Thursday, October 6, 2016

**GIVEWAY** - Escape Velocity - Interview with Susan Wolfe

Today I'm excited to bring you an interview with Susan Wolfe who released her debut novel The Last Billable Hour which then went on to win an Edgar Award. 27 years later she rolls out her sophomore offering which has already received a Publisher's Weekly Starred review,  Escape Velocity and I know that fans will eat this up while hoping they don't have to wait quite as long for her next offering!
Susan's Publicist Author Guide is sponsoring a giveaway, details below.
Enjoy!




ISBN-13: 9780997211719
Publisher: Steelkilt Press
Release Date: 09-04-2016
Length: 430pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/IndieBound


Overview:
Georgia Griffin has just arrived in Silicon Valley from Piney, Arkansas, on very bald tires, having firmly rejected her beloved father’s life as a con artist. Her father is in jail and a certain minister is hugging her mother for Jesus while eyeing Georgia’s little sister, Katie-Ann. Georgia desperately needs to keep her new job as paralegal for Lumina Software so she can provide a California haven for her sister before it’s too late.
While she’s still living in her car, Georgia realizes that incompetence and self-dealing have a death grip on her new company. She decides to adapt her extensive con artist training—just once—to clean up the company. But success is seductive. Soon Georgia is an avid paralegal by day and a masterful con artist by night, using increasingly bold gambits designed to salvage Lumina Software. Then she steps into the shadow of a real crime and must decide: Will she risk her job, the roof over her sister’s head, and perhaps her very soul?

Giveaway is for one print copy
Escape Velocity US ONLY
Please use Rafflecopter form below to enter
Thanks Author/Guide
Good Luck!

Read an excerpt courtsey the author:

