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Jagged Truth is live on all retailers—have you started reading yet?
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The first time a guy told me to smile...
I was working behind an incredibly busy bar. We had patrons pressed up against the wood, all wanting drinks.
There was a male bartender working with me. Neither of us were smiling because we were concentrating on getting drinks out, making change, grabbing our tips off the bar before someone snagged them. You know, being bartenders.
And this stranger, this fucking asshole, told me to smile. I was opening a beer, and I looked over at him confused. I didn't understand why this man was telling me what to do with my face.
This was back in the early 2000s before YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram, or a collective discussion about how fucked up it is to tell women to adjust their facial expression to your personal preference.
I just moved on—I was busy. Obviously, I let that guy wait for a drink…wait until the male bartender took pity on him to be more exact. I thought he was a jerk, but I didn’t realize nearly every woman has a story of when a man told her to smile.
I recognized it was a putdown, a not-so-subtle swipe at me. A correction, if you will. I wasn't being pretty enough, pleasing enough, woman enough for him, so he tried to put me in my place—to tell me how to present myself for his viewing pleasure.
My boss would follow me home in his car every night from that job. He’d wait for me to get in my front door. He didn’t do that for the male bartenders.
At the time, I was writing the first Sydney Rye Mystery and the sense that men were out to get me—physically and mentally—went into that book. It carries through the entire series.
I’m not the only woman who’s noticed this phenomenon. 😂 In the Barbie movie, when she and Ken come into the real world, they both see people noticing them. Barbie immediately clocks the violence in the air—the way men looking at her is edged with danger.
It was SO relatable to me.
Being a woman means you live in a shadow of danger, and when I wrote Sydney Rye I wanted her to be the thing that went bump in the night. I wanted to write a woman who was deadly.
I didn’t want to flip the script and have her telling men to smile, but I wanted it to be really fucking dangerous for a man to suggest Sydney adjust anything for his personal preference.
I pulled it off, by the way. If a man told Sydney Rye to smile, she would fuck him up.
And also, for the record, I’m at a point in my life, where I would too.
Want to see a woman scare the crap out of men while also being a flawed, messed up human like the rest of us? Start my Sydney Rye Mysteries today.
📚 Pay what you want for the first 8 Sydney Rye Mysteries in ebook or digital audiobook. Save 40% on paperbacks:
📚 Already read 1-8…continue the adventure with books 9-12:
📚Catch up with books 13-15:
📘Buy, Relentless, Sydney Mysteries Book 16:
📗 Download the new release, Jagged Truth, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 17:
📗Be Ready for next year with Brutal Mercy, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 18:
Sydney Rye and her dog, Blue, exact justice with a vengeance. The dog doesn’t die, but the bad guys do.
P.S. I promise the dog doesn’t die…but I make no assurances about anyone else. 😈
P.P.S. Join us 10.9.23 at 5pm Eastern to discuss Jagged Truth. **There will be spoilers** , so be sure to read the book before October 9th if you want to join us live. A replay will be pinned in the group for anyone who can’t attend at that time or hasn’t finished the book yet. emilykimelman.com/EKIR