Books

Exit Strategy (working title)

This is the first novel I've finished. The book won second place in the Rising Star Award by Women's Fiction Writers Association and placed as a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's contest.

Set in not-so-subtly sexist world of Silicon Valley, it tells a tale of Silicon Valley, sexism, and the power of female friendship to help us rise above the situations men sometimes toss us into.

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Silicon Valley investor Ryn Brennan is on the verge of achieving everything she’d dreamed. She’s proven herself in a male-dominated world, benefits from the support of her successful husband, and is about to close the deal of her career. Everything is going exactly as planned, until she meets Carly, her husband’s mistress, across the negotiating table.

Carly Santos clawed her way back from being a teenage runaway to become an accomplished scientist, loving single mom, and co-founder of her startup. Once she marries her perfect, fiancé, Todd, she’ll finally secure that ‘normal’ life she craves... until she is blindsided to discover he is already married—to Ryn, her company’s biggest investor.

In an industry full of not-so-subtle sexism, can the two women rise above, overcome heartbreak and work together to ensure both their success?

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The Inspiration behind the Story

Have you ever listened to the sunscreen song by Baz Luhrmann? If not you've missed out on a fun piece of 1990s pop culture, so I included a video below with the lyrics plus some bonus trivia below on why what most believe to be the source of the song is actually wrong.

There's a line in there which says the real troubles in life are not the ones we stay up at night worrying over, but the ones that blindside us at 4pm some random Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to write a book about one of those moments in women’s lives. The day you wake up thinking it’s going to be a perfectly normal work-day and something you never imagined slams you sideways.

How do you pick up and carry on when the unthinkable, the impossible or the unimaginable just tipped your world upside down? In those horrors of a heartbeat something interesting happens. To quote one of my loved ones, you may realize  "you're stronger than you think". 

I chose to set the book in Silicon Valley which, in my experience, can be an empathy-lacking world. This setting helps up the ante on the personal challenges faced by the women in my book, but also on a personal level, I wanted to share how it feels to be the only woman in the board room.

Video Courtesy of Sabrina O'Con.

Bonus Facts: An Urban Myth, the True Story of the 'Commencement Speech' Behind the Sunscreen Song

Despite an urban legend that says the sunscreen song was written by Kurt Vonnegut as a commencement speech, the truth is that it was originally a column in the Chicago Times.   This piece of tongue-in-cheek awesomeness was created by Pullitzer prize winning journalist Mary Schmich.

From openculture.com:

On June 1, 1997, Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune columnist and Brenda Starr cartoonist, wrote a column entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.” In her introduction to the column she described it as the commencement speech she would give to the class of ’97 if she were asked to give one.......The thing is, Luhrmann and his team did not realize that Schmich was the actual author of the speech until they sought out permission to use the lyrics. They believed it was written by author Kurt Vonnegut. Read more on openculture.com.