Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Author Interview with Jenny Holiday

Today Jenny Holiday joins us for an interview about Sleeping with the Enemy, which is the second book in the 49th Floor series. I had the pleasure of reading Sleeping with the Enemy (see my review here), and was intrigued with the concept of her series - all the heroes work on the 49th Floor of an office building in Toronto...talk about a floor filled with hotness!

Thank you, Jenny for joining us today, so....

I just love how you have centered this series on the "49th Floor" of an office building. What inspired you to write your series based on a floor of an office building, and did the fact that there would be a fairly lengthy elevator ride play any part in picking the floor (and yep, I'm thinking about that hot kiss between Dax and Amy!)?
I knew I wanted to do a series with CEO heroes, but I wanted them to be realistic CEO heroes. (I know that sounds lame, but in my head, that was a thing.) So they’re millionaires, not billionaires—that sort of thing. So I stuck them on the 49th floor of a fictional office building. I wanted to evoke the wealth and power of a prestigious address, but I stopped short of putting them on the top. My poor millionaires can’t quite afford the top floor! As for why I set it in the building to begin with: I thought it might be a way to tie the stories in the series together loosely—they could overlap a little—but I wouldn't be stuck with the same small cast of characters for three books. So the 49th floor is the glue of the series.
I wasn't thinking about the long elevator ride when I planned these books, but it sure has come in handy—both for Dax and Amy and for Cassie and Jack, the couple in the first book, Saving the CEO. Cassie and Jack don’t make out in the elevator like Amy and Dax do, but there are definitely some smoldering glances and filthy-mouthed declarations set in that elevator!
You describe Amy as looking a bit like Taylor Swift - and even have her singing some of her songs at karaoke. Can you tell us about your inspiration for Dax?
You’re right, Taylor Swift (I’m a huge fan) was definitely my inspiration for Amy. When I was planning the series, I even thought I’d have part of the plot revolve around her being mistaken for Taylor, but didn't end up working out in the story. As for Dax, I didn't have a specific person in mind for him physically. But the series is set in Toronto, which the UN has called the most diverse city in the world, and it is very much a city of immigrants. I thought it was important that my series reflect that. So Dax’s parents—one British, one Chinese—both came to the city with their parents a generation ago. This would have been a typical Toronto story.
What are your two favorite things about Dax? About Amy?
I love Dax’s wacky family. I had so much fun writing them—particularly his sister Kat, who is a force of nature. In my last book, my CEO hero came from a horrible family, and honestly, that’s an easy way to mess with your characters and give them a little emotional baggage. That’s why you see so many variations on the lone wolf hero: He’s rich and powerful but emotionally stunted. In this book, I thought, Hey, what if my gruff, wealthy CEO dude comes from a happy, functional family that he loves? (Don’t worry, he still has some baggage that allows him to be sufficiently tortured in the beginning—it just doesn't come from his family.) 
I think what I love best about Amy is that she’s brave. She doesn't feel like it necessarily, but she is, and that’s part of what makes Dax look at her in a new light. At the beginning of the book, she’s left at the altar by her fiancé, and she’s forced to really look hard at her life and the choices she’s made. She doesn't shy away from this task—even though she’s heartbroken, she’s unflinching about it. 
Those were some of my favorite things as well. Dax's family was just awesome, and for me, Amy's strength was just amazing.

What were one or two of your favorite quotes from "Sleeping With Her Enemy"?
“After staring for a moment at the novel sight of her unmade-up face, he gave in to his previous impulse and let his palm rest on her cheek, but only for a moment, and only because she would never know the difference.”
I like this quote because it shows Dax starting to question his assumptions about Amy. Dax and Amy start the book as long-standing enemies. Despite the fact that they hate each other, Dax helps her flee after she’s left at the altar. She ends up falling asleep on his couch, and see he catches he here in a rare unguarded moment. It’s very unlike him to have a tender thought like this, much less about her.
“It was hard to imagine the arrogant, womanizing Dax coming from a nice, normal family. He seemed like the kind of person who had been raised by wolves. In a mansion.”
This quote is a moment when the tables are turned, and Amy is forced to face the fact that she might have been wrong about Dax.
"Sleeping With Her Enemy" is the second book in the 49th Floor series. There are three businesses on the 49th Floor and you gave us a quick glimpse of Marcus, the third CEO...can you share any info on what might be in store for him? I promise to keep it a secret!
Ah, Marcus! Poor Marcus is such a grump! He’s at war with his bully of a father, who wants him to settle down, come back to the family firm, get married, and start producing grandchildren already. When a chance meeting introduces Marcus to our heroine, Rose, who is in every way Marcus’s father’s worst nightmare, Marcus cooks up a little scheme to use Rose to annoy the crap out of his father. Meanwhile, twenty-nine-and-three-quarters-year-old Rose is on a mission to find a boyfriend because years ago, she agreed to let her crazy mother fix her up if she was still single at age thirty. Rose agrees to help Marcus (well, he bribes her by dangling something she desperately needs professionally) but only if his crackpot scheme doesn’t get in the way of her dating. On paper, these two are a terrible match, but I’m sure you can guess how things turn out!
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Jenny! It was fun learning a little more about Sleeping with her Enemy and the 49th Floor series! I can't wait to read Marcus and Rose's story - sounds like they will end up being quite the pair...and I'm hoping they get some use out of that elevator!

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Pete Seeger singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Most of Jenny's featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered. From then on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channelled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer, and has spent many years promoting research at a major university, which allows her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. Eventually, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings--minus the bloodbaths. You can follow her twitter accounts @jennyholi and @TropeHeroine or visit her on the web at jennyholiday.com.

Sleeping with her Enemy
by Jenny Holiday
Series: 49th Floor, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2015

Amy Morrison is supposed to be at her wedding. But when her husband-to-be jilts her at the altar, a distraught Amy runs to the only place she feels safe—her office. Besides, everyone who works on her floor is at her wedding...except him. Dax Harris. Playboy, executive, and Amy's official office enemy.

While he and Amy don't see eye-to-eye on the best of days, Dax can't help but feel badly when he sees Amy mid-meltdown. Next thing he knows, he's gotten her good and drunk, and they're making out like two  teenagers. And since neither of them want anything serious, why shouldn't they be frenemies-with-benefits? Because there is no possible way they could ever fall for each other...

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