RU contributor and NYT bestselling author Ruth Harris tells us how headlines, current culture, and love after forty inspired her to write her latest book, THE CHANEL CAPER.
Welcome back, Ruth!
For a long time I’ve wanted to write about romance after marriage! Who says it doesn’t exist? And let’s not forget about sex after marriage. Some people actually Do It—and enjoy it—long after the wedding and the honeymoon.
The Chanel Caper is about a long-term relationship and about the way romance waxes and wanes, evolves and transforms over time. 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 marriage (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. An important aspect of the book’s story line is about Blake and Ralph facing sixty—and each other.
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 bail-out money, the financial crisis of 2008 was a richly ironic background for my story of murder and suspense.
• a washed-up Martha Stewart wannabe trying to make a come back with the help of a red balconette bra
* her ex, a rat-fink bastard named Clay Riggins
• 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 then down some more
• 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.
Do you draw inspiration for your stories from the headlines and current culture? Is sixty the new forty and can love still blossom long after the bloom is off the rose?
Join us on Friday, April 5th, when Hansel Handsome presents “Complacency – A Path Authors Should Never Tread”.
Bio: Ruth Harris is a New York Times bestselling author whose books (with Random House, Simon & Schuster, and St.Martin’s Press) have sold millions of copies in hardcover and paperback, been translated into 19 languages, published in 25 countries and selected by the Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club.
Ruth started out in publishing right after she graduated from college. Her first job was as secretary to a textbook editor, an unpromising start if there ever was one, but she was soon promoted to copyediting—much more interesting.
She’s been a copywriter, assistant editor, editor, editor-in-chief and, eventually, publisher at Kensington.
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