I get a lot of email from all kinds of people who read my stories. Most of it is positive, in nature, which is always nice. Some of it is negative. Oddly, that can be nice too, because sometimes that lets an author know he's screwed up.
I'm not shy. When I screw up, I don't mind admitting it. So, I'll admit that I screwed up in the new series: The Making of a Gigolo.
You see, I predicated the whole story on the beginning of Bobby's life, and how he grew up with a single mother, and a whole passel of half sisters. Those sisters were born from the union of Mirriam, his mother, and a drifter ... sort of ... named Joe. Mirriam was alone, while her husband was off fighting in the Korean War, and she had a farm to run. She was also hot blooded, and couldn't resist Joe.
That set the stage for how Bobby grew up, which set the stage for the rest of the series.
What I forgot to think about were all the men out there, who have served their country, off in far flung places, risking their lives for the benefit of the folks back home.
What makes it worse is that I was a career soldier, and did that myself. I was gone from home for years at a time, worrying about my family, and how they were doing.
I didn't intend to make Mirriam look and sound like a worthless whore, which is the way at least one reader saw her. I didn't intend for her to be a "faithless cunt, who should have been killed, instead of divorced", by the man she cheated on, while he risked death himself.
I have no defense. If you take this story that seriously, then I have profaned brave and selfless veterans, by making her into a loving mother, with a weak will, when it comes to sex.
I could argue that such things happen in real life, and that the fiction that is this story is simply another rendition of how that kind of thing sometimes happens. I could argue that, despite her weakness, Mirriam did, in fact, have a farm to run, by herself, and that by drawing on the only source of emotional support and physical help that Joe represented to her, she simply coped with a miserable existence, and found the will to go on working that farm.
But I won't argue those things, because this is just a story. It isn't a defense of cheating women, or carousing men. It puts together some of the elements of erotica that some people find titilating. That's all it is for. It's just sexual entertainment.
To those men who worried about "Jody", back home, I tell you this: You served bravely, and deserved the best in return. I hope the woman you left behind honored you, and kept her faith with you. Mine did, and I will be forever grateful to her for that. I salute you, and the faithful woman in your life. If she wasn't faithful, I mourn with you at your loss. It was not my intent to re-open old wounds or bring up old fears.
That said, I remind you this is just fiction. No human beings were hurt in the production of this story. No hearts were broken. No hopes were dashed. No men were made cuckolds, or embarrassed by a slut wife. No women were actually abused or neglected.
Nor is it my intent to support neglect, or cheating, or straying, or whatever it is that bothers you.
It's just a story, folks. Try not to take it too seriously.
And, just for the record, as of the writing of this blog entry, story six in this series is already written, edited and in the can, waiting for its turn to be posted. It involves a Viet Nam vet. For whatever reason, while I didn't think about the Korean Vet, and his feelings, I DID think about the Viet Nam vet. He is portrayed the way he is intentionally, because men act that way too, in real life. You'll understand if you read it. I'll tell you right now, though, if a woman cheating on her husband while he's away fighting a war makes your blood boil, then you don't want to read this series.