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11 thoughts on “Comments

  1. Hi Rikki, thanks for posting my comment.

    I’m writing because I just finished reading your latest book, BRIDGET’S CALLING. Would you mind answering a few questions I have?

    1. You said that many of the stories of Bridget’s interactions with clients are based on real life. Is Bridget herself based on any particular real-life sex worker?

    2. Bridget hires a first-class computer hacker as a “booker” or “assistant” to screen clients and even monitor police. Was this also drawn from real life?

    3. Do you know of any cities in the U.S. that are like Bridget’s home city (which, curiously, you never name) where sex work is de facto decriminalized?

    4. If Bridget enjoyed escorting so much during her time in college, why would she leave to become Leslie’s “sugar baby”?

    5. Reading more carefully, noting times and fees, it looks like Bridget takes in about $10K a week. Am I right? Do you think that’s realistic? With that amount, shouldn’t she be able to retire very soon, if not after eight years?

    6. I do appreciate that you’ve avoided some of the negative stereotypes often seen in fictional accounts of sex workers. How would you respond to criticisms that Bridget is an idealized portrait that glamorizes or romanticizes the sex industry.

    Thanks in advance!

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    1. Jane, thank you for your questions! I’ll try to answer them as best as I can here …

      1) Bridget wasn’t really based on a single person. When I came up with the character while writing “Peri’s Bliss,” I imagined someone who came out of a conservative background to embrace sex work in a positive way. As I did the research and writing for “Bridget’s Calling,” three women stood out in my mind: Maggie McNeil, Veronica Monet, and Norma Jean Almodovar. It wasn’t entirely conscious, but I found many of their traits coming together in Bridget, an intelligent and exuberant woman with her own sense of spirituality and justice.

      2) At least two of the women who shared their stories with me related that they, or other independent escorts they knew, had indeed hired hackers to do screening and booking. I then talked to a couple of friends with connections in the hacking community, and they gave me ideas for how Charlie would do his job for Bridget.

      3) I couldn’t say that the police in any American cities operate the way Chief Graham runs things in this novel, but there are several Canadian cities and a couple in Great Britain that do embrace a policy of “tolerance” for consensual sex work.

      4) So you’re intrigued to know the backstory, eh? LOL! Well, I’d say Bridget’s decision was a combination of attraction and practicality. She liked Leslie, who in turn offered a living and financial situation which would be easier to manage than juggling escorting dates with schoolwork.

      5) You’ve got the figures about right (good for you, A in math), and that is indeed on the very high end of the income scale for escorts like Bridget. But, keep in mind, her work also involves a lot of expenses, from wardrobe to security measures. Also, she wouldn’t have started at that income level, but built up to it over the years as she earned her reputation. So while she’s earning a pretty penny now, she still needs to keep working to save that retirement nest-egg. And remember, she loves her work, so she’s not in a rush to retire.

      6) Yes, Bridget represents one extreme of the profession. But when you consider that too many books, movies and television shows portray the opposite extreme, I think it’s a needed counterweight, much like Sidney Poitier’s character in the film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. But even with Bridget’s relatively privileged position, her intelligence and compassion, she still has the burden of her profession being outlawed, and all that entails.

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  2. I just finished reading Peri’s Bliss, and absolutely loved it! Could. Not. Put. It. Down. You really are a remarkable storyteller, and I love your characters – Peri, Lila, Andrew, Bridget, Amalia, Lateshia, and more! Look forward to more books in the series. If the Free Spirit Connection was for real, I’d join in a heartbeat! 🙂

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  3. I’ve read “Landlady’s Girl” and “Naomi: A Young Woman’s Journey”, enjoyed them both thoroughly. Love the attention to detail, from settings to the inner lives of your characters. Can’t wait when “Peri’s Bliss” comes out!

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  4. I read about the new book you’re working on, and the idea of a sex-positive religion sounds incredible! Any way you could give a sneak preview of it? Belief system? Ritual practices? Do they draw on old religions, or is it completely new?

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    1. Shana, thank you for your comment. My friend Desmond created detailed notes on the “Free Spirit Connection” to be featured in “Peri’s Bliss” so let me draw from that.

      They are inspired by the Brethren of the Free Spirit, a heretical movement of the 13th-14th centuries, which was also criticized for “licentious” behavior. The modern Free Spirits were inspired by the ideas of Janella, who taught a pantheistic idea of “the Divine” in an “open naturalist” system, and affirmed four core values: love, truth, peace, and bliss.

      This religion also affirms that any endeavor done in the spirit and intention of these core values is sacred, including sex. They even provide “communion rooms” at many of their meeting houses, where two or more people may “covenant” and enjoy erotic bliss together.

      Desmond gave a great deal of thought as to how such a spiritual/religious movement might take shape and make innovations, even down to the seating arrangements for services. (Of course, he leaves the details of sex scenes to me!)

      Please bookmark this site, and also check my publisher’s site Sizzler Editions for when “Peri’s Bliss” is completed and available. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do writing it!

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      1. They even provide “communion rooms” at many of their meeting houses, where two or more people may “covenant” and enjoy erotic bliss together.

        Ooh, hallelujah! I can’t wait to read this!!

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