Liza O'Connor takes over my blog!!! Welcome, Liza, tell us about the Worst Week Ever and the giveaway!!
HOW TO MAKE A GOD-AWFUL BAD BOY BOSS
The way I make any character is to pull the ingredients from real life experiences.
So these are the experiences that helped create Trent.
Experience Number One:
Worst Boss Ever: I once worked for the meanest man on Wall Street. (Everyone who knew him claimed this--not just me). And yes, he was a billionaire. While he didn't technically own Paine Webber or even run the NYC division, he behaved like he did. If anyone dared get in his way, refused his demands, or complained because he had stolen their clients, they would be gone within a month.
Satan would have been more pleasant to work for.
He was the first 'real' boss I had. I was hired because I was southern, with a positive work ethic, and somehow HR hoped that meant I would be able to charm him, where as NYC girls just said 'Screw This" and left ten minutes into the job.
I did try harder. It took me two years to come to reason and say, Liza, you have skills now. You are battle scarred enough. Anyone will be a nicer boss. Jack the Ripper would be a nicer boss.
Due to the stress of the job and personal life, I'd been dropping weight until I looked like a poster child for Anorexia. So I called my former head hunter and got an after-work interview, met two partners of another firm who were very impressed that I had worked for the meanest man on Wall Street for two years. They hired me on the spot. The next Monday I went in and let Satan's Master know due to health reasons, I had to stop working for him. His reply: No. I'll be nicer. You can't quit.
During the next week, he screamed and bellowed at everyone else, then talk to me like a fireman trying to talk a frightened kitten from a tree. It was beyond creepy. On Friday, he called me in. "You're staying, right?"
"No, Gary. I'm still leaving. This job is killing me, literally."
His eyes narrowed in fury. "You have another job lined up, don't you."
The hairs on the back of my neck rose. My self-preservation was screaming 'Run Bambi, Run!"
"I have to work, I just can work here anymore."
"Get out!" he screamed. "Get the hell out, now."
I bolted to the door, got through it and had it partially closed when the first client record book hit the door. When another book slammed against the closed door, I looked at the my fellow assistant. "I won't be coming in next week. Sorry to leave you short-handed." Then I gathered my stuff and headed for the long journey home to NJ.
Experience Two: Worst Boyfriend Ever
The other toxic poison that I threw into my brew was the worst boyfriend I have ever had.
I didn't like him when we first met. In fact, my very first thought, before I even knew his name, was JERK.
He'd opened his beer can and spewed it all over me. He was a bitter rich kid with parents who didn't like him much. He was petulant, arrogant, and selfish and of all the guys flirting with me on the communal porch to my new apartment, he was my least favorite. Yes, he was good-looking, but so was the brother of the owner of the apartments, and he was so much nicer. So I had my eye on him.
Turned out that was like a red flag to a bull for JERK. He loved stealing girls from his friend. So when I was asked to go out barhopping with them, I called a girlfriend and we went. 3 guys, 2 girls. Could it get any better than that? I of course hoped to hook up with the nice cute guy. My friend would hook up with the other nice guy and JERK could wander off on his own. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. JERK became all charms and compliment and convinced me I had completely misread his character. He was delightful, fun, and sexy as hell.
So I fell in love with the good parts of him, and tried not to focus on the bad parts, which were still there. (So much like poor Carrie does with Trent.)
I was still with the JERK as I was dealing with the worst boss ever. According to my diaries at the time, I thought myself in love with the JERK. I don't see how that was possible. I think I just wanted to be in love with someone, and to have someone love me. I don't think I even understood what love really was. That comes from seeing it in your life. (My parents hated one another) or being lucky enough to discover it on your own.
Unfortunately, the ingredients from these two characters make a toxic mixture that would be great for a psychotic killer, but way too bad for a bad boy. So I pulled traits from my best boyfriend ever and funny stupid antics from my dumbest boss to create Trent.
I also blame a great deal of Trent's problems on his horrible parents (something a person can recover from) and having too much money, (which IMO is harder to overcome.) After meeting a great deal of the 1%ers, I am convinced having too much money is toxic to the soul. It takes a very strong character to survive excessive wealth. It's especially hard on the later generations.
By adding these funny and positive traits, in the end, I have bad boy that is capable of becoming a good man. However, realistically, it's going to take more than week, which means he's not quite there come the end of book one.) And honestly, success isn't guaranteed. If anything falls against him, he could so easily revert to his comfort zone of a God-awful Bad Boy.
Yes, it would have been easier to make him a nicer person, but hey, look on the bright side. Had I not added qualities from my best boyfriend, poor Carrie would have been falling in love with a psychotic killer. And don't tell me that never happens, because it does. Just google it.
Thankfully, that's not in my life experiences.
|Cover art by Danielle Fine|
by Liza O'Connor
New Adult, Humor, Contemporary
What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?
Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love.
Worst Week Ever.
Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant, or as his drivers refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'. He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry his brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.
(Hilarious to the reader--Carrie is not having much fun this week.)
Closing his eyes, Trent enjoyed the pleasure of Carrie’s body pressed against his.
His eyes popped open in horror. Oh God, David’s right. I am besotted.
What the hell was he thinking?
Statistically, his relationships never lasted more than a month and they always ended badly. A billionaire who couldn’t make a relationship last more than a month. How horrible did he have to be to chase off women who had a billion reasons to stick it out?
If he became involved with his most valuable employee, in a month, she’d dump him and quit. Then his business would collapse into chaos and he’d finally prove his father right. The old man constantly claimed Trent was a worthless human being and the world’s worst businessman.
And then Carrie arrived and single handedly saved his company. She never gave up. If one solution failed, she’d find another way to resolve the problem.
He smiled at his sleeping EA. If anyone could make him into a better man, it would be her. Carrie could solve any problem, had the patience of a saint, and the determination of a pitbull. Best of all, she loved a challenge.
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
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