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Crash by BelleDean

Official Summary
A financial collapse, a hurdle, a breakdown and a collision – though not necessarily in that order. E & B

Very few stories are able to keep their grip over reality and still manage to lure you in with scrumptious drama and intrigue. Crash does that seamlessly. The story unfolds in the backdrop of the greatest stock market crash of our time; 15 September 2008, the day Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America to avert a lethal debt crisis, while another financial giant, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy and spiraled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

As these corporate behemoths, supposedly “too big to fail”, come hurtling down, we see Edward standing in Time Square, contemplating a different kind of crisis; one involving his future with the girl he loves - Bella. While his fortunes may have vanished along with the stock market, his true woes lay in not knowing if he’d be able to convince Bella that his value didn’t diminish with his riches, that he was still worthy of her love.
Recounted solely from EPOV, the story then goes back a year to 2007, showing how these two central characters came into each other’s lives. We meet an ambitious, self absorbed and arrogant Edward trying to make it big as an investment banker as he navigates successfully through the maze of Wall Street. His conceited worldview is shown perfectly as he complains about the busy traffic on his way to work:

“I always wished – especially on days like that one – that they'd just moved the office back downtown. At least traffic on the FDR was less of a clusterfuck. The midtown office building was an omen of sorts, telling me that I worked for spineless suckers.I should have gotten the fuck out when I had a chance…”

The loaded last line is brilliantly framed, carrying more meaning than one.

Then he literally stumbles into Bella while exiting the elevator and while he is immediately struck down by Cupid's arrow, he makes less than stellar impression on her. However, our self assured hero is not the one to be intimidated by this elite, upper class girl, working as an intern at his company. He is not lacking in confidence, but even in the very beginning he knows that he has his work cut out for him:

“Attracting the attention of the female of the species had never been my weak point. I usually got what I wanted without much effort even when I didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out off. When I started making money hand over fist, I only had to snap my fingers to get prime meat. Yet my gut instinct told me that she might present a challenge.”

It doesn’t take him long to find a way to arrange introductions and much to his chagrin, she confides in him about her infatuation with a certain Riley. In his arrogance he fails to recognize how formidable his opponent is, which he lives to regret in the near future.

Then we get to know Bella, who comes from old money and is trying to break through the mold with her neo-liberal rebellion, very much propped up by her parents’ wealth. Edward wiggles into Bella’s life as a friend, never doubting once that it’s only matter of time before she’ll succumb to his charms.
Edward and Bella dance around each other for weeks and though Bella never makes any declaration of her feelings, one gets the sense that she is starting to develop deeper emotions for Edward. Their ‘friendly’ encounters finally culminate in sex one night, cheered on by alcohol, narcotics and convenience. They throw caution to the wind and give in to their baser needs.

Their drug induced awkward and anticlimactic sex reeks of regret and disappointment afterwards. Edward, in a bout of wishful thinking, hopes it will give him the key to her heart, but much to his disappointment she disappears from his life the day after without a single look back. He searches for her desperately, only to be rebuffed by answering machines, ignored calls, and closed doors. When he finally finds her he learns that she has chosen Riley.

In a last ditch attempt Edward shows up at her birthday party, hoping beyond hope that perhaps a face to face encounter will shake her out of whatever stupor she is in. What transpires next is gut-wrenchingly sad. It results in Edward leaving with the pieces of his broken heart in his pocket. The depth of his pain in the days to follow is poignant and mind numbing. The author does an excellent job of making his sorrow real for us. I choked down tears as I read:

“Staring down the dark empty hallway, the realization of what the words we'd exchanged meant hit me. It was the end. No matter what, I would no longer run after her or make any attempt to contact her. I was done. She'd made her bed and I hoped, for her sake, she'd sleep comfortably in it.”(ch 9)

The bleak and hopeless landscape of Edward’s mind is beautifully captured and presented by the author. I am waiting with baited breath to see how these two willful, stubborn lovers find their way back to each other. The prologue gives me hope.

Endearing, believable, and well written, it’s a pleasure reading Crash by BelleDean. Very few authors choose the less travelled path of laying a strong foundation for their stories. BelleDean took the trouble and I must thank her for it. Despite his materialistic world view, the reader can’t help but fall in love with this version of Edward. Crash is a fantastic story that deserves a chance to be noticed. Go read!

Author Interview
How did you come up with the Title of your Fic?
The financial crisis of 2008, and how we got there, serves as backdrop to the love story between Edward and Bella. Since the crisis caused a major crash in the Dow and the collapse of several banks, including the investment bank Lehman Brothers, and ultimately was going have an impact on all the characters’ lives in my story, I thought "Crash" fit the theme.

Do you have any writing rituals? What is your writing ‘process’?
I like to sit with my laptop and an iced tea on hand on the sofa and just type away –whatever comes to mind really. Later on I go back to edit. Sometimes I do work on detailed outlines before I start writing and sometimes I just start writing a story.
I think the whole writers block thing and the ‘suffering’ to produce a story is overrated. If a chapter of a story I’m working on doesn’t come out right, I put it away for a while and work on something else. No biggie.

What made you want to write this story, what inspired you?
The prologue and the general idea for ‘Crash’ I got from some graffiti lines I saw written on a wall near my house actually; one of them read “sincerity is a low-priced commodity in the twenty-first century.”

