Have you noticed that whenever you've bought a car, you start noticing other similar models on the road? Or if you've bought an item of clothing in a particularly becoming shade, suddenly every billboard or shopfront also contains that particular colour somewhere in the mix?
Well, let's see if you can guess the general outline of my new short story.
Air New Zealand has courted some trouble with its latest ad campaign featuring single middle-aged women as "cougars", hunting down dazed young men. If you want to see the ad and read a bit about it, Melbourne's The Age has a nice write-up.
But that's in the air. Closer to ground zero, Carnival Cruises, in a burst of prudish double standards, has categorically refused to host cougar-themed voyages, even though they were all "smashing success"es. Here for the article.
(Yes, I know, I must be one of the few authors out there that actually expect you to do some background reading before I'll tell you about an upcoming release! Consider it part of my eccentric charm.)
Have you guessed that the story centres around a cougar? If so, go and treat yourself a muffin/latte/pot of tea. Go on, I won't tell anyone. :)
The working title for the story is "Singapore Sizzle". I say "working" because I've had a few change on me recently. This is par for the course and you should never become too wedded to your title. While I do take the time to come up with something I consider to be catchy, yet descriptive, I only ever look at it as a convenient tag to use for filing purposes and, if you're a writer, so should you.
Okay okay, I'm moving on with the details. Sheesh, impatient much? *g*
Onto "Singapore Sizzle", a cougar story.
Sophie is English, divorced, living in Singapore...and bored, Bored, BORED! But is she ready for handsome, exotic, young Adrian Pereira?We have an older woman with a younger man in a tropical setting but, just to mix things up a bit, the younger man is a Portuguese Eurasian hunk by the name of Adrian Pereira. (Portuguese Eurasians tend to be a little on the conservative side when it comes to naming their kids. There are hardly any Sienna's or Madison's in the bunch, but heaps of Anthony's, Ruth's and all those old-time names.)
Sophie, while bored, is still apprehensive about getting involved in any relationship after her divorce a couple of years ago. And when she finds that the man she tumbled into bed with happens to be -- * gasp * -- younger than her, her insecurities go into overdrive and she flees the scene of the multiple, intimate clinches.
However, Adrian is a lot more savvy than even she realises. He tracks her down and offers her an opportunity for a relationship. We're not talking "happily ever after", more "let's see where this goes", but even this is too much for Sophie's insecurities. Can she take the next step and allow herself to fall in love with an exotic, younger man?
We've all been there, haven't we, and it hasn't necessarily had to be a situation where we're talking about an older woman and younger man. No matter how confident or assertive we think we are, there's always the child inside us, a little vulnerable, a little afraid of committing ourselves in case we get hurt. And, although it's set in Singapore, Sophie's story is our story too, whether it was back in high school or yet to play out in our futures, or both.
The anthology is due for release from Total-E-Bound in May with -- if things run true to form -- each story available as a standalone e-short as well. More news as it comes to hand.