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Of Coffee, Editors, and Novels

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It all started on a rainy day. Six hadn’t really paid any mind to what he was doing. Actually, he hadn’t paid any mind to what he was doing. All he remembered were the hearty congratulations from his co-workers as he became an official heart. They were thinking of something else entirely though. That something was not author related but porn related. It can be hard to differentiate since they all make a living by editing porn but that is another story.

It was the general consensus that his unofficial work was legendary and he deserved the badge. Now he had it. He had an office that didn’t have coffee stains, bean bags, and a table made of discarded manuscripts. It felt good to be out of the dog house.

His email pinged.


 

To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: name?

Six? Your bosses seriously made your work email Six?

-

I’m the author of five books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers)


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: name?

That’s my name, isn’t it? Your office provided email is the same.

Why do you have five books listed in your ? Paper Roses was only released last week. Last Man Standing is still in editing. I have the third manuscript on my desk.

Would it kill you to title it? (I’m partial to Origami Hang Gliders.) Where are the last two?

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: name?

I knew you would like seeing my name on your screen.

Dude, Origami Hang Gliders? What are you smoking? I want some.

Attached, smart one. Woot! Got one review on my blog.

-
I'm the author of five books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).

Untitled4.docx

Untitled5.docx


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: name?

Thank you. I am not smoking anything. Gwen, the intern, changed my email. I said Origami Hang Gliders was a bad idea.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


 

Kyntak Heath’s Blog

I’m published!

Woot! Paper Roses was just released.  You’re probably wondering how I became a writer since the synopsis is available on the tab bar that way -->> 

I lived in a slush room with my editor for six months…

3 comments


Six

Kyntak, do you really need to mention the conversation about the unicorn?

Katherine

That’s what you all call me behind my back? I’m not a mythical creature! Congratulations by the way. Six is quite the catch.

Kyntak

@Katherine Thank you. We mean it in the nicest way. You’re the best romance consultant we got and I think your hair verges on platinum.

Yeah, Six is a catch. Keep your heterosexual paws off.


 

To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: name?

The unicorn thing has to be mentioned. I think it’s adorable.

-
I'm the author of five books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: name?

You are the only one.

Untitled4 is workable. Just rewrite the ending. It wraps too quickly.

Untitled5 needs a little more work. That middle section is off. It sounds like out of character.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: name?

Oh, yeah. Fixed and fixed.

Dinner while we go over the cover art?

-
I'm the author of five books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: name?

Thai or Italian? Does Angelo’s do take out? I have a few art pieces on my desk already.

Last Man is off to marketing.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: name?

Of course, Angelo loves me. Italian it is. Like the man says, It’s moar romantic.

-
I'm the author of five books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


Months flew by. Soon, he had a few years under his belt. In that time, Kyntak made good on his family name adding now that he had seventeen books to his credit. It appeared Kyntak was a very productive romance writer. His grammar and punctuation were terrible but Six was supposed to be the one to fix that.

The Heart’s imprint seemed to flourish. The marketing team worked fast. King was pleased. Queen gave him proud motherly look. Kyntak loved the attention people lavished on him.

Six enjoyed his now coffee stained table that wasn’t made of manuscripts. The bean bag chair was in his living room. Harry, his roommate, didn’t mind. The Uni student spent little time out side of the gym in the first place.

Six surveyed the contest applicants. Kyntak had asked last month if his fans could design the next cover. Marketing had jumped on the idea and run with it. Six was the one left to wade through the best of the best. An unpaid intern had taken care of the initial entries, removing the more explicit and the crudely done ones. His eyes hurt from staring at the bright colors. Kyntak had just given the prologue and synopsis and suddenly a flash flood of art had swamped them. The idiot hadn’t even stuck around to help them bail the sinking boat.

“Gwen?” The intern was now his P.A.

“Yes, sir?” She was a orderly brunette who took care or her job. Six knew she was waiting on the time until he promoted her to editor. He had taken over after Queen decided that the romance section was too much for just one person.

“Coffee, please.” She smiled at him.

“Of course, sir. One sugar?” Six made an affirmative sound. When he lived in the slush room, no one in their right mind talked or even smiled at him. But, somehow, since the day a certain blonde, who wasn’t in his right mind, decided to, he found a brighter being.

Time to kill my happiness. He checked his email.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: HELP!!!!

You know how you asked if it was possible? I asked everyone for help, even Gwen, and no one is willing. So, you wanna do some back bendy stuff? I know you are really flexible.

P.S. You don’t have to be in your office. Everyone knows my number.

P.P.S. I got a yoga video.

-
I'm the author of seventeen books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


Six wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. He had told Kyntak that the sex scene was impossible. The human body could contort in many ways but it only bent so far. It was rather difficult to get very creative. So Kyntak’s theory of kitchen counter sex was plausible in theory, according to the laws of fiction. The idiot just had to go out and try it. 


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: HELP!!!!

Fine, but I better have a smutty masterpiece on my desk tomorrow morning.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


He pondered sending it. He could just leave Kyntak to his own devices. He knew the message already; a photographic memory was useful that way. If went there was the possibility of… Well, nothing. If he stayed, Kyntak would probably hurt himself. He clicked send.

He grabbed his coffee, which Gwen had slipped onto his desk while he was in thought, and his coat.

“I’ve got to go have fake sex with Kyntak,” he told her.

It attests to the rate of insanity that she, and the rest of the office, didn’t bat an eyelash and went on working.


 

To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: New Division

Have you thought about it?