                                          Chapter 1
Georgia followed the bouncing ponytail into a silent conference room with an immense black table. She perched on the edge of a fancy leather chair, quietly sniffed the air, and followed the scent to a tray of food on a side table: rows of colorful ripe fruit, cheerful little pots of yogurt, a tray of meat and cheese alongside glistening rolls. They hadn’t mentioned it would be a lunch interview. She’d have to pace herself and not look greedy. Her empty stomach contracted in anticipation as she politely declined the offer of coffee.
He’ll be with you in a moment,” the woman said. “Oh, sorry, let me get this out of here.” She scooped up the food and carried it from the room, leaving only a scent of pineapple hovering in the air.
Well. Good riddance. The last thing Georgia needed was to get all gorged and sleepy right before an interview.
And this could be the interview. This could be the interview that landed the job that allowed her to bring Katie-Ann to California until her father got out of prison. Too bad her resume was sort of bare, but the economy was finally picking up and she only needed one solid foothold. It didn’t matter how many jobs she hadn’t gotten. What mattered was the one she did get, and this could be that one. So what if it had been more than three weeks since her last interview? That just meant she should make this one count.
As she moved her forearm slowly across the mahogany, she could see her pale skin reflected off the glistening finish. Sure was quiet in here. You couldn’t hear anything of the big company that was supposedly operating at breakneck speed just outside the walls. Fast-paced was what they called themselves. Self-starter is what she was supposed to be. Well, she was a self-starter. How else had she gotten here? All the way from Piney, Arkansas, to Silicon Valley on bald tires, a million miles from the sound of Mama’s sniffling, the acrid smell of her bright pink nail polish.
Georgia wasn’t wearing any makeup at all. The woman with the bobbing ponytail had on perfect makeup that made her skin look like a baby’s butt. Which was great if you also knew how to avoid making yourself a magnet for perverts, but Georgia hoped she could hold her own around here without makeup. Tall and lanky and fast-moving, like a colt, her father said. (He should know, he’d boarded enough of them.) She wasn’t an athlete, exactly, but definitely a runner. Dark pinstripe pantsuit from the Now and Again shop up in Palo Alto, scratchy at the back of her neck. Blueberry-colored eyes against pale, freckled skin, shiny black hair in a blunt bob as even as her dull scissors could chew through it. A smile so wide it sometimes startled people, seemed to give the fleeting impression she was unhinged. Careful with the smile. Enthusiastic, but not alarming.
The guy coming to interview her was late. She could have peed after all. This big San Jose industrial park was confusing, with boxy cement buildings that all looked exactly alike. Set back from the street behind gigantic parking lots full of glinting cars so it was impossible to see any street numbers, making it clear they couldn’t care less whether a newcomer found her way. She’d ended up having to run in her heels just to get to the lobby on time.
Could she get to the john now? She squeezed her shoulder blades tightly and stretched the back of her neck away from the scratchy suit coat. The silence was making her jumpy. She left her resume on the polished table and opened the door just enough to look out.
The woman with the ponytail was nowhere to be seen. In fact, Georgia couldn’t see a living soul. She took a couple of tentative steps into the hall. What if the interviewer showed up before she got back? Screw it. With a last look around the vacant executive area, she darted down the hallway.
The hall opened abruptly into an area crammed with battle-gray, fabric cubicles that created a maze the size of a football field. Had she wandered into a different company? The only thing the two areas had in common was that here, too, it was quiet. People must really be concentrating. Either that, or they’d had a bomb scare and nobody had bothered to tell her.
She was relieved to see a bald head appear above the fabric wall a few cubes down like a Jurassic Park dinosaur. (Now, that was quite an image. Did she feel that out of place around here?) She heard a printer spitting out copies somewhere in the distance as she headed toward the dinosaur, rounded a corner and stopped cold.
An unattended donut was resting on the work surface just inside one of the cubes. Barely even inside the cube, less than a foot away, almost as if it had been set down and forgotten by some passerby. The plate slapped down in a hurry, its edge sticking out precariously beyond the edge of the work surface. Yesterday’s donut, perhaps, abandoned, stale.
But no, the donut was still puffy and golden, with minuscule cracks in that shiny sugar glaze. A donut still wafting the faintest scent of the fat it had been fried in. She could almost feel her lips touching the tender surface as her teeth . . .
Had she whimpered out loud? She glanced both ways along the still-deserted hall and then returned her gaze to the donut resting on its lightly grease-stained white paper plate. Pretending to wonder if the cube was occupied, she leaned her head in and called a faint “hello?” resting her hand lightly on the work surface, a finger touching the paper plate. Staring straight ahead, she floated her fingers across the surface and up, until her palm was hovering just above the donut’s sticky surface. One quick grab . . .
May I help you?” intoned a male voice.
Georgia snatched her hand back like the donut was a rattlesnake.
She turned and found herself face to face with the Jurassic Park dinosaur, who was looking distinctly human and downright suspicious. He looked past her and surveyed the vacant cube before resting his skeptical gaze on her most winsome smile.
Oh, hi!” she said brightly. “I’m here for an interview, and I was hoping you could point me toward the restroom?”
And you thought it might be in here?”
Well no, but I thought a person . . .”
Follow me, please.”
She heard her Arkansas twang vibrating the air between them as he led her down the hall a few yards, pointed a stern finger and said, “In there.” He crossed his arms, and she felt the heat of his disapproving gaze on her back as she pushed through the heavy door into the privacy on the other side.
Now, that was just downright mortifying. Caught in the act of stealing a donut? A donut?? If he told somebody . . . She cupped her palm over her closed eyes and dragged it slowly down until it covered her mouth.
