Wake Up, Wanda Wiley by Andrew Diamond is billed as “the most original romantic comedy you’ll read all year.” The story opens with Hannah, whom readers quickly learn is a fictional, a heroine Wanda, the author, often casts aside for other female leads. Hannah is strong-willed and objects to some of the story lines that Wanda cranks out, particularly the overly pornographic type. For some reason, Wanda listens to Hannah and keeps writing her out of stories that Hannah finds objectional, but Wanda does keep Hannah handy, a standby character if you will.
Enter Trevor, the hunk character who inhabits action-packed stories. Unlike Hannah, Trevor is unaware that he is a figment of Wanda’s imagination. Trevor fully believes he is looking for the missing President of the US, an old army buddy who Trevor should be protecting.
The conversation between Trevor and Hannah is laugh-out-loud funny because Hannah, world-weary character, knows all while Trevor quite fully believes Hannah knows something about the President’s abduction. Hannah tries to explain to Trevor that they are characters awaiting a plot line and that Trevor is in the wrong story.
All of this confusion is due to Wanda’s depression and inability to focus on her writing---actually following an outline that one must follow whether writing action or romance.
Then the scene shifts to Wanda herself and her would-be husband and live-in companion of the last seven years. Wanda cranks out romance and action books and makes more money than the sarcastic, pedantic English professor Dirk. The readers see very clearly that Dirk is not the man for Wanda, but now Wanda has invested so much time in him that it will take a real wake-up call for her to recognize that it is time to move on.
Wanda learns Austin, a colleague of Dirk’s, has lost his job at the university, but he has taken a job in CA with a startup company. He visits Wanda and tries to tell Wanda how much he admires her. Wanda is still not sure about leaving Dirk, so, in her head, she rejects Austin’s compliments, thinking them lame.
Having the fictional characters Hannah and Trevor intervene in the real story outside the writer’s mind leads to an effective conclusion.