Even the most cunning femme fatale has her weakness
Siena Ricci is shrewd, seductive, and an expert in the art of deception. Masking her identity behind the guise of Marie Lacroix, a specialist in antiques and objets d'art, she swindles her employer's wealthy clients out of their valuable possessions. She hasn't yet met the man she can't manipulate, but then the con she's playing on Jonathan Woodward has only just begun.
Jonathan proves to be an easy mark, but he's also enticingly irresistible. As their relationship heats up, her plot to steal his multi-million-dollar antique trinkets begins to unravel. Noticing a subtle change in Jonathan's demeanor, Marie questions whether she's still in control of the con or if she's blindly become the gullible victim of her own scheme.
Marie was delighted with Jonathan’s responses to the teasers she’d thrown at him. His facial reaction when she described how she protected her skin while sunbathing was priceless. She could almost visualize the scene he’d created in his mind of her rubbing her nearly naked body with sunscreen lotion. She’d stroked his ego by praising his choice of venue for their leisurely afternoon, his devotion to his family, his attention to her needs. She’d tantalized him with the occasional touch of her bare skin against his, sparking his desire for more please. She’d even gone so far as to intimate he might be the man she’d been searching for all her life. Her confidence in the job grew stronger as Jonathan fell for her charades one after the other.
Most men were tongue-tied by the time she’d finished enticing them. Depending on the circumstances, they’d take the opportunity to grope her on the spot. Jonathan, however, had remained a gentleman and showered her with compliments, which she found both charming and refreshing. Perhaps he’d been a widower for too many years and had grown accustomed to a life of abstinence. If the pleasure of her company was all he craved, that was fine with Marie. She was willing to be whatever Jonathan wanted as long as the ploy granted her access to the Somerset Necklace.
Marie made a modest attempt to work in the subject of jewelry, but Jonathan hadn’t taken the bait. She’d need to find other subtle ways to wedge the topic into their conversation. When he eventually admitted ownership, she’d plead with him to let her see the necklace. A small distraction, spilling a glass of wine for instance, would occupy Jonathan’s attention while Marie deftly switched the necklace for the fake replica Gus had crafted. By the time Jonathan discovered he no longer possessed the original piece of jewelry, Marie Lacroix would be long gone.
She sipped the water and pondered how to use the remainder of the weekend to her best advantage. A plan developed in her mind, one she was certain would work. After rehearsing the lure she would use to reel Jonathan in, Marie next gauged when to make her move. She placed the phone call around the time she estimated he and his friends would be finishing dinner.
“Marie?” While his greeting was subdued, Marie detected the pleasure in his tone.
“Hello, Jonathan.” Marie noticed other men talking in the background which meant Jonathan was still at the restaurant and close to her hotel. Good timing. “Can you talk?”
“Hold on. Let me find a place that’s more private.” Jonathan’s voice was muffled as he excused himself from the table. A few moments later, he resumed their conversation. “Sorry. My frat brothers have a tendency to eavesdrop, and then the teasing begins. Sometimes, I wonder if they’ll ever grow up.”
“I understand,” she told him. “I returned to my room for the same reasons.”
“We’re about to finish dinner. I was going to call when I got to my car and ask if you have anything planned for the rest of the evening. Is everything all right?”
“Oh, yes, everything’s fine,” she assured him, then added a tinge of anguish to her voice. “But ever since we left the café, a comment you made has been haunting me.”
Jonathan sounded concerned when he asked, “Why? What did I say?”
“You questioned when we’d see each other again. I’ve been thinking all evening about how soon I’d be able to make another trip to Boston, or when you’d be free to meet me in the city. Over dinner with my girlfriends, I realized how little I have in common with them these days, and how much I’d rather spend the remainder of this weekend with you.” Shame on me for throwing my imaginary friends under the bus!
Jonathan chuckled. “Funny. I’ve spent my entire evening mulling over that same dilemma.”