Of course, she hadn’t actually taken the donut, so what precisely had the guy seen? A woman standing at the edge of an empty cube, leaning her head in politely to look for someone. He probably hadn’t noticed the donut, and even if he had he’d never imagine how desperately she wanted it. He’d probably had steak and gravy for breakfast, and thought a hungry person in Silicon Valley was as rare as a Jurassic Park dinosaur. If anything, he probably thought she was casing the empty cube for something valuable. Which was ridiculous, because what could a cube contain that was as valuable as a job?
But if he thought it was true, he might be waiting for her just outside the door with a security guard, planning to march her out of the building and away from this rare and essential person who could actually give her a job. Busted because of a donut.
The face that looked back from the mirror above the sink was staring at a firing squad as Georgia held her icy hands under the hot water.
But then the stare turned defiant.
She hadn’t driven all the way from Arkansas to live in her car and get this job interview just to become distracted at the critical moment by some prissy, no-account donut police. Who did he think he was? It wasn’t even his donut, and anyway, he wasn’t doing the hiring. Her only task at this moment was to deliver the interview of a lifetime and get this job.
She squared her shoulders, practiced her smile in the mirror two or three times and strode with her head erect back along the deserted corridor to the interview room.
The man who entered the conference room five minutes later had the stiff-backed posture and shorn hair of a military man. He was well over six feet tall, lean, in his late forties, wearing neatly rolled blue chambray shirtsleeves and a bright yellow bow tie. As he shook her hand and sat opposite her, she saw that his stubble of hair was red and his eyes were a muted green. Fellow Irishman, maybe. Could she forge some connection from that?
I’m Ken Madigan, the General Counsel here. Are you Georgia Griffin?”
Yes, sir, I am.” She offered her carefully calibrated, not-alarming smile.
Appreciate you coming in today. Sorry to keep you waiting.” He tapped a green folder with her name on the tab. “I’ve read your resume, so I won’t ask you to repeat it. As you know, we have a key job to fill after quite a hiring freeze. Let’s start with what’s important to you in your next job.”
Well, sir, I just got my paralegal certificate, and I’m looking for the opportunity to put my learning and judgment to use. I intend to prove that I can make a real difference to my company, and then I’d like to advance.”
His smile was encouraging. “Advance to what?”
This was a variant of the ‘five years’ question, and she answered confidently. “In five years I’d still like to be in the legal department, but I want to have learned everything there is to know about the other parts of the company, too. My goal is to become, well, indispensable.”
Is anything else important?” Those gray-green eyes were watching her with mild interest. She decided to take a chance and expose a tiny bit of her peculiar background to personalize this interview.
Well, sir, I’m eager to get started, because I need to make enough money to get my baby sister here just as soon as I can make a place for her.”
His raised his eyebrows slightly. “And how old is she?”
Fifteen, sir, and needing a better future than the one she’s got. I need to move pretty fast on that one.”
I see. Now tell me about your work experience.” Which was where these interviews generally died. She shoved her cold hands between her thighs and the chair.
I don’t have a lot of glamorous experience, sir. I cleaned houses and worked as a waitress at the WhistleStop to get myself through school. And the whole time I was growing up I helped my father look after the horses he was boarding. In fact, he got so busy with his second job for a while that I just took over the horses myself. Horses are expensive, delicate animals, and things can go wrong in a heartbeat. With me in charge, our horses did fine.”
Okay, great.” He ran his palm over his stubble of hair, considering. “Now tell me what kind of people you like to work with.” Not one follow-up question about her experience. Did he think there was nothing worth talking about? Just focus on the question.
The main thing is I want to work with smart people who like to do things right the first time. And people who just, you know, have common sense.”
I see. And what kind of people bug you?” This interviewer wasn’t talking much, which made it hard to tell what impression she was making. A bead of sweat trickled between her shoulder blades.
Well, I don’t much like hypocrites.” Which unfortunately eliminated about half the human race, but she wouldn’t mention that. He waited. “And I don’t like people who can’t or won’t do their jobs.” She stopped there, in spite of his continued silence. No need to mention pedophiles, or that nasty prison guard who’d backed her against the wall on the catwalk. That probably wasn’t what Ken Madigan had in mind.
Thank you.” He tapped his pen on her resume. “Now I’d like you to describe yourself with three adjectives.”
Was this guy jerking her chain? He didn’t much look like he’d jerk anybody’s chain, but what did adjectives have to do with job qualifications? Maybe he was politely passing the time because he’d already decided not to hire her.
Well,” she said, glancing into the corner, “I guess I would say I’m effective. Quick at sizing up a situation.” She paused. “And then I’m trying to decide between ‘inventive’ and ‘tough.’”
Okay, I’ll give you both. Inventive and tough. Tell me about a time you were quick at sizing up a situation.” This didn’t feel like the other interviews she’d done. Not only were the questions weird, but he seemed to be listening to her so closely. She couldn’t recall ever being listened to quite like this.
To her astonishment she said exactly what came into her head. “Well, like this one. I can already tell that you’re a kind person who cares about the people who work for you. I think you’re pretty smart, and you listen with a capital L. You might have a problem standing up to people who aren’t as smart or above board as you are, though. That could be holding you back some.”
Ken Madigan’s eyebrows were suddenly up near his hairline. Why on earth was she spilling her insights about him to him? Too many weeks of isolation? Was it hunger? She should have taken that coffee after all, if only to dump plenty of sugar in it. Or was it something about him, that earnest-looking bow tie maybe, that made her idiotically want to be understood? Whatever it was, she’d blown the interview. Good thing she wasn’t the sort of weakling who cried.
