A woman accidentally makes a deal with a demon, and she must steal the souls of 3 innocent people in order to break the contract. A Choose Your Own Adventure for grown-ups.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote this novel because I loved Choose Your Own Adventure Novels as a kid, but couldn’t find anything like this for grown-ups. I wanted to write an interactive fiction book for grown-ups, with grown-up storytelling and grown-up situations, while using the technology of ereaders, tablets, and mobile devices. I hope that you find it to be an enjoyable reading experience.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Bebe was inspired by people I’ve known over the years who weren’t assertive and couldn’t stand up for themselves. Ladouche is my modern reimagining of Mephistopheles from Faust, but with a funnier sense of humor.
It was the morning of the biggest presentation of my legal career, and I spent ten
minutes practicing my speech in front of a potted ficus. The bronze faces of the
partners stared down at me from the wall, and I tried to imagine my face among
them. If my presentation went well, I’d become a mid-level associate at the
Hanover Law Firm—the most prestigious law firm in the city—and I’d finally get
my own office instead of having to share a cubicle.
I hurried through the hall, swung into the conference room, and discovered
that the meeting had begun without me. The partners sat around a long cedar
table, watching a plasma TV mounted on the wall. They swiveled their heads
“You’re late, Bebe,” said Annette Farwell, my arch-nemesis with stilettos and
perky breasts. Her designer suit made my blouse and skirt look like consignment
items. She wasn’t supposed to be in this meeting. She smirked at me from the
head of the table, lacing her fingers together so that everyone could see her
glittering maroon nails. “I’ve been working on this case for six months, and I
don’t appreciate you interrupting my presentation.”
My PowerPoint slides hovered on the TV screen. Only at the Hanover Law
Firm were the partners so busy that they couldn’t tell when attorneys were
stealing cases from each other.
I nearly turned green when I saw Tucker Salinas sitting at the table. He
looked sexy in his black suit and red tie, and I could smell his lavender cologne
across the room. His wavy hair and brown skin made him stick out in the room
full of pasty white people like me.
“Wasn’t this your case, Bebe?” he said.
Annette raised her voice to cover mine. “Of course Bebe helped me. When she wasn’t on Facebook, she was wonderful. But time management is her
weakness. It’s just like her to be late.”
I wanted to say, I’m late because you rescheduled the meeting without telling
me, but what came out was something between a pout and a nervous laugh.
The managing partner shot up. “That’s all I need. It’s a tough decision—both
of you do a great job. But on the basis of this case, Annette, we’re going to go
ahead and promote you to mid-level associate. Bebe, we’ll discuss your
performance at a later date.”
Annette draped her palms over her mouth and sucked in air. “I can’t thank
you enough for recognizing my hard work.” She schmoozed around the room,
shaking everyone’s hands. The partners ignored me as they filed out, and when I
tried to meet Tucker’s eyes, he looked through me, too.
“It’s nothing personal,” Annette said after the last attorney left. She primped
her bun with one hand and packed her portfolio with the other. “You’ll get your
promotion in due time.”
I blocked the door. “You stole my case.”
“It’s so nice to finally hear you speak. I couldn’t tell if you were shocked, or if
you were participating in one of your silent vegan protests again.”
“This is wrong, Annette. You never worked on this case.”
“You shouldn’t have left your computer unlocked.”
“You’re committing fraud.”
“You’re the fraud.” Annette stepped toward me. “And if you think I’m a bitch
now,” she said, “I dare you to tell the partners. Then I can tell them how you
broke company protocol and kissed Tucker Salinas.”
“How do you know that?”
Sure, I had kissed him. I’d had too many cocktails at happy hour—super
embarrassing—but he hadn’t kissed me back.
Annette saw me thinking and laughed. “You know the rules. Any kind of
personal contact is grounds for termination. I’ll make you wish that you’d
dropped out of law school like you should have, and wonder why you didn’t
major in English, spend the rest of your life writing erotica, and contribute to society in some meaningful way other than being a tool for my personal
advancement. Go on,” she said, pointing to the door, “tell the partners.”
I didn’t know what to say. Annette pushed me aside and slammed the door
behind her, leaving me alone with the lingering smell of cologne, legal pads,
Michael La Ronn writes fearless fantasy. His novels feature unlikely heroes such as teddy bears and vegetables, and his writings are filled with quirky and imaginative humor.
In 2012, a serious illness put him in the hospital, an experience that made him realize his true purpose in life as a writer. He has been writing and publishing a diverse portfolio of work ever since.
He writes novels, short stories, and poetry. His signature works are Decision Select Novels, which are a new twist on Choose Your Own Adventures, but for grown-ups and formatted specifically for ereaders.
He lives with his wife in Des Moines, Iowa. He reads an inordinate amount of books every year and also co-hosts the To Be Read Podcast, where he talks about the books he reads. He also blogs about his life as a part-time writer.
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