Why should i tell you?" he asked, with no small amount of petulance. "if you tell me, i will leave you alone," i said. "and if you don't tell me, i'm going to grab the nearest ghostwritten james patterson romance novel and i am going to follow you through this store reading it out loud until you relent." now i could see the fright beneath the defiance.
I have no objection to well-written romance, but i'd read enough of it to know that that's not what i had written. I also knew that if it was sold as romance i'd never be reviewed by the 'new york times' or any other literarily respectable newspaper - which is basically true, although the 'washington post' did get round to me eventually.