D. Golden Conlin is the author of The Golden Corset. The Golden Corset is about an average high school girl named Sarah who struggles with insecurities, but her whole life is turned upside down when she meets an enchantress at an old salon and is given a gift: a golden corset. The next morning, Sarah looks in the mirror and realizes her looks have completely changed. She looks like a quintessential barbie doll and ideal in every way according to societal standards. Now Sarah gets to experience high school life as a beautiful girl but is it really a dream come true?
So D. Golden Conlin, what inspired you to write The Golden Corset?
Well, there are a couple of things. One day, I received a message from an agent after sending in a query letter for a different book that I was writing at the time. The agent was very forthright and didn't hold back in her critique. Her critique was, essentially,
"The concept for your book is good, but it is too long. Your book is 150 thousand words; it should be around 80. Your story is a thriller with a male lead. Female leads and woman's fiction/romantic comedies are more marketable. Its core message should relate to women and be similar to another book that is already on the market and successful."
This was the feedback I got, and at first, I was angry. It was like the agent had disregarded entirely my book and was telling me to make a cookie-cutter mold of a book. However, after stewing on it for a couple of hours, I decided to have a try at "the magic recipe for success."
That night I wrote the first couple of pages of The Golden Corset. I made Sarah a parody of all the female protagonists in all the women's fiction books I had ever read. But as I continued writing, I switched gears. I found Sarah amusing and comical. The more I spent time inside her head, the less she became a caricature and more of a real person with wants and insecurities. Sometimes it literally felt like Sarah was a real person and she was talking to me. It sounds strange, but I was could actually hear even the sound of her voice in my head, and I was typing as fast as I could to keep up.
As the book progressed, I started to blend in some of my sister's experiences in high school with Sarah's. Growing up, I had four sisters, and they were all very beautiful. But despite what a lot of people think, being beautiful comes with some disadvantages. And some perks that people assume that come with being beautiful aren't really perks. Does that make sense? Basically, I wanted this book to be about the good, the bad, and the ugly about being a beautiful woman.
So in the beginning of the writing process, what started off as kind of a joke became a serious book about self-love. My sisters inspired some of it. And some of it was inspired by my first thoughts when dating and the feeling of new love.
So that is what inspired the book. My hope is that if it can make a positive difference in one woman's life then that would be good.