At least now, removed from the actual timeline of my Tumblr blog, it’s hard to recall which of my stories was written first. And though there is certainly a haze to it, I’m fairly certain War on the 85th Floor was my first long-form story.
Yes, I’d written my short stories Brother’s Keeper, Backseat Battle, When A Sister can Watch No More, and A Rivalry by Suggestion, but nothing longer than a few pages. After all, those stories were basically words I meant to go along with an image or a gif I had found and posted — much like my Sexy Blog Posts now.
Looking back, I can’t remember exactly what lead me to come up with the story in War on the 85th Floor. But the characters of Jennifer and Amber were basically based off myself. Not that each was a different part, but that each was the same person — the same me, but put on the earth twice.
Anyone who has spoken to me, or really followed my work, knows that the closer two rivals are to each other, the hotter the rivalry is for me. So, having two identical characters, in terms of personality and motivation, was (and still is to me) perfect.
Is that lazy writing? To make a single character twice, as opposed to making two unique girls? Probably. But in War on the 85th Floor, I really just wrote what I wanted to write. Both because as I moved through the story, it all just felt very right to me. But also because I hadn’t yet learned my audience’s triggers and preferences. You know, since, at that time, I had no audience. ha ha.
Which meant that I just wrote what I felt pouring out of my heart. Even when a certain Chasing Cars song came on my Spotify, and since I’m a HUGE Grey’s Anatomy fan, decided to make Amber and Jennifer fall in love — even in the depths of their rivalry (note if you will, the elevator proposal).
Were I writing the same story now, I’d be afraid of having my two main characters fall in love. Since, catfight/hate fans are so vocal and prone to preference-myopia. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t still write such an ending, as I did a little of the same thing in A Christmas Wreck-oning. Only that if I did it, I would do so very cautiously and fully aware that a part of my audience would hate it.
Controversial as they bit may have been for some, another aspect of the story was universally popular. That being the dual window cleaning scene. One so evocative that AnubisX asked to steal it for one of his own stories (a permission I granted proudly). Now, I’m not going to say I didn’t know it was hot when I wrote it, as I certainly did. Aware though I was of its draw, I didn’t quite think it, as a single scene, would draw so much praise and appreciation.
In fact, I just generally wasn’t aware I would get any feedback and appreciation. On Tumblr, though my posts were often re-shared and liked, I got basically 0 comments. And my short stories, as popular as they have become here on the site and in some fan’s minds, were either ignored or criticized on the forums I posted them on. People feeling that they were too short, or disliking the way they were connected to images — as they were when they were conceived.
Had I not gotten all of the positive feedback I received for War on the 85th Floor, I can’t say for certain that I would have this site or stories other than one. It really was a turning point for me as an author in this genre, even if the story itself has been surpassed in terms of quality and preference by a lot of my fans.
For though to them it is one story amongst many, for me it’s the story that spawned many. A story that was so very me-ish, in a lot of different ways.
Still the CRAZIEST part, which is my final little tidbit of insight, I wrote the story (which is LONG) entirely on my cell phone while on airplanes. Clicking away at tiny little on-screen keys, way before the giant phones of today. Shoved into the window-corner of my seat, trying to keep the people sitting next to me from seeing Amber and Jennifer writhing together in the sexiest of ways.
And though they weren’t meant to see the sexy, you are more than welcome to!