So move it along and get out of there. She dropped her forehead into her hand. “God, I can’t believe I just said all that. You probably don’t have any flaws at all, sir, and if you do it isn’t my place to notice them. I guess I need another adjective.”
Which would be . . . ?”
Blunt.”
He lowered one eyebrow slightly. “Let’s say ‘forthright.’ And I won’t need an example.”
You know what, though?” There was nothing left to lose, really, and she was curious. “I’m not this ‘forthright’ with everybody. A lot of people must just talk to you.”
They do,” he acknowledged with a single nod, his eyebrows resuming their natural location. “It’s an accident of birth. But they usually don’t say anything this interesting.” He sounded amused. Could she salvage this?
Well, I’m completely embarrassed I got so personal.”
You shouldn’t be. I’m impressed with your insight.”
Really? Then maybe you see what I mean about being quick.”
He laughed. “I believe I do.”
I mean, I can be quick about other things, too. Quick to see a problem starting up. Sometimes quick to see what’ll solve it. Like when my father had to go away and I saw we’d have to sell the stable to pay the taxes . . .” Blah blah blah, there she went again. She resisted clapping her hand over her mouth. Was she trying to lose this job?
The woman with the bouncy ponytail stuck her head in. “I’m so sorry, but Roy would like to see you in his office right away. And your next appointment is already downstairs.” She handed him another green folder. The tab said ‘Sarah Millchamp.’ “I’m going to lunch, but I’ll have Maggie go down for her in ten minutes. She’ll be in here whenever you’re ready.”
Thanks, Nikki,” he said, turning back to Georgia. “Unfortunately, it looks like our time’s about up. Do you have a question for me before we stop?”
Sixty seconds left to make an impression. “I saw your stock’s been going up. Do you think it’s going up for the right reasons?”
There went his eyebrows again, and this time his mouth seemed to be restraining a smile. “Not entirely, no, as a matter of fact.”
I’m sorry to hear that. Do you have an opinion about improvements that would make your growth more sustainable?”
He allowed his smile to expand. “I have many opinions, and a small amount of real insight. Might be difficult to discuss right
now . . .”
She held a hand up. “Oh, I understand. But do you think a paralegal could help make a difference?”
A solid paralegal could make a big difference.”
I’d like to know more about the issues, sir, but they’re probably confidential, and anyway, I know you have to leave.” She leaned forward, preparing to stand up.
You’re a surprising person, Ms. Griffin, and an interesting one. I’ve enjoyed our conversation.”
Like he enjoyed a circus freak, probably. She made her smile humble. “Thank you.”
If it’s all right with you, I’d like to have somebody from Human Resources give you a call in the next day or two.”
Was he serious? “That would be fine.”
If we decide to work together, could you start pretty quickly?”
The goal now was to leave without saying anything else stupid. “I’m sure I can meet your requirements.”
As he walked her out to the elevator he lowered his voice. “You know, Ms. Griffin, you’re an intuitive person, and you might have some insights about the Human Resources people you’re about to meet . . .”
She held up her palm. “Don’t worry, sir. If I do, I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
Excellent. Great talking to you. Drive safely, now,” he called as the elevator door closed between them.
Thank God that interview was finished. In another five minutes she’d have told him anything, she’d have told him about Robbie. Drive safely? What a cornball. But she must have said something right. He gave her that tip about getting past the Human Resources people, which meant he must like her. Landing a first job with her resume was like trying to freeze fire, but this time at least she had a chance.
Her stomach cramped with hunger as she emerged into the lobby and saw a woman in her mid-thirties glancing through a magazine. Tailored suit, precision-cut blond hair, leather case laid neatly across her lap. Completely professional, and she had ten years’ experience on Georgia at least. No. No way. Georgia walked briskly over to the woman and stood between her and the receptionist.
Ms. Millchamp?” she said quietly, extending her hand.
The woman stood up and smiled. “Sarah Millchamp. Nice to meet you. I know I’m early.”
I’m Misty. So sorry to tell you this, but Mr. Madigan’s been called out of town unexpectedly. He’s headed for the airport now.”
Oh!” The poised Ms. Millchamp quickly regained her composure. “That’s too bad. But of course I understand.”
Thank you for being so understanding. This literally happened ten minutes ago, and I’m completely flustered. I know he wants to meet you. Are you parked out here? At least let me walk you to your car.”
She put a sisterly hand against Ms. Millchamp’s elbow and began steering her toward the exit. “Tell you what, can I call you to reschedule as soon as Mr. Madigan gets back? Maybe you two can have lunch. Just don’t take that job at Google in the meantime.”
Google?”
Now, don’t pretend you haven’t heard about the job at Google. In Brad Dormond’s department? They’re our worst nightmare when it comes to competing for good people.” The air in the parking lot mingled the spicy scent of eucalyptus with the smell of rancid engine grease, and her stomach lurched. “So, see over there? That’s the entrance to the freeway. Bye now. I’ll call you soon.”
Georgia waved as Sarah Millchamp backed her car out. Then she hurried back inside to the receptionist.
Hi,” she said. “That lady, Ms. Millchamp? She just let me know she has a migraine and will call to reschedule. Will you let Maggie know?”
The receptionist nodded and picked up her phone. “That’s too bad.”
Isn’t it, though?”
Done and dusted, as Gramma Griffin would say.
She still might not get the job, of course, she reminded herself as she pulled onto the freeway, nibbling a half-eaten dinner roll she’d squirreled away in the crack between her passenger seat cushions the night before. She’d gotten this far once before. And she didn’t have to get it. She had another dozen resumes out, and one of those might still lead to something. Her cousin at Apple had turned out to be more useless than a well dug in a river, but that didn’t mean she was desperate. If she continued sleeping in her car most nights her money could last for another five weeks. And Lumina Software might not be a great job, anyway. Ken Madigan probably just interviewed well. That’s probably all it was.


