I received a card from my friend and former boss, Mr. French, today. (Well, it probably came a couple days ago, but I’m lousy about checking the box.) His familiar handwriting brought back great memories of him, his ideas, and his humor. I put him in my first book, Upside Down Kingdom, as the witty head-of-the-helm, Mr. Watters. This is one of my favorite Mr. Watters scenes. While it’s fiction, it did mostly happen. With Upside Down Kingdom, the closer you got to the truth, the more bizarre it got. Be sure to check out Amy’s reaction to a promotion, which is not fiction. Oh, writers!

“Amy, I want you to start doing the newsletters on your own from now on,” Mr. Watters said. “I think Chad’s input is getting in the way. And the company is prepared to compensate you for this extra work.”

“Really?” I was braced for the worst and maybe this was it. I wasn’t being fired after all, not being set free, forced to abandon my lease, rid of hearing Chad complain about me every day. I was being given a raise.

“Thank you. I’ve already got a jumpstart on the newsletter,” I assured him.

“I figured as much. Chad has been reporting to me how difficult it is to work with you on the newsletters. But when I ask you to draft letters or anything of the kind for me, they’re always top-notch. Then Chad comes to me with some changes, and I could tell these changes had ‘Amy’ written all over them. I let him play his game. But taking credit for someone else’s ideas, that’s a no-no. That’s why he’s in Brussels right now.”

“What do you mean?”

bookHe laughed. “It’s a little ploy Harvey and I invented. This week as you know, the House is set to vote on the retail legislation. There are two key Members that we have to sway our way. Harvey and his team have one, and I’m working with the Hill office on the other. But with Chad following my every step, calling the Hill office every hour for updates, wanting to talk about the upcoming election predictions, it’s a nuisance and a distraction. The kid needed a vacation, so I sent him to one of Harvey’s cousins in Brussels for a ruse.”

“A ruse?”

“He’s going to pitch Watters and Company to Larson Jones, Ted Harvey’s cousin, and get a week out of my sight in the process.”

“You just paid for him to have a vacation?” This was ludicrous and I couldn’t help it, “Send me on vacation!”

“I can’t do that. You’d enjoy yourself. Chad’s not going to have any fun—it’s not his way.”


Thank you, Mr. French, for a great walk down memory lane!