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---Let me virtually introduce my wife Carolyn. She's an award-winning television producer, and the more talented half of our couple.

---She inspired the wonderful part of my heroine Cornelia. The flaky part is more me.

---When she's not in production, we live on the beach in South Florida. So welcome to our little sanctuary.

---Pull up a lounge chair. Let the sun bake your brain...uh your body a little.

---Smell that bougainvillea?

---Hear the palm fronds swaying, the waves caressing the white sand? Does your mind fell a little sluggish?

---Sounds like a good time to read my bio and learn how I won the Nobel Prize for inventing penicillin. Just kidding. But a publicist wrote it, so you know she stuck in all the good parts of my life and left out the failures and heartbreaks and gritty stuff that make it into my books one way or another.

---"Chris Gilson grew up in Manhattan.

---After seeing Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" as a boy, and becoming convinced that advertising people chased spies and hung from Mt. Rushmore with their girlfriends, he dreamed of working on Madison Avenue.

---So he studied film at New York University, then went to work for a Madison Avenue ad agency and became a Creative Director in his twenties. His first ad campaign for JVC launched the VHS video format in the U.S. Soon Advertising Age named him one of the "100 Best and Brightest Young Advertising People" - on the same page as Warner Books author James Patterson.

---Chris won awards for his work on behalf of clients such as Bacardi, Citicorp, Heineken, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Steinway. He also wrote college textbooks on Advertising (Random House) and Consumer Behavior (Wadsworth).

---Like many Creative Directors and their clients, he enjoyed flying to locations in Europe, Russia, Hawaii, and South America to shoot commercials. "My favorite client in the midwest," he explains, "loved to hear that we'd found a location in France that looked just like Columbus, Ohio."

---In 1989 he launched his own commercial production company in New York and South Beach to create and produce campaigns around the world.

---"To me, the glamorous part of our work was hiring people with great personal stories," Chris recalls. "We had a pregnant runway model from Milan, an indicted Paris banker, a Red Army commando from Moscow. One morning, ankle-deep in the mud of Tuscany at dawn shooting a commercial, I looked around at these people and realized that I was subconsciously building inventory to write a novel."

---Chris began getting up two hours early every shooting day (at 2 a.m.) and scribbling a journal.

---He was encouraged by author James Michener when they met in the Caribbean. Michener laughed at his anecdotes and told him to keep at it - "I believe Michener thought I was writing fiction."

---His first story "Two for the Money," about a failed Wall Street investor and his Mensa-card-carrying pool man who hatched a scheme to kidnap popular CEOs and manipulate the stock market, was optioned by Disney.

---Next Chris started his first novel - Crazy for Cornelia - the Rapunzel-like story of a doorman who falls in love with a seemingly-crazy debutante. The book was sold, literally overnight, to both Warner Books and New Line Cinema.

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Copyright 2000 Chris Gilson. All rights reserved.