Marie made her response sound as though she were swooning. “Oh, Jonathan! I’m so happy to hear you say that. I gave my girlfriends (Sorry again, ladies!) the excuse of needing to cut the weekend short and returned to my room to call you.” She took a breath before continuing. “When you leave the restaurant, would you like to meet me for a nightcap? There’s a lounge in my hotel that’s open late. Or, if you prefer, I can have a bottle delivered to my room.”
“We could do that,” Jonathan replied, “but I had something else in mind.” He paused, as if waiting for her reaction.
“What is it?”
“Why don’t you check out of the hotel? I’ll pick you up, and we can spend the night at my home instead.”
Marie congratulated herself on a job well done. Placing herself inside Jonathan’s home
had been her goal all along. “How soon can you be here?”
She caught the smile in his voice when he said, “I’ll meet you in your hotel lobby in forty-five minutes.”
“My suitcase and I will be waiting for you.”
Grinning, Marie disconnected the call and sat back in the chair. Mission accomplished.
Rosemary Kubli writes the type of books she loves to read - intrigue and suspense mixed with a pinch of romance and a clever plot twist or two. Her professional experiences run the gamut from Human Resources and training to accounting and banking, with publishing being her most recent endeavor. Aside from the seven years she lived in southern California, she has always called the northeast corner of Ohio her home. Rosemary and her husband of 45 years enjoy traveling - on land to visit family and friends and on sea to any destination a cruise ship will take them. When not working on her next novel, she can be found discussing the latest in literary fare with her book club, playing a rousing game of Bunco with some of her oldest and dearest friends, researching her ancestry, volunteering in her community, burying her nose in a book, or obsessing over the latest binge-worthy TV series.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a burning desire to be an author. But as often happens, life got in the way and the stories roaming around in my head never made it to the page. I got married, my husband and I raised our two sons, we moved from NE Ohio to Southern CA then back to Ohio, and, although I started and ended many careers along the way, none of them were what I truly wanted to do.
Then, a few years ago, a young man was hired into the office where I was working. Although his job supported this young man and his family, I could tell his heart wasn’t in it. All he talked about was how much he wanted to be a music minister. One day, while he was confiding in me, I asked him when he was going to stop trying to be something he wasn’t. “If you truly have calling to music ministry, then do it,” I told him. Two months later, he left our company to take a full-time position at a church. Two years after that, he paid me a visit at the office to thank me for encouraging him to follow his dream and to present me with a copy of the CD he and his church group had just recorded with a well-known record producer in LA! Well, of course I was honored and delighted for his success, but I had to ask myself why I wasn’t following my own advice.
After dinner that night, I sat down at my computer and started writing. However, I had no idea what I was doing! I had no creative writing education or experience and not a clue as to how one goes about getting published. But I didn’t let that stop me. I was on a mission, and it was full steam ahead! I read a ton of books and articles about writing, talked to a few published authors, joined a local writers’ group, and took every criticism and suggestion to heart. I also started reading a lot more novels of varied genres, not only for the enjoyment but also to analyze those authors’ writing techniques. I edited my manuscript to death until it finally attracted the attention of a few literary agents and independent publishers. Then, one day, I was offered a contract. My lifelong dream had finally come true!
Funny how God (or fate or karma or whatever you believe in) has a way of bringing people together so they can help each other find their way.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m a bit OCD, although I prefer to use the word “perfectionist”. You know how, for example at a White House dinner, they measure the distance between the place settings, so the table is uniformly set? Yeah, that’s me. I would have been the perfect butler at Downton Abbey!
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I once met and shook hands with Bill Clinton! Now, regardless of your political/personal opinions, I believe he deserves the proper respect for having served as the president of our great country. That being said, when I shook his hand, did I say, “It’s an honor to meet you, Mr. President”, or “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Clinton”? Of course not! In my nervousness, I blurted out, “Nice to meet ya, Bill!” I will never live down the embarrassment.
