Tag Archives: financial thriller

How Realistic Do You Want Your Fiction To Be?


I don’t post much about my novel, Playing the Game, but I thought it would make a nice Labor Day diversion.

Recently I was asked whether the book is true to life. My answer: Yes and no.

Playing the Game is fiction. None of the events in the book happened—at least not the way they are depicted. The facts and faces have been changed to protect the innocent. But the plot is realistic. It deals with issues that many corporate executives face, such as managing budgets and people, planning new product lines, deciding who will succeed departing key personnel, and integrating work and family time. And, of course, dealing with the personal peccadilloes of the colleagues we encounter in the hallways every day.

But the plot is realistic. It deals with issues that many corporate executives face, such as managing budgets and people, planning new product lines, deciding who will succeed departing key personnel, and integrating work and family time. And, of course, dealing with the personal peccadilloes of the colleagues we encounter in the hallways every day.

One reader told me after reading the book, “I know these people.” This reader and I have never worked together, and we have only a few common acquaintances. In other words, the characters are like co-workers we have all known, with common foibles and insecurities.

I market Playing the Game as a thriller, but it isn’t a thriller like Dan Brown’s or Brad Thor’s novels. It is a thriller in the same way that Arthur Hailey’s books such as Hotel or Airport were thrillers. The business is going through a make-or-break time, and the question is whether it can be saved. There are criminal activities in the book, but the thrill is not from solving the crime but from the highs and lows of living through difficult circumstances.

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and other far-out thrillers also wrote Disclosure, which dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace in a very realistic setting. While I enjoyed Jurassic Park and his other fantasies, I was captivated by Disclosure, because “I knew those people.” I had dealt with similar situations in my job. That’s the kind of fiction I aspired to write in Playing the Game.

So, as a writer, my question to readers is:

How realistic do you like your fiction? Do you want to read books that deal with things you know, or do you want to explore worlds of fantasy to escape your daily routine?

Happy Labor Day

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A Fourth of July Sale on My Novel


PTG Rickover coverI’ve had the ebook version of my novel Playing the Game on sale recently for just 99 cents, but the sale ends on July 6. This holiday weekend is your last opportunity to buy the book at this reduced price, which is offered in both the Kindle and Nook stores.

Since its publication late last year, Playing the Game has become a bestseller, and even reached #1 in the Kindle store for financial thrillers. It also was in the Top 20 legal thrillers last week. So if you like John Grisham, take a peek at Playing the Game.

One Amazon reader described the book as follows:

When Rick Players (CEO of toy company Playland) suffers a tragic accident, Playland’s head of HR, Maura Rodriguez, must fight the corporate America fight to keep the company afloat. This has all the trappings of a great tale of corporate fiction, but throw murder into the mix and you have a thriller. The story was so well written, I sailed through it in just one day. A brilliant story wrapped around reality, with believable characters and a plausible plot makes this novel one of the best choices of 2014.

I couldn’t ask for better praise than this.

Buy the book and take it on vacation with you this summer. As this reviewer said, it’s a fast read. Then let me know what you think. Click here to buy on Kindle, and here for Nook.

I hope you enjoy reading Playing the Game as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Remember, this sale ends July 6. Happy Independence Day!

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Can HR Be a Hero?


As an author, one of the tasks I had to undertake to self-publish my book was to define the category the book fits on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In my novel, Playing the Game, the heroine is Maura Ramirez, the head of Human Resources in the fictional company PlayLand, Inc.

There aren’t many novels where an HR manager is the protagonist, so there were no categories on Amazon or Barnes & Noble that quite fit. The best I could come up with was “financial thriller.”

Playing the Game is not a thriller in the sense that good guys are trying to prevent bad guys from defrauding a company’s shareholders, nor from causing doom in global markets. But it is a thriller in that the fate of the company hangs in the balance in one crisis after another—the CEO’s injury and unavailability, renegade employees, labor disputes, and supply chain failures.

In each of these crises, how managers act—including Human Resources—determines whether PlayLand will survive. In Playing the Game, HR is definitely the hero. Many of the other managers fumble and bumble.

And, oh, by the way, someone is killed, and there is a murder to solve!

Here are some reviews of my novel that mention how it portrays HR:

PTG front cover all caps“This book shows the workings of an HR department in a large family owned business. A mystery that was a fast read. Interesting characters with many twists and turns in the plot.”

 

“Just finished Playing the Game. As an HR person, I think the book really nailed it. For those interested in an insider’s view of life in human resources, it is a great read!”

 

“If you’ve ever been in the corporate world, this is must read. Sara Rickover does a terrific job telling the powerful story of a corporate president, his staff, and most importantly, his loyal and competent HR person. I loved how the book kept me turning pages. “

To amuse myself, I tried typing in “HR thriller” in Amazon’s Kindle store to see what would happen. Playing the Game shows up as #5. “HR thriller” might not be a well-known book category, but you can find my novel with that search.

Or just search for Playing the Game, by Sara Rickover.

Or click here to find it on Amazon, or here to find it on Barnes & Noble.

Thanks!

When has HR been a hero in your experience?

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