Maddison Lake - An Opposites Attract, Workplace, Romantic Comedy
Maddison Lake writes clean, romantic humorous, no sex-on-the-page tales, loaded with lots of innuendo, where love and justice always prevail! Oh, and the heroine always gets her happily ever after. Maddison's writing makes you laugh, and makes you cry~and sometimes makes you do both, all at the same time! As our Author of the Day, Maddison tells us all about her book, Once Upon an Office Romance.
Please give us a short introduction to what Once Upon an Office Romance is about.
Once Upon an Office Romance is about shy, brainiac Bernadette Parker and her hot, new fish-out-of-water boss, Damian Wells. Bernadette is smart and savvy, when it comes to business but a bit of a failure when it comes to her personal life. This is her journey to overcome being painfully reserved and to find her voice. Damian Wells, on the other hand, is an extroverted, handsome, confident kind of guy. What he lacks is the ability to fit in...to his own life. Together, the two set off on a mission to impress the big boss, over a weekend conference, where Bernadette hopes to come away with the promotion she's been vying for, the last five years, and Damian hopes to impress the CEO enough to make himself believe he can actually run this company. Trouble is, Damian knows absolutely nothing at all about business as he's spent the last ten years backpacking around the world teaching ski lessons to ski bunnies. It's his last chance to shine and show his family he's worth something. Only trouble is, he seems to be distracted by the beautiful girl he's brought with him. Bernadette too, is having a hard time keeping her mind on business. Can they make it through the weekend without falling in love? Oh, and did I mention the company's strict no dating policy? Whereby employees are not allowed to end up with one another—or be fired.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to write this?
I love old 1980s-90s romantic comedies, and I miss them. Anything with Sandra Bullock or Hugh Grant. They just don’t seem to be making movies like that anymore. I love the angst of those movies, the desire they stir, rooting for the underdog in their impossible situations, and of course, the satisfaction of the happily ever after. I felt the world was at a point where we could all use some good old fashioned Rom Com happiness, so I thought I’d try my hand. PS: Nottingham is my absolute fave. I even own the soundtrack. Don’t judge.
Tell us more about Bernadette. What makes her so special?
She is brilliant, sweet, shy, kind, but a push over. She can't manage to speak up for herself. I know how that feels to be in an office environment and intimidated by the women around me all scratching their way to the top, and not being unable to find my voice to defend myself. I think a lot of women can relate to this. Office politics can be complicated. So I wanted to create a character, women in the same position, could relate to. Bernadette isn't stupid she's just undervalued and doesn't quite know what to do about it. And there's always that one woman who seems to get everything she wants with seemingly no effort. That is the heart of what makes Bernadette so special. She is that every day, getting through the grind, hoping for the best, ignoring her own personal life in favor of her career, kind of girl, who doesn’t realize she could have it all, if she could only find her voice.
What makes Damian Wells such a great love interest?
What makes Damian Wells a great love interest is his compassion. He's hot, desirable, and appears to exude all the confidence in the world on the exterior, but underneath it all he's just a hurt little boy looking for love and acceptance. He's also a true gentleman, who is kind and considerate. And not a fool. He knows exactly what Diane's all about and has no interest in it. He's looking for a real relationship.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am an artist, who loves to draw and paint and sculpt. Though I don't have much time for any of that these days! Writing has taken precedence. But I sometimes get my artistic fix by painting and decorating the rooms of my house. I recently did my office over and LOVE how it turned out! I’ll include a couple pics for you!
Why an office romance? Why is this such a charming setting for a romance?
As I said, Rom Com movies are my fave. I think this is a charming setting for romance because it leads to situational accidents. Anytime the setting or activity can get out of control and lead to a man and a woman to rescuing each other, it leads to comedy and romance, in my opinion. Throw in a pair of skis and a slippery Mammoth mountain ski run, and you have a recipe for charming chivalrous disaster. Also, the ski run incident actually happened to me once. And that’s all I have to say about that. *grins*
Cool cover - do tell us more about how it came about.
I actually designed the cover myself. I love creating covers (it's part of the artistic thing!) and I saw a traditional cover I just fell in love with at the bookstore, which gave me the idea for this one. I used blue...of course... I just LOVE blue, don't you? It’s such a soft and lovely periwinkle shade. It took a long time for me to get that just right.
Which of your characters did you have the most fun with?
Beasely. I just loved writing Beasely, Bernadette's sister. She is everything I've always wanted to be and more. I love that she is the light of Bernadette's life and her inspiration, and I loved writing her wit! I also adore her relationship with husband, Chuck!
Bernadette is socially awkward, klutzy, shy and insecure, but smart. Why did you create her this way?
Because I think a lot of us are--all those complicated things wrapped up together. I think she represents a lot of everyday women I met in corporate America… (yes, I once worked in HR in a huge corporation. Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt…) who spend their days feeling undervalued and getting overlooked. And I think the fact that she's okay with herself, but just too reserved to go after what she wants, makes her a very interesting mix of a character. She's strong, she just doesn't know it yet. And she's deserving of all she wants, she just has to get over her inner demons first. She needs to take this journey more than she knows. And the best part is, it's not just all about landing the guy.
Do you think that true love exists in real life as well?
For sure. I really do believe people can fall truly in long and lasting love. Just meet my parents! Well...they're gone now... but if you could have, you'd have seen they were the quintessential example of that. They were a war couple, meaning they fell in love during WWII. I'm not sure if that's the reason for their deeply rooted connection to one another, but whatever it was, once the war ended and they could be together again, that's what they were. Inseparable and mad for one another until the day they died. Their love is the inspiration for much of my writing, as well as my second marriage.
This book forms part of the matchmaker series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Yes. It can definitely be read as a standalone. And there will be more books to follow. I have at least plans for 4 more at this point. Every book in the Matchmaker Series features a new couple who works at Love Bytes--the fictitious on-line matchmaking company I made up for the books. The fictitious company has 4 floors of employees to choose from, so that should keep me busy writing for a while!
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average working day like for you?
I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. Okay, scratch that. I AM one. I love to work. I'm almost always doing it. My husband thinks I'm out of my mind. He often intervenes by planning small day trips away, or he swears I would never stop. I don't recommend this for everyone, it's just my way. For me, my writing business is my passion. I think I got my work ethic from my father, who also ran his own company (until 82 years old!), and from being a teacher, working bell to bell. (Yes! From corporate America to teaching!) My average workday is from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Yep... 12 hours...with small, short breaks. I'm always working on writing, marketing, designing covers, or something. Running your own company is hard work. LOL
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am working on a historical cozy mystery (which I also write!) I have a pre-order coming due very soon. *bites nails* After that, it's back to ROM COM, and book two of this series, Till Date Do Us Part. I can't wait to get into that story. A loyal secretary, in love with her boss, who finally gets invited to accompany him to a wedding—only to find out it’s the wedding of his ex-fiancée. The poor girl thinks she's finally caught her boss's eye. But has she?
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can find me currently on Facebook here ~ https://www.facebook.com/Maddison-Lake-Author-107768344957616. I also hope to have a website up soon. So watch for that too! I'm hoping to make it fairly interactive with recipes and water cooler chat, including fun stuff to do and share. Like a little mini visit to an office space like Love Bytes!