I do quite a lot of research for my books, particularly for my romantic suspense titles. Needless to say, I know way too much about firearms and explosives, foreign governments, military strategies, and whatever else I need my deadly military characters to be involved in. For my erotic contemporary romances, however, I usually include real-life moments or observations in the plot. But for this latest series with Entangled Brazen, I actually ventured out to experience the world in which my characters live.
I didn’t go to Boston, where One Night of Sin takes place, but I did visit a nightclub for the very first time. The After Hours series features three heroes who co-own a nightclub called Sin, and since I’ve never been a clubber, I figured I needed to experience the club scene to find out what it was all about.
What you should know about me before I continue: 1) I’m a huge dork—my idea of a good time is gardening or playing Scrabble. 2) I don’t drink. 3) I can’t dance. 4) I hate dance/techno/house/etc music. 5) I don’t like loud places or loud people.
Bottom line: I don’t think I’m the perfect candidate to go to a club.
In One Night of Sin, the heroine meets the man of her dreams at a nightclub. I’m sure this happens in real life too. It did not happen to me.
Here’s the short version of my night of clubbing:
A friend and I paid the cover charge and walked into the dark club. It was loud. I hated it right off the bat.
I ordered a Coke from the bar and paid a million dollars for it.
I didn’t venture onto the dance floor because I wasn’t in the mood to be made fun of, so we stood along the wall and people-watched. Didn’t see any interesting people.
Thirty minutes later…still standing by the wall, screaming to each other over the music. The song that was playing was pretty good—it was a dance remix of an 80’s tune. I like 80’s music.
My friend went to the bathroom. I was alone.
A twenty-something guy with hair longer than mine started walking toward me. As he walked past, he leaned in—AND LICKED MY EAR. Then he took a few steps as if to walk away, casually turned around, and said, “Oh hey, did I just lick your ear?”
I said yes, and that I didn’t appreciate it.
He asked if he could buy me a drink.
I said no.
My friend finally returned and we decided to call it a night. I got home by ten o’clock and took a very long shower.
That, guys, is real life. Or at least, my life. I was hoping my nightclub research would inspire me to write a realistic portrayal of my fictional nightclub, but after that experience, I decided realistic was overrated. Gage Holt from One Night of Sin is a bouncer at the club, and under no circumstances would he ever walk by a stranger and lick her ear—unless she asked him to J
Still, I’m very proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone for the sake of research. As a writer, I know I’ll never experience some of the crazy things that happen in my books, but if I have the chance to do some hands-on research, I usually won’t pass up on it.
But…note-to-self: clubbing isn’t for you, Elle. Please remember that.