it isn’t necessarily a strike against me. It just means what they’ve read wasn’t meant for them.”
Thank you all so much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this character interview, and I look forward to seeing you back next week for an all new story.