She has been called homewrecker, sidepiece, sidechick, jumpoff, the other woman, and a host of other not so flattering names. In my contemporary novel, In The Mirror, she is called Jasmine Falls.
Jasmine is a physical therapist who builds miniature dollhouses in her spare time, of which she has plenty, because she is single with no children, a status she has been praying to change for years to no avail. In limps community organizer, Daniel Roberts, with whom Jasmine becomes romantically involved despite the fact he is married and has two young children. Jasmine is blissfully content with her secret love affair until it begins to put her at odds with her parents and best friend. In a desperate move to get proof that Daniel is not in love with the woman he’s been married to for the past thirteen years, Jasmine breaks into his house and spies on Daniel and his family for a week. The question is, does Jasmine see what is meant to be or what never should have been?
In The Mirror came to me while I was working on my upcoming book, Kizmic’s Journey. Jasmine’s voice was so strong that I ended up putting Kizmic’s Journey aside and started writing her story. Once I got into it, I realized that nearly every depiction of a woman like Jasmine in music, film, and literature is negative. By the end of the song, movie, or book, audiences want her nailed to the stake. And for good reason. After all, women like Jasmine are sleeping with another woman’s husband. But in writing In The Mirror, I was able to show the other woman in a way she hasn’t been seen before, even by herself.
Readers who are looking for an honest portrayal of the other woman will enjoy In The Mirror. It does not sugarcoat the truth about her, but at the same time, it does not demonize her. In The Mirror explores the reasons, not excuses, the other woman becomes the other woman, what role she plays in an extramarital affair, and what she needs to do and believe in order to maintain her happiness and sanity in a relationship that causes pain to everyone involved.
As a married woman, I never thought I would enjoy writing about the other woman. Never thought I would find anything remotely redeemable in a character who willingly enters into an adulterous relationship, knowing the kind of pain it will cause if or when it is discovered. But I had an absolute ball writing this story, and I believe people will have an enjoyable time reading the other woman’s story as well, and will come to see her not merely as a villain, but as someone’s mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, or best friend.
My first novel, Water In A Broken Glass, was turned into an award-winning feature film. That experience was one of the best things that has happen to me as an author. My hope is that In The Mirror will eventually be made into a film as well. Readers have told me that seeing Jasmine break into Daniel’s house on screen would be amazing.
Thank you, Authors’ Lounge, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share the story of how In The Mirror came to be. Writers need a place to talk about their work. I truly appreciate you giving us this space and for all you do as a whole to support the writing community.
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