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“You either have a very distorted memory of what happened or you sincerely want to hate me,” she said. “I emailed you all the time. You stopped answering me. I called you every day for months and you didn’t pick up once, so of course, I stopped. You needed time to get over it, I figured, but I never stopped fighting for you, Gillian.” She looked genuinely hurt. “I’ve sold the rights to your first book in several countries. I’ve sent excerpts of it to magazines whenever I thought it would be a good fit, and I still have your unclaimed royalty checks in my desk drawer. I’ve mailed you the notices repeatedly, but you haven’t answered one in years.

I stared at her.

“I told you from the very beginning that I would never quit on you, that I believed in you, no matter what, and I do not deserve to be talked to like that. Ever. How would you feel if that pilot you’re dating talked to you that way?”

“Upset. Wait...” I paused. “How do you know about him?”

“Good question.” She smiled and pulled a folder from her bag. “That’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about today. But first, I want you to look at this.” She slid the folder to me. “It’s a book deal. North American rights only, so you would retain all foreign rights and you’d be able to sell those as you want.”

I stared at the file, not wanting to open it. The state of publishing was even worse today than it was back then. No one new received more than a couple thousand for an advance these days.

“What’s the advance this time?” I asked. “Seven dollars?”

“Close.” She sipped her tea. “Seven figures.”


“See for yourself.”

I immediately flipped the folder open and read the top sheet.

There it was in black and white: A two million dollar offer for North American rights to some book I’d never written or even mentioned.

“What the hell is Turbulence?” I asked.

“Your blog posts.” She smiled. “I’ve been following you from the beginning. You’ve got about one hundred thousand words of material to work with already.”

What the ... “You’re KayTROLL?”

“Yes, very nice to ‘meet’ you in person. Well, again. Now, if you’re interested in taking this deal, you’ll have to change the—”

“No, no. no.” I interrupted her. “That was you leaving all those rude-ass comments all this time? Following my sex-life? Saying things that you knew would hurt my feelings?”

“First of all, you decided to blog about your sex life. I didn’t force you. Second, are you really going to sit there and talk to me about hurting someone’s feelings?”

“You once wrote “You’re a slut,” in the comments.”

“No,” she said, smiling. “I said that you were ‘behaving’ slutty—which you were. Big difference.”

“You said I needed to grow the fuck up.”

“You did.” She smiled again. “And from what I’ve been reading over the past few years, you have. But if we’re going to discuss things we’ve both said, didn’t you once call me a “Backstabbing Bitch,” amongst other things, on your blog? And also, for your never published Times article?”

I sighed.

“I think we can both be mature and throw the mean comments under the bridge now. Don’t you think?”


“Good. Now, back to this deal. In order for it to work, you’d have to turn eighty percent of the blog posts into more of a narrative. You can keep ten to fifteen of your favorite ones and have them printed as is, and you may have to do a few male-point-of-view chapters. It’d have to be super-fast, and you’d have to something unique with the chapter headings to separate the blog posts. Maybe airport gates—A1, A2, et cetera, for chapter headings? It would just have to be something non-chapter like, because they’d like to do an advanced publication for this.”

I leaned back in my chair as she continued.

“You should know that every editor I pitched this to wanted an immediate meeting, and I was as discreet as I could be. Before I could even suggest an auction, Penguin put this deal on the table and their promotional teams are already salivating to go the extra mile. What do you say?”

My mind was still spinning, my heart was still racing. “I need time to think about it.”

“What? Which part exactly needs to be thought about?”

“The part where the guy I fell in love with is in the story, the part where I’ll be putting him and our relationship out for the public. I know we’re over now, but—” I paused. “I’m still in love with him.”

“Understandable.” She nodded, lawyer-like. “You can change his name, distort a few of the facts. The deal is packaged for you to have creative freedom. It’s meta-fiction.”

“I just...” I shut the folder. “I’m honored, Kimberly. But this is way too fast. Thirty minutes ago, I despised you. Fifteen minutes ago, I tolerated you.”

“And now?”

“Now, I regret the way I’ve thought about you all these years.”

“It’s water under the bridge.” She leaned forward, tapping my hand. “Take all the time you need to think about this.”

“Do you really mean that, or does that phrase still mean the same thing as it did years ago?”