Without further ado, here's a little about Sage:
Executive Sweet is my third book, but first novel. My other two books are non-fiction, and weren't nearly as much fun to write.
After a lifetime of reading general fiction, I discovered romance at age 59, and fell in love with it. Now I fill my time reading and writing romance novels.
Also, I never drank whiskey before. But since I wrote characters who drink it, I became curious. Now it's my favorite drink.
Life in Northern California is full of surprises, including Executive Sweet. I have been happily married for nearly thirty years, and we have raised two wonderful children. I honestly wouldn't trade places with anyone else, living or dead, real or imagined.
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I never would have thought the world of executives and business deals as sexy and thrilling. What made you decide to write a romance set in that world?
I've never actually worked in the world of business, so I was free to fantasize about it as much as I liked. Is that world as sexy as I make it sound? I doubt it. But whenever I watch a movie or television show, they all seem determined to sex-up those poor business folks. Wait! Did I say "poor business folks"? That's a joke. The people in my book are definitely the 1%, and they're anything but poor. So perhaps that world really is as sexy as I imagine it.
Are Kay and Dan based on any one you know?
As the book's dedication attests, Kay is based on a real person, but I'm not telling who (no, it's not me). In truth, there are bits of many real people sprinkled all over the characters in my book. Doesn't every fiction author do this? Even I appear in a few places. I recently heard about an author who has a sign in her kitchen that reads "Watch out or I'll write you into my next book." How true.
* Darn, I was hoping I'd trip you up with that question and you'd spill. Can't blame a girl for trying though :)
What were some of the challenges, if any, of writing Executive Sweet?
The biggest challenge was to make it real, while still being outrageous in so many ways. Why would a successful and intelligent woman jeopardize her future by doing these things? I want my readers to believe that this could actually happen, so I tried to make each step of Kay's journey be well motivated. The other challenge was to learn about the world of business and the world of con games, both of which were unfamiliar to me.
* I would imagine learning about the world of con artists and cons would be fascinating.
Aside from reading or writing, what do you like to do on your spare time?
For the past year, while writing this book, I've been immersing myself in the world of con games. The Executive Sweet website (executive-sweet.com) has a page on female con artists in movies, TV, and romance novels. Everything in that list is something I've seen or read. So besides reading books, I spend way too much time watching movies and TV shows. I keep looking for more stories, gobbling them up, and then adding them to my website. It's a fulltime job.
Who would you picture as Kay and Dan if Executive Sweet were made into a movie?
One pairing that immediately comes to mind is Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Other actresses I've thought about include Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, and Christina Ricci. If I could synthesize the perfect Dan, it would be a younger Robert Downey, Jr. And I'd also be happy with Hugh Jackman (who wouldn't?)
Then, when I watch television shows about con artists, I find it easy to imagine some of these actors in my book, especially since I get to see them pulling off cons so well. From the British TV show Hustle I would cast Jamie Murray or Kelly Adams as Kay. From the American TV show Leverage, I would cast Christian Kane as Dan (he's a charmer).
* Points for me for knowing who Christian Kane was without having to Google him. Great choices. Especially Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr.
What are you currently working on?
I'm writing a follow-on book, from the same world, but with a different couple. In this next book, Kay's friend Rebecca is the heroine (it was either her or Constance Westerley, so that probably tells you that Constance will find love, too, if I get around to a third book). The hero is O.E. Orton. But this book will switch genres from suspense to comedy. Let's face it, Orton is a comic character.
Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?
The main theme of Executive Sweet is the overwhelming power that women have over men. This is not some random idea...it's a documented fact. I even have a page on the book's website where I list scientific research papers that prove this fact. The sad truth is that in the presence of women, men lose their memory, lose their ability to reason, and act poorly (take risks, overeat, work too hard, etc.) A friend of mine looked at these papers and pointed out that men may not be as stupid as women think they are, but it's impossible for women to tell because their very presence makes men dumb.
* Ha ha I did notice the effect Kay had on the men around her. What I admired was that she didn't try to downplay her looks but she wasn't conceited about it either.
Sage is graciously offering a lucky reader a SIGNED & DEDICATED print copy of Executive Sweet today. Fill in the rafflecopter and good luck! US/CAN only please.
Kay Samson is fresh out of business school and has a job as a junior executive—or so she thinks. But the job turns out to be something else: a bizarre game of erotic high-finance business deals. Although it starts off innocently, with just a little teasing, the game draws her in deeper with each new deal, and thrills her more than she could ever imagine. Who would have thought that her brains and her beauty could work together so powerfully?Kay’s partner in this game is Dan Avery, the handsome CEO of the company. The two of them might seem like a perfect match, but neither wants to get romantically involved. Dan has a history of bad relationships, and refuses to wreck the game by having another bitter breakup. Kay is wary of men, who always lust for her looks and never care about what’s inside. Besides, they’re both having too much fun manipulating unsuspecting businessmen.But with all the sexually-charged business deals going on, how long can they keep the game going and stay out of trouble?
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