📚 IN DEPTH ✏
AUTHOR OF STEAMY, SEXY
You followed up your books CRAZY LADIES – PARTS ONE and TWO, a humorous mystery about financial crimes, with SHAMELESS CAPTIVE, an erotic suspense thriller. Why the shift again in genre?
It’s the same genre as SINFULLY GOOD, my first novel, but without the humor. CRAZY LADIES had a large group of characters, where SINFULLY GOOD and now SHAMELESS CAPTIVE have far fewer, and gave me an opportunity to focus on them. All my books thus far have had white collar crime as the backdrop, with elements of suspense. Like SINFULLY GOOD, SHAMELESS CAPTIVE has a strong erotic foundation on which the story is built.
What inspires you to write about white collar crime and erotic suspense?
I work in the financial industry and we see the daily notices posted by the Securities Exchange Commission and other regulators about the latest scam or violation by seemingly ordinary people. Money laundering, insider trading and financial fraud regularly occur. In reading the recaps, I often wonder what motivates them. Based on what they did, some can get permanently barred from the industry as well as go to prison. A few who are lucky enough to survive the ordeal attempt to move on, reinvent themselves and pray that nobody will recognize them. So why are these folks such risk-takers? What were the circumstances in their lives that forced them to stray to a path of greed and self-destruction? What were their redeeming qualities, if anything? Once you identify the motivation and flesh out each of the principle characters, you have the makings of an interesting story. In developing these characters, you can’t ignore that there are others in their lives with whom they have a physical or emotional connection. They want love, companionship or simply sexual relief, but in all instances, they want to be with someone else who makes them feel “whole.” Adding that erotic piece, for me, makes them real.
Tell us a little about SHAMELESS CAPTIVE.
It’s a story about a pampered younger woman (Kelly) who puts all her trust in her brother (Tyler) to run the family business and is blind to his criminal activities. Tyler hires his old military buddy, Damon, to help him out when the going gets rough and fears that they can’t otherwise survive in such a competitive industry. Damon, who has previously made a name for himself in the business and is well-liked by everyone, helps turns things around and proves to be invaluable to the company. Money is pouring in like never before. Tyler knows that other construction firms would love to poach Damon, but is also aware that Damon has always had a “thing” for Kelly. He encourages Kelly to lead Damon on just enough to ensure that he stays with them. Kelly, on the other hand, is genuinely attracted to Damon and wouldn’t mind being with him, but is cautioned from doing so by Tyler, who is afraid that should their situation sour, he will ultimately leave the company. Kelly goes along with her brother’s plan, though she never seems to find another man who makes her heart flutter the way Damon does. Then one night, Damon shows up at her door, angry and making accusations that Tyler is trying to frame him for a crime he didn’t commit. Kelly has no idea what he’s talking about, which agitates him more. He suspects that she is involved in her brother’s scheme and insists that she go with him. When she refuses, he subdues her and takes her. From there, the story moves along with many twists and turns.
Do you base any of your characters on people you know?
Of course. Most writers, whether they are willing to admit it or not, lift character traits from friends, family members or mere acquaintances. Parts of my personality – mostly my sense of humor – were ejected into Vanessa from SINFULLY GOOD. Frank, the older man in her life, was a combination of male consultants I’ve known and had some interesting “daydreams” about during some long, dragging out project meetings. Each of the three women in CRAZY LADIES – Suzy, Angie and Rebecca – had some of my qualities. Travis and Lionel, the gay characters in CRAZY LADIES, are actually several of my data geek friends who are super-smart, a whiz with data, but enjoy whispering the most outrageous, crude things in my ear to make me laugh when we’re have a serious discussion with the senior managers. It’s pretty much tough-and-go keeping a straight face when I have those little devils next to me. They are evil to the core, but I love them! Kelly and Damon in SHAMELESS CAPTIVE also come from friends of mine who have had an insane chemistry together.
Most of your work seems to have an older man/younger woman spin. Can you explain your fascination with older men?
