A meaningful, transformational story about want,
desire and the pursuit thereof. And of what?
It’s about the relentless, greedy addiction to it and the empty fulfillment it bestows. This is Spencer’s moving story of awakening, redemption and finding love in a fiery dark-haired girl he never planned on meeting.
Gather ‘round, love, because I want you. I want what you have, I want what you don’t have, I want more of what I already have. I want. But if you so much as ask for something in return, go ahead and walk away. Know if you want to play in my world, it’s every man for themselves and the weak become mine. Leeches will be obliterated because I make it my job to destroy them. I protect what’s mine and I take what’s yours…because that’s what I do. I want.
My story will not endear me to you and, frankly, I could care less if it does because I’m in this for the money and nothing else. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a corrupt, money hungry, immoral asshole from Los Angeles. I’m every man’s worst nightmare and every girl’s fantasy.
I’m Spencer Blackwell…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most coveted guy to the guy no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
“Greed is a strange, strange sin. All you want to do is acquire. Acquire money, acquire material, aquire time, aquire energy, acquire attention. The running mantra is ‘I want, I want, I want’ but that quickly turns to ‘I need, I need, I need.'”
As we learned in Vain, Spencer Blackwell is held captive by his father, or more precisely, his money. He wants for nothing… fast cars, power, drugs, alcohol, women. At the beckon call of his nefarious father, he earns millions in the span of a day, but at the expense of losing a piece of his soul with each malicious and surreptitious act. I immediately felt the gaping emptiness in Spencer, the underlying dissatisfaction at his life which he continues to bury for the rush of another million in his bank account. And despite the hate he harbors for his father and the things he is “coerced” to do, the cycle endures.
“I was deathly afraid to admit it out loud but I was exactly like my father. And it felt like I could do nothing about it. The greed was more powerful than the willing to do right.”
Spencer is caught in a downward cycle and succumbs to the voice in his head, losing himself to his vices one out-of-control night in Vegas. Between that situation and an unforeseen family circumstance, he flees at great risk, knowing his father will stop at nothing to ruin him. Knowing that his future and the future of his younger sister is uncertain and in peril, he tries to do the right thing and finally walk away from his former way of life.
“In the light of day, when our adrenaline wears off, we’ll discover that all we truly feared was the unknown.”
When he arrives at his destination… a place that is all about hard work, kindness and frugality… a place where $1500 jeans are not envied, but rather mocked at… he finds that place soon becomes a home where he unexpectedly finds himself and finds love.
“The full sight of her nearly blew me over. I felt this punch to my gut and chest I’d never felt before, not even with Sophie. My hand went to my heart as if I could stop its pounding.”
When Spencer meets Cricket Hunt, she is the polar opposite of what he’s always desired. A fiery soul in a petite frame with short, black hair and no shortage of personality and strength, he’s immediately mesmerized by her. He’s drawn to her for an inexplicable reason, simultaneously paralyzed and imbued with life by her very presence. He wants her badly, but he can’t have her. She’s taken. And again, he battles with himself on whether he should do the right thing and stay away, or follow his insistent heart.
“It didn’t matter to me what I wanted before, because I somehow didn’t want that anymore. I want someone short, thin and wispy with chin-length dark hair. Someone with grit, with gumption, with personality, with character, with humor. Someone who represented feisty, capable and talented. Someone like Cricket.”
Despite finally walking on the right path, Spencer is plauged by the relentless pull of his past, the silent call to desire more. At first, his unrequited feelings for Cricket propel him deeper into depression, consumed by a never-ending sense of loneliness. He fears he will succumb to the voice in his head, to his impulse to want more. The truth is he can’t undo the things he’s done and he has to live with that somehow.
“I had done terrible, awful incredible things to people. People I didn’t even know.”
Spencer must wrestle with the demons in his head and the demon that is his father before his transformation is truly realized. He also needs to survive what ends up transpiring on his journey. I honestly loved seeing Spencer evolve… he’s such a great character. Despite him starting off almost mechanical in the way he lives, it’s so striking when you realize just how deeply he feels. I loved that about him. In essence, to me, this story is about silencing the insistent, unrelenting voice in his head to always grasp for more causing him to live in the pursuit as opposed to in the moment. It’s about relishing in the love and happiness afforded by the people around you instead of letting materials things define you. Spencer had to find the power from within to ultimately free himself from unrelenting vises of greed.
