Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Background on My Novel, Widow, Virgin, Whore

Hi all,

People always wonder where ideas come from for novels so I wanted to share how the idea for my novel, Widow, Virgin, Whore came to me and why I chose the title. 

The Characters

Widow, Virgin, Whore is about two sisters, Denise and Darla, who are complete opposites and Denise’s best friend, Katherine, who has known her since they were twelve-years old.  The three women are in their mid-30s and at different stages of their lives but all of them are starting their lives over for one reason or another.  This is how they end up living together in one big house along with Darla’s daughter Chelsea and Katherine’s son, Christopher.

The idea of this story started with the idea of the relationship between the two sisters.  Everyone who knows a family with two or more sisters also knows that in most instances, the sisters are complete opposites.  Even though they grow up in the same household with the same parents, rules and education, they can be as different as night and day.  Sometimes, it seems, one sister’s behavior is the complete opposite of the other just to garner attention.  With Denise and Darla, their differences come out in their views of morality. Because Darla, the older sister, is so free with her sexuality, salty-language and provocative clothing, Denise is the complete opposite in her behavior by being the modest, conservative and prim-and-proper sister.  Darla is the party girl, Darla is the unwed mother and Darla is the one who is not responsible.  Denise, on the other hand is the one who never parties, hardly dates and who is actually still a virgin in her 30s.

Along comes Katherine who is the equalizer between the two.  Katherine and her best friend Denise are also complete opposites but in a way that compliments each other.  Where Denise is shy, quiet and doesn’t have much self-confidence, Katherine is able to stand up for herself and exudes confidence in her abilities.  Katherine is the friend who helps give Denise the confidence she needs when she needs it the most and Denise gives Katherine the unconditional friendship that Katherine, who was an only child, needs.  Unfortunately, when you mesh all three women together, it is a disaster in the making.    

The Story

Placing these three very different personalities into one household is where the story begins.  Katherine, recently widowed and left to raise her son alone, decides to leave her old house and buy one where Denise, who is single, can share the house and expenses with her.  Darla, once again needing a place to live with her daughter, Chelsea, moves in only because Katherine wanted to give twelve-year old Chelsea a stable living environment – something Darla has never done.  Of course, it doesn’t take long before sparks fly when Darla does and says anything she can to make Katherine angry – and Katherine isn’t afraid to spar with Darla like Denise is. 

When Darla is diagnosed with AIDS, the balance in the household begins to change and soon Katherine is the one who is immersed in Darla’s life.  Katherine, a writer for a local newspaper, begins writing about Darla’s experiences with AIDS, the support group she is involved with and the fundraising group she volunteers at.  This brings on a new set of problems but begins to bring Darla and Katherine closer.  During this difficult time, Denise finds love for the first time but feels guilty for being happy while her sister is dying of AIDS. 


It would have been easy to have Darla sick with some form a cancer, but I didn’t want easy.  At the time I wrote this book, knowledge of HIV/AIDS was about 10 years old and the media no longer talked about it and everyone seemed to be ignoring it.  This made me angry because AIDS was still going strong and needed to be discussed.  I researched the disease, how it was treated, how people died from it and what was being done to stop it.  I included what I learned from this research in the book.  I wasn’t out to make a statement or educate people – I just wanted the story to be as real as it could be. 

Why the Title Widow, Virgin, Whore?

Again, it would have been easier to name this book something easy like “Three Women”, but the title Widow, Virgin, Whore stood out from the very beginning and I just had to stick with it.  After all – the title says it all.  Katherine is the widow, Denise is the virgin and Darla is the whore.  You can’t get any clearer than that!  I knew when I chose that title that there would be people who didn’t like the word ‘whore’ and that may make it harder to sell the book, but I didn’t care.  It is what it is.  Today that word seems more acceptable and fewer people are offended by it, so hopefully the title draws more people to the book than away from it.  It was just the perfect title.

I loved writing this book – I had thought about it for so long in my head that when I finally sat down to write it, it was as if someone else was putting the words to paper.  It is a heart-felt story that I think any woman would enjoy reading. 


 Widow, Virgin, Whore is available in eBook Format on Amazon for only $2.99.

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