What are some of your pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is people who don’t speak English properly! Sadly, I’m a self-appointed member of the Grammar Police.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was the second baby born a hospital that had just opened its doors in Youngstown, Ohio. My mother told me she was upset that another woman delivered just an hour before her! I guess Mom wanted her fifteen minutes of fame. Other than the four years I lived in Cleveland while attending college and the seven years I lived in Southern California, I have always called the Youngtown area my home. And where, you may ask, is Youngstown? If you draw a straight line between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, you’ll find Youngstown smack-dab in the middle of the two cities.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Enjoying the pleasure of my family’s company. Oh, and eating ice cream until I was sick to my stomach!
Who is your hero and why?
Michelle Obama. She’s so intelligent, so well-spoken and poised, and possesses so much class.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
A really bad one! I would spend so much time being diplomatic, making sure everyone had a voice in the decision-making process, that I probably wouldn’t get anything accomplished.
What are you passionate about these days?
Travelling! Whether it’s by car, plane, or ship, my husband and I usually have a few trips planned at any given time. This spring, we have a family vacation to Napa scheduled with a stop in Las Vegas along the way. During the summer, we’re embarking on a cruise around the British Isles that includes a stop in Paris. We have our favorite spots that we like to return to periodically, but we also love to explore new parts of the world. I love being in this phase of our lives and having the freedom to go wherever we want to go whenever the mood strikes us.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Oh, that’s an easy question to answer! I spend a couple of hours at the end of each day absorbed in either a riveting novel or a compelling series on television. Plus, I gather ideas for my own novels from what I read and watch. (Laughing) Now I’m not sure if that qualifies as down time or work!
How to find time to write as a parent?
Our sons are adults, so finding time to write is not an issue for me. However, I certainly empathize with and greatly admire those who manage to write while juggling children, a full-time job, and taking care of their household.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
I’m just now getting started.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I received positive feedback from my beta readers. These wonderful women read a lot of books written by respected authors and knowing that they were genuinely impressed with my novel gave me the validation I needed to think of myself as a real, honest-to-goodness writer.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Now you’ve hit on one of my favorite topics! I often pose this similar question when my husband and I are out with friends or sitting around with the family: “What three movies would make you interrupt what you were doing, no matter how important the task, if you walked by the den and saw one of those movies playing on the TV?” The responses have led to some very interesting conversations.
My answers – The Godfather, Jaws, and Jurassic Park (with National Treasure being a close runner-up for third place). Not only are these three movies my all-time favorites, but the novels remain some of the best I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read them yourself, I highly recommend you do so. While I agree with the general consensus that a screen adaptation is never as good as the book, in my opinion, these movies dispel that theory. Here’s why I love them.
I’m second-generation Sicilian on my father’s side which, in addition to the movie being just plain fabulous, may have something to do with my fascination with The Godfather. Jaws is a great man vs nature story that lands those tense scenes, tender moments, and humorous one-liners in all the right places. And Jurassic Park? A tropical theme park in which the attractions are live dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs get loose and terrorize everyone on the island during a raging monsoon? What’s not to love?
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Well…I’ve only published one novel so far, but I’m working on the sequel and plan to write a third. The trilogy would make a great 3-season series on one of the streaming services! Netflix, are you listening???
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
While I’ve been to many of the locations where some of my favorite novels have taken place, the journey wasn’t specifically for that purpose. However, this July my husband and I are taking a 12-day cruise around the British Isles. While the ship is docked at Invergordon, we’ve scheduled a visit to Culloden Moor specifically because of the importance the Battle of Culloden plays in the Outlander series. We’re both fans of Outlander, so we’ll be channeling our inner Claire and Jamie Fraser!
What inspired you to write this book?
Plots involving deception and people using aliases have always intrigued me, so I wanted to try my hand at writing that type of story. But to be honest, when I started Gullible, I had a completely different plot in mind. Gullible wasn’t even the original title! I just knew that I wanted the main character to be a con artist who used her position as an expert in antiques and objets d’art at a high-end auction house as her cover. As I was researching rare antiques and the prices they’d sold for at auction, other ideas kept popping into my head. I deleted and rewrote sometimes entire chapters until I was finally satisfied with the characters and the story I’d created.
