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October 22, 2012
Posted at 12:05 pm

Don't hate me for being creative

Okay, I am in the process of posting a new story, but it's complicated, and I want to explain some things.

This is because this new story, which is titled "Cheerleader Sleepover - Judge and Jury Edition" is not the kind of story my regular readers would expect me to produce. So that's what I'm going to explain.


To help you understand that I know what the reaction to this story is likely to be, let me quote Michelle, who proofread it. She usually has things back to me in a week. This time it took almost three. Here is some of what she said in her email when she sent it back:

"Here's the thing. The reason it took so long is because I absolutely hated the Coach Riley! (Both Coach Rileys, honestly.) I couldn't really stomach them. They do this kind of thing for fun! They get off on it.

" It was a trying read, having to break off every few paragraphs because I was literally getting mad at the intent behind the two coaches. They're evil people and I hope to never have to meet someone like them in real life. I wasn't truly comfortable reading this until somewhere in the middle of chapter 3.

"Now, that said, the rest of the story was very good. I enjoyed it on a whole, even though I had a bumpy start with things. I was glad that there was that togetherness that you seem to instill in your main characters. It makes for a more interesting read."

I put that last part in there so you'll try it yourself. I'm not trying to talk people out of reading the story, just explaining why I would write something like this.

As many of you already know, I spent a lot of time as a detective. And that means I interviewed a lot of people who had done something wrong. Without going into detail, I'll just say I interviewed people about just about every kind of crime there is, including a lot of perversions.

And the fact is, that a lot of people - not most, but a lot - believed they hadn't really done anything wrong. They believed they hadn't hurt anybody.

The most common argument about this phenomenon is the argument about whether prostitution is or is not a victimless crime. That will give you some idea of what I'm talking about. It can be argued both ways.

And the adult characters in this new story, who are definitely perverts (my opinion) might try to come up with some arguments to justify their actions too.

But there is another phenomenon, one that Michell also noticed. And I suspect all of us have experienced that phenomenon too. That phenomenon is not only condoning something someone else is doing, but actually enabling them to keep doing it. That's what some of the kids in this story did, and it was something that also troubled Michelle.

In my experience, people who enjoy doing something forbidden try to get other people to do that forbidden thing too. Smoking dope in college is a good example. I can't tell you how many times I heard "Man! This Jamaican Green is SO good. You HAVE to try this, man! I'm serious. This is too good to pass up, man." Or maybe it was Panama Red, or California sensimilla. They do the same thing with shoplifting, trying to convince others that it doesn't hurt anybody, and that it's a rush, or something.

The point is that if others are doing something, then you feel better about doing it too. It's an incredibly powerful thing, and it results in people - not just kids - doing things they might never otherwise do. And kids are especially vulnerable to this, because peer pressure and belonging are so important to them.

So, along comes this news story about a cheerleader coach back East, who had some twisted ideas about how to get her cheerleaders to bond. And of course I thought about how that might work. I'm a little twisted too. I admit it.

And then I got philosophical about it, and that was my downfall. You'll read this in the foreword, but basically, I hadn't ever seen anything in all the story sites that was like what this news story claimed happened. But one thing perpetrators do is point out how somebody else did it first, and all they were doing was copying them, etc etc etc.

So I wrote the story that this real life perpetrator might have read to blame her actions on. And the challenge was to write it as if there was nothing wrong with the whole idea.

I know this doesn't make any sense to those of you who have an IQ greater than the size of your waist. But it's great fun for me to do this kind of thing - take a ridiculous idea and try to sell it. I think one of my ancestors sold snake oil or something, and that gene got handed down to me.

So please understand that this story is a spoof on a real, actual, honest to goodness event that happened. The perpetrator of that event should be punished severely. I firmly believe that, because she took advantage of young women who were gullible. I'm fully aware that many of the characters in my books and stories do exactly the same thing ... except mine are all imaginary!

Please remember ... it's only a movie. No animals or cheerleaders got hurt in the production of this fantasy.

That said, if you want to send me some hate mail, I won't be either surprised or testy about it.

After all, I get to spout this garbage whenever I want to, and it's only right that you get to respond to it.

Thanks for having the conversation.