I have lots of authors I follow by buying their books. If I like their writing I'll follow their repeated characters and keep up with them almost like the families of friends. I don't go to author events though. The only author signed books I have are ones I got used or someone got signed for me.
My story begins the year I was working a second full time job. I was working a Saturday night until 2 a.m. and it was a slow night. I finished a book by the Famous Author and the remarkable thing about it was there were two chapters that began with the same scene. Both scenes had a woman approaching the main character from the foot of a bed and giving him a blow job. He was sleeping when she begins and wakes up in the middle of it.
I thought it was a mistake and reread the first of the two chapters and it was a different woman. Nowhere in the book was there any other detail about sex with the women. I remember thinking, "Does this guy not know how to write sex scenes?" Then I thought, "Maybe he never gets BJ's and thinks by writing these scenes he will get some from his wife or girlfriend?"
I looked for an address and found a statement that instead of writing to the publisher comments should be directed to an e.mail address for faster reply. I didn't have access to e.mail at work as this was 2000 and e.mail wasn't universally available at every desk as it is today.
I ended up forgetting to send a comment.
Time passes and a couple of years later I am reading another of the famous author's books with the same main character. It's 2 a.m. when I finish it. Again in the book there are two chapters that begin in the same way. What is it with this guy? I look and there's the e.mail address so I go send him an e.mail.
I tell him about the other book and the fact that he wrote the exact scene four times in two books and ask him why? I mention that it seems since these are the only sex scenes in his books he might need some consulting from a woman willing to share the perspective of a woman. I figured he'd send me a form reply. I did use my full name and say I was from Louisville. No phone or address of course.
That was a Saturday morning. When I woke up about 8 a.m. I went out and worked on my usual errands; bank, grocery, post office. I got back home about noon and was getting ready to eat some lunch and take a nap. I had a date that night with Lenny.
The phone rings and a man says, "Is this Charlene?"
I said, "Who is this?"
He said, "This is 'the famous Author.' "
Well I was surprised. I said, "How did you get my number?"
"I called directory assistance. It was listed."
That's how it was back then. I had a listed land line. Now days no one has a land line listed or otherwise and everyone has a cell.
We talked for a bit and he told me all of his wives had been from Louisville. He told me he was again divorced. He told me he had been in Lexington for a book signing the day before. He was in Cincinnati now, scheduled for another signing Sunday. "If I was to be in Louisville I'd take you to dinner and we could consult as you suggested."
I was thinking, "Thank God you're not in Louisville!"
At this time in my life I had just gotten away from Roger. He was stalking but he wasn't my boyfriend. Lenny and I had been seeing each other for several years by then.
He went on to say, "I don't guess you'd be willing to drive to Cincinnati and have dinner with me?"
I said, "Maybe you should allow me to send you a picture so you know what I look like."
He said, "I don't care what you look like but you're welcome to send one if it would make you feel better."
Just before I sent the picture I called Lenny and told him about the author. He read the guys books too and said, "So what are you going to do?"
"I'm thinking I'll drive over there. I can always turn back. But if I feel ok about things I'll meet him and have dinner. Then I'll drive back."
"You ought to take overnight things in case you want to spend the night." He said.
"I don't intend to fuck him." I said.
He said, "OK but you should do what you want to do. How often are you going to meet a famous Author? Promise me you will tell me the story. If I didn't have to work tomorrow, I'd come over and we could go together."
I sent a picture. He called back. "Do you know where the hotel The Cincinnatian is?" He gave me the address and having taken quite a few week end trips to Cincinnati with Dennis to watch the Reds play, I knew the street. He gave me his phone number and said he was in the Presidential Suite on the top floor. When I got there the valet would park the car and I should ask him for directions to the suite.
"I thought we were meeting at a restaurant." I said.
"We can go wherever you wish, but they have great food in the hotel and there are a couple of nice restaurants we can go to here."
I knew what was going on. I packed an overnight bag and by 5:15 p.m. I was on the road. I knew I could control what was going to happen. I knew he had plans. I also knew he was a famous person and anything that I didn't want to do wouldn't happen.
I arrived and the valet told me to take the elevator to the top floor and turn left. He would call ahead. I got to the door and the famous Author opened it for me. He said, "You sure look nice."
He offered me a tour. The suite was huge. There was a big bedroom with a big bed and a big bathroom with a big glass walled shower. The second bedroom was at the other end of the suite and it also had a bathroom. There was a large living room with fireplace and a dining room. I also found another bathroom by the entry.
We sat in front of the fireplace. He offered a drink. I took a soft drink. He drank scotch rocks.
He asked me to look at the room service menu so we could have dinner in an hour or so. I did and he called to order.
He asked me to explain what I meant by my comment on the sex scenes.
I told him that since these scenes were the only ones in his books and they were repeated so much for this character, it made me wonder why. I told him when your characters are ready to have sex in every other instance you fade to black or close the bedroom door. You are writing in modern times, stories of modern events with contemporary characters, there should be more detail. Because you have the oral sex scenes, you aren't trying to censor things. Why don't you describe him giving the woman oral? How about their making love doggy or over a couch arm or something, even if it's missionary?
