The Story Behind The Story: The Chanel Caper
For a long time I’ve wanted to write about the ups and downs of a long-term relationship and about the way romance can wax and wane, evolve and transform over time. In The Chanel Caper, Blake Weston and her DH, Brooklyn boy and ex-NYPD cop Ralph Marino, have been through it all—the break ups and makeups, the squabbles, the spats and the stand-offs. Even so, after twenty-six years of living together (and sometimes driving each other crazy), they are still holding hands in the movies. And they still have the hots for each other!
A second element that went into creating The Chanel Caper was that as my friends and I approached sixty, I realized that 60 isn’t what it used to be (and maybe never was). Maybe 60 is—or isn’t—the new 40 but attitudes toward age and aging have been transformed by medical advances, new discoveries about the importance of nutrition and exercise and Baby Boomers' determination to stay on top of their game.
Throw into the mix the fact that I’m a news junkie and love to write about the social and cultural atmosphere of the time in which a book is set. The Chanel Caper takes place in the fall of 2008 when the global financial system faced collapse. From Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff to bankers in five thousand dollar suits flying their private jets to Washington to scrounge for money, the financial crisis of 2008 was a richly ironic background for my story of murder, .
Other characters in the story were inspired by headlines, news stories & current events:
- a washed-up Martha Steward wannabe trying to make a come back with the help of a red balconette bra
- a one-eyed, one-legged Afghan warlord who doesn’t speak a word of English
- an über neurotic, germ-ophobic billionaire freaking out as the stock market plummets and his net worth goes down—and down
- a flack-jacket-wearing gung-ho war zone reporter with a humongo pair of 36 DoubleD's
- NYC’s ubiquitous sidewalk vendors of faux designer label bags, sunglasses and scarves
- the city’s vast selection of ethnic restaurants and foods.
- news reports about the deadly consequences of counterfeit drugs
- the rise of the Chinese economy and the glam and glittering city of Shanghai
- trendy gurus and hot self-help fads
Add in Bollywood movies, the world's best shade of red lipstick and one drop-dead fantastic way to deal with a cheating husband (+ a dick joke) and you have an idea of some of the ingredients that went into The Chanel Caper. I had fun writing it. I hope you have fun reading it!