In my first three books, I had a theme going. I had cows in the first book, chickens in the second, and bees in the third. My editor, however, in her infinite wisdom, said that perhaps I don’t want to be considered the farm animal author. She said I should ditch the critters.
But in SHOT GIRL, my fourth Annie Seymour mystery, I’ve got a different kind of “critter.” I have a male stripper named Jack Hammer. He was actually only going to be a bit player, but he turned into something much more as I was writing and now plays quite a big role in the book.
Jack was born after I was invited to a bachelorette party. A colleague was getting married, and a friend of hers, who also used to work at the newspaper with us, invited all the women at work to the party. It just so happened to be at a bar where there was a male strip show featured that
I had never been to a male strip show before. It was never exactly something on my must-do in my lifetime list. But I did consider that at some point I might want to send Annie to a male strip show. I love putting her in uncomfortable situations and seeing how she reacts.
She reacts about the same way I did: intrigued yet uncomfortable. Of course I didn’t have a corpse added to my adventure, the way she did. Now, I love the movie “The Full Monty” and find it hilarious. But this was not “The Full Monty.” It was way too graphic and over the top for me, although I was definitely in the minority. I was also not drunk enough. Perhaps if I’d had one more martini I might have seen a bit more in the “performance” than I did.
The bride-to-be had a great time, and so did the other women I was with, except my friend Mary whom I’d driven over with. When one of the strippers sat on Mary’s lap and gyrated, she twisted her head around to me and said, “We’re outta here.”
It was an interesting evening, and I got a lot of fodder for the book, but I don’t think I’ll be heading to another male strip show anytime soon. Unless, of course, it’s in a movie.
Have you been to a male strip show, and if so, did you have a better experience than I did?