One of the most interesting parts of writing the Sex, Life, & Hannah series is doing the research behind the storylines and characters. Even though the first book in the series was mostly inspired from my personal journals, I have strived to push the limits of the follow-up books; give the characters some real off the wall ground to cover. I have always been fascinated by the normal stemming from the abnormal, the romantic being executed unromantically, the light always having a dark side, and things not always working out the way they should. I want my readers to both relate and feel better about themselves. Maybe this is a direct reflection of my own inner bewilderments (especially when it comes to love and sex), but I know I’m not the only one. Behind every rosy picture is a complicated story and that’s what Sex, Life, & Hannah is about.
This summer I finished the third book in the Sex, Life, & Hannah series. Each book has nine chapters, so at a minimum I learn nine new things every time I write a book. Here’s my latest nine:
- Vasectomy reversals typically have a fifty percent success rate.
- Diane von Fürstenberg is best known for introducing the knitted jersey “wrap dress” in 1974. Due to its influence on women’s fashion, the wrap dress is in the collection of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Transvestism is the practice of cross-dressing, which is wearing clothing traditionally associated with the opposite sex or gender. A hermaphrodite is an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present.
- Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, home of Kung Fu Cinema, and Ti Lung–one of its most revered actors.
- Jumbo’s Clown room is an exotic dance bar AND a Hollywood landmark.
- The Bunny Ranch, the most famous brothel in North America, has two locations in Carson City and one in Pahrump.
- Did you know that goat grabbing is the national sport of Afghanistan? It’s like polo but played with headless goat carcasses instead.
- Umeshu is a Japanese liqueur made from steeping ume fruits in alcohol and sugar. Umeshu was brought from China to Japan as a medicinal drink in the eight century.
- Conrad Black is a Canadian-born member of the House of Lords, a historian, a convicted felon, a columnist and publisher, who was for a time the third-largest newspaper magnate in the world.
Check out my Book Research Pinterest board for even more fun stuff!
130. Don’t ever wear rubber and foam footwear (a.k.a. flip flops) to a wedding. And if you do, don’t be surprised if someone (like me) pulls you aside and whacks you really hard across the head, maybe even bends you over their knee and spanks the shit out of you (and no, not in a foreplay kind of way). For the love of the sweet baby Jesus that so many in this world devote their life to, can we please bring back a little class? Or has this world just gone to ghetto white trash hell? Have some pride people. This country was not built on the casual “surfer” look.
131. Don’t ever quibble with someone over $2 or $3, and then try to get a free drink out of their husband. Especially if that someone and their husband hooked you up with the best work contract of your life, which continues to lead you to more work, for which you can’t even be bothered to write that someone and their husband a thank-you card or take them out to dinner like you swore you would. Seriously. You self-absorbed, ungrateful, cheap-ass.
132. Don’t ever suggest dinner at a strip mall. Strip malls are for lunch, take-out, and those nights when you’re feeling not sexy, or like: god-I’m-just-way-too-fucking-tired-and-over-my-life-to-cook. Strip malls are NOT for those evenings when you are hosting out-of-towners you haven’t seen in years and whose wife you really don’t know all that well, but you do know that she lives in a big city, is wearing heels and a nice dress, and sometimes writes blog posts about inappropriate social behavior.
133. Don’t ever confuse a Skor bar for dark chocolate. A Skor bar is butter toffee covered in milk chocolate. And even though technically dark chocolate only needs a 35% cocoa content, we all know that anything with less than a %65 cocoa content is gauche.
134. Don’t ever be the preacher of accountability and reliability and honesty and of knowing how to “be a good friend”, and tell your friend you will be attending their birthday party only to not show up without so much as a phone call or even text. And then not even be bothered enough to call them the next day or week or month to apologize with some lame excuse, after they have ran to the opposite ends of Los Angeles for you on more than one occasion just to be by your side because you asked them to, just because they considered you a friend.
135. You know it’s a bad fucking day when you realize your entire collection of vibrators is broken.