For some reason my mind started wandering to 2008.
Like many others, I was equal amounts fascinated and flabbergasted by what went down in 2008. I remember during the boom years leading up to 2008, I kept on reading articles warning about the consequences of the “what if scenario.” What if the real estate market crashes? What if people with adjustable rate mortgages couldn’t make their payments anymore?
It amazed me how everybody, from regulators to economists, ignored the warning signs. After the crash there was lots of material to read about it – and so I read some articles and watched some movies about what caused the crisis and the effect the crisis here had on the worldwide economy.
I still cannot wrap my head around how badly the government failed to do anything to prevent this and the sort of nonsensical policies in regards to homeownership it pursued -- both under Democratic and Republican rule alike.
Worse even, now everybody pretends that it wasn’t really that bad. The financial regulation that has been passed since is rather tame and several reform and oversight issues remain unresolved to this day. It’s scary that this major crash we’ve just recently experienced has brought about so little change.
In fact, now every body seems to blame teachers and nurses for the government deficit. It is truly a sad state of affairs – in my humble opinion at least.
I’m going to climb off my soapbox now.
Anyway … yes, as boring as it sounds, the crisis itself and the line I mentioned above served as my inspiration. That and I happen to live and work in NYC, so I remember that day in September 2008 well when Lehman Brothers went under. There were so many people that lost their jobs; it was really quite scary. And I don’t expect people to empathize with the likes of my Edward, who clearly was a willing participant in the scheme, but there were secretaries, mail delivery people and other administrative employees who lost their jobs as well and had no savings so speak off. It also had a ripple effect on the rest of the economy of the city. Nearly everybody felt the pinch, except, of course, for the people who walked away with bonuses of millions of dollars.

What was your main inspiration for your lead characters?
Real life people I’ve met loosely inspire my protagonists, but for the most part I made them up. Some of the side characters are based on real life people. For example, Sam Uley’s character is sort of based on Richard “Dick” Fuld (hee, the name alone!) who was the CEO of Lehman Brothers.
Which fanfic authors inspire you the most?
Kisvakondok – hands down! Every time I get to pre-read any of her stuff, I’m in awe of her storytelling ability. Her writing is always incredibly smart and witty. Seriously, most of her stories are way better than mine.
The last story I was completely hooked on was Cesca Marie’s “Dead on My Feet.” Loved it! The story felt so authentic and realistic – and I value that a lot. Things that seem unrealistic always make me cringe.

What Fics do you reread often?
I’m not sure there is a book I’ve reread…so, honestly? I haven’t reread a fanfiction story. As much as I love them, there is only so much free time I have on my hands to devote to this hobby. I just don’t to get around to doing that. Plus, there is always something new to read.
If you could pick a Fic universe to live in, which one would you chose?
Eeep … you got me with this one. I’d rather not even pick. I’m fine where I am, I think?
When Fic diving what do you look for; Humor, Angst, Slash, Canon?
I read humor and angst, but mostly canon (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that). I’ve read some slash, but I’m not sure I could ever write it. Maybe fem-slash…? One day!

When you aren't writing, which fics are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading any updates of “We Were Here” by lola-pops, “Beautiful Sorrow” by DreamofTheEndless, and “A River Between” by WildRedPoppies.
There are a bunch of other fics that are on my to-be-read list…but that is a really long list!

Are you in the closet or do your RL friends and family know about your love and obsession with all things Twilight?
As my ff-profile suggests, I’m deeply in the closet about my ff-writing and reading addiction. Seriously, the only person who knows about it is the guy I live with –my husband. He often mercilessly makes fun of me because of it. Sometimes he runs around the apartment moaning “Edward” or “Bella.” I fear the shame of disclosing this to any of my RL-friends would be too much to bear.
Never mind that my employer would possibly have a cow if they found out in some round about way about my hobby.

How were you introduced to the fandom? Do you remember which story was the first you read?
Oh, God – I bet half the people have the same answer as I do for this one. The first fanfiction story I ever read was “Wide Awake” by AngstGoddess003. I found a link to it on Stephanie Meyer’s website somewhere. Then I got hooked on all the stuff by Ooohlalaaa – which has now been all removed.
I’m ashamed to admit, but I lurked for a really long time in the fandom. I didn’t even have an ff account and never reviewed. I do feel bad about that – and so now I review everything I read. If I read every chapter of a story, I’ll review every single one of them.

If you were stranded on Isle Esme, which two TwiSaga Characters would you want with you?
Leah seemed to have a feisty personality…Edward kind of was a stick in the mud, so I don’t know whether I’d invite him along. Alice – maybe? I mean I’d need someone to give me a pedicure, right? I guess it would be an all girls’ trip.

Do you have anyone that you'd like to thank for helping and supporting you through this fic?
Nowforruin agreed to beta this since my regular betas were still working on my other stories when I started this and I really didn’t want to burden them with more of my stuff.
So, yeah, I owe her – big time!
I also have to thank Kisvakondok for cheering me on to keep on writing this fic.
BellaScotia and DreamofTheEndless for rec-ing the shit out of this fic and getting me some more readers – and even some reviewers!
And of course, a very big thank you goes to IcarusToSun – who wrote a review and recommended the story everywhere. I really, really appreciate it!
Before I forget -- many thanks also to TwistedInMasen who creates banners for all of my stories. I love her work.
Last but not least, anybody who is reading my stories and lets me know that what I write is not total crap – thank you!

Do you have any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
I started writing a teenage angst story. I’ll start posting it when it’s done. I still want to finish Hard Candy…but inspiration has been evading me for that one.
Eventually, I will write a story where I follow the motto “write what you know.” The story will be about a miserable lawyer. Not sure whether I’ll be able to get anybody to read that sappy tale.

Is there any information that you would like to share that was not already covered?
Nothing that comes to mind. Thank you so very much for featuring my story.
Thanks for reading!
TFDB Staff
(guest post)


This is such a lovely review ... so eloquent! Gee, I don't know what to say, except thank you so much!

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