Timing is everything.
As I happily turned my back on 2020, I launched the second book in my series, Truth, Lies, and Love in Advertising. It is considered Upmarket Commercial Fiction with a side dish of Workplace Romance.
The new book, For Position Only, is out on all channels and I’m calling it my Valentine’s baby. This book is particularly special to me because when I set out to write the sequel to Camera Ready, I was looking to continue the story of the rocky relationship between Jane Mercer and Craig Keller – but through a different lens.
In Camera Ready, the reader truly gets to know Jane – in fact, many of my readers said that, by the end of the book, they felt like she was their friend.
When I wrote For Position Only, I had no idea it would be told from Craig’s point of view, until I gazed at my empty computer screen and the idea hit me. I wanted Craig to tell his own story.
I wanted to dig into his life and figure out why he was such a villain, and the only way to do that was to make him my protagonist. Since all my novels are written in first person, my voice as an author goes away. The narrator is the character, and that’s why the voice is so drastically different from what my readers heard in Camera Ready.
How Did I Manage to Write from a Man’s POV?
It wasn’t easy. It took lots of drafts of chapter one before he sounded like himself. Someone commented that this book is much darker than Camera Ready. Where Camera Ready is more Upmarket Commercial Women’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy, For Position Only is more of a romantic dramedy. To Jane’s outspoken, Southern California-style sophistication, we now have Craig’s articulate, self-effacing, dry wit.
Yes, Craig Keller is a dark, intense, and overpowering personality. But the book is still so much fun. Writing him was fun.
The Supporting Cast.
The cast of characters were either new to the book, or holdovers from Camera Ready and Princess Smile. What I usually do is drop some of the characters and add new ones with each book. The constants are, of course, Warren and Jeffrey, Jane’s original boss and closest colleague, respectively; Marisa, Jane’s best friend; Bobbi, Craig’s best friend and office Yenta; Alonzo, the perpetually stoned creative director.
But with the new protagonist came the need to introduce new characters: Craig’s parents, Don and Julia Keller were in large part new characters, although they were mentioned in the previous books. The character of Craig’s therapist, Dr. Janice Truer was an essential fringe character who appears and reappears throughout the story to help Craig solve his many problems. Then, there are a few surprise characters who appear at the end of the book.
What Makes For Position Only a Must-Read?
It’s just a damned good story. I’ve always prided myself on weaving a good yarn, one filled with twists and turns, and this one just happens to be my personal favorite. It has everything: drama, comedy, romance, and suspense. The themes within this book are many – salvation, redemption, true love, personal growth, human compassion, and selfish ambition.
One reader told me he worried until the very end about how things would work out. And, when that happens, I’ve done my job as an author. I’ve kept the reader guessing!
One reader remarked that the ending “didn’t disappoint,” and that’s about all I will say – no spoilers here!
Readers who haven’t worked in the advertising or entertainment industry will get a kick out of the amusing antics that take place behind the conference room door, as the fictitious Los Angeles advertising agency, Mitchell, Keller, Vance and Mercer, captures the readers’ imagination. There are numerous clients, plenty of creative ideas, chance meetings at trendy restaurants, and a lot of drama behind the scenes. It is a world I know well, and I’ve spun the tales with a wide gamut of experience behind me.
Truth, as we say, is always stranger than fiction; however, fiction can be just as much, if not more, fun.
The Central Conflict.
Obviously, the central conflict is Craig and Jane’s relationship, the enemies they are at the beginning, the slow burn, chipping away at the armor each wears to protect themselves from – what else? Falling in love.
Craig doesn’t know what love is and Jane has been burned too many times – it’s the perfect formula for a romantic disaster, but what lies ahead? And, what’s more fun than a surprise on Valentine’s Day!