One thing about this character is he plays it as if the encounter is a real one leading progressively to marriage or a long term relationship. This character never continues a relationship to marriage. A progressive plot with he and women is always temporary. I think the character is an ego match to the famous Author.
His comment was he never realized he was avoiding all that. Perhaps I could write a scene or two and he'd maybe use them.
I said I would.
I thought that was so cool. He was going to use a scene if not verbatim at least for an idea.
Dinner arrived and we moved to the dining room. The food was good and a lot more than I'd have ordered. There was a chocolate raspberry mouse that was delicious!
We went back to the living room couch after we finished. He got another scotch rocks and I was finishing a glass of wine from dinne.
He asked if there was anything about him that I was curious about.
I asked him how he got into writing. He said he was a copy writer and then wrote a book. When it was successful he quit and now he wrote two books a year and they were released on a schedule.
I asked how he could write so much so regularly. He said he wrote every day and treated his writing as a job. He always met his deadlines and his travel for promotion was set up years in advance.
We continued to talk for an hour or so. He told me about heart surgery he had three months before and I asked him to tell me about that. He did.
At some point the conversation moved to the subject of sex. He told me he was recovered from his surgery and all new now! His doctor said he could do what he had done before and even gave his a prescription for Viagra. Did my boyfriend use it?
"No," I said. "He doesn't." I said.
He told me he had taken a Viagra when he left the room before the food was delivered. "What do you think of that?"
"I would say you must be ready!"
He stood and took my hand and we went to bed.
Sex was fine. It wasn't as good as sex with Dennis. It certainly wasn't as good as sex with Lenny! I wished Lenny had come with me. He is such a freak, that way if I ended up in bed with the author he could have joined us?
I never lost my mind to it. I continued to tell myself "You're having sex with a famous Author!"
Let me tell you all, for me sex with a famous author is like having sex with anyone else if I don't know them well. After getting to know a man sex is sometimes good. Seldom is sex with a stranger good no matter who they are. Maybe it works when you're drunk? It worked but he was a little drunk.
After a while he went to sleep. I didn't. When I thought he was sound asleep I disentangled myself, grabbed my clothes and went to the second bedroom. I thought a nice hot shower would be good, but the shower in that bathroom didn't work. The small bath by the door didn't have a shower and I didn't want to use the master shower. He might wake up!
So I attended to my toilet in the matter of a whore's bath and used the bidet! Imagine, the first time I used one of those things. I got a nightgown out of my overnight bag, put it on and got in bed.
I did not sleep. I got up and got the book I'd packed and read. I still didn't sleep. I continued to read until daylight. At some point I found some hotel stationary and wrote a poem, folded it and sealed it in an envelope. I don't have a copy but wish I'd kept one. I wrote his name on the front of the envelope. The poem was about the experience in the form of an extremely polite thank you note. The poem was short.
The famous Author knocked on the door and said, "Why did you leave the bed?"
I said, "I can't sleep with anyone any more."
"I'm going to order breakfast. What would you like?" He asked.
I told him coffee, orange juice, 2 eggs over easy, wheat toast.
I read the one column at the left just above the list of best selling books. It wasn't complimentary of his book. According to the reviewer, "Mr. Famous Author has again written a thin account of his famous detective solving a murder." Oh my. I guess we wouldn’t be discussing that at breakfast.
We didn't. We talked about his signing later that day and what he had bought on a shopping trip the day before. How he had bought some furniture and paintings and arranged for them to be shipped to his place in New York. He talked about how after his last divorce he was now refurnishing all his homes as his wife took all the best stuff. He said, "That happens every time I get a divorce." I told him one of the things about your spouse dying is you got all the stuff. He laughed. He had a nervous laugh.
I thought he being a famous Author of mystery books, I bet he could figure out how to kill a spouse or two without getting caught. Evidently he didn't though as he said he was divorced and the wives always got his best furniture and paintings.
I was anxious to leave. I handed him the envelope and said, "I'm going to go now. I wrote this for you. Feel free to toss it."
He said, "You're not ever going to tell anyone about this night are you?"
"I might tell my boyfriend." I said.
"Someday I don't want to open a book about your life and see a chapter about me and last night." He had his most engaging smile working. I gave him my most sincere one.
"I won't write about you and this encounter unless I change your name. How about that?" I said.
"That's ok as long as you don't say you met Robert Ludlum or one of those assholes." He laughed.
I got up and walked to the door with my purse and bag. He opened it and gave me a hug. I left.
I drove all the way home and when I got there I took off all my clothes, showered, and got in bed, sleeping until after dark that Sunday.
Lenny came over and I told him all about it. Then we fucked like bunnies.
About the story of the famous Author he said, "I sure wish I'd been along."
That Lenny. I love him so much.
Some time later that year I went to a party at a friend's home. It was a group of people she knew but none of the people knew each other so there was a game played to cultivate some bond. The game was where each person in turn told three things about their lives. One was to be a lie. The person whose name was drawn from a bowl was to say which the lie was. One of the three things was that I had met and had dinner with the famous Author. No one guessed that wasn't a lie.