On Thursday I posted my review of The Lies Have It, the latest book in the Sasha Jackson series, by Jill Edmondson. As with her previous books in the series Jill agreed to answer some questions. Be
prepared, Jill, like Sasha, always lets you know what she is thinking. Monday I will conclude this series of posts involving The Lies Have It with some thoughts on the following Questions and Answers.
1.) Knowing your desire to be accurate in your books I am interested in what research, especially whether you undertook personal non-academic research, into the S & M fetish scene? Sasha appeared quite uncomfortable.
That stuff is ALL true (even the red undies & the credit card!!) from back in the days (1998-2000) when I worked at The Pilot! Sidenotes: I think I told you previously that Dead Light District (aka The Hooker Book) was spawned by a paper I did when I was doing my MA. The essay was on human rights & the sex trade... the research that didn’t make it into the essay morphed into a novel. Book 4 (Frisky Business) was inspired by Chapter 2 from “Empire of Illusion” by Chris Hedges. Damn good book (even if it is a bit of a polemic). Ch. 2 (about women working in the porn industry – among other things) will make you spit bullets. I’ll need to do more research for that.
2.) As stated in the review I loved the name of “Bound for Glory” for the group sponsoring the fetish party. How did you come up with the name?
The real fetish group who held BDSM parties at The Pilot is called Northbound Leather – so I just twisted it around a bit. (Didn’t want to get sued... although maybe they’d have liked the publicity!)
3.) In your real life experience as a bartender did you have a comparable experience to Sasha giving a free drink to a guy rather than handle his credit card which had been nestled inside “his skimpy red underwear”? It was a vivid visual image in the book. I well remember your cucumber story from our previous Questions and Answers.
I wasn’t the one serving Mr. Red Undies; my friend Jennifer (in the book Jessica) served him. She had nightmares for months about the warm card ;-)
Sidenote: A few weeks later, I knew Mr. Red Undies would be coming to The Pilot for lunch. On my way to work, I detoured to a kinky sex toys store on Yonge and bought a pair of edible undies for him (red cherry, of course). I handed the package to him in front of his lunchmates & everyone laughed their heads off!
4.) For selfish reasons I am glad to see that a lawyer, Derek, is Sasha’s love interest having progressed from her lust interest. Might a future book, as Gail Bowen has done in the Joanne Kilbourn series, have Derek work with Sasha in solving mysteries? (I was surprised to read a Toronto lawyer can find his way to Timmins.)
I like having Derek help, but am unsure (for now) of how involved he’ll be... I’ll (or Sasha will) really need his help in Book 5. But I must finish #4 first!
5.) Is Sasha ever going to start carrying a gun on the mean streets of Toronto?
Not immediately, but I guess at some point – to remain credible – I’ll have to work that in to the books.
6.) Why did you choose to have Sasha in her 30’s?
Sasha is loosely based on me (or the me I wish I was!!!) and I was early 30s when I first started to toy with writing. Making her any younger would not have given me room for her to have a backstory (music biz) plus I think a 20-something PI would not be as credible, and wouldn’t have the touches of wry cynicism Sasha has. As for why didn’t I make her older: Simple. I was writing my own age and hadn’t experienced my forties yet (yikes, am I really now in my forties??? Damn, where did the time go?)
7.) Have you made changes in how you write the series between the first and third books?
Well, now, this is interesting... Book 3 (Lies) was actually Book 1, but I kept getting stuck! I started it in 2005 and for the next 5+ years it was about 30,000 words. Tey again, shelve it. Try again. Shelve it. Couldn’t figure out what to do with it until the last municipal election. Mayoral election & Rob Ford (donut snarfing troglodyte) and Rocco Rossi (build a tunnel downtown) gave me the inspiration I needed to wrap up the plot J But... because books 1 & 2 had come out already, I had to finesse things. For example, in the earlier/original versions of Lies, there was no Derek, but since he’d been introduced in Dead Light District, I had to write him in to book 3.
The links below to various blogposts (none of which is very long to read) tell you a bit more if you are interested.