What can we expect from you in the future?
At the end of Gullible, I knew these characters had more story in them. So, I am currently writing a sequel and working out the plot for a third book. After the trilogy is complete, I may return to some other works that I started but never got around to completing.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I’ll share two stories that are alluded to in the novel regarding the main characters but exist only in my imagination:
When Jonathan and Siena meet in person for the first time, he tells her he can’t believe she doesn’t have a dozen men beating down her door. She tells him she was serious with someone once, but it didn’t work out. What’s not disclosed in the book is that, while she was in college and for a time after graduating, Siena was in a relationship with someone, but he was offered a job in another country and she wasn’t willing to leave her family and give up her own career to go with him, so she ended their relationship.
Jonathan was genuinely in love with his late wife but, when they met, he was still enjoying his youth (it’s noted in the book that he’d had a reputation as a playboy), and he wasn’t yet ready to settle down. What’s not disclosed in the book is that, shortly after they started dating, Patricia became pregnant with their daughter, Veronica, so Jonathan did the honorable thing and married her.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Gullible?
The main character, Siena Ricci, was raised in a world of con men and forgery artists. In her early 30s, Siena is highly intelligent, ambitious, and a risk taker. She’s not happy unless she’s the best at every endeavor she undertakes, so it’s no surprise that she has a perfect track record as a con artist. She never intended to become a seasoned criminal but, when life throws you a curve ball, you deal with it the best way you know how. Although she has a good reason for doing what she does, she laments the life she could have had if only she’d chosen to follow a different path.
Jonathan Woodward, a widower in his early 60s, is a handsome and charming retired college professor, and a member of one of Boston’s oldest and wealthiest families. His penchant for collecting rare artifacts is what brought him to Siena’s attention, and what prompted her to select him as the target of her latest scam. Outwardly, Jonathan appears to be a pushover, but underneath his ingenuous exterior lies a savvy man who was schooled at an early age to protect himself against people (like Siena) whose sole intent is to take advantage of his family’s fortune.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Good question! For the main character, Siena Ricci, I wanted a name that tied into her Italian heritage. So, I pulled up the map of Italy, found the city of Siena, and looked no further. I next Googled common surnames in the Tuscany region and considered probably a dozen before deciding on Ricci. Next, I needed to choose a name for Siena’s alias, a woman who leads others to believe she was born and raised in France. Don’t ask me why, but Marie Lacroix immediately popped into my head and the name stuck.
For the male lead, I wanted something classy. Woodward struck me as being a suitable name for a prominent New England family with ties to the early colonists. As I was tossing around first names, my husband suggested Jonathan and I was immediately sold.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Developing the relationship between Siena Ricci aka Marie Lacroix and Jonathan Woodward. During their frequent professional-turned-personal phone calls, Jonathan becomes enthralled with Marie Lacroix, unaware that her coy inuendoes are merely part of the game she’s playing to lure him into her spiderweb (although she does admit they have chemistry despite the 30-year difference in their ages). When they finally meet in person, the sparks fly. But while Jonathan’s desire for Marie is genuine, Marie finds herself walking a tightrope. Her cardinal rule is to never let her emotions interfere with business, but her attraction to Jonathan is too strong to ignore. And that’s as much as I can say without giving too much away.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Siena Ricci is motivated, for very personal reasons, by money. Plus, she’s a risk taker who will do just about anything to ensure the success of her schemes. Jonathan Woodward is a man of wealth and prominence who is used to getting what he wants – and what he wants is Siena Ricci! But Jonathan isn’t a fool. He realizes there are people intent on taking advantage of him, and he’ll do just about anything to protect his family and his fortune.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
What does every con artist need to be successful? A gullible victim, and Siena Ricci believes there is an endless supply of gullible men in a city the size of Manhattan. However, as she’s carrying out the most elaborate scheme of her illicit career, she picks up on some subtle hints that make her question whether she’s still in control of the con or if she’s become the gullible victim of her own scheme.
