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Prompts:

1. So this is how it ends

2. Scheduled for release on September 27

3. Snotty bitch

BEGIN WRITING:

“So this is how it ends?” I wasn’t just sure I was taking it all in. My agent laughed and shook her head.

“No, silly. This is where it all begins. Your book is scheduled for release on September 27th, but you and I have a whole lot to accomplish before then if you want big sales.”

I’d found Kathryn Adams, Author’s Agent, on Craigslist, so I’d never expected much help from her, but here we were, launching a work that had been sitting hidden in the back of my mind for years.

“I still can’t believe it, Kathy,” I told her. “Who would think any publisher would go for this stuff, especially after you changed the title.”

She almost giggled—she was that kind of woman—but somehow managed to paste on her professional face. “I did tell you, you know. The Girl in the Red Dress (which had been my own choice) “just doesn’t have the pulling power of Delilah Frobisher, Snotty Bitch.

The funny thing is, my Delilah Frobisher stories weren’t really meant for the Snotty Bitch audience, at least not the way I’d originally written them. I always saw Delilah as a smart but misunderstood young woman, and figured that my ideal audience would be that rather amorphous “Young Adult” bunch, which I pictured at teenage girls who didn’t quite know about bitches. Kathy had set me straight in a hurry.

“Everyone over the age of six understands about bitches,” she said. “What’s more, at least a third of those start working hard to become one as soon as they get their first bras. All we did in revisions was update the stories a little bit.”

We, in this case, meant Kathy herself and an editor who happened to be her cousin, also named Kathy. The two of them had taken my sweet, innocuous little short stories and transformed them into what they hoped—what we all hoped—would be a best-seller. I’d finally shrugged and agreed that whatever it took to put my name, or at least my pen name, on that elite list was what we needed to do. It might take a while, but I could hardly wait to see Delilah Frobisher, Snotty Bitch under B & N banners all over town.

PENCILS DOWN

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