“Your world shouldn’t be any bigger than the people around you, that you should serve those around you with fierceness.”
I loved reading another one of Fisher’s books… love that they carry a message… love that she can pack so much emotion into the manner in which her characters transform. Sophie and Ian do not make an appearance, but are mentioned a couple times (LOVE!). I can’t wait to read Fury, Ethan’s story, which is the third book in the series. Although Greed can be read as a standalone, I can’t recommend Vain enough – it’s one of my favorite all-time books!
Why I chose to write The Seven Deadly Series.
When I initially wrote VAIN, it possessed a completely different title. I believe it was something like, “Sophie the Vain,” or something similar. We toggled between several variations of this but decided on the simpler title, VAIN. When I wrote the book, I had absolutely no intentions of turning it into a series of standalones.
I had gotten it into my head, after several years of research and trying to get involved with the orphans in Uganda, that I needed to write the book, whether it would be popular or not. And when I wrote it, I held nothing back. I didn’t care if it offended. I didn’t care if it would be well received. I didn’t care if I made a dime. I needed to write the novel solely for the purpose of getting a more human element attached to the problems there, even if Kony had left and was attacking the Congo more than he was in Uganda. He was/is still prevalent in Africa, that’s all I cared about and I wanted everyone to see what he did to the people there but not in an overpowering way.
So, when the book was finished and I hit the pub button, I still had no idea where the series intended to go. The original cover was not liked. LOL! So, I was designing the paperback cover with the new image and my husband/cover designer and I were brainstorming on my next project and it hit us like a ton of bricks. Since I hate writing characters for more than one novel, I always tend to write my series in standalones, featuring secondary characters from previous novels. I’d gotten such an overwhelming response in terms of Spencer, I wondered if I could take his story in a different direction. One that wouldn’t copy Sophie’s and Ian’s but compliment it.
In VAIN, there is a conversation between Spencer and Sophie.
“No one can stand my father, including my father. He’s a terrible person and I hate him.”
His expression didn’t change and I realized how deep that resentment toward his father really went.
“Don’t go to Brown then,” I simply told him.
“I can’t do that,” he said, exhaling sharply and staring out the glass into the street.
His face softened. “I need his money.”
Spencer looked at me and I couldn’t help but stare back. We were all in the same boat, prisoners to greed. Suddenly, my stomach dropped out from under me.
“I don’t want to be like them,” I candidly admitted as much to myself as to him.
Spencer leaned over and took my hand in his, squeezing my fingers in earnest.
“Neither do I.”
“How do we break the cycle?”
He sighed heavily and sank into the plush booth, releasing my hand. “I don’t think we can, Soph. It’s done.”
This was my jumping off point. This is what helped me decide that a series on the seven deadly sins was not only possible but would be interesting and fun to write. A book on Spencer’s greed seemed the obvious direction and the rest literally unfolded from there and quickly.
I’d grown so tired of the same formulaic writing we’ve all come to read. Don’t get me wrong, I will always love a good love story about the misunderstood girl and the boy who saves her. It’s just, sometimes I want something a little different. Every now and then, I want grittier stories but something with hope and redemption. I want love that stands in the face of seemingly impossible adversity. It was a natural progression, this series, and something that has gotten me so excited, I can barely contain myself. I’m obsessed with each story and I have such a wide view of how the series will unfold. Nothing has clicked for me like this series clicks for me and I hope my readers enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
I feel like I’ve rambled, LOL. Let’s get down to the fundamental question. Why did I choose to write the seven deadly sins. The answer is simple.
There is nothing more human than sin and nothing more redeeming than rejecting it.
Thank you so much for having me, Vilma! Love you to the moon and back five times!
About Fisher Amelie
Fisher Amelie is the author of The Leaving Series, Callum & Harper and Thomas & January. She began her writing
career as a copywriter for an internet marketing company wherein one of their client’s said, ‘Hey! You’re funny. You should write books’. Which in turn she said, ‘Hey, get out of here! This is the lady’s restroom.’ While washing her hands and the embarrassment from her face, she thought they may have had a valid point. So, she took the thousands of hours of writing stories growing up, tucked them into her pocket and began writing and writing and writing.