Older men, in my opinion, are more fun. They are smarter – usually two or three steps ahead of me – have better stories to tell from their life experiences, are easier to talk to and more relaxed, and can sensibly cope with curve balls that are thrown their way. I think younger women are attracted to older men because they can be themselves, and accepted for who they are (whether they are “misunderstood,” “prone to tantrums,” or “mature at heart, looking for her soul mate”), instead of projected a more glamorous version when around guys their age. They also feel that they can learn a lot from older men – as well as secretly enjoying when those older men rein them in when they act foolishly. I believe older men want younger women because they give them a chance of reliving their youth and doing things “right” the second time. You bring these two types together – virtually polar opposites – and you can find a countless number of story possibilities.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a project manager for a large financial services firm spread from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. I’ve worked on large-scale projects, such as conversions of back-office processing systems and managed account platforms, rolling out Compliance and electronic message monitoring systems and a host of other very technical projects. All this business-related stuff can get pretty heavy, so I have learned to balance it with creative writing. I have written probably a few thousand pages of mindless stories in composition notebooks throughout my life, some I have transferred into my laptop and attempted to formally publish. I’ve tried the route of seeking a literary agent, but like many, received constant rejections. When the Indie Author Market opened up on Amazon, I rejoiced and embraced it. I have since connected with many wonderful authors of all different genres I consider good friends and whom I wholeheartedly support. When I’m not writing, I’m reading (I love crime fiction, or mystery/suspense, horror if it’s not too gruesome, romance that has humor), and love to binge-watch television shows I’ve recorded on my DVR (I just finished BILLIONS, a series on Showtime about Insider Trading and was in awe of it; outstanding acting and writing throughout), or old movies (I am a huge fan of Turner Movie Classics). I love art – particularly oil paintings and sculptures. I love a good laugh (have been often told I have a “wicked” one) and have been told I have a “wild sense of humor.” I love to cook (am a fan of grilled veggies and anything with chicken). One humorous quirk about me: I hate flying! Travel is a huge part of my job, but it would be so much easier if I didn’t have a panic-attack during take-off. I can be perfectly calm in my seat, reading something, but once we get to the runway and start to accelerate, I grab my armrest and grit my teeth. Thoughts such as “Are we going fast enough for lift-off?” or “Are we going to swerve into another aircraft and take it out” go through my mind. People have told me “Laurie, you fly so often, why does it still bother you?” and my pat answer is, “I haven’t figured that out yet, but will let you know when I do!” On the other hand, I once flew through a thunderstorm and our plane got struck by lightning. There was a huge flash of a light, a deafening BOOM, the plane pitched about and passengers around me were screaming. I strangely stayed calm. My conscious thought at that time was “My God, did we just lose a wing? No, we’re still flying. All is good!” LOL.
Do you have another book in mind?
I have a few ideas for another, but haven’t settled on which one. Either way, it will be suspenseful, erotic and have some sense of humor when it’s done.
About Laurie Vincent:
Laurie Vincent is my pen name. I grew up in the New Hope, Minnesota and went to the University of Minnesota to obtain my degree in Business Administration. After working on a few audits at an Accounting Firm, I accepted an offer to work at a large financial services firm in their Project Management Office. I found working on projects far more rewarding than assisting on annual audits.
I had dabbled in creative writing since I was a teenager, but felt most of the stories I wrote weren’t worth publishing. When I did start writing with the intention to publish, that was eye-opening. I tried going the route of seeking a literary agent, but received far too many rejections and set that ambition aside.
When I started working at the financial services firm and got a chance to learn the securities business, I felt the best way to unwind was to resume my passion for writing. I started working on my first novel, which would eventually become CRAZY LADIES, a mystery with humor. Over the course of several years, I worked on it, yet continually pushed it aside when certain projects dominated my time.
I saw the Independent Author Market open up and soar. I saw an opportunity to finally publish my work, but I felt so disconnected from CRAZY LADIES (with all the interruptions) that I decided to write SINFULLY GOOD, a new effort, that was in the erotic suspense genre. After publishing SINFULLY GOOD on Amazon in 2014, I decided to dust off CRAZY LADIES and at least release most of what I’d written over the years. In 2016, I released the second half of CRAZY LADIES to wrap up that longstanding mystery.
I have decided to refocus on the erotic suspense market, and although asked by various readers if I intended to do a sequel to SINFULLY GOOD. I was personally satisfied with how I ended it, and decided instead to follow it up with an entirely different book, SHAMELESS CAPTIVE.
WANT TO CONNECT WITH LAURIE??
Lots of interesting info here Laurie! Best of luck with your release of Shameless Captive, and keeping my fingers crossed for you, my friend. LOL. tf