After twenty rejections of Christina’s poignant novel based on how she met her Jewish husband, she, on a martini-soaked dare, creates a Caucasian alter ego and writes a lily-white chic lit novel. When her agent actually sells the novel to a publisher, Christina’s common sense warns her to back out. The lure of a lucrative two-book deal, though, is far too seductive. So, Christina straps in for a life-altering journey on which she questions priorities and wonders whether dreams can peacefully co-exist with reality…
Excerpt from Writing While Black, by Wendy Coakley-Thompson
Cameron handed the phone to her. Christina covered the mouthpiece with her hand, staring longingly at him as he sat at the edge of the bed. She conjured up a sunny disposition to talk to Meghan. After all, Meghan calling could only mean one thing—more rejection notices.
“Hey,” Christina said. “Calling on a Saturday like you promised. That’s due diligence.”
“I have some good news, depending on how you look at it,” Meghan announced, practically giddy.
Christina immediately snapped to attention, propping herself up on one elbow. The sheets shimmied down to expose her bare breasts and taut midsection, her diamond navel ring glinting in the sparse light. “Really?”
“A friend of my family is an indie movie producer who got into books a couple months back,” Meghan said.
Christina’s curiosity piqued. “Really? Someone I’d know of?”
Meghan revealed the name, and Christina instantly put a face to it. From what she’d seen on Entertainment Tonight and in the tabloids at the supermarket checkout aisle, he was very New York, very Jewish, and very profane. However, his heavyset, gruff and rumpled exterior belied the savvy that he’d deftly employed to make independent movies as cool as or cooler than their big-budget brethren, netting him hundreds of millions and several Oscars to boot. Ah, to travel in the circles that Meghan did.
“Seriously?” Christina asked. “You know him?”
“I had dinner with him at Nobu last night.”
“Oooh, Nobu, huh? Fancy!”
“Yes, Nobu. And to watch him snatch the check for a table of ten, you wouldn’t think that he’s run through his cash on the publishing front. Good news is, he’s now gone into a joint venture with another more established house. Not one of the Big Six, but if it were a contest, it would be like seventh or eighth at the very least.”
“So, they’re acquiring?”
“Yes!” Meghan squealed. “They’re looking for new product to publish in both traditional and electronic formats. They want new, fresh, edgy stuff. Immediately, I thought about you.”
Yeah, me. I’m fresh and edgy. “You thought about me.”
“Of course, I thought about you!”
“So, you’re thinking of pitching him A Thousand Churches?”
Finally, Meghan spoke. “No sweetie, after twenty rejections, you’ve got to let that one breathe. We can go out with it again later. It’s all about timing.”
Christina deflated. Her mind took her back to last night, before she drowned her sorrows in martinis and champagne.
“What then?” she asked, dejected.
“I want you to send me whatever you’ve got,” Meghan said. “It doesn’t even have to be complete. Just three chapters, an outline for the rest of the book, and a proposal for how to sell it and why it’s different from other books. You’re a lawyer. Make the best argument you can that’s going to make them want to acquire your book. Do you have anything you can send me by Monday?”
Christina was poised to say no when she remembered. The treatment that four Mayflower martinis built was residing on her laptop in the living area. The treatment where she masqueraded as a white woman to tell the story of white women. Something about the whole affair left a bad taste in her mouth.
But the other part of her was hearing none of that. Do it. What do you have to lose?
Christina scratched her head. “Well, I do have a little something I’ve been working on,” she said, hesitant. “It’s different though.”
“Different is good, Christina,” Meghan assured her. “I want to see different.”
“I don’t know…”
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Why are you hesitating?”
“You’ll see when you read it.”
“I’ll back whatever play you call, Christina. Just send it to me, and we’ll go from there.”
Christina caved. “Okay,” she said. “Your family has friends who can do this?”
“Hey, we know people,” Meghan laughed.
She looked around for Cameron, who’d long since disappeared. “My husband calls that having Jewce,” she laughed. “J-E-W-C-E.”
“Jewce,” Meghan remarked. “Cute. Jewce only counts if I can actually sell something and get some money for both of us. I got to go, hon. Send me what you’ve been working on, and enjoy the rest of your weekend with that adorable husband of yours.”
Christina hung up and sighed. She was, again, one step closer to achieving her dreams. Her apprehension, though, tempered her euphoria. She shook it off.