Now back to our usually scheduled programming:
Many thanks to Mark Chisnell, bestselling author of top-quality thrillers, for including me in the #nextbigthing! Don’t miss Mark’s latest, Powder Burn. Coming soon!
What is the title of your book? The Chanel Caper.
The book begins when no-BS haute WASP Blake Weston buys a fake Chanel bag from a NYC sidewalk vendor. As it turns out, it would have been cheaper for Blake to go to Chanel, take a deep breath, spring for the money and buy a genuine Chanel.
OTOH, if she had done that, I wouldn’t have a book!
The original title was Menobleep—my made-up word to convey Blake’s attitude toward approaching sixty. Let’s put it this way: she’s not thrilled.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Lots and lots of places.
For a long time, I've wanted to write about the ups and downs of a long-term relationship and, especially, about the way romance can last, evolve and even flower over the years. Blake and her DH, hot Brooklyn boy and ex-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, they are still holding hands in the movies, still driving each other crazy.
A second contribution 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 Baby Boomers determined to stay on top of their game.
Add to 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 Connection is set in the fall of 2008 when the 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 wicked and, as it turned out, wickedly entertaining background for my Baby Boomer couple.
Also inspired by the news: a washed-up Martha Steward wannabe trying to make a come back with the help of a red balconette bra. Plus a one-eyed, one-legged Afghan warlord who doesn’t speak a word of English and an über neurotic, germ-ophobic billionaire named George Profett freaking out as the stock market plummets and his net worth goes down—and down.
Supporting players: NYC’s ubiquitous sidewalk vendors of faux designer label bags, sunglasses and scarves and the city’s vast selection of ethnic restaurants and foods. Throw in news articles about counterfeit drugs, the glam and glittering city of Shanghai, trendy gurus, hot self-help fads, Bollywood movies and you have some of the ingredients that went into The Chanel Connection.
What genre does your book fall under?
The Chanel Connection is romcom-mystery-thriller.
Which actors would you cast in a movie rendition?
Ellen Barkin would be a great Blake Weston. She survived Hollywood and Ronald Perelman. She’s snarky, savvy, strong and sexy.
Robert deNiro all cleaned up in a Brioni suit has the sex appeal and street cred to play Ralph, a retired NYPD cop with a James Bond edge.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
James Bond meets Nora Ephron. Or is it the other way around?
On Sunday, I’ll be posting over at Anne R. Allen's blog about how difficult women—they're thorny, obstinate, blunt, steely, manipulative, and sometimes pathological—can come to your rescue.