Tricia: Today, I’m fortunate to be part of The Craziest Blog Tour Ever! Liza O’Connor is here to talk to us about her new book, Worst Week Ever. Welcome, Liza. Can you please tell us something odd about yourself?
Liza: If Stephen Colbert and the writer Sandra Brown had a baby, it would be me. I always start off intending to write a silly comedy, but then real life gets involved and the next thing you know my story becomes a ‘didn’t see that coming’ suspense thriller. And because I believe sex/romance/love is the #1 preoccupation of every human on earth, there’s always some of that going on too. However, exactly WHAT is going on differs based on the characters.
Tricia: Could you elaborate on your writing process?
Liza: Well, first let’s understand my creation process.
a) Go to sleep and dream.
b) Wake up and remember dream
c) Create characters based on dream, let them met.
d) Scribe what happens when real life things muck up their lives.
e) Constant reminder self: You are NOT God. Let your characters be what they want
That’s how I write. So based on the characters I create, I may not be able to write a standard romance novel. I have to be true to my little people.
Tricia: Can you tell us how that worked out with your current release?
Liza: In Worst Week Ever, Carrie’s billionaire boss, Trent Lancaster, makes a horrible romantic lead. He’s arrogant, cranky and clueless.
Just when you are just about to toss him from his millionaire dollar armored limo,
he saves himself with a heartfelt compliment to Carrie.
Carrie could do so much better, but all she does is work, commute and sleep. Who’s she going to fall for, other than the man she works for?
I tried to find other guys for her to meet and maybe love instead, but she just befriends them. Her heart is already set on Trent. She believes beneath his bad upbringing and excessive wealth there is a great man. All she has to do is bring him to light.
But as we all know, it is hard–nearly impossible–to change a person, but she can be quite stubborn/loyal/stupid when it comes to love.
So in book one, DO NO EXPECT A PROPER ROMANCE, because this is more like a real life ‘what is she thinking?’ funny disaster romance. Either Trent has to improve In book 2 & 3 or Carrie’s got to move on. The man he is in book 1 does not make for a satisfying HEA. However, on the positive side, you’ll have a great deal to laugh about. And frankly, it’s realistic. I certainly didn’t find Mr. Right the first time around…or the second , or third, fourth, fifth…well you get the idea.
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite?
Liza: I have to limit that question to characters of this book, because otherwise I’ll have a thousand characters storming my dreams wanting to know why I didn’t choose them.
So in this book, hands down, no contest, so nobody storm my dreams please, my favorite character is Carrie. How can you not like her? She kind, hard working, really smart, determined, is always willing to go the extra mile, and beautiful.
She’s also only 4′ 6″ and has self esteem problems from being the ‘difficult’ twin that her parents preferred to ignore. (Her twin sister is 5’8″). All her life everyone loved her sister and only saw Carrie as a side-show freak. To attend college, she had to run away from home. (Her parents claimed her too immature (small), but in truth they thought it a waste of money. Who would hire her?)
She thrived at school far from her sister and parents. The day she graduated, as she walked down a NYC street, she noticed a hand written help-wanted sign for a job as a CEO’s Executive Assistant. She thought it a great opportunity to practice her interview skills.
Her enthusiasm and ready-to-work attitude won Trent Lancaster over and he hired her on the spot. According to Sam, Trent’s driver, Carrie’s been his right hand, left hand, and brain ever since. She’s done miracles with his company, pulling it from the brink of bankruptcy. Can she now do miracles with Trent and make him good boyfriend material?
Worst Week Ever only lasts a week, so it’s too soon to tell. But she’s really good, so who knows…
But you’ll eventually find out because it’s part of a series called The Long Road to Love.
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Liza: I think I began writing in the first grade. But it may have been a little later before I gave up verbal storytelling to my friends and put pencil to paper. Then I graduated to ink, discovered that made a mess, returned to pencil until computers got cheap enough that I could afford one.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Liza: Coming out this December is Ghost Lover
It’s about two English brothers who fall for the same young woman, requiring the ancestral ghost to intervene. Only he falls in love with her as well.
It is also humorous, and I’m proud to say, a proper romance in the end.
And of course I’ve book two and three of The Long Road to Love following Carrie to her eventual happily ever after romance.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Liza: Write from your heart.
Know thy characters and be true to their will.
Write minimally three great books before submitting anything for publication.
(Once you publish, your time will never be free again.)
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.
The door burst open and Trent strode in, followed by a man dressed in a black suit, carrying a tray of food. “Good, you’re finally awake. Saves me from having to throw cold water on you.”
Trent sat on her bed as he pointed to the desk. “Put her breakfast there.”
“On the one of a kind, heirloom desk, which has been in your family since 1845?” his butler asked.
“No!” Carrie yelled over him. “Let’s put it on the bed stand.” She pushed the Tiffany lamp further back to make room.
“Thank you, miss,” the butler said as he placed the silver tray on the stand and then stepped back. “Will there be anything else?”
“No,” her grumpy boss snapped. The moment the butler stepped into the hall, Trent slammed the door closed and glared at Carrie. “Do not countermand my orders to the staff. They’re impossible enough already.”
She chuckled. “I’m sure they say the same about you.” The tantalizing aroma of her food caught her attention. Unable to resist, she peeked beneath the silver lid.
Trent sat a foot away from her on the bed and sniffed at her plate. “I told the cook she’d be fired if you didn’t eat it.”
“If you actually said that, you should go downstairs and apologize. You appear to have a wonderful cook and should value her.”
He shrugged. “She’s okay. Not as good as the last one though.”
Unwrapping her fork from a swaddling of fine linen, Carrie dug into the egg-white omelet. Her eyes rolled in ecstasy. “God, this is fabulous!”
“Really?” He moved closer and stole her fork so he could try some.
She expected him to smile at first taste. Instead, he became annoyed. “Come on! Your taste buds can’t be that jaded.”
His eyes narrowed. “It’s very good. Far better than the crap she feeds me.”
Carrie shook her head and swiped the fork. If the cook prepared Trent mediocre meals, she understood why. During her first six months at Lancaster Chairs, Trent had threatened her with unemployment on a daily basis and she’d hated it. She nearly grew to hate him, would have, except his remarks always lacked sincerity, as if he’d learned them rote.
Once she’d consumed a quarter of the omelet, she offered him the fork. He smiled and shook his head. “You finish it. The cook will serve me my gruel later. Probably spit in it for good measure.”