Interview with Kelli Jae Baeli

What's the story behind your latest book?
I just blogged this pretty thoroughly.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like having creative and technical control over my work--I hate most cover art, for example, that publishers use, and it makes me very uncomfortable to end up with a cover that's not to my liking; I like making 80% royalties instead of, say, 15%. I guess I don't like anyone else telling me what to write, how to write it. I write what I feel needs to be written, or I am interested in or enjoy, so having some entity controlling these things is a repugnant idea to me. It's also too hard to get work published with major houses, and the process becomes prohibitively expensive--and I don't feel it makes sense to let work languish in a drawer, gathering dust, when the whole point is to get your work into the hands of readers. The readers, after all, should decide whether or not a work has merit, not some publishing person who doesn't know me or my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy, which I talked about in a recent blog post, is when the characters take over and tell you their story, and you have this flow that is a process of discovery and enjoyment; much the same experience a reader has.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are half the reason I write; the other half is to please myself, as I am compelled to write.
What are you working on next?
The new one already has a title: Rain Falls (it’s the name of the town in which the story is set).

I decided I wanted to write a lesfic romance, so I made a few decisions. This book would be brand new–

>characters from scratch, not based on anyone specific I knew,
>no pre-plotted storyline other than a basic premise,
>keep it character-driven and not rooted in the intricacies of cross-plotting and factual data present in my detective/mystery books, and
> I would try once again to let the muse take me, as it had in AKA Sleepy Cat Peak.

At first, I spent days trying to come up with a premise. *Holy crap,* I thought. *Of course it’s all been done before, a hundred times. Especially in the romance genre.* I thought of how popular lesfic romances are, but how I’ve resisted writing one, for the reason I just mentioned: I didn’t feel I could find anything new to say within a restrictive formula like that… And then I thought *what if a lesbian writer is trying to write a romance, and she doesn’t really want to?*

From there, the story blossomed, and it seemed, not from my head, but from these characters who suddenly appeared and began dictating their stories to me–they even gave me their names right out of the ether: India Bell and Tegan Lowry… They woke me in the middle of the night, forcing me to thumb dialogue into my iPhone. They were already talking to me. I knew I was on to something. This story had muscle from the minute I started typing. The characters were clamoring to have their stories told.

It’s been coming out vibrant, funny, intriguing, and I was mesmerized with its power to keep me at the keyboard well-past what was healthy. One day I even wrote over 8,000 words, and was still typing, when I couldn’t even see the screen and was making ten typos per line. I finally forced myself to stop, mid-sentence, and collapsed into bed.