Who designed your book covers?
The amazing cover for Gullible was designed by Jennifer Greeff! Isn’t it wonderful?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I once asked my younger son, who is an artist, why he doesn’t have any of his own artwork adorning his walls. His response was that he would constantly look at his paintings and think about what he should have done differently. So, in answer to your question – Yes! Although I wouldn’t change the plot, the characters, or any of the scenes, there are pieces of dialogue and narrative that I'd love to be able to tweak.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Absolutely! During my research, I learned a ton about antique trinkets, artwork, and jewelry. I’d love to attend a live auction at Christie’s or Sotheby’s one day.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
LOL – I’ve had some interesting debates with the ladies in my book club on this topic, and I think we’ve finally come to an agreement. Blake Lively was a strong contender for the role of Siena Ricci but, in the end, we decided on Margot Robbie. For Jonathan Woodward, we chose Hugh Jackman. Now, I know Hugh is in his 50s and Jonathan’s character is early 60s, but Jonathan is described as appearing much younger than is true age. Plus, Hugh is physically a good match to Jonathan.
Margot and Hugh, I hope your schedules are open!
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
An important detail that will enhance the story is that the Singing Bird Pistols – which Jonathan purchases at auction in Chapter 2 and which in later chapters become essential to the plot – are based on real pieces. These amazing trinkets were all the rage in the early 1800s. If you have a moment, go to YouTube, search “Singing Bird Pistols”, and watch the 5-minute video about them. It’s fascinating!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I love the chapters that reveal the backstory of how the teenaged Dominic Ricci, Siena’s father, and Gus Ferguson, her godfather and partner in crime, were recruited into the underbelly world of black-market crime. These chapters give us a real sense of the environment Siena grew up in and what motivated her to become a con artist when she needed the extra income.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I’d love to spend a day in the kitchen with Carmella Ricci, Siena’s grandmother. I’d learn how to cook her special Italian dishes and pastries and listen to stories of her childhood in Tuscany.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
All the characters came from my imagination, but I’ll admit that I borrowed the personality traits of a few friends and family members. Exactly who and which traits I used will remain my secret!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I was definitely in control at all times. One of my favorite parts to crafting the plot is molding the characters to fit the story lines. How old should they be? What quirky traits would make them more interesting? Do I need them to be warm and friendly, or sinister and backstabbing? These are some of the most fun parts of writing, in my opinion.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
If you’re a reader who enjoys a story that blends danger and romance with intrigue and suspense, then Gullible is your next must read. You’ll be enthralled by the cunning mind of a good girl gone bad as you root for her to make amends with her past. You’ll empathize with the widowed college professor as he falls in love with the right woman at the wrong time. The plot will twist and turn, and make you promise yourself that you’ll turn out the light as soon as you finish reading just one more chapter!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Gullible is my debut novel, but I’m working on a sequel and tossing around ideas for a third book in the series, Follow me on social media or visit my website – www.rosemarykubli.com – for updates.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Mocha! My main character, Siena Ricci, is a coffee addict, so definitely a mocha-scented candle.
What did you edit out of this book?
