How SIR came to be (and why it ends on a cliffhanger). . .

I knew going into publishing Sir essentially what the main criticisms would be. Not to brag (but), I've been a professional writer -- not for books, but tomato/tomato -- long enough that I have a decent grasp of where my weaknesses lie and, with enough time, I can emotionally distance myself from my work product to have a general idea of what it's weaknesses are. So I KNEW, when pressing the button to publish Sir, that people were going to think that it started slow with too much ...

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Step Behind the Curtains. . . and into my blog.

WELCOME to D.L.Hess.com! I decided to journal my progress and thoughts on Sir as I was writing and editing and re-reading because I have more to share, I guess, than what’s on the actual page in the actual book. I’m a writer. I was a writer before I started this endeavor, and I’ll be a writer long after I’m done. I know the amount of work and effort and reasoning that goes into every small detail. At least, for me when I’m writing, there’s a ton of work that goes on before ...

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Marshall T.J. Langlois

Pronounced Lan-(g)waah At least in my dad's small south Louisiana town, a Marshall is an elected political position, similar to a police chief or sheriff, in towns that aren’t big enough to have a police force but still need more than the parish sheriff. I based Marshall T.J. Langlois off of Marshall Russell in my dad’s hometown. He is friends with everyone and, like Marshall Langlois, he's a big dude, but that's about where the similarities end. He’s got a deep rolling southern ...

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Wine and chocolate

I wanted a sensual experience for Tori. This is a slow awakening (hah!) of her senses and her appetites. You don’t just throw someone in the deep water to swim, and you don’t start with whips and chains the first time someone calls you Master. The Chocolate I did a little research (not a lot) about pairing chocolate with wine. As I grew into adulthood, I became a dark chocolate lover. Milk chocolate is great, of course, but there’s something special about the bitter-sweet depths ...

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Why did Tori refuse to take Nate’s money?

“That’ll be $1.93.” He digs in his wallet and slaps three bills on the counter. Three one hundred dollar bills. What the fuck? He’s got this smug look on his face like he’s so damned smart, and he confirms my worst suspicion when he gives me a shit-eating grin and says, “Keep the change.” Oh. Hell. No. I calmly take his money, walk over to the cash register, and count out the change for three hundred dollars minus a dollar ninety-three. And then slap it all back ...

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Film Terms

As fictional as this book is, I do want to keep some things true to life. There’s only so much disbelief a reader is expected to put on hold. Frankly, I want to use that quota in other ways, not when discussing something simple like incorrect film jargon in a pre-production meeting. Line Producer – the dude or lady who is in charge of a film’s budget. They’re basically the film’s lead accountant and they make sure all the bills are paid. Production Designer – these men and ...

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Antoine’s

I’ve never actually been to Antoine's, but from what I've heard from the people I know, it’s a really nice restaurant. I love the history of it and the menu and the floor plan, and next time I’m back home in Louisiana, I plan on visiting.   The main dining room   But, since I’m writing this book from the other L.A., I can only visit it virtually and on the written page. [And, just to make clear, there is no disrespect intended for this prized New Orleans treasure. I ...

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Port of Call

I wrote a chapter-shaped love poem about Port of Call (Sir Chapter 13) in New Orleans. I've been to a lot of restaurants in New Orleans, most of them simply outstanding, but push-comes-to-shove, Port of Call is at the top of my favorites list.   First, it’s a damned good hamburger. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like hamburgers. Second, baked potatoes piled obscenely high with cheese, butter, and sour cream. Need I say more? Third <drumroll ...

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Tori’s Cherry Pie

I am not a bigger baker, but my lovely friend Tira was kind enough to give me her fantastic cherry pie recipe! The measurements for the filling are not in absolutes, more of "Do what tastes best to you". (That's how I cook, too.) Her crust recipe has been handed down in her family for generations. Isn't that fantastic?   Pie Crust One cup of flour to one stick 1/4lb unsalted butter, softened but not super soft. Pinch of salt Ice water Directions: Combine the butter, salt, ...

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Nate’s Tesla

The Tesla I don’t know why, but I think Teslas and Elon Musk are cool. In books, especially these kinds of books, it seems like everyone has these super-exotic awesome cars. And it’s a fantasy, so it makes sense. I don’t know why, but in my head – and as I’m the one writing it, it’s the only head that matters at this point – Nate, for all that he’s filthy rich and likes nice things, has a strong practical streak in him. He knows what it’s like to be broke af. He knows ...

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The Finewhile Diner. . .

I love diners. Particularly small-town, roadside diners. Diners that still look like they did when they were built in the heyday of highway travel, at a time before interstates were a thing. Diners are going by the wayside, which makes me sad. Half the ones I’ve been to in the past decade since I moved to L.A. cook frozen food that they bought in bulk and call it “homemade”. (Maybe it says that on the box, but it sure as hell ain’t homemade!) Anyway, bad food, and bad diner food, ...

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