Staying on the theme of people making suggestions after they say, “Oh! So you’re writing a book!! Have you thought about writing about…”

It’s the ultimate joy for any aspiring author. But what do you do when a suggestion is made so ridiculous, but the person offering it isn’t someone you can say no to?

Allow me to introduce you to my niece Grace. I love my niece so much that I based my main character in Muse Unexpected on her. So considering I’ve been pulling a Truman Capote on her by documenting the comical yet sometimes volatile relationship she has with her mother, Christine. She knew this and shamelessly used that fact and a ton of guilt to get her way. The conversation went like this:

Grace: You need to have a crab in the book.

VC: A crab? Like one of the characters eating crab?

Grace: No… The crab has to be Sophie’s best friend.

VC: (I can see where this is going and I’m a deer caught in the headlights of a truck) Oh… you mean like a hermit crab that she would keep in a fish bowl sort of thing.

Grace: No. the crab has to be her best friend and it can talk.

VC: You want it to talk. A talking crab? Like on little mermaid?

Grace: Yes. Except his name isn’t Bastian.

VC: You mean Sebastian.

Grace: Whatever. I want his name to be…….. let me think.

VC: I can hardly wait to find out what you want to name it.

Grace: I want you to call it, Señor Chi-Chi.

VC: So not only can the crab talk, but it appears to be from Latin America? Does it wear a sombrero ? (As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I was in deep.)

Grace: No. He’s a classy crab. He wears a top hat and a monocle ?

VC: Grace, I can’t write that in. It’s too much.

Grace: Please… if the character is based on me, then I should have what I want and what I want is a talking crab.

VC: Your uncle put you up to this…didn’t he?

Grace: Well, I like the priest with the eye patch idea.

VC: All right. I’ll figure out a way. Just as soon as I dispose of your uncle’s body.