Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's Official

It is official - the new novel has begun.

Last night and today I read for research because the main character is a big fan of . . . Traci Lords. You know her, right, or have heard of her? The teenager who got caught up in the porn industry and has struggled out of it to be accepted (for the most part) as a legitimate actress?

When I first hit upon the idea of making the person my main character admired an actress I actually did a lot of thinking about who would be a wonderful person to admire. I thought of all of the usual ones - Fay ray, Marlena Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and all of them would have been wonderful, but these people have been used a lot. I wanted someone different, someone people wouldn't expect and came up with Traci Lords, and, yes, I did so because of the "porn queen" image I had heard about.

Last night I sat reading Traci Lords: Underneath It All totally caught up in the frank manner the autobiography was written and finished it off today. I felt ashamed of myself for thinking of her initially as "a porn queen" and realized I had fallen into the age-old trap of thinking little about her, almost as if she herself were fiction, someone made up. By the end of the book I had an admiration of her and highly recommend this book to all to read.

Traci Elizabeth Lords (originally born Nora Kuzma) is frank and honest about her life. She speaks openly about her rape, how men molested, abused, and used her; as well as her struggle to over-come what had happened to her and regain control of a life that seemed shattered and fractured beyond repair to an outsider's eye. She was fifteen when she began in the industry under a false name, got hooked on drugs, and her last porn was the only one she had done legally at the age of eighteen.

She takes you through her recovery and lets you explore with her the trials and tribulations of over-coming all of the horrors that life can deliver and help you see a vibrant and tough woman who decided she was going to survive and actually did so and in the process secured happiness in her life, which was not easy at all, and success in her chosen field, which, again, was not easy.

A friend of mine and I once guessed that perhaps porns had been her "break," but I had not read her book at the time and I have to admit I was stunned to even admit I had thought like that before.

Yes, it is official that the novel has indeed begun, especially the research, but what is even more official is that my main character indeed chose a wonderful role model. It is also official that the fictional character in my head taught me a few lessons and I am most grateful to him for that. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

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