A publishing drama that focuses on Merryditz Gray, who is part of a group of authors hanging out at a Borders' cafe. The daughter of a famous (unnamed) writer, Merryditz struggles to maintain relationships with her fellow writers while at the same time competing with them.
PILOT EPISODE: Absinthe and Peppermint
INT. BORDERS CAFE TWILIGHT
Multi-genre author MERRYDITZ GRAY sits at the writers' table in the corner of the store cafe with horror author TINA YING, romance author DIZZIE STEVENS, and cozy mystery author GEORGE O'MULEY.
MERRY: (swigs from double mocha no-caf latte laden with saccharine) Seriously, the key to surviving a publishing career is denial. We deny that we're tired, we deny that we're scared, we deny how badly we want to succeed. And most importantly, we deny that we're in denial, especially during pretty but pointless audience set up monologues.
YING: (sourly) I need a drink, a decent review, or a massage. Or a decent massage by a drunken reviewer. Why am I the only character identified in the script by my last name?
GEORGE: (earnestly) You're more ethnic than we are.
DIZZIE: (stops analyzing peppermint-chocolate cupcake recipe in food magazine) Seriously?
YING: (sourly) Seriously.
MERRY: We only write what we want to write and pitch what we want to pitch, and it works. (spills some latte down the front of her READING IS SEXY T-shirt, dabs at it with napkin) Okay, not always, but still. We lie on the page so much that after a while the lies start to seem like the truth. Seriously. We write so much that we can't recognize the truth right in front of our faces. Or the lies, I mean. You know, they originally wanted to cast Pamela Anderson for my part, and I'm beginning to see why.
GEORGE: (earnestly) We're fiction writers, you know. That means we like . . . lie for a living, right? (sees MERRY and YING exchange significant look) Oh, great. You're back working for McEditor. Seriously?
MERRY: I am not. Seriously.
YING: Not working for a wealthy good-looking powerful man who could get you on the Times? (stares into her latte) I should be on the Times. I love the Times. I live for the Times. There is nothing else in my life but getting onto the Times.
DIZZIE: What about the mysterious flu symptoms that you've been having? They worry me. If this was a romance novel, I think they'd result in a short but tragic emergency medical procedure that would add a much-need touch of pathos to your brilliant but incredibly emotionally shallow character.
MERRY: (leans across the table, in a whisper) Why didn't you tell me you're pregnant?
YING: (sourly) Maybe because you've got McEditor and I hate your guts?
MERRY: I don't have McEditor. My novels are too important for me to waste them on that, that--
Crime fiction author ALEX KREEPEV slithers in through a side door.
ALEX: --Guy who used to love anything you submitted. Even when it stunk. Which it usually does, 'cause you're a chick, and everyone knows chicks can't write like men.
DIZZIE: (with a lustful glance) Shut up, Kreep.
ALEX: (grins) For a novel to be really good, you want it to mean something. You want it to be edited by someone you can't get out of your head, so that when your story finally hits print you feel it everywhere. A novel so hot and so deep you never want to come up for air. Want to sleep with me again, Dizzie?
DIZZIE: Seriously? (with a come-hither glance) Drop dead, Alex.
ALEX slithers over to check out a pair of blonde booksellers with nice racks.
MERRY: See, seriously, at some point, you have to make a decision. Contracts don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Publishing is messy. That's how the business was designed. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines, making fun of Alex 'cause he writes those really stupid crime fiction novels, and scarfing up cupcakes. Or you can live your life crossing them.
DIRK SWINEHERD, aka McEditor, walks in with literary agent WANDA BITCHEY. They make a nonchalant beeline for the writers' table.
MERRY: (taking out a flask of absinthe from her purse and adding a dollop to the latte) Then again, there are some lines that are . . . way too dangerous to cross.
WANDA: (snorts) Why are you lazyasses sitting around here knocking back cheap latte when you should be at your terminals writing something that might vaguely resemble literature if you're very lucky? (YING holds up her hand; WANDA shakes her head.) I have five rules that you were supposed to memorize. Rule number one, don't bother sucking up. I already hate you, that's not gonna change. And no, Ying, I'm not going to represent you. I'd represent O'Muley first.
GEORGE: (earnestly) Seriously?
WANDA: Do I look like I'm serious to you, O'Muley?
DIRK: (in a seductive murmur to MERRY) So you blew me off for a bottle of absinthe? Absinthe's no good for you. It doesn't call, doesn't write, not nearly as much fun to wake up to.
MERRY: I'm not sleeping with you again, Dirk. You're married to your job. You're still in love with it. I have to be with someone who loves my novels. Who wants my novels. Who buys my novels. Love me, want me, buy me.
DIRK: (softly) Let's go back to my trailer, and you can show me your proposal again. (gives MERRY passionate but tortured look.) I need to see it again, Merry.
MERRY: Okay. (to everyone else) Gotta go, bye.
DIRK and MERRY drift out of the cafe.
YING: (into her latte, sourly) Bitch.