Monday, March 31, 2014

American Rose--Gypsy Rose Lee and Writing About Burlesque

I am a huge fan of burlesque. It constantly amazes me that people think burlesque is all about taking off your clothes. Granted, that is part of it, but burlesque is about "artfully" stripping down. Believe me, it's not the straight strip you get in a Gentlemen's Club.

As an erotic fiction writer, I've always wanted to write a burlesque tale set in the 1940's. Think Gypsy Rose Lee and the steamy side of some back alley club and you've got the location for my tawdry tale! If ever there was an artist that could inspire fiction writers, it was the one and only Gypsy Rose Lee.

When I was a young child, I saw the movie version of Gypsy and I have to say that the "Let Me Entertain You" number certainly put all kinds of ideas into my head! I was surprised to learn that most of the movie is not accurate though. Sure, Gypsy had a pushy stage mother and a talented sister who went on to do other things, but her childhood and her rise as a star were certainly not the glossy exterior that the movie painted.

Where did I get this information? From the biography written about her called American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee by Karen Abbott. The author points out that Gypsy Rose Lee was enigma and no one really knew her. She created a persona that was at once all consuming and very untouchable. By jumping back and forth to different points in Gypsy's life, as well as, in the lives of the Minsky brothers (they basically founded burlesque in New York), you get a sense that Gypsy was just a character--not a real person at all. And that seems to be exactly the way she wanted it!

The book inspired me to think about my book premise involving 1940s burlesque. Could such a topic be interesting in the world of erotic fiction? I think so!

And that's how my latest novel, Carousel Ride was born. I won't go into all the details, but let's just say that burlesque has never looked so sexy! I hope to share it with you soon! In the meantime, drop by Amazon to check out my latest releases in my naughty Shakespeare series: Ophelia's Lessons and Ravishing Rosaline. Drop a review while your at it! Ravishing Rosaline will be free the next two days!


  1. Nice spot! I really liked learning about Gypsy Rose Lee.

  2. Do you know that Gypsy Rose Lee wrote a murder mystery? It's called The G-String Murders. I found an ancient copy at a church or estate sale and it sits proudly on my bookshelf. She was quite a woman.