This is by far the strangest thing I have ever written. My brain can’t cope with too much meta, but because today is the release day for A More Complicated Fairytale, I thought I would try my hand at writing something like this. It was weird, but fun.
We’re sitting in the library in the Palace of Nardowyn. It’s a room I know well, as Cait and Felipe spent many of their early meetings in here. The word “library” is a bit of a misnomer, though; “museum” would be more accurate, since as well as the many shelves of books, there are cabinets and glass cases lining the walls, full of rare artefacts collected by the Royal Family over the generations.
Cait and Felipe are sharing a sofa across from me. Between us is a coffee table, which always seemed to have a couple of books lying on it, though that number has increased since Cait has been living in the palace and making the most of full-time access to this room. Felipe has his cane leaning on the arm of the sofa next to him; his war injury is continually improving, but there are still times when the cane is required.
“Thank you for meeting with me today,” I say, and they both nod in acknowledgment, smiling. “It’s been a while since I’ve spent any proper time with the two of you. How is married life treating you?”
They glance at each other, making a quick, silent decision about who will answer the question. “It’s been wonderful,” Cait says. “Marrying into the royal family was a terrifying prospect, but everyone has been very welcoming.”
“And I believe you’ve got some news to share?”
Another glance. Felipe slips his arm around Cait’s shoulders. Wide smiles spread over both their faces.
“We’re expecting a child in August,” Felipe says.
“Congratulations,” I reply. “I’m sure he’ll be a wonderful addition to the family.”
Felipe tilts his head at me. “He? It will be a boy, then?”
Dammit, self, don’t give your characters foreknowledge of major life events. That never works out well.
“That’s all for the next book,” I say quickly. “We’re here to discuss the first one.”
Felipe gives me a sideways look, but he doesn’t press the issue.
“So, how does it feel having the story of your romance out in the world?”
“I’m not sure I was always presented in the best light,” Felipe remarks.
“Well, you can blame Cait for that. It’s from her point-of-view.”
“I was always perfectly charming toward Cait.”
Cait rolls her eyes and grins. “You were an entitled prat at the start.”
Felipe puts on his best wounded expression and claps one hand across his heart. “Cait. It hurts me when you say things like that.”
Cait rolls her eyes again and laughs. She pulls his hand away from his chest. She rests her hand on his knee, still holding his.
This is a screencap from Phantom of the Opera, but it’s the picture that most matches Cait and Felipe in my mind.
“Anyway,” she says. “I think it tells the story very faithfully, and I’m glad you’ve done so much work in putting it all together.”
“But what’s next for you?” she asks. “Are you going to be staying here or are your next projects taking you farther afield?”
“Well, I’ve got a few projects on the go. I definitely won’t be leaving Nardowyn for good. Ginny’s going to be getting up to a few things in a few years’ time.”
“What sort of things?” Cait’s eyes narrow at me suspiciously at the mention of her sister as the central character in a new story.
“Don’t worry, I promise I’ll bring her home safely at the end.”
By the point, the conversation is starting to get a bit too meta for me to get my head around. I stand to go and give a small bow.
“Your Highnesses, thank you for letting me visit you here today. I’ll keep you posted on the status of the book.”
Cait and Felipe stand up to see me out of the library. When we reach the large wooden doors, Cait says, “Thanks once again,” and I turn and smile.
“You’re very welcome,” I reply, and then step out the door. They close behind me and I am left with the task of finding someone who can help me navigate my way out of this labyrinth of a palace.
Don’t forget, you can now purchase A More Complicated Fairytale from the Amazon Kindle store (link to the American site, but it available pretty much everywhere, I think). It’s also on GoodReads if you want to keep it on your radar but not quite ready to buy it just yet.