Writing Violetta came at a time in my life when I was going through much angst following the breakup of my second marriage. Coincidentally, Violetta was going through much angst too. At the end of Shoes Your Weapon (don't read any further if you haven't read the second book in the Shoe Leather series - Shoes Your Weapon) Violetta had seen her recently discovered half-brother, Tony, also known as the Cinderella Killer, shot and killed by the over-protective Ellen Stewart - Violetta's lover and savior. Violetta comes apart - wondering if her destiny as the foot-fated serial killer of serial killers will lead her to be forever alone, seeing her loved ones die or betray her.
So it's no surprise that the first few pages contain as many "fuck this" and "fuck thats" as there are punctuations. Violetta and I worked out our demons and our anger that sometimes life doesn't work out the way you want it to in these pages. That said, I really like this novel - it's my favorite in the series - because it gets more into Violetta's character and the burden she carries in her supernatural feet. I sent Violetta on a self-discovery odyssey to find out why she has her power and how she might be rid of it, in much the way I went on my own odyssey of discovering what was important to me and where I wanted my life to go.
Many people helped
in the writing of the book with suggestions, help and friendship during
the difficult time - and through it all - just 100 days - I really threw
myself into the writing of this book - what else had I to do? Music
- especially The Sisters of Mercy - played a big role - as did many bars,
nightclubs and stripclubs - where I essentially lived during this tumultuous
period in my existence. I spent a great deal of time on the road - months
in Moscow on rocket science business and acted out Violetta's lost and
search mission living life large and on the edge, once coming nose-to-barrel
with a Russian policeman's machine gun as he told me in halting English,
"You criminal." I came out of it all happier and secure in the
knowledge that lifes goes on. In the novel I had Violetta journey to Rome
to discover the origins of her power - and I went there too - spending
a glorious week prowling the Eternal City being Violetta. The
novel took on a stronger supernatural tone towards the end - mirroring
the feelings I felt wandering through Rome's alleyways - alone - not just
there but in life in general - and I ended the novel setting the stage
for Violetta's evolution to her destined fate that is the subject of Lucretia
- Baddy Two Shoes - the fourth and maybe final book in the Shoe Leather
When the book came out I was horrified at the cover. This is a dark tale and the cover looked like an airbrushed head shot from a lingerie catalog, causing one person to complain that they were mislead by the cover into thinking Violetta was an erotic romance novel - NOT. So read Violetta realizing your looking deep into personal anguish and how Violetta (and I) dealt with that. There's some hot sex that helps her reconnect and a discovery that fate can't be fought. It's a great novel and will always to me be subtitled - Heel The Pain
Since so many people helped me during this painful period I'd like to reprint here the Thanks Much page from the book...
And For Cyn ...
To my readers I say mega thanks and drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think. To see what's next for Violetta you can visit her at www.stankent.com.
And to RM - GOD to my SaTAN. The best friend a perverted author could ever ask for. Thanks for all the advice on lesbian sex scenes. You're the only woman I'd considered getting a sex change for. Thanks for the loan of Evita. Now go finish her story.
Alisa Romanova for all the amazing from Russia with love scenes in Tsunami, Propaganda, Chai Club, St. Petersburg and the Moscow Aurora Marriott. I'll never be the same, and neither will Violetta, who owes much to Alisa's inspiration.
Kate, Elena, Maria and Anna at the Concierge Desk and Innessa in the restaurant of the Moscow Aurora Marriott for giving me a home to write and live like a maniac.
Marco and Alvaro at the Concierge Desk of the Marriott Grand Flora on the Via Venetto in Rome for calling the Vatican and asking them where the church dedicated to shoe repairers was located.
The Pope and everyone else at the Vatican for not knowing where the church dedicated to shoe repairers was located.
Dr. GP Purohit for all the Gutkha that kept me up so I could write this book in a hundred days. Any weird spellings or punctuation errors are entirely due to GP and his Gutkha.
Vitaly Zaporozghtsev for the CDs, the Blade Runner Russian edition and discussions, Zhenya Kantor for the "right word" discussions and everyone else at Bonum for being the first to read "Shoe Leather" and "Shoes Your Weapon" in Russia.
Phil Donatelli and Jerry Salvatore for the Italian language, mannerisms and wine lessons, capesce? The Salvatore Donatelli character is not based upon them. Honest.
Christine Calloway-Holt for convincing me to go off and write in Rome even though I didn't think I had the time. Thanks for the advice on the Eternal City.
Denise Daniels for the research trip to New York's Little Italy, which just happened to coincide with David Bowie's exclusive Bowienet show at the Roseland Ballroom.
Randy Rocket Scientists Bill Lynde and Tom Wunderlich for the stout fellow support during Goth Festivals, Tsunami nights doing intensive and perilous stripclub research, sampling the best cheesecake in Moscow and suffering through oh no, not another fruit plate. Is there a Radisson anywhere nearby?
Stefan Rossell of Shadowland in Oslo, Norway, the greatest little music store on the dark side of the planet. Thanks Stefan for all the music that I played real loud while writing this book, much to the annoyance of my neighbors. To Stefan, Medeia and the rest of the Norwegian Goth Posse thanks for the many nights out doing club research, at least those that I can remember.
Pierre Silber Shoes of San Jose, California (www.pierresilber.com), Cerex Boots & Shoes of Carnaby Street, London, (www.cerexshoe.com), Albanese of Rome, www.shoeworld.co.uk, and hundreds of other shoe shops, women, men and websites the world over who've unknowingly contributed shoe designs and inspiration to Violetta's tale.
The Rocket Chick Posse - Rosie Duenas for the Vivienne Westwood shoe calendar. Connie Christie for the care package and Jacqueline Hoang for her interest and concern.
Nina Curtis for the amazing wordology, fate and no-such-thing-as-a-coincidence discussions which certainly influenced the development of the Cutrero Curse.
Debra for the nice, young boy suggestion. Johnny Gianni owes his life to you.
Teresa Flynt-Gaerke, Gary Sunshine and all the staff of Hustler Hollywood for hosting my monthly erotic night discussions where much of Violetta's character has been developed and field tested.
Justice the Golden Retriever for the inspiration for the Doggy de Sade lipstick on the head scene. Note: No animals were injured in the writing of this book. I'm a card carrying PETA member.
Marion and Stefanie for stripping to Sisters of Mercy's "Ribbons." To them, Mica, and all the other strippers and staff at the Wild Goose near LAX thanks for the veggie burgers, pitchers of Boddingtons, Glenfiddich (please stock Laphroaig) and the occasional Bloody Mary.
Mickey Morrison for the cool bottles of sensual foot-powder given away at readings and her willingness to change my hair color to match my shoes.
Barney Rosset, Neil Ortenberg, Dan O'Connor and the Blue Moon staff for continuing to turn Violetta's words and exploits into print.
Jill for the parting gift of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary and magnifying glass. While it can't replace you as an editor, it's helping me to get by.
And to Claudia Menza, friend, agent and great shoe conversationalist
I say thanks for seeing me through a difficult personal year and having
faith in my porn with a plot. Here's to many more nights when we can reach
that state of perfect equilibrium - half man, half whisky.