After a hiatus on the book-related themes, CW’s Americanized telenovela Jane the Virgin returned to having Jane go into crisis mode over being a published author. This time, she’s dropped by her publisher then eclipsed by the book offer her son’s father’s other baby mama gets.
The episode starts with Jane announcing to her family that her publisher dropped her since her first book wasn’t selling (the episode of her mediocre reviews was a few months back) to the point where the publisher declined the option for a second one.
This storyline is all too real as the success of being an author, or even publishing that second book, is low.
Then Jane’s rant turns to the hardship of being a published woman of color author. “We don’t get a second chance like our peers,” Jane cries. Again, too much truth. As a novelist querying my work, it’s disheartening to see authors — sometimes 50+ — on a webpage of a literary agency with everyone being white except maybe one racially ambiguous author.
But Jane recovers! Rafael, her son’s father as she was artificially inseminated which is the premise of the show, gets his ex-wife, Petra, to hook Jane up with a meeting with a book agent friend. At the meeting, she fails to capture the book agent’s attention with her first two ideas in the romance genre — one with reincarnation and the other with vampires — rejected because they already had authors writing those ideas. Then she comes up with a “Fifty Shades of Grey”theme with a character reversal of the heroine starting the erotic adventures. The book agent says sure to the idea until Petra appears.
Petra is also Jane’s hotelier frenemy. The book agent recalls her Ocean Drive feature to his business partner, and they coin her the “non-evil Ivanka” while casually offering her a lifestyle book deal.
Of course, this creates a rift between Jane and Petra since Jane is already a published author who had writing dreams forever while Petra has never written. As Petra tries to make peace with her “moral compass” Jane, she offers the gig to ghostwrite her book. Jane agrees. This again happens to authors where the second book idea still needs baking so they take a ghostwriting job in the meantime to pay the bills.
Will Jane actually do the ghostwriting? Will Jane’s second book idea come to her in the next episode? Will her old publisher somehow change its mind and take her back? Stay tuned.