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Ask Me Anything
Question: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Recently I’ve been busy with many ideas, but I’m going to go with the actual book that is coming out: We Three.
The full title is We Three: One and One and One Makes Three. In draft it started as “One and One and One Makes Three” and was simply a series of short stories each about 6000-8000 words long. It was supposed to be just three stories, separate incidents in the same relationship but intentionally one written from just one character’s point of view, her, her, and him. I ended up writing 10 “episodes” in the series.
I was filling out this idea of creating a triad of lovers. Not a swinging threesome, or some sort of hierarchical “us and her” but a bona fide three-way relationship. I’d been considering where the line would be crossed from swinging pretty regularly with the same people and forming a polyamorous relationship.
Around this time I found an old series online called Swingtown. Filmed in 2008 it was set in 1976 and centered around a swinger couple and their neighbors and friends. In the 13-episode storyline a husband and wife (not in the same marriage) have an affair. There was a suggestion that they hadn’t considered it until their friends Janet and Tom Decker, the lifestyle swingers, had gotten them interested in swinging. But what they were doing was not swinging. It was cheating. Swinging and polyamory both center on consent and honest among all partners. Wrangling the difference in a 48 minute format wasn’t happening, but there were attempts, snippets of potential.
In my stories I asked those questions. Soon I was writing about a young woman who joined a married couple, casually at first, and then, gradually, they all start seeing each other solely as partners in sexual adventure and simply as partners. As the encounters continued, I wrote their conversations, I wrote their thoughts. I wasn’t writing less sex, but I was writing more between the sex. I crafted moments where they wondered what was happening, and then I began to let them resolve their questions with one another.
I researched polyamory and started listening to podcasts and reading other books around multiples. One of the podcasts I listen to is hosted by Cooper Beckett (titled Life on the Swingset) and while he started as a swinger, he had recently decided to change to labeling himself polyamorous. I read his story “A Life Less Monogamous” and his autobiography “My Life on the Swingset” Both books were good, but they weren’t really answering my question. They were more examples however.
The journalist within me woke up as I found and filled holes in my understanding from many different sources. And it was fun! I loved writing the stories. I loved thinking up new predicaments and writing the characters through them. It had been a while since I had “mad writing sessions” where I’d go for hours and not even stop to eat.
Over the course of 2016, all that writing formed my first draft of We Three: One and One and One Makes Three.