It’s been quite a ride.
This story started because I wanted to explore the concept of “friends with benefits” and particularly I wanted to explore that grey area between being clearly friends and being clearly lovers. I’ve had a relationship like that, and several of my readers have commented that they, too, have had such relationships.
Once I’d picked that concept, the rest fell into place. Some of it draws on my own experiences, though not to the extent that The Ugly One did.
When I realized I needed a catalyst for Joe’s growth, I immediately thought of Sherri, from The Ugly One. Her philosophy and business plan are drawn from a tantrika (female tantra teacher) I’ve known socially, but am no longer in touch with. The tantrika believed in sacred prostitutes, and had intercourse with some of her male clients if she thought it would serve them, despite identifying as a lesbian. I had her in mind when Sherri appeared in The Ugly One, and realized she was just too much fun to not expand into a major character.
The rest of the characters and the plot are the usual amalgam of pure fiction and past experiences, swirled together. Pulling it all together was usually a joy, and sometimes quite challenging, particularly when real life intervened at times and forced me to slow down my writing.
My wife’s support was invaluable in getting through those times. I wouldn’t be able to write what I do without her. In addition, one of the things that helped keep me going was the supportive fan mail. Thank you, everyone who wrote. It’s been quite a ride, and one heckuva journey.