Good Afternoon Friends and welcome. Today author Char Dafoe is here to talk about her book, Kitten. We are having a giveaway for one ebook copy of Kitten. To enter all you need to do is post a comment in the comments of this blog. The winner will be notified by email. Let’s go meet Char.
In order to understand my very first book, Kitten, and the three main characters; Rae, Ruby, and Christina, first you’ll have to learn a bit about me to understand why I wrote the story and characters the way I did. According to some reviewers and some readers online who’ve spoken directly to me, the characters in Kitten are outside the norm and a bit unorthodox for lesbian fiction. I always used to get offended by these insights by strangers because Rae, Ruby, and Christina are all me. They are all parts of my personality. I created these characters when I was finally discovering myself, my true self, and I needed an escape during my self-discovery, hence why the story and characters have a dark undertone. There’re tons of sarcasm, sexual innuendoes, and a lot of rage. That’s all me, folks.
When I was 14, I wrote my very first full-length book, and I decided to read it aloud to my mother. Afterward, she asked me why I had made all six female characters, who were vampires, lesbians? I stared blankly at her as I tried to recall when I had done that. I honestly couldn’t remember making them gay, it just happened naturally. The whole lesbian thing was never brought up again until I was 17. I had developed two very different crushes on two very different girls in the span of a year, and shortly after, I decided to reflect upon my feelings and ask myself why am I getting the butterflies for girls the same way I did for boys? Why was I going out of my way to possibly “show off” to these girls? Why did I put more swagger in my swing whenever they were around? I approached my mother and told her what had been happening and that I thought that I was gay. Her response was, “I know, I had a feeling,” and that was that. It was never brought up again and I never pursued another girl, either.
Skipping forward 13 years shortly after I turned 30. I had just quit drugs, and I had lost a bunch of weight. I was getting back on track with my life that I had been numbing for six years. The sugar and carbs had lessened, the acne cleared up, I got my teeth fixed because drugs, depression, and lack of self-care can wreak havoc on one’s enamel, and I was wearing clothes that were me; leather, blue jeans, and boots. No more was the frilly, feminine tops that hid my extra weight or the ugly yoga pants that were comfortable because of how overweight I had become. I was walking with my shoulders back, looking people square in the eye when I talked to them instead of averting my gaze, and I was flirting. Basically, I was slowly transforming into Rae. I even joined the gym to tone and add muscle, and damn, I was starting to look good. Three months after making my transformation, I fell into a dark, bottomless pit of depression. Just before Christmas of 2016 for two whole weeks, I contemplated suicide, and I always found an excuse or a damn good reason not to go through with it. I finally broke and revealed my problem to my spouse. “Hun, I don’t want to be married anymore because I’m tired of the same routine and I’m also not sexually attracted to you anymore, in fact, I don’t think I ever was, because I’m gay and always have been, I just suppressed it for decades and that’s why I popped pills, stuffed my face with crap, and locked myself away for days at a time.” I know, not a very nice ice breaker, but it came out like vomit. Surprisingly, my spouse took it better than I thought because deep down they knew something was different with me, and shortly after that, they suggested I started writing down my feelings and thoughts. And that’s how Kitten was born. Obviously, I edited out details from September 2016 to December 2016, a lot more happened than what I am telling you and a lot more was said, but you get the idea. Let me fill you in a bit; a lot of doctors, therapists, yelling, crying, and whiskey happened. Trust me, there’s more, but we don’t have all day.
Kitten is my baby, my pride and joy, my heart and soul. My qualities and characteristics show through each woman. Rae has my temper and foul mouth, but she also has my chivalry. Yes, Rae had moments of chivalry as do I. Ruby has my sarcasm, playfulness, and that wild thing that I believe all women have deep down that rises up whenever they’re pushed far enough. Then there’s sweet Christina with all her soft-spoken, charming, naïve ways. I can be and still am naïve with a lot of things in life, I can also be very quiet to the point that people forget that I’m in the room, and I am very good at getting my way just by being sweet. Christina and I also have another thing in common and that’s her cooking skills and sudden dream to go to culinary school. Before Kitten was even a thought, I was seriously thinking of going to culinary school to eventually work as a caterer. Instead, I gave my dream to Christina.
