Thoughts on writing romance novels about real ‘live’ people…

As a writer I’d like to be able to subscribe to certain people’s WhatsApp conversations, you know?

I think they’d be great character studies… like imagine if you could spy on relationships, especially romantic ones, from the sensual/ suggestive sexting to the sad point at which you’ve sunk so low you’re actually revelling in your own passive aggression, writing snarky one-liners, totally misusing grammar and emojis thanks to the pathetic tears clouding your eyes, and getting blocked.

I’m sure WhatsApp already does this… but I wonder if I could start an app whereby if you break up with someone, you ‘donate’ your digital relationship to a romance writer looking for inspiration; someone who can dredge the life and love back out of it, wrap it all up in a happy ending and use it as a gift to set you both (and others) free.

Or maybe it would be a paid service for those who’ve been scorned, and the ‘buyer’ would get a say in how their own story should play out in the romanticised version of their shoddy excuse for a relationship.

Together we could shame a thousand exes in a million different ways.

Did Mark send you an ‘I’m just not ready for a relationship right now’ text, and then bail? Well, sucks for you Mark, cos you know what’s happening in Becky’s next Mills & Boon?

You know the surprise ranch that was left to you by your millionaire uncle, Mark? Well, his big blue shiny tractor’s gonna roll right over your smug, chiselled, fictionally-embellished face (that still totally sounds a lot like you), Mark, right before the prized bull you loved so much poops and tramples on what’s left of your stinking, commitment-phobic carcass.

And that delicious woman whose soul you drank from and dismissed like a teabag, oh god, she’s not even crying at your funeral, Mark, don’t flatter yourself. She’s too busy having sex with your hot best friend in the wine cellar, writhing in a sticky pool of gratuitously-poured Chateau Margaux, which you would have been arrested for stealing, had you still been alive.

How do you feel about dumping people by text message now, Mark?

EVERYONE knows that book is about you.

I think I’d need investors for this. And lawyers. And money. And more of a business plan. And no morals. But maybe I can do this on the down-low.

I have many sexy novels to write next year (and I mean erotica; this is happening). There is no Mark. He is simply every weak man there ever was.

But if YOU have a Mark to harm with words you wish you’d said but didn’t, or even better (because love is love, friends) if you have a story about an exceptional man-person you wish to see hunked up/praised in a spirit-lifting, not-so-‘literary’ cheese-fest of a novel, holla girrrrls. I am at your service.

You help me, I help you. Let’s do this.