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Chapter 4

My book was released last month and it's already number three on the New York Times Bestseller List. I could say, why did it take me this long to finally reach this point in life, but I'm grateful that it even happened. Movie offers have been coming to me out of the woodwork, but I don't see this book as a movie. I don't even know who I would want to play my characters since I crafted them so carefully. The deposits into my bank account have been endless. If I wasn't recognized for my work before, I certainly am now.

"Shaylaaaaa... My favorite girl! My number one seller!" Remi, my agent smiled as she hurried over to greet me.

"Number three," I corrected her.

"Number one! I'm calling it into being. You'll be number one before you know it. Come on. Let's talk business," she led me into her office. I've been with Doubleday since Michael got me under them. I've been with Remi for three years. Although I'm still considered a newbie in this writing game, Remi is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn't trade her for the world. "How's the hubby doing?" We had a strict code at Doubleday never to mention my husband's name. He's released two books under them. Everyone here knows that we're married. Literally everyone. But we want to be treated as normal as possible. So, no mentioning him by name.

"Great," I nodded. "You know he's doing the halftime show, so he's been rehearsing for that."

"This is going to be the best halftime show the world has ever seen! He's a megastar and he'll have people of all ages on their feet. That's going to be a once in a lifetime show, Shayla."

I smiled, "I know, right? You're going to love seeing what he has in store. It's going to be a gamechanger."

"Ugh," she smiled. "I know it will. I know you all have plans for kids soon..."

"Um, we're thinking about it. We both have a lot going on right now. Kids are in the plan eventually though."

"I'm God Mom. Period."

I laughed, "we'll see about that. What have you got for me? I know we have plenty to discuss in terms of the book."

"Right!" she reached underneath her desk to pull out her thick green five subject notebook. "Universal called for rights to-"

"No," I shook my head.

"They're offering fourteen thousand dollars."

"Nope. What's next?"

"Shayla, if you don't mind me asking, why don't you want to make this a movie? Black authors all over the world would kill to get the number of offers you've received."

"Have you noticed that film adaptations leave out the most important parts, facts, and details? I don't want a movie with the same title as my novel getting viewed more and people wasting their money saying the book was better. Ask me again in ten years and I may reconsider it."

"So, I guess that's a no on the Disney offer for thirty thousand, right?"

"Exactly," I nodded.

She sighed, "alright. I'll tell them."

"If my book is that good, I'm sure they'll ask again in ten years."

"Do you want me to tell them to ask again in ten years?"

"Ah ha, no," I laughed. "Then they'll think I'm a bitch or hard to work with. Tell them, I pass."

"Alrighty then. You're number three, but I'm claiming number one, either way, you know that means book tours and possible interviews. We're looking at twenty cities right now, but we're going to add ten more, so you can meet with all your fans and get more exposure. Before we add on more cities, we need dates. I was thinking maybe February? How does that sound to you?"

"When in February?"

"That's up to you. I'm thinking let's start this early around tax season, ya know? Knock it out now that way you have the rest of the year to you and hubby that way you can make me my god babies," she smiled to herself.

"You sound like my parents," I laughed, rolling my eyes. "February sounds nice. I mean, all my husband's events are done by then except for one."

"And what's that?"

"Ahh... That I cannot tell you. You'll have to wait for that announcement."

"Oh, come on, Shayla. You spill all the tea. Don't hold back on me now!"

I shook my head, "nope. I'm sworn to secrecy. You'll hear about it in a week or two. Until then, mum's the word."

"Okay, well," she sighed, jokingly. "We've got to plan around that. Do you plan on being here for that event?"

"No. I think it's the second week of February."

"Good, so we can start early. How does February first sound? You should be good and winded down from the Superbowl and then everything is about you and your book tour."

I sighed, "my husband is going to kill me if I miss Valentine's Day. It's our tenth wedding anniversary this year and he's very adamant about Valentines Day."

"What does he have planned?"

"I don't know, but knowing him, it'll be something extraordinary."

"So, we don't start until after Valentine's Day," Remi suggested.

"No... Let's start on the first. Just don't schedule anything for the fourteenth. I'll just have to come back for the day."

"You'll be exhausted."

"I can't disappoint him. I've skipped some things in the past and it wasn't fair. So, I have to be there. I can't disappoint him."

"You're the boss," she shrugged. Remi said as she wrote down the important note. I missed our fifth anniversary. I missed the flight to Indy for Ryan's funeral. Michael was crushed. He doesn't hold it against me, but I beat myself up about it all the time. We did so much for Ryan. We each had our own relationship with Ryan and his mother. When I realized that I had missed the flight, I broke down in tears. It hurt me so bad to even know that I was going to miss it and I couldn't even do anything else about it at that point. I sent Jeanne well wishes, but to me, that'll never measure up to my actual presence at his homegoing. I still think about it and guilt myself about it to this day. "Here are the cities I have so far. We need to add ten more, so let me know what cities you want to add," she turned her notebook around for me to look at. She had all the major cities in almost every state except for maybe a couple. I have to visit Georgia and New York, of course. I have to hit as many major cities as I can.

"Add Atlanta and New York City to this list. Then add eight more major cities and we'll be good," I told her as I turned the notebook back around to her.

"Okay, great! Now, during these, you're going to be doing a chapter reading of your choice, selling your previous books as well and of course, answering any questions your fans or press may have for you. This is your time to shine, Shayla. You've finally reached this point you've always dreamed of," Remi smiled at me. And she was right. This would be my own version of the many interviews, showers of love and admiration that Michael receives on a daily basis. It may not be on the same level of Michaels, in fact, it never will be, but it'll be my own little version of it. "What does your husband think about you going on a book tour?"

"He's excited for me. Like, I said, he just wants me to be here for Valentines Day."

"Do you think he'll come with you at all?"

"Probably not. I really don't know."

"Well, let me know if he wants to tag along because I'll get him flight tickets and what not."

"I will, for sure." I honestly didn't even think about Michael coming since he has so much going on this month and then he has the big Oprah interview in February, it didn't even dawn on me to even consider asking him if he wanted to go. I'm sure he'll be fine not going. In fact, I want him to rest since we're still recouping from the tour and award shows start next week. I'll be fine on my own. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. And with Roland by my side, I know he won't have any issues.

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