A ton of stuff – about 30,000 words to give you an idea. I find it’s easier to just write and get the story told, then go back and edit out all the info the reader doesn’t need to know.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
My top 10 favorite authors, in no particular order, are: Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Agatha Christie, Louise Penny, Stieg Larson, Sue Grafton, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Crichton, Dennis Lehane, and Elin Hilderbrand. Naturally, most of my favorite books have been written by these authors.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Where the Crawdads Sing!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing small stuff just for myself since middle school, but the serious writing – the “I want to be published” stuff – got underway about eight years ago.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
For sure all the major and minor characters were decided on while I was outlining the plot. The characters who appeared in only just a scene or two, like the gossipy woman who works with Siena at the auction house, were tossed in during the writing process to add more depth to the story.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
For Gullible, I did a lot of research on high-end auction houses and the antiques they buy and sell. YouTube provided great videos of some of the most valuable items every sold at auction. This research gave me insight on the type of merchandise the con artists in my story would go after.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I have always loved to read, but I’ll admit that I don’t read as much as I’d like to. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. My favorites genre is mystery/suspense.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
How much background noise I’ll tolerate depends on where I am. If I’m writing at home, I need absolute silence. If the TV is on or music is playing, I can’t focus on what I’m trying to write. But, if I take my laptop to a place like the local coffee shop, I can block out the activity and chatter going on around me. What’s the difference? Darned if I know.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One book at a time, please! If I’m going to be living with these characters for the next year, my house will get way too crowded if I invite even more characters in from other stories (she says, laughing).
Pen or type writer or computer?
Definitely the computer! My handwriting is horrible, and I make so many typos that I’d quickly run out of correction tape on a typewriter.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Scarlett O’Hara is my all-time favorite character. I read Gone with the Wind many, many years ago, and Scarlett’s character has been indelibly etched in my mind ever since. She’s so colorful – feisty, spoiled, shrewd, stubborn, resourceful, and a true survivor. My main character in Gullible, Siena Ricci, has many of Scarlett’s traits. However, unlike Scarlett who doesn’t realize Rhett Butler is her true love until it’s too late, Siena knows Jonathan Woodward is the man of her dreams, but her sordid past has ruined any chance she has of being with him.
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
*Be diligent. Spend at least an hour every day writing your story and editing it to death until it’s to a point where you’re happy with it and believe it will appeal to the literary agents you want to target.
*Be open-minded. Join a writers’ critique group and find a trusted beta reader or two. Take all their constructive criticism to heart. Don’t pitch your novel until it’s in a final, polished state, then don’t expect to be overwhelmed with offers. Attracting the attention of a literary agent is not an easy task, but it’s also not impossible. Explore avenues other than traditional publishing – independent publishers, hybrid publishers, self-publishing.
*Be realistic. I’d love to be a singer or an artist, but I can’t sing a note, nor can I draw a stick man with a ruler. Just because you want to be an author doesn’t mean you’re a good writer. So, listen to what others are telling you. I mean, REALLY LISTEN! The writers in your critique group and the beta readers and the literary agents may be telling you in a polite way that you’re not as good as you think you are. But if that burning desire to write just won’t leave you alone, consider other options. Write just for your own pleasure, or collaborate with another writer, or start a blog. Not putting so much pressure on yourself will save you a whole lot of frustration in the long run.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Anxious People by Frederik Backman. I loved how Backman blended the traditional narrative with script-styled police interviews to tell the story, and the way the storylines and characters all connected in the end. I laughed, I cried, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I am a very orderly person, so I must have an outline before I begin writing. Otherwise, I’d get totally lost. Usually, I write the synopsis first and use that as my guide. The agent or publisher is going to ask for a synopsis anyway, so you may as well write it from the get-go!
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Letting other things get in your way and being disorganize. It’s so easy to put off writer because you have other business to take care of. We all tend to fall into that trap. Just organize your time better and set aside at least one hour every day to get some words down on paper.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I believe every novel is original, even if it’s merely putting a fresh twist on an old trope. And that’s giving the readers what they want.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be serious about following your dreams. Take a creative writing course, get involved with writing groups, attend literary conferences. Seize the day!
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Oh, sure. I suffer from writer’s block a lot! But I have this theory that sometimes ideas need to simmer in your brain for a while. So, when I can’t figure out how I want to approach a particular scene or where I want the story to go next, I go off and do something else. Eventually, the solution comes to me. This often happens first thing in the morning, like my brain has been working overtime while I slept and, when I wake up, I know exactly what I want to write.