When I opened my email and found a message from Jenny DeMarco I thought, for sure there had been a mistake.
I thought twice before I opened it. What if it was spam or malware, what if it contained one of those ransom viruses (virus? virusi? viruseses?)? It might destroy my computer. That would be bad.
On the other hand what if it was really an email from Jenny DeMarco? She was one of my favourite authors. I’d read everything I could find that she had ever written.
She was the undisputed master of horror, and the stuff she wrote was powerful scary.
Read during daylight hours only scary.
Try to make sure that there are at least three other people, whom you have known for years, in the house when you are reading scary.
I had to risk it and I opened the email. It was from Jenny DeMarco. The Jenny DeMarco; and she was contacting me to see if I would be interested in consulting with her for a new novel that she had planned; that was pretty much all she said in that first message.
Why would she want me? I cover the political beat for The Times. I wasn’t sure how I could help, but I had her email address. I replied.
Dear Ms. DeMarco:
I received your message today and I am intrigued. I love your work, but you write horror stories. I am a journalist writing about politics. I’m not sure how I can help you but would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further.
Less than ten minutes later my computer dinged. I had a new message. It was from Ms. DeMarco.
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. I’m a fan of your work too. I read The Times and I find that your understanding of the political situation at the local level, the state level, and especially at the national level is phenomenal.
That understanding is what I would like to tap into because, as you mentioned: I write horror stories. You write politics.
That’s what scares people these days, politics.
I want to tap into that fear. I want to have people too scared to keep reading my book and yet even more afraid to put it down. I think you can help me to do this.
I will of course give you credit in the book and we can work out a deal wherein you get a percentage of the royalties.
If this sounds agreeable then let me know and we can kick off this new partnership with a barbeque at my house.
Take your time, but please don’t wait too long.
I look forward to hearing from you,
25 minutes writing, 8 minutes to edit and format. I got one prompt in and I call out 32.