Making lesbians happy – one book at a time

Q & A *spoiler alert*

SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t read Tats, you might not want to read this blog as there is a big-time spoiler.

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Several readers have asked me, “Why did you make Lee sleep with a man to get revenge on Vivian?”  I’ve always responded with a short answer, but I think I owe it to the people who are asking to give a better explanation.  So here it is:

I wish the world were black and white.  I wish there were definite good and bad choices.  I wish people would make only good choices.  However, they don’t.  Lee sleeping with a man was a bad choice.  She made a really bad choice.  Afterwards, she realized what a bad choice it was and there were consequences.

I think us lesbians would like to think that we are better than that.  That we don’t make bad choices.  But, the reality is that we do.  Some of us are alcoholics, abusers, victims of abuse, drug users, over-eaters, thieves, and bad mothers.  Some of us aren’t.   But we are all normal people and even the most normal of us sometimes goof up.

I don’t write about self-realized women who always make good choices.   I choose to write about flawed women who embark on a journey, make some wrong turns, realize they’re lost and find their way again.  By the time they reach their destination they are better.  Not perfect, but better.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying we should like all the choices a character makes.  In fact, you shouldn’t.   Lee doesn’t.  You don’t even have to like the character herself.  Lee is filled with self-loathing so intense she doesn’t even like to look in a mirror.  Until the end.

So, there’s that answer.  But here’s another:

I had Lee sleep with a man because it was the most debasing, humiliating thing she could do at that moment.  I needed her to hit bottom and be vulnerable so she could reveal her past in the next scene.  She would never normally reveal her truth to Vivian, so I had to strip her of her armor and leave her emotionally naked.   It’s what I call the ‘core-out’ point.  That’s the point where a character has hit bottom and they have nowhere to go but up.  Lee sleeping with a man and revealing her core to Vivian was the point where Lee began to find her own strength.

I’m going to continue to write about flawed women.  I will write about women who have holes in their panties, who smoke even though they know they shouldn’t, who don’t put on their turn signals, who abandon their children because they themselves aren’t grown up, who burn the casserole because they were watching Jerry Springer, who laugh when somebody falls on their ass, who eat a whole gallon of ice cream when they’re depressed, who battle with addictions and who have sex with people they shouldn’t.

However, I promise that they will always find the strength to learn, grow and at the end of their journey they will be a better person than when they began.

I am so glad that people have asked me this question.  It’s made me think, listen and learn.  And that’s part of my journey.

Comments on: "Q & A *spoiler alert*" (5)

  1. Very well written, Layce, you have not let me down. I am one of the women to got married to be “normal” only to find the lie worse than the hostility I received for being gay. I seem to make more of those choices than the ones that end up well. Thanks for writing for those of us not perfect.

  2. Thank you so much, Elaine.

  3. An eloquent and moving defense of your artistic choices — brava!

  4. As you said before not everything is black and white and no one is perfect. At least I’m not include myself in that category -than-you-very-much. I’ve made mistakes too but I have learned from them to grow up as a better person.
    That’s why I loved so much this book. The characters are so real as life itself. And thank you Layce for sharing with us.

    Have a great day!
    Greetings,
    Maite

  5. Bev Prescott said:

    And that is exactly why I will always read your books. I’m very much looking forward to the next.

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