Friday, February 15, 2013

Inspiration for The Hooker Book


Often, when I do interviews or guest blogs and similar, the subject of sex comes up.  People will comment on the fact that sex is a theme in the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.  

(In case you haven't read all three, here's a thumbnail sketch: In Blood and Groom, Sasha works part-time at a 1-900 phone sex line.  In Dead Light District, Sasha's client is the madame of an upscale brothel, and the case involves finding a missing prostitute.  In The Lies Have It, Sasha bartends at a fetish party.)

Dead Light District (which I sometimes refer to as The Hooker Book) took only five months to write, in fact, the book practically wrote itself.  The inspiration for it came from a research paper I did when I was working on my MA.  I took a wonderful course called Equality in Context, and had to do an essay on Human Rights and the Sex Trade.  I had tons of research from library sources (journals, databases, etc.), NGO position papers, human rights websites and so on.  I found TONS of info and couldn't fit it all into the essay. 

Eventually, the leftover research morphed and morphed and morphed again into a mystery novel.  The one point that really struck me was that pimps often "brand" (yes, brand, like with cattle) their girls.  Yup.  The pimps mark or disfigure the girls in some way to indicate whose property they are.  ARGH!  That bit of info just didn't work in the essay, but it was too significant to ignore.  So, the idea of a person - even "just" a prostitute - belonging to another was the starting point of what eventually became Dead Light District


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