A humorous short by Tamela Buhrke
“Welcome back to the Indie Publishing Talk Network. I’m your host, Joe Wilson. Today I’ll be interviewing a young woman who has caused quite a stir in the writing community. That’s right folks, Jezebel Hewett is in our studios. She had the audacity to do what no author, indie or otherwise, has done before -- she argued with a book reviewer on his own blog. She didn’t like what he had to say. She fought back. Now she’s here to tell us about it. Jezebel, great to have you here.”
“Great to be here, Joe,” Jezebel yelled into the screeching mic. “I think it’s about time someone listened to my side of the story.”
Joe gestured at Jody in the control room to lower the volume on Jezebel’s mic.
“So let’s dive right in! You wrote a novel and decided to publish it independently. Why is that?”
“The publishing industry is *bleep*ed up, Joe,” Jezebel said with a confident nod. “They don’t know their *bleep* from a hole in the ground, now do they?”
"I’m sorry Jezebel, we can’t use that kind of language on the air.”
“What? Why? Is it because I’m English?”
“No, it’s just that we can’t use profanity on air. So let’s get back to your book. You self-published and then you sent your novel out to the review blogs...”
“Bad decision on my part.”
Joe leaned back in his seating, feeling like he’d finally gotten control of this interview. “Why is that?
“Review bloggers are worse than the agents and publishers, aren’t they? They are more worried about grammar and spelling than about the book itself. That don’t make sense!”
Joe frowned. “Uh, isn’t grammar and spelling important?”
“My writing is just fine!” Jezebel glared at him.
“That doesn’t really answer the question.”
“Okaaay,” Joe paused to give her a moment to explain, but she just scowled at him. “Well, hmm... let’s see what our listeners have to say. Jody, my lovely assistant, are there any callers on the line?”
Jody’s eyes sparkled as she opened the line to talk on air. “Joe, we have Big Jake on line two. He’s the blogger who negatively reviewed Jezebel’s book.”
Joe gave her two big thumbs up and punched line two. “Big Jake, welcome to the show!”
“Thank you Joe. Can I just take a moment to make something very clear?”
“Fire away, Big Jake.”
“I want everyone listening to know that most of the indie books that I review are very well written and enjoyable. I don’t want people to think that this woman represents the independent book market in any way.”
Jezebel leaned into her mic. “Well, for once in your *bleep*ing life, you got something right Big Jake! You snake! You are just like the rest of the reviewers in your snake pit. So I’m not going to join your little group, am I? I’m not going to be an indie author anymore. I’m starting a new style of publishing.”
“Wow, listeners, you’ve heard it here first. Jezebel what new style of publishing is that?”
Jake looked up at Jezebel in confusion. “I’m sorry? Did you say ‘Cobra Venom?’”
“Charlie Sheen may have Tiger’s Blood in his veins, but I have Cobra Venom spitting through my teeth.”
Jezebel pulled a cigarette out of the pocket of her shirt and placed it between her lips.
“I, uh, I’m not sure I know what you mean.” Joe said, shaking his head and waving a finger at her cigarette.
“Well, if the publishing industry is going to be a bunch of *bleep* and the reviewers for indie books are stupid *bleep*ing snakes in a pit,” Jezebel said with the cigarette balancing on the edge of her lip, “then I say I should fight fire with fire. I’m going to start an independent movement that’s independent of the indie movement.”
“Independent of the independents?” Joe asked, grimacing at the lighter Jezebel pulled out of her pocket.
“That’s right! I’m calling it Cobra Venom. Like the bleeding snake that got out of the New York Zoo.” She lit the cigarette and sucked in, ignoring Joe’s glare. “I’m freeing writers every where from the tyranny of publishers and book reviews.”
“But aren’t book reviews important for book sales?”
Jezebel blew smoke out her nostrils.
“Book reviewers, pshah!” she said with sneer. “Who are they anyway? We won’t join their little group. Instead we’ll write our own way. If we have grammar errors, then I see nothing wrong with it. If reviewers don’t like our work, I say we’ll just inject them with our venom. We are Cobra Venom!”
Jezebel arced her fingers in front of her mouth in the universal sign for fangs. Jody threw her head down on the console. Her shoulders moved up and down rhythmically. Joe had to look away from both of them.
“Well, listeners, you heard it. Today, a new style of writing has been born. It’s called Cobra Venom.”
“What was that?” Joe asked.
“That was me being a *bleep*ing cobra.”
Joe glanced over at the shaking Jody, who was now slapping the desk with one hand.
“Um. Well folks, that’s all we have time for today. Join us tomorrow on Indie Publishing Talk Network when we’ll be interviewing three indie authors who claim to know Amanda Hocking. Good night Indie land!”