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: New Division

I’m on board. I might work out a few stories. You want regular, run of the mill romance, right?

-
I'm the author of over twenty books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: New Division

Yeah, I want none of the explicit material and definitely no psychotic breaks. Remember: Immortal was the worst thing you ever sent me.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: New Division

That was a joke. I just rewrote My Immortal with better vocabulary.  I’ve got a draft already.

P.S. You should buy me dinner first.

TheLab.docx

-
I'm the author of seventeen books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


 

Queen looked at him over her paper weight. She was getting on in years. Her dark chocolate hair showed a few grays. Six reminded himself that she was still younger that King. Time had changed them all. She had gotten married, as evidenced by her ring.

King was married, to her. Kyntak had calmed down a fraction and his writing got more explicit.

Six didn’t like to think too much about himself.

Her office was cozy. He remembered running in here as a child. The only thing that stayed from those days was the paper weight she rolled in her hands. It was glass with smatterings of color embedded into the center. He couldn’t help but think it was like the woman who held it. Her thoughts were swirling like the light in the weight, but just when he thought she thought a certain way, she said something completely different. The light refracted off the embedded globs and shards.

“You and Kyntak get on well.” It was a statement not a question.

“As well as we can.”

She gazed at him through the glass. “Do you trust him?”

“With my career,” he replied without a second thought.

She snorted. “Of course you do. But do you trust him with everything else?”

Six steeled his voice. “Yes.”

She smirked, her eyes patronizing. “You have so much to learn.” She set down the glass paper weight.

“I approve. The Lab imprint will be a great imprint alongside Burning and Heart’s general romance.” She smiled. “I assume you plan to launch using Kyntak?”

“Of course.” He had worked with many other authors, but his one and only was Kyntak.

“Does he know?”

Six nodded.

“Good, you are dismissed.”

Six never shook off the feeling he faced after he talked with her. It felt like relief.  


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: Approval

We are approved. The Lab is in the works. I buy you dinner once a week.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: Approval

I’d like flowers too. I have a few synopsizes. I finished writing that period one. I’m not sure what to do with that.

Sentinel.docx

Synopsiseseseseses.docx

-
I'm the author of seventeen books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: RE: RE: Approval

Rejected. I’ll put the Remote and Lab imprint on it. Sentinel is really good. The others are all appropriate.

Gwen is a bit of a writer. She just submitted a novel. Thoughts?

FireFlowers.docx

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: Gwen, Stories, and You

Well, you could at least whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

I’m flattered. I’ve converted people to certain sexualities but never an asexual into a… well, whatever. Tell Gwennie that she should be less blatant about it. This is so stupid. Not the story. The story is good.

Anyway, more documents, a week’s worth of porn for you. All over 50,000 words.

CoffeeshopMuffins.docx

DreamingOfTomorrow.docx

BlackWhiteGrey.docx

EternalEthereal.docx

NoBusinessLikeGayDragons.docx

DRP.docx

P.S. I used your card to buy all the coffee.

-
I'm the author of seventeen books, including Paper Roses (and Other Office Flowers).


Six looked over the multiple files. All were had a good balance of sex and plot. For the most part, his corrections were grammar and pacing. Over time, Kyntak’s flair for the dramatic had grown. The one he liked most was Dreaming of Tomorrow. It had a very different feel to the narration. Six had often heard people say they lived vicariously through their characters. In his other works, Kyntak capitalized on it adding television clichés and making them work. People wanted a story from the movies.

This was different.  The style was softer. It felt more realistic, more rounded. The characters were well developed but Kieran was a special case. He looked on the whole story with fondness. Even in all his anger and frustration, he loved Silas.

Six put down his red pen. No, this one was really well done. It had been cultivated with care. He couldn’t help but smile. The style was like the one he fell in love with, Kyntak’s real voice. The rest were just marionettes of the man behind the pen.


Gwen and Katherine seemed to be giggling over something. Six saw it was his printed version of Dreaming. That was supposed to be locked in a very secure drawer. A very secure finger print protected retina scanning drawer.

Katherine looked pleased at the look on his face. No matter what anyone said, he knew the woman was terrifying. She was another kind of evil, the kind that sunk her teeth into a man and drained him of blood before turning him into a soulless thrall. She smiled.

 “Hello, Six. We just finished reading Kyntak’s most recent work.”

Gwen blushed furiously. “Sorry, sir, she picked the lock.” Katherine fiddled with a paper clip. The look on her face mentioned something about crushing his security system. It probably had to do with Luke, her PA who hid in the corner behind the fichus. The man was a computer genius.

“I’m impressed. Retina scan?”

She waved the manuscript at him. “Meet the screwdriver. You really should read this.”

Six furrowed his brows and took it from her. “I read it.”

“So?” She checked her watch and got up. Six guessed she had a meeting to be fashionably late to.

“It’s a good story?” He was bemused, utterly so. Gwen seemed to be shaking her head.

“Read it again. I swear, you are as blind as an eyeless guppy,” she called as she left. Luke trailed behind her, looking a little like a lost puppy.

Six went into his office and called for a coffee. He read the manuscript again, something he never did, because for once, he wanted to read something for the story.

He wasn’t disappointed.


 

To: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

From: six.hearts@deck.com

Subject: Dinner?

We need to talk.

-

Deck Publishing Agency, Hearts Division.


To: six.hearts@deck.com

From: kyntakheath.writer@deck.com

Subject: RE: Dinner?

OK, see you at Angelo’s. I hope you like acacias.

-
I'm the author of seventeen books, including Dreaming of Tomorrow.