Susan welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
Please tell my readers about your sophomore offering, Escape Velocity.
Escape Velocity is a thriller set in a Silicon Valley high tech company. Georgia Griffin has just arrived in Silicon Valley from Piney, Arkansas on very bald tires, having firmly rejected her beloved father’s life as a con artist.  Her father is in jail and a certain minister is hugging her mother for Jesus while eyeing Georgia’s little sister, Katie-Ann.  Georgia desperately needs to keep her new job as paralegal for Lumina Software so she can provide a California haven for her sister before it’s too late.

       While she’s still living in her car, Georgia realizes that incompetence and self-dealing have a death grip on her new company.  She decides to adapt her extensive con artist training - just once - to clean up the company. But success is seductive. Soon Georgia is an avid paralegal by day and a masterful con artist by night, using increasingly bold gambits designed to salvage Lumina Software. Then she steps into the shadow of a real crime and must decide: Will she risk her job, the roof over her sister’s head, and perhaps her very soul?


I love knowing how a title relates to the context of the story.
Can you tell us without giving anything away?
In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed a rocket ship needs to escape the earth’s gravitational pull. Here in Silicon Valley the term is used as a metaphor to describe the amount of money a start-up company needs in order to stop taking money from venture capitalists. The company’s founders try to achieve escape velocity from outside interference by becoming self-sustaining.

In my book, Georgia’s upbringing with her con artist father exerts tremendous pull over her, first because it’s the life she knows and feels competent to navigate, and second because she loves her father. But she doesn’t want a con artist life.  So a central question of the novel is whether she has the strength of character to achieve escape velocity from the only life she knows.


Susan your bio says after 4yrs as an attorney you quit to write The Last Billable Hour, then it goes on to say you returned to the field for another 16yrs.
Can you explain the timeline of your writing since your first novel released in June of 2016 and your 2nd Just released?
My first novel, The Last Billable Hour, was originally published in 1989 and won the Edgar Award in 1990.  It went through several printings in hardback and paperback and was translated into  foreign languages. It sold over 100,000 copies before it went out of print a few years ago. So in June of 2016 I re-released The Last Billable Hour in a new edition. Escape Velocity is my second book that was just released in October.

So the interesting timeline might be what happened between the time The Last Billable Hour was published in 1989 and my second book that was published just now.

