Friday, March 13, 2009
Have you ever wondered what delicious fun you could have if you weren't trying to hang on to your dead-end job, but instead were trying to get your boss to...fire you? That's the premise behind my first Casablanca release, coming out in May: Fire Me: A Tale of Scheming, Dreaming and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.
It probably seems crazy to think about letting a job go in these economic times, but who hasn't wanted to shout "take this job and....you know" when things at the office become too much to bear? It's a fantasy everyone has probably cherished at one moment or another.
It's a fantasy that Anne Wyatt gets to live when, on one fine spring day in Washington, DC, she goes into work determined to hand in her resignation to her business quality guru boss, Mitch Burnham. She has a spanking new job all lined up thousands of miles away and is eager for a fresh start. But she changes course when she learns that the wild and unpredictable Mitch (who happens to be her former love) is going to lay off an employee by day's end. Anne decides she'd like the severance package that goes with that bad news, thank you very much, so she spends a day engaged in hysterical hijinks trying to earn her boss' wrath.
Anne gets more than she bargained for in this epiphany-filled twenty-four, though. She's lit with the spark of new romance from her co-worker, graphic designer Ken, finds new friendship with competitive colleague Sheila, and ends up reevaluating precisely what it is she wants from life....and love. By the end of this raucous day, she's rethinking everything--from whether she really wants that new job, to why she wasted so much time on Mitch, to how she can salvage a relationship with Ken that's just in the early bloom of love, as soft and sweet as the warm flower-filled spring bursting out in the nation's capital all around her.
Fire Me was a terrific ride as I thought of ways someone would try to get fired. It's not as easy as you'd think--Anne has to come up with activities that immediately make an impact on her boss without giving away her strategy.
The book itself grew out of a conversation I had with a very dear friend who was contemplating whether to stay at her job or leave at the end of an assignment. We started brainstorming things she could do to take the decision out of her hands and place it in her employer's! That is, if she messed up enough, she wouldn't have to be the one leaving. She'd be asked to go.
I've written four teen mysteries (as Libby Sternberg) and one other romance/women's fiction novel, but Fire Me is my first step into real comedy.
I'd love to hear from others on what strategies they would use if they ever found themselves in Anne Wyatt's position--wanting to grab the pink slip. Let me know!