On the eve of her high school graduation, proper socialite Francesca “Frankie” Fairholm rebelled against her elitist and controlling family to pursue the dark lifestyle of a contract killer for the enigmatic Osiris Corporation. Years later, with her training complete, she believes she's doomed to the life of a sociopathic lone gun until a botched hit brings two unlikely allies, her cousins Addison and Katharine.
Using Katharine’s etiquette school, Elegance, Inc., as a front, the trio weave through Frankie’s dark underworld, carrying out contracts, drinking too much wine, and trying not to get each other killed.
Trouble follows the team home when the death of the cruel Fairholm matriarch reveals more than they ever wanted to know about their family. As the funeral preparations play out, the trio begin to realize there is much more to their employer than meets the eye and their family connections run deeper than they ever imagined.
It’s been a year since Francesca Fairholm met the rest of the Osiris team and the company heads, her two half brothers Nero and Lex. As they groom her for leadership, it’s all Frankie can do to keep her cynical sarcasm in check as she starts training two new Strikers, avoids the romantic advances of Spark Dawson, and does her best to pry a little family history from her cold, distant Aunt Alexa.
With the pressure of her secret dual life building and her mother acting strangely, Frankie’s sanity is pushed to the brink when she makes a grisly discovery that shakes the young Striker to her core. Despite her cousins’ fear that her panic attacks signal a full mental breakdown, Frankie is positive she’s not crazy. Finding clarity in her personal investigation into Osiris’s origins, she uncovers more about the company than she would rather know.
As her life starts to unravel, things get deadly and, before she knows it, she’s facing down an old target’s pissed-off widow, an unstoppable mercenary, and the one thing she’s most terrified of admitting to herself.
It’s possible the whole situation won’t explode in her face. Yeah, like Frankie has that kind of luck.
Thank you, Mrs.. Elizabeth Vescio
Three “killer-girls” - why we should not think to Charlie’s Angels (excepting the fact that they were the good girls)?
The focus of the Wasted Series is Francesca- she happens to have two cousins who understand her a bit better than the rest of her family. It’s about being a Black Sheep and being okay with it... that rise into acceptance from the people you are hard wired to want acceptance from: your family. So yes, there is butt kicking action with a mysterious corporation... but that’s just the surface. Beyond is an insternal struggle of one girl trying to belong and her journey to grow up and learn to deal in a dysfunctional family.
To make people laugh, even smile, is hard. But what it takes to create great dark humor?
I think making dark humor a little bit relatable is the key to making it good. If you can envision this character getting into trouble in some ridiculous way that reminds you of “this one time” then you can laugh at it because you remember laughing at yourself , your friends or family. I think the darker side to comedy is where people stop to think- but never stay. While they are there, take it one step further and make them think “oh wow,” and move on quickly. It’s not funny to kill people- murder isn’t humorous at its base. However, throw in some relatable characters arguing over the morality of the situation, you have a funny scene. Your mother, a drunk and a sociopath walk into a bar…
You classified Francesca as a sociopath- how do you make readers to connect with her, to like/love her?
Again, I make her a bit relatable. The main thing that sets Frankie apart from other girls is that she kills people. A good chunk of the population has an inner monologue that is riddled with sarcasm. Frankie is the poster child for the inner monologue of cynical humor. If you don’t like Frankie, then you aren’t cynical… you aren’t sarcastic... you weren’t an ***hole teenager. She won’t be the anti-hero for everyone, but she’s certainly just another twenty-something trying to live and learn.
You like photograph and study colors, design – how important is the visual in Elegantly Wasted?
In my marketing, it’s very important. I shoot a lot of stock photography for the books, as well as find my own models for character and cover shoots. As far as the writing goes, I’m a very visual person and I like transferring that to the book in action scenes.
What risks you take sharing to the readers your hidden life as an assassin (yep, I saw the “truth” beyond the lines)?
I mean, contract killing is like any other job. Sure, your guidance counselor might not recommend it, but there’s no harm in pursuing the lifestyle of a hitman… or woman. People want to think it’s all cloak and dagger and high tech gadget stuff. It’s really much less dramatic. Think of it like being a plumber- you get called to do a job someone else won’t do. Take care of the problem, clean up the mess, and get paid. It’s far more risky to give my aunt a new bottle of good Scotch.
About the author:
Author C. Elizabeth Vescio likes to play in the dark world of cynicism and death. Her first novel, Elegantly Wasted touched on the demented and humorous side of a delightfully dysfunctional family.
She enjoys cynical debates, cupcakes, making her mother-in-law sew her aprons that she never wears, zombies, the Fifth Element and Tomb Raider. She gathers her life inspirations from Neil Gaiman, Julia Child and Paul Simon. When she isn't out photographing her next project, she's studying color, concept and design or writing stuff down in hopes it makes sense one day... or she's on Pinterest.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and three dogs.
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