below the beltway

THE HEROINE of my novel, Below the Beltway, is in her late-thirties and not sure she wants children. What Alex Gantry is sure about is that she wants a man who isn’t freaked out by a strong woman.

This summer Oxford English Dictionary added “power couple,” giving the two-word phrase gravitas.

Why, then, do we fixate on celebrity marriages, or unions between wealthy CEOs, ransacking public traces of their personal lives for any hint of normalcy, of relatability? It could be that power couple-hood is an image that promises an alluring fantasy: marriage and independence, two ideas that are presented as at odds, existing together in harmony. [Huffington Post]

But do you have to be Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Brad and Angelina, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold?

Absolutely not.

“Power Couple” is the romantic equivalent of everything many feminists long for in their own life. This is the story I tell in Below the Beltway.

Independent women live vicariously through novels, films, theater, and television shows, that replicate the image of two powerful people, whole on their own and stronger together.

Alex Gantry is an elite life coach who meets T.J. Gale, a hot greenpreneur with deep Beltway connections.

Whatever they have independent of one another, they immediately sense what their lives could be if joined.

When Alex meets T.J. Gale, she’s not only getting over a long-term relationship of convenience with Hollywood mogul Brian Marks. She’s learned that powerful men often ignore what a woman has going on in her own life.

Licensed by Taylor Marsh, LLC

photo licensed by Taylor Marsh, LLC

Alex’s best friend, Berkley Banks, who is African-American, wants the same things as Alex, as do a lot of other women today.

A relationship where both individuals have their own power and strong careers, which add value, not just complications.

Alex is hoping that because she has such strong individual goals, and T.J. does too, that he will understand how much her career means to her, even if it’s not as much as the love and life she might be able to build with him.

Though I’ll warn you, things do get dicey for the duo, because not everyone in the Beltway is thrilled they’re together.