It is a truth universally acknowledged that, while other careers might
pay substantially more, being an interior designer is about the
creative fulfillment. For Savannah Elliot, creative fulfillment means
exciting nursing home and school locker room renovations, battling
with architects and their egos, and HGTV-perpetrated client
“expertise.” With enough diplomatic skill to pacify Iraq (if not get
her mother to stop calling her a “decorator”), Savannah’s designs are
characterized by compromise – they please everyone but herself.
Eight years ago, Savannah was in college and in love, with both design
and architecture student Jack Wentworth. They graduated in the midst
of a crippling recession, with architecture firms hemorrhaging.
Savannah’s family connections led her to a job offer in Rochester, New
York, but the small city had no opportunities for Jack. He decided to
look for inspiration and work abroad and proposed that Savannah come
with him. After initially accepting, Savannah betrayed her own wishes
and yielded to the persuasion of her widowed mother, student loan
debt, and the security of her hometown. Eight years later, Savannah is
struggling to fill her aspirations, when a now renowned and successful
Jack accepts a job offer at Savannah’s middling firm. Influence is a
modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, with famous
buildings, colossal egos, and noteworthy clients standing in for
family connections, titled estates and yearly incomes.