When I began writing Kitten, I had next to no knowledge of lesbians. I had an idea of how they had sex, but only because I was going by what I saw in pornography and or R rated movies, which a lot were a false representation of how two women were intimate together. I also had no idea of all the different labels lesbians went by; butch, femme, soft butch, androgynous, Stonebutch, stud, stem. It was mind-boggling. Did I know what any of those labels meant for lesbians who identified as any of those labels? Nope. Supposedly, Rae is considered butch with femme-like qualities.
I had no idea that she was that or that she would get labeled that. When I was growing up, butch meant mean, bad (don’t get it confused with badass), poor hygiene, ugly, abusive. You get the idea. Why would I think that? Because that’s what I was shown as a child/teenager. Butch women came around because I had a family member who was/is a lesbian and she was attracted to these types of women, and they were nasty in every sense of the word. When I created Rae, I wanted her to be not only physically strong but mentally as well. As for emotionally, well, she had her problems and you’ll see that if and when you read the book. I wanted her to be independent, the kind of woman who could fix her own motorcycle or truck, patch a hole in the wall, fix the leaky pipes, all the while looking sexy while doing it. I know, it’s unrealistic, but is it? I’ve been around women, gay or straight, who can take care of her own, get dirty while doing it and still look hot. I believe that all women, no matter their sexuality or identity, have a duality of energies. Feminine power with masculine energy, whether that femininity is small or big or whether that masculinity is dominant or is quiet, submissive-like. It’s there, in you, either loud and proud or lying dormant waiting for you to rouse it. I wasn’t trying to create a label for Rae, I was trying to create a woman that I strived and still am striving to become. As for the creation of Christina, I wanted her to be Rae’s opposite. Short (ha, ha), sweet (‘cause we all know how sweet Rae can be), naïve, soft-spoken, and yes, virginal. I wanted Christina to be a virgin to show that Rae could be tender and patient, even though her patience is tested quite a lot in the story and yes, she does give in and blow up at times. You’ll also notice part way through the story that Rae’s vulgar language decreases because she’s in love and happy with Christina. Instead of saying ‘tits,’ she says ‘breasts,’ instead of saying ‘fxck or sex,’ she says, ‘makes love,’ etc. That was my way of showing that love was softening Rae for the better.
Almost every scene, line, quip, moment, words spoken in anger, lust, or love, have all either happened to me or people in my life. Truth or dare is a game the girls play in the story, I have cousins who still play that game with rounds of shots of tequila and they’re all older than me. Rae’s truck was modeled after a truck that was driven by a country girl who I had a massive crush on as I was writing Kitten (psst, I even got to kiss her). Ruby’s job was the easiest to write because I have heaps and heaps of experience working in diners to high star restaurants, easy breezy. The physical fight scenes and the “push-up competition” party scene was written all from the help of the UFC and my spouse for telling me proper fighting terms. The scene where the furnace craps out and scares Christina, I actually had a furnace do that one time. Randy is/was a real person in my life at one time. Rumor has it that he’s dead, but it hasn’t been confirmed. He was a nasty, coke-headed, abusive man who hurt my mother and me when I was a child, so I had no problems letting him meet his maker in this story. It was basically my therapy and my way of getting closure. There are so many little things in this story that came straight from my life or others I’ve cared about. Some ask if Kitten is my auto-biography. I usually laugh and say no, because, for one, I don’t run or are a member of a motorcycle club, I don’t work on the oilrigs, I don’t ride a Harley, and I’m not 5’10 with double-d’s who can throw a man down twice my size to the ground. But I will say this, I will never die because I will live on in Rae, Ruby, and Christina in the forever written words of Kitten.
I hope you give Kitten and the rest in the series a chance, and I hope you like it. I also hope you follow my writing career because I have a new book hoping to be picked up by a publisher. This new story ventures away from Rae and Kitten and takes a journey down a path that is new for me but was also educational as well.
P.S. Rae didn’t have a name until after the first draft. She was Char until I pieced my middle name together, Rachelle, and came up with Rae.
I hope you enjoyed Char’s post. Her book, Kitten is available on Amazon. Be sure to enter the giveaway by posting a comment in the comments section of this blog.
Until Next Time,
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