by Jennifer Hayward
People often ask where I get the ideas for books; where my inspiration comes from. The answer is… everywhere. Often for me, they come from the news as in the real-life million-dollar divorce party my debut novel, The Divorce Party, was based on. Yup, you heard right, a million-dollar divorce party to celebrate the end of a marriage. Other times they come from stories I hear at a dinner party (real life is stranger than fiction, I’m now convinced of it), pop culture or even an escapade from my own life.
And then there is television: a treasure trove of ideas waiting to happen. The concept for my new release, The Magnate’s Manifesto, came to me after watching a program about a stripper who danced in Las Vegas who had done so well she had accumulated a portfolio of Las Vegas real estate. I had no idea dancing could be that lucrative! As with all such fascinating occupations, I wondered how a person becomes a dancer? Where does she come from? What would lead a woman to a life on the stage where she gets up every night and bares her body and perhaps a bit of her soul to the men who come to see her?
I went on to interview a dancer who’d worked in Vegas. She was amazing. Compelling. Thus my heroine, Bailey, was born.
There was a reason Bailey was on that stage—a road that had led her there. As I brainstormed, I learned she came from a small town in Florida, her mother was a hairdresser, her father a former football hero who never recovered from not being drafted by a college team. Her father becomes an unemployed alcoholic and they are barely making ends meet when a chance encounter with a dancer on a Tampa street introduces Bailey to her way out. She discovers she has a talent for dancing and it gives her the one thing she wants—out of her miserable existence. Onward to a better place.
Bailey moves to Vegas with the promise to herself she will dance only long enough to put herself through school and then she’s out. She shuts herself off emotionally, gets on that stage every night and does what she needs to do to make her dream come true. It’s not pretty at times, but I believe Bailey is the most courageous heroine I’ve ever written.
An MBA and a lifetime later, Bailey is working as a top marketing executive in Silicon Valley, her alter ego, dancer Kate Delaney who made quite a name for herself in Vegas, long put to rest. Until Bailey’s boss, Jared Stone writes an explosive manifesto about women meant only for his closest wingmen that gets leaked on the internet. Bailey, who has been languishing in the shadows waiting for the promotion Jared has promised her, is promoted to Chief Marketing Officer to save Jared’s behind after women start boycotting his products. She wants to throw the promotion in his face—but Bailey is a survivor, remember? She wants to run a company someday.
But with Bailey back in the limelight, she’s a target for the evil from her past. It comes back to haunt her in ways she couldn’t have imagined, threatening everything she’s worked for.
It begs the question: Can you really ever escape your past? And if you do, can you keep it there? Or will it forever be a part of you? Maybe it needs to be a part of you because it form the essence of who you are? It’s made you who you are. I believe in Bailey’s case—that’s the truth. She wouldn’t be who she is today if it weren’t for the road she’s traveled.
I’m thrilled to say Romantic Times Magazine has nominated The Magnate’s Manifesto as one of its Reviewer’s Choice Best Books of the Year for Harlequin Presents. I hope if you get a chance to read the story you’ll enjoy how Bailey’s journey turns out!
The Magnate’s Manifesto can be purchased in mass market paperback or eBook format for/from: