Breaking from my theme again. Since I have guests frequently on Wednesdays, I thought I should go ahead and let them have their spot. Today I have Pat Rosemoor, author of more than 90 books. She is fascinated with "dangerous love" – combining romance with danger. She has written various forms of romantic and paranormal romantic thrillers, even romantic horror, bringing a different mix of thrills and chills. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she teaches Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing, credit courses at Columbia College Chicago.
Today she is going to share her experience doing research for her latest book, Skin. I was most interested in what she had to say since I did research for my mystery, Stalking Season, which is coming out in November at a gentleman's club, too. Although I think my experience was more tame than hers.
GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY
Thinking there was safety in numbers, I made sure I didn’t go alone on my trip to a gentleman’s club as research for my latest book, Skin. In addition to my husband, I recruited a couple of other writers and another’s husband.
We had no idea what to expect. Dark and seedy, perhaps? Poles on every table for table dances? Old strip club atmosphere?
To our surprise, the place looked like the night clubs I’d been to eons before. It was beautifully decorated, and the bouncers wore tuxes, the hostess and waitresses evening gowns. Along the walls were semi-private areas with luxurious booths for groups. But apparently those had been reserved ahead of time. We got to sit in the middle of the main floor at a long table with strangers. A little odd, but okay.
Many years ago, when I was in my early twenties, a group of us went to a couple of Rush Street strip clubs to see what they were like. Women weren’t allowed to be naked then. The wildest thing they did was twirl tassels that covered their nipples. But like everything else in the world, that certainly changed. In Chicago, “exotic dancers” have to wear g-strings if the club serves drinks – otherwise they can dance nude. This club served drinks, so they did have to wear g-strings, but that didn’t seem to matter to the sheer sexuality of the acts. Even more intense were the personal lap dances – and here I’d been sort of relieved there hadn’t been any poles on the tables.
The night took an amusing turn, however. The woman in our group, who was alone, had already been hit on by the hostess, who’d asked her if she wanted “company.” Of course, not being into women, she’d said no. That didn’t stop two of the lap dancers from soliciting her for dances. We all had a laugh about that one. And then the next act on stage started.
A more mature dancer, also a well-known “adult-movie” actress, did an old-fashioned strip routine, eliminating one piece of clothing at a time, including thigh-high stockings that she rolled down her legs and then threw then out into the audience. Wouldn’t you know it – one of those stockings landed in my single friend’s diet coke. With a loud “eeeooowww” that got more laughs, she slapped it out of her drink. And then the guy next to me asked if he could have it. My friend said go ahead, and we all gaped as we watched him pick it up, smell it, then stuff it in an inner pocket of his suit jacket.
An amusing end to the evening, one we all enjoyed. And one that provided me with a lot of ideas to create the gentlemen’s club setting for Skin.
I’ve said it many times – there’s nothing like personal research to make your story come alive :)