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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT?
Ever since we co-authored I.O.U. SEX, we’ve been asked this question: How did you come up with THAT?
THAT could be a question about the premise of our book. Or THAT might refer to a setting or a certain character. So today we’re revealing a little bit about what came from real life and what is the product of our warped imaginations. We’ll answer as Sandra A. and Sandy N.
Answer: No way.
Sandra A: When
Sandy came to visit me in North Texas a few years ago, she brought along her old high school diary. As we read from the pages, we started laughing and couldn’t stop! It was hysterical reading about making out in a car at the drive-in but still being good girls during that time in our lives. The more we read, the more we laughed, especially about how we had denied our steadies sex back then and how we wished we had those eighteen-year-old bodies now.
Sandy N: We wondered what our high school loves might be doing these days. And since we’re both avid readers, it wasn’t long before we were joking that a search for old boyfriends would make a great plot for a book. We’d soon named our main characters—June, Kiki, and Peggy—and started devising plots.
Sandra A: But when we actually began to write, the only things that came straight from
Sandy’s old diary were some of the places in and around . Dallas, Texas
Sandy N: So the characters and events in our book are NOT from my high school diary, but the idea for the book was inspired by it. I can tell you that there’s no way either one of us would actually go looking for our old high school boyfriends! Well … except maybe on Google or Facebook.
THE ADOLPHUS HOTEL – Real?
Sandy N: Near the end of our book, June and Denny go to the Adolphus Hotel. It really exists. The hotel’s website gives this information:
“This baroque masterpiece has been a legend among
America’s historic hotels since 1912, when St. Louis beer baron Adolphus Busch was approached by Dallas city founders to erect a luxury palace worthy of the .” Lone Star State
Sandra A: Naturally, that’s the hotel we chose for June and Denny! It’s still a grand hotel in downtown
and has been restored to its former glory. Dallas
Answer: Totally. They’re gone now…
but not forgotten.
Sandra A: Alas, the movie theaters mentioned in our book are no longer standing; but when we were teenagers, the
Hampton Road, Jefferson, and Chalk Hill Drive-Ins were our favorites. Whether with a date or with a bunch of girlfriends, we could see a double feature for a dollar or less.
Sandy N: Here’s a ticket stub I found wedged between my diary’s pages—stuck there for over forty years! This is the kind of “artifact” that spurred our imaginations.
Sandra A: As one of our characters says about the Jefferson Drive-in, “That old passion pit saw a lot of action. Or so I’ve heard.”
Sandra A: Did Rayburn High ever win the state football championship? Did the Rayettes drill team perform at halftime during football games? Not in
! We chose that name for the high school in our story since Sam Rayburn was a famous Texan. There is a real Dallas, Texas Sam Rayburn High School, but it’s located in . We bet you didn’t even know there was a Pasadena, Texas , did you? Pasadena, Texas
Best Friends Forever! – Really?
Answer: You bet!
Sandy N: BFF. That describes the three main characters in I.O.U. Sex—June, Kiki, and Peggy—as well as the two of us—Sandra & Sandy. Since we actually met in junior high school, we decided our characters should meet at that same time in their lives. Here’s what happened way back when…
Miss McNaughton read their names from her clipboard in gym class. "Margaret Kelly and Kathleen Phillips, please change and stay after class. The rest of you may leave." Then Miss Mack turned and left the gym.
Peggy knew why she was in trouble. Next week they were showing the human reproduction film in all the eighth grade gym classes, and she hadn't turned in her permission slip. She hadn't even shown it to her parents, knowing their response. It was just too embarrassing. Mom would be horrified, saying thirteen-year-old girls didn't need to know such things, and Dad would agree. He'd never go against anything Mom said.
Peggy changed out of her white gym uniform into her clothes, then went to sit on the bleachers next to the other girl. "Hi, I'm Peggy. You're Kathleen, aren't you?" Peggy had seen Kathleen in class, of course—no one could miss her bright red curls and petite curvy figure—tons different from her own boyish shape and plain brown hair. She turned her head, watching the door for Miss Mack's return.
"Yeah, but call me Kiki, okay? What do you think Mack the Dyke is pissed off about?"
Peggy giggled at Kiki's nickname for their teacher, then whispered, "I think it's about the permission slip. I haven't turned mine in. Have you?"
"Permission slip? What permission slip?"
"The one for the sex-ed film."
Kiki laughed. "Oh, shit. I forgot all about that. Quick, give me yours and I'll sign it. What's your mother's name?"
Peggy frowned. "No. We'll get in trouble."
"Get serious. What do you think Old Mack's gonna do? Go to the office and compare signatures to the ones in our files? Do you think she cares? Now, gimme." Kiki held out her hand.
Still unsure, Peggy flipped through the pages of her binder and pulled out a mimeographed sheet printed in smelly ink.
Kiki grabbed it and reached for her pen. "Your mom's name?"
Peggy looked around to be sure Miss Mack hadn't come back in. "Naomi Kelly." Peg spelled it out for Kiki, just to make sure she got it correct.
Kiki scribbled that name on the signature line. "There, now you can learn all about the birds and the bees ... and what goes where." She dug in her purse and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. "Here. Sign mine. My mom's name is Lorene Phillips."
Peggy reluctantly signed the name. "I just know we're going to be sorry."
Kiki laughed. "I never get caught."
When Miss McNaughton returned, she lectured them about following instructions, took their permission slips without looking at the signatures, and sent them to their next class with tardy notes.
After school, Peggy introduced Kiki to her friend June. They had cemented their friendship when all three became Rayettes the next year.
Sandy N. and Sandra A: So now that we’ve set the record straight, we hope you’ll order or download a copy of I.O.U. SEX and read about June, Kiki, and Peggy’s adventures in tracking down their high school steadies. We think it’s a real hoot, and we hope it will bring back some fond memories of your first love and what might happen if you were given another chance, the second time around.
Our idea for our first novel, I.O.U. SEX, came from reading my high school diary. What a hoot that was! To write the book, we collaborated via email, cell phone, and in-person meetings. Our main characters - June, Kiki, and Peggy - became our close friends, and we discussed their problems as if they lived just down the street.
We hope our readers enjoy reading I.O.U. SEX as much as we enjoyed writing it.
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Post a comment and you could win a digital copy of I.O.U. SEX. Just be sure to enter the giveaway using the google form below! This giveaway ends August 4th 11:59 PM Central time.
, Postcard, n.d.; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35709/ : accessed March 22, 2012), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Private Collection of Joe E. Haynes, Dallas, Texas
Jefferson Drive-In Theater: Some great photos by RAC Photography are posted on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/racphotography/473118241/
Sam Rayburn portrait: http://lbjlibrary.tumblr.com/