Notes on The Secret In Room 823

When I was invited to write The Secret In Room 823, I was shopping with my  sister. We were between the bra shop (my weakness) and the shoe store (hers.) I picked up an email from my editor explaining the concept of The Chatsfield, suggesting the premise they wanted me to tackle, and advised that the deadline was tight. Would I like to participate?

First of all, you really do feel like the biggest deal when you’re walking between the shop that sells lingerie for a hundred dollars a piece to the shoe shop where you need your full two week paycheck to even look around, then pick up an email from your editor, in London, and she’s asking you to write for her. (As opposed to begging for her to take whatever hack stories you manage to scribble into existence.) Right there I was living the dream.

Then I read the concept to my sister and the eavesdropping shoe salesgirl lifted her brows. I mean, bondage? That just made your eyebrows go up, didn’t it?

It was a fairly short novella, I was already down to three days a week at my day job, but it was still going to be tight. Nevertheless, I couldn’t say, ‘No.’ (Another weakness of mine, if you want the truth.) I replied YES! to my editor. Then I turned to my sister and said, “I have to quit my job, don’t I?” and she said, “Yes,” in the way a sister does when she’s been telling you something all along and then you act like it just occurred to you.

So The Secret In Room 823 will always be special to me because it was the reason I decided to walk through a proverbial door from one life (working stiff) into another (fulltime writer.)

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