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Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Dead End Job

Before I was thankfully laid off, I was stuck in a dead end job.

A very long time ago, during my high school years, for some odd reason I was fascinated with the thought of becoming a secretary. Along with liberal arts classes to prepare me for college, I took typing, shorthand and transcription. I excelled at shorthand, which, ironically enough, is now a dead skill.

Anyway, my part time secretarial position during college turned into a full time one afterward, when I continued on there at the same law firm. After seven years at that firm, I changed to another, where I stayed even longer, not having the sense to change careers into something more interesting. Talk about being stuck in a rut! As I grew closer to retirement age, the urge to leave grew stronger. Could I wait those few years?

Then the economy and a shift in the firm's structure made the decision for me. A partner left, and two of us secretaries were laid off in the process. After almost 39 years at the same place, I was stunned. After recovering from the shock of being at loose ends with no job to go to everyday, I felt relieved. Losing that dead end job as senior secretary at a small law firm was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Why do I mention this? In retrospect, I can easily see that my romantic suspense, Killer Career, written during the last few years I worked at my day job, was born from the depths of my frustration.

The difference is the character in the story, not satisfied with being a successful attorney, didn't sit around and wish for something else. She took steps to make her dream happen. Unfortunately, all sorts of obstacles, including a law partner she cares for and hates to hurt, as well as a sexy, but ominous mentor, along with some dead bodies, get in the way of achieving her goal.

Can she get what she wants or will she die trying?


Julie McGuire gazed intently from her table in the filled-to-capacity dining room of the Wyndham Hotel. The Love To Murder Mystery Conference had saved the best for last. New York Times bestselling author, Tyler Jensen, now approached the podium.
His entire bearing commanded attention, from his shoulder length wavy chestnut hair pushed back behind his ears, to his sexy sideburns and piercing hazel eyes. She guessed him to be thirty-five, about five years older than she. Clever, rich, tall, and handsome, Tyler Jensen looked the embodiment of any woman’s fantasy.
 “Many of you have killed,” Tyler said, pointing to his audience of two hundred plus.
Julie stared. What did he mean?
“Yes, you’ve slaughtered your creativity. You’ve squashed your dreams in favor of immediate gratification.” 
My God, he knew. She ignored the tinkling sound, as a waitress placed a carafe of ice water on the table.
Julie stared, transfixed, at Jensen. His every word spoke to her. She’d taken the easy way out and become a lawyer instead of following her heart’s desire to be an author. The decision ate at her. After six years in the practice, she’d saved enough money to get by. She badly wanted to claim her dream and step forward into the world he described. 
All too soon, he’d finished his speech. “Any questions?”
 Julie shot up her hand. Jensen’s knowing hazel eyes fastened on her, as if assessing her straight blonde hair and tall, slight frame.
He nodded. “Yes, second table.”
On suddenly stiff legs, she rose. “What makes you write mysteries?”
“I have an urge to voyeuristically experience atrocities. I’ve no idea where the fascination comes from. Perhaps I was a criminal in a former life,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh.
Julie swallowed. His answer filled her with a vague uneasiness, but she didn’t know why. 

Amazon Kindle Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B002PDOPPG
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Thanks for letting me share.
Morgan Mandel


  1. Morgan, what a cute post. The day I quit my day job to write was one of the best in my life. I love writing and am so happy to be able to do something I love every day. Of course, having books sell is a high, too, but it started with the decision to quit the day job.

  2. Morgan,
    I can definitely feel the frustration of being trapped in a dead end job. I did well in science, up to a point, but without a PhD, I wasn't one of the deciders, I was a do-er. I enjoyed doing for several years, but I wished to be on the other side of the notebook for the rest of the time!

  3. Yes, it's so much more rewarding to feel I have some control now, though Amazon also has some!

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Morgan, I too never regretted my decision to take an early retirement and write novels. Although in my case, I was happy in my job and doing relatively well. But working a twelve-hour day was exhausting and I was burnt out. No job beats writing novels!

  5. You didn't say whether you loved your job or not, but I think it's clear that you do love writing.

  6. *LOL* I was a part time secretary for a lawyer in college too. That position taught me that I would NEVER want to be a lawyer.

  7. I taught for 15 years until one principal decided to make me miserable. After 5 years he won! Now I tutor one-on-one and write. The money isn't as dependable, but.. Well, I get to teach and write.