When I decided to reissue my early books in the Collection of Classic Erotica, I did so without realizing what I was getting myself into. I would have to read them again.
Or, as in the case of BORN TO BE BAD, I’d have to read them for the first time.
It was my third novel for Harry Shorten at Midwood Books, and you’d think I might have a clearer recollection of the circumstances of writing it, if not of the book itself. At the very least, I’d have expected to have a good number of Oh Yeah moments while reading it. “Oh yeah, I remember that character. Oh yeah, I remember that scene. Oh yeah, I remember cooking up that plot twist.”
Nope. It was all remarkably new to me—and I drew great comfort from the discovery that it was better than I’d expected. It’s the story of the daughter of a Cuban prostitute from the slums of Miami who goes to New York, breaks into show business, moves from a Times Square hotel room to a Greenwich Village apartment, and takes aim at a life of middle-class respectability. She meets some unusual people and does some unusual things, and stuff happens. And you know what? It’s not bad.
Still, let’s keep Rita’s bildungsroman in perspective. She’s no Becky Sharp, and BORN TO BE BAD’s not on the same shelf as Vanity Fair. (Uh, that’s be the novel, by William Makepeace Thackeray, not the magazine. But you knew that, right?)
Never mind. I can but hope you enjoy BORN TO BE BAD as much in your first reading of it as I did just now, in mine. Note the original cover art, by the great Paul Rader, and enjoy the superb narration by Dana Foth.