A certain conversation took place yesterday in an undisclosed location...three people sit in folding chairs in a dimly lit room. One of them is speaking.
Ben: I’m not sure Schuyler would want us to post on the blog. She might not consider it very professional.
Me and Terry: No, no, no, it’s a Grand Idea! We’ll keep it super professional, we promise.
Me: By the way, where’s Jaeryn? Oh wait, here he is!
Jaeryn: *sits down on folding chair* Hey all! Sorry I’m late.
Me: No problem. Long time no see, Jaeryn! What have you been up to?
Terry: *interjects* He’s not been doing anything half so interesting as what I’ve been up to—spending time with Acushla. By the way, isn’t she supposed to come to this meeting?
Me: Terry, this is our third annual meeting, and Acushla has not come to one of them. Furthermore—
Terry: *mutters* That’s a tradition that has to change.
Me: Furthermore, Terry, you wouldn’t be any help, if she was here. We’d be too distracted trying to keep you from kissing her or something.
Ben: *chuckles* I think he’s distracting us enough as it is.
Terry: Hey, I have an idea!! How about I instagram this conference, so people can see it live?
Me: But Terry, it’s supposed to be secret. What about a live video says secret to you?
Terry: *sadness* But then Acushla could watch it. And I could text her and send her cute heart eye emojis.
Me: But all Schuyler’s other followers could watch it too, and this has to be a spur-of-the-moment thing. Besides, I don’t think Acushla has an Instagram account. Neither do you, now that we come to it. Whose account would you be posting from?
Terry: Colonel King’s! He’s amazing at social media, you know. Has a Pinterest and everything.
Me and Jaeryn: O___o
Ben: What does he post on his Pinterest boards?
Terry: A whole bunch of home décor stuff. Look at this picture.
[Terry proceeds to shove the phone in our faces, showing us a shiplap dining room with green vine things in it]
Jaeryn: I would have thought his style to be more vintage.
Me: *coughs* Getting back on track….wait, what are we trying to figure out again? Jaeryn missed the beginning of the meeting.
Ben: Whether or not we should post on the blog this year.
Me: Yeah, I mean, I think we should. Think about it. Schuyler’s getting a book published this year!! You guys have to share that joy.
[Terry says something about everyone having colds.]
Me: Don’t you want to share the joy, Ben?
Ben: I wouldn’t call it a joy to have our stories told to the world. There’s such a thing as confidentiality. And personal SPACE.
Me: Oh Ben, that’s very bad advertising. Once you read the book, you’ll understand why so many people love it. Besides, aren’t you part of Schuyler’s street team? You need to advertise it, so lots of people will buy it.
Ben: *shakes head* No, I’m actually not yet. Jaeryn is part of it, though.
Jaeryn: *looks up in surprise* No, I’m not.
Me: Well, actually, Ben’s right because I signed you up for it. What about you, Terry? Are you part of Schuyler’s street team?
Terry: Yeah, when I can get ahold of her phone to check my emails. To start the conversation ball rolling, she asked us in the Facebook group what our favorite things were. You want to know what I said?
[Jaeryn and Ben glance at each other.]
Jaeryn: We know what you said, Terry.
Me: Does your Favorite Thing start with A?
Terry: *grins* No, her name actually starts with P.
Ben: And how are you spreading the word, Terry?
Terry: Oh, that’s easy. I just tell Acushla about the book and how grand it will be.
Me: Acushla’s pretty shy, Terry. I’m not sure that telling her reaches a wide audience like Schuyler wants.
Ben: Fenton almost joined the street team, but Schuyler wouldn’t pay him, so he decided he wouldn’t participate. He was going to tell his clients to buy Schuyler’s book or he wouldn’t investigate their cases anymore.
Me: Now there’s marketing for you.
Terry: *checking emails* I just got an email from McConkey Press! Oh, it’s about voting for a series title. *glances through the titles* Aw, there’s not one I want to vote for.
