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Carrie and her Readers

When you have an idea for a book — really have an idea — it’s more like the idea has you.

Or anyway that’s what happened to me when I thought I might like to tell a BDSM story in the voice of a smart, wisecracking, highly literate San Francisco bike messenger. Carrie isn’t real, of course (though the occasional reader swears she’s met her). But her voice in my head had accrued within it the energy of a lifetime of breathless, obsessive, guilty and yet joyous erotic fantasy, and all I had to do was listen and get it all down.

Which is why, all these years after I wrote it, I’m fascinated to think how many moving parts have to line up before fantasy becomes story. How I was able to do it while having so much fun is a mystery I’ll never solve. But I continue to be completely delighted when another of Carrie’s amazingly astute readers points out this or that aspect of the book. As in this dazzlingly, deliciously thoughtful piece by a new erotic writer, L.N. Bey.

If you’ve read my Carrie books (or for that matter, anything I’ve ever written), you already know that to me there’s nothing sexier or more important than being understood by those I love. But to be understood so deeply and subtly by somebody who only knows me from my words? That’s more than I ever hoped for.

Thank you, L.N. Bey. And to my other readers, check out the essay here.

Enjoy (and ps — yes, she’s absolutely right about the one thing I got dead wrong).

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