And the answer is that law and children happened. As a lawyer and the mother of two children, I have sometimes described my life challenge as “baby, book, law.” I wanted enough time for all three of them and could never manage more than two at a time. So I did “baby, book” while I wrote The Last Billable Hour, and then for many years I did “baby, law.” I tried to fit writing into that time as well. Once I followed a schedule of spending 5:30 to 7:00am two mornings a week at Starbucks working on a book. My 8-year-old daughter faithfully went with me and quietly did homework or read. But when I did that, it squeezed the only remaining minutes of down time out of my life, and I became frantic. So I gave up writing and did “baby, law” until I had enough money to stop law altogether. Then I quit my job and began writing Escape Velocity.


They say write what you know and you do that and well hence the Edgar Award.
What fueled your muse?
I have loved fiction ever since I read The Black Stallion in the second grade. I have believed since childhood that writing stories other people want to read is the highest and best activity there is. But I got to be in my twenties and still couldn’t seem to write anything worth reading. One day I looked around and thought, ‘I’m a serious person. I need a career. I’m good with words, so I guess I’ll do law.’

Roll forward ten years and a friend of mine who was trying to land her first job out of college decided to write a mystery to keep her spirits up. She asked me to write a mystery, too, so that we could meet and read our stories to each other. I agreed. She got a job within a few months and forgot about her mystery, but by then I had become committed to mine. So I took time off from law to finish it, and that was The Last Billable Hour.

And I’ve wanted to write more novels ever since.

Susan, congratulation on your Edgar Award for your debut The Last Billable Hour!
Did all the accolades add pressure writing book 2?
I was surprised and delighted to win the Edgar Award for The Last Billable Hour, and don’t think it directly added pressure to my writing of book 2. Indirectly, though, it probably did. My editor at St. Martin’s convinced me to try a sequel to The Last Billable Hour because people seemed to like the characters so much, and I sold a sequel to St. Martin’s on an outline. But then it turned out my characters, Howard Rickover and Inspector Sarah Nelson, had nothing else they wanted to say. I spent quite a few months at my desk waiting for Howard and Sarah to come back to life and they just never did. In the meantime, our second daughter was born, and I really needed income to help support our growing family, so I abandoned writing and went back to work as a lawyer.


I don’t know much about Steelkilt Press.
Tell us about them and how you chose them to publish your novels?
Steelkilt Press is my own imprint, and I chose to go with self-publishing in order to keep control of the editorial process. Not that my experience with my editor at St. Martin’s was at all bad. In fact, I enjoyed working with my editor and improved my book in the process.

If he had still been at St. Martin’s, I’d have been happy to work with him again. Instead, I started trying to get an agent, and while I was looking for an agent I also got feedback from some other writers and rewrote Escape Velocity more than once. I reached the point at which I felt confident that the book was right as it is, and going through another editorial process seemed more redundant than helpful.

I may have been right, by the way, because Escape Velocity has gotten a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and some other early accolades. I think I’m on the right path.
  

Susan we know what you like to write.
What do you like to read?
About the only clear answer to that is fiction. (I like to read nonfiction, too, but it only pops to the top of my reading list if it has a fiction-like narrative element.)  Some favorite novels in the last few years: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; everything by Tana French; Saturday by Ian McKuen; Moby Dick (which I had read before but loved even more this second time); Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel; and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.

My favorite mystery and thriller writers, other than Tana French, are William Boyd (Restless) and Jacqueline Winspear (the Maisie Dobbs series.) I go through phases. At one point years ago I read about 10 novels by Elmore Leonard.


You’ve gotten some rave reviews for both your novels.
Are you the type of author who can’t wait to read every review or who cringes when a new review pops up?
Let’s just say I prefer the “curated” approach, where my publicist reads all the reviews and then sends me the good ones.

What I really love is for a thoughtful reader to tell me his or her views about my characters or the setting or the humor of my books. Hearing from a thoughtful reader makes me feel that my book is serving its true purpose.


Susan thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with you new novel!
Are you attending any author/signing events and are they listed?
 I have some other events in the works as well, and they will be listed on my web site at authorsusanwolfe.com.