Me: But Terry! They’re all fantastic names for a series. What don’t you like about them?
Terry: There’s wasn’t an option for The Acushla Accounts.
Me: *chokes* That alliteration tho.
Ben: We’ve been over this before, Terry. The series is not about Acushla. It’s about loyalty and honor and—
Jaeryn: And a good bit of it is about you, Ben. Don’t forget to say that.
Terry: *leans over to Ben* Selfie time! With face filters!
Ben: I refuse. Absolutely.
Me: I’ll do it, Terry!! Let’s do the koala ears!
[both make funny faces for camera]
Jaeryn: *grimaces* There are at least two of us in this room acting very ridiculous. But I’m not naming names.
[knock at the door. everyone looks up….
…just the postman leaving a package]
Terry: *walks over to pick it up* Oh, it’s for Schuyler. Probably for her birthday. I’m going to open it.
Jaeryn: *tries to snatch the package away* Terry, don’t you dare.
Terry: Don’t worry, doc! I’ll tape it back up again so she won’t know.
Ben: That’s not the point, Terry. It’s her present. She ought to open it herself.
Terry: *looking at the return address* But it’s from Starlin! I’m definitely opening it. That kid never sends presents to anyone. *rips paper*
Ben: I am not responsible.
Me: Me neither. Actually, probably I am, because I’m heading this secret meeting up.
Terry: It’s sheet music for her. That’s nice of him. He should play it sometime for me and Acushla. *rifling through tissue paper* OH, and look at this! A Dickens book! Wonder where he found that? *worried* I was just going to get her some chocolate truffles. Do you think that’s not fancy enough?
Jaeryn *twinkling*: I think Schuyler will appreciate the heart behind the gift. Just don’t eat them all before you give them to her.
Terry: Well, I did have one or two….
Ben: I have some house calls to do before the party. Can we get back on track? Are we going to post on the blog or not?
Jaeryn: I vote for posting. I think she’d enjoy it, and after all, it’s a momentous year with publishing and all. We’ve got to help her celebrate. Besides, I bought her a present that I think she’ll like.
[Jaeryn pulls out a box. Three heads get in his way as he tries to open it.]
Jaeryn: Stop that. Get out of there. You’ll all see soon enough.
[Pulls out copy of War of Loyalties.]
Jaeryn: I thought we could all sign our names in it and give it to her.
Ben: I think that’s an excellent idea. Schuyler would love that.
Terry: *reaches for the book * Yeah, can we put a message along with our names? Like, “Will you let me kiss Acushla?” or something like that?
Me and Ben: No, definitely not.
Jaeryn: I’m planning to place a message with my name, so I suppose Terry could be allowed to put something there. I do think we should tweak the wording of his message though.
Ben: What are you going to write as a message, Jaeryn?
Terry: Oh, it will definitely be his vow. And Ben will write something about home and happiness, I suppose. I wonder what Fenton would write?
Me: We’ll probably never know, because I’m not planning to pay him to find out. Okay WoLians, we have to wrap this conversation up; we’re making it super long as it is. Anything special you want to say to Schuyler? Jaeryn, you can go first since you weren’t here for the beginning of the convo.
Jaeryn: I wish her Many Happy Returns and ask her not to treat me too poorly in the upcoming novel. Enigmatic Irishman aren’t always treated in the way they deserve.
Me: We’d better just stick with Many Happy Returns for a proper-sounding birthday wish. You all coming over for brownie cheesecake later?
Terry: You bet! And I’m bringing Acushla too! I’ll finish her piece for her coz she won’t be able to.
Ben: I suppose I could come. As long as the house calls don’t take too long.
Jaeryn: They won’t; I made sure of that. I’ll come too. Brownie cheesecake sounds incredible.
…and thus the curtain falls on these four conspirators. They wish Lady Bibliophile a happy birthday and they are eagerly looking forward to the release of her upcoming novel. Many Happy Returns of the day!