In June, 2015, I went to Dallas. My publisher brought together some of its authors and we went to book clubs and a luncheon and a signing. The Deep End had been out four months and I was as green as new author can be—that is to say somewhere between chartreuse and apple.
Without exception, the authors I met were lovely people and spending time with the editorial staff from Henery Press was a delight.
On Friday evening, Gretchen Archer won a bottle of Kinky Liqueur. The contents were the color of strawberry sherbet. We went back to the hotel and drank wine. The bottle of blood orange infused vodka watched us.
Saturday was a full day. So full that it seemed only natural to unwind that evening with more wine. Someone picked up the bottle of Kinky. We passed it around. We speculated on what it might taste like. We did not open it. Someone—Phoebe Fox? me?—suggested we all put a character named Kinky Liqueur in our next books.
This suggestion was met with Kendall Jackson-fueled enthusiasm.
But a problem was quickly identified. My series was set in the 1970s, the others are contemporary. This road bump was swept aside. We’d all create our own Kinkys.
Which is how, Kenneth Keye LeCoeur, a character in Clouds came to be.
Cassie LeCoeur waved at me from across the lobby. Sometimes that happens. You don’t see someone for weeks on end and then you run into them in the oddest places. Poor Cassie. Being married to a man named Kinky LeCoeur must be a heavy cross to bear. Not that her husband’s real name is Kinky. He introduces himself as Kenneth. Probably when they met in college he introduced himself as Ken. But to those of us who have known him his whole life, he’ll always be Kinky. Mother says when one’s last name sounds as if it might belong to a professional dancer, one must be extra careful when selecting first names. The LeCoeurs obviously never heard her wax lyrical on this point…or maybe she waxes because of what Bob and Mary LeCoeur named their children—Kenneth Keye (show me a bunch of high school boys who won’t shorten that to Kinky) and his sister Candace, called Candy.
If you’d like to go searching for the other Kinkys, pick up Lowcountry Book Club by Susan Boyer or Heart Conditions by Phoebe Fox. And keep your eye out for a Kinky in Gretchen Archer’s sixth book (she makes no promises).
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