Praise for Escape Velocity:


Publishers Weekly
★ 08/15/2016
Wolfe made her debut in 1989 with The Last Billable Hour, which won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Her accomplished, amusing follow-up, a thriller set in California’s Silicon Valley, stars paralegal Georgia Griffin. Georgia, who has escaped from Piney, Ark., to a paralegal job at Lumina Software, sets out to impress her boss, general counsel Ken Madigan, and to earn enough money to move out of her car and to bring her 15-year-old sister, Katie-Ann, to live with her. When Georgia discovers that some Lumina staff members are unproductive or obstructive or crooked, she decides to use the skills that she learned from her con artist father, who’s currently in prison, to neutralize her adversaries in such departments as sales, legal, and personnel. Her efforts bring positive changes as well as deadly danger. Wolfe, a lawyer who knows the high-tech world, makes a very welcome return, and readers will hope they won’t have to wait another 27 years for her next book. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Wolfe made her debut in 1989 with The Last Billable Hour, which won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Her accomplished, amusing follow-up, a thriller set in California's Silicon Valley, stars paralegal Georgia Griffin. Georgia, who has escaped from Piney, Ark., to a paralegal job at Lumina Software, sets out to impress her boss, general counsel Ken Madigan, and to earn enough money to move out of her car and to bring her 15-year-old sister, Katie-Ann, to live with her. When Georgia discovers that some Lumina staff members are unproductive or obstructive or crooked, she decides to use the skills that she learned from her con artist father, who's currently in prison, to neutralize her adversaries in such departments as sales, legal, and personnel. Her efforts bring positive changes as well as deadly danger. Wolfe, a lawyer who knows the high-tech world, makes a very welcome return, and readers will hope they won't have to wait another 27 years for her next book." 
-Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

"Wow. Edgar winner Susan Wolfe is back big time-with a cleverly written, wickedly hilarious, and surprisingly touching financial thriller. Or is it? The marvelous Georgia Griffin will win you over, continually surprise you-and then sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Loved it."
-Hank Phillippi Ryan, winner of the Anthony, Agatha, Macavity and Mary Higgins Clark awards and author of Say No More.
"Continuous action, sharp intrigue and memorable characters captivate in this coiling plot of a thriller. This one is definitely ahead of the pack."
-Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author of The 14th Colony
"Susan Wolfe's new book is wryly funny, suspenseful, and clever, and gives us an eye-opening look inside the high tech industry."
-Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Ill Will
"Instantly addictive and disconcertingly credible, Escape Velocity will send the unwary reader pell-mell through the mazy proceedings and gamesmanship of corporate Silicon Valley. If the adrenaline rush isn't enough, then the endearing vigilantism will close the deal. I never knew how much I wanted to know about the legal and economic ins-and-outs of the tech industry until Susan Wolfe, uniquely positioned to illuminate both, decided to writer this exhilarating novel."
--Lynn Stegner, award-winning author of For All the Obvious Reasons and nominee for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
"Readers craving full-on immersion in the ethos of Silicon Valley will love every page of Escape Velocity. Susan Wolfe's cast of colorful villains, con artists, and just plain folks caught up in high-stakes industry games is painstakingly drawn and always unpredictable. Good, clever fun with a thriller of an ending."
-Laura Benedict, author of The Abandoned Heart
"A financial and legal thriller with rich character development that creates an absolutely compelling stay-up-all-night read."
-Alice LaPlante, award-winning author of Turn of Mind
"Was there ever a more appealing character than this clever, hard-working Georgia Griffin of Piney, Arkansas, who has inherited her father's genius for the con? Not only highly entertaining, but also insightful and informative about Silicon Valley's high tech industry, whose principles are not always what they claim."
--Barbara Babcock, Professor Emerita of Stanford Law School, and author of Fish Raincoats: A Woman Lawyer's Life

Connect with Susan Website - Facebook - Twitter


Meet Susan:Susan Wolfe is a lawyer with a B.A. from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Stanford University. After four years of practicing law full time, she bailed out and wrote the best-selling The Last Billable Hour, which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. She returned to law for another sixteen years, first as a criminal defense attorney and then as an in-house lawyer for Silicon Valley high-tech companies. Born and raised in San Bernardino, California, she now lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, Ralph DeVoe. Her new novel, Escape Velocity, will be published in October of 2016.

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8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very interesting book. I love that she was able to take what she learned from her father (even though she hated it) and used it to help make the company a better place. Great interview.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Debbie!

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  3. Love that she has published this second one herself, so often these days it is a good way to go. What an interesting life and love how she got hooked into writing her first book.

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    1. Yes Kathryn self publishing is definitely on the rise and getting better

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  4. This sounds interesting and I am curious about the protagonist.

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