That kind of animation in characters and story is the sort of thing a writer dreams of. It doesn’t even matter that it’s exhausting. It’s also exhilarating, even though the two conditions seem contradictory.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kate Genet, Dean Koontz, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edgar Allen Poe, Darian North, Laramie Dunaway, Michael Stark, James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, Earth Angel by Raymond Obstfeld, and anyone else whose work seems compelling and well-written--have recently enjoyed Dead Simple by Peter James, J.K Rowling's Casual Vacancy, books by Jonathan Tropper, Michael Robotham, Nelson DeMille, Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson, and her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Skyping with my wife, Kate Genet; researching online, reading, walking, watching TV, marketing my books, blogging, Facebooking
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not sure it was the first, but i wrote a short story that was of course cheesy and melodramatic, called Step-Father Spells Trouble when I was a pre-teen--about a girl who runs away on her horse and finds a cave to live in. (My sensitive, anti-social nature coming through, perhaps). LOL. Later, my first "Novel" was written when I was around 16, called Never, Nicole. I wrote it in one of those ledger books and it got passed around in study hall at school. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of having fans begging me for the next chapter. I made other attempts as I got older, Like The Ghost of Archibald Winkleheim the Third, and a romance novel I can't recall the name of, but my first serious novel as an adult was As You Were, which was shelved halfway through, as i expanded the short story that became Armchair Detective (and which has now resulted in my AKA Investigations series).
What is your writing process?
My partner, Kate Genet, and I discussed that recently (she is also an author). For her, the story’s the thing. She has a story concept usually and then asks herself what sort of character would fit that story. I, on the other hand, usually begin with a character and ask what might happen to a person like that? And then we proceed with our methodologies, which are also quite different as I’ve mentioned. I also do most of my initial writing in the form of dialogue between characters, so they can tell me the story– another example of my stories being character-driven. She’s a Pantser and I’m a planner. She writes in a flowing, start-to-finish way, and I tend to piece things together like a quilt, going back and forth and adding bits, and moving them around and finding correlations and patterns, until everything fits together. She says that seems a really complicated way to do it, but I said I didn’t know any other way. But I wanted to see if I could at least relax my methodology enough to make the process more enjoyable, as I was getting just a little jealous that she was enjoying her writing more than I was enjoying mine. So recently, my methodology has changed into a hybrid of what she does and what I used to do, and it seems to be working well. I wrote the last book in 3 weeks, and the current one seems to be moving just as fast. And more importantly, I'm enjoying this process more. {My blog is a good place to learn more than you probably want to know about me, my process, and my books}
How do you approach cover design?
I always have to know what the major themes and motifs are in the book, before I even start thinking about the cover. I want to echo those elements on the cover, while also creating some visual interest in the story. Just as the title and content of the book is important, so is the cover--it's the first thing a reader sees, usually, and often, they make a decision about whether or not to buy it based on that cover. I am always careful to make my covers look professional--I have seen so many Indie authors whose covers are atrocious--like something from a dime-store pulp novel, or else just ugly and plain with no style whatsoever. The fonts on the cover and the arrangement and tone of the images are crucial, and it's an enjoyable process for me, though sometimes challenging. So I approach cover design with those things in mind. I use Photoshop Elements currently to create my covers.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Nook Color. Though i do have a simple Kindle for checking my books' display on.
Published 2013-12-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Too Hot to Handle (Erotica Box set)
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 108,010. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Three sizzling lesbian erotica books by bestselling author, Kelli Jae Baeli--all in one bundle. Trustplaces (Erotic Art, Vignettes & Verse for Women Who Love Women), The Speed of Dark (Bold Erotic Stories) and Random Acts of Blindness, (an erotic novella).
Trustplaces (Erotic Art, Vignettes & Verse for Women Who Love Women)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,000. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Comical BDSM, first timers, unrequited and satiated passion; friends who don't let friends sleep alone. Trustplaces is not just stories, vignettes and poetry, but also a tastefully erotic journey through the many forms of passion between two women—and sometimes three.
AKA Investigations Series, Box Set
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 364,590. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
The popular AKA Investigations Series now in a box set. Share the adventures and romances of Jobeth, Phoebe, Izzy and Ginger. Never a dull moment, and plenty of chills, thrills and laughter too. Includes Also Known as Armchair Detective, Also Known as DNA, Also Known as Syzygy, Also Known as Rising & Falling, and Also Known as Sleepy Cat Peak.
Yin & Yang: Poetry & Lyrics from Both Sides of my Disposition
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,800. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2014. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Gay & lesbian
From the perennial mystery of lost socks to the sting of lost love, this collection of verse by novelist, artist and singer-songwriter Kelli Jae Baeli is a picturesque jaunt through the labyrinths of the human psyche, made all the more engaging by the dichotomy of frivolity and sincerity. Reading Yin & Yang: Poetry From Both Sides of my Disposition will be time well-spent. ~LightSwitcher Books
Crossing Paths (Essays)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,530. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2014. Category: Essay » Literature
Sometimes there are people who cross paths with us, and it takes a little time to figure out the big picture of just why they do. Often the big picture becomes unpretty. When it becomes clear that these two people are not good for each other for whatever reason, it is not always a thing to be regretted.
In Absentia (A Rain Falls Romantic Dramedy)
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 63,480. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
It's up to India and Tegan to decide if these forced changes are gifts, or just dirty lumps of coal. (Book 2)
Rain Falls (A Romantic Dramedy)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 72,610. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2014. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Two women. One, a freelance writer & editor and scifi author, who is also an emotionally unavailable and closeted lesbian. The other, a disabled romantic lesbian fiction writer, who believes no one will ever love her. In a writing cabin outside the tourist town of Rain Falls, Colorado, the two struggle with the temptation and absurdities their situation inspires.
The Speed of Dark (Bold Erotic Stories)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,890. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
The Speed of Dark is daring erotica, populated by characters suited just as well for full-length novels. Baeli explores boundaries, asks tantalizing questions about love and desire, and defies the conventions of passion between women.
Naughty Habits
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,890. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Sister Mary Francis and Sister Mary Margaret have a secret, and a plan to go with it.
Homo Renovation
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,690. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Breaking up is hard to do. Especially when you have to spend the weekend renovating the house in order to sell it. Tool belts come in handy. CAUTION: graphic adult sexual conten
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,260. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Lucy Randolph is tired of being poor, while her mother enjoys the spoils of Wallace Blank, the wealthy man who discarded Lucy for being a lesbian. She has a scheme to kidnap her stepfather for ransom. But the plan is foiled by sexy Sophie, Wallace Blank's biological daughter.
Also Known As Sleepy Cat Peak (AKA Investigations, Book 5)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 60,980. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
...neither of them expected their getaway to turn into something so pivotal to their relationship, nor to have to explore boundaries so profoundly.
Another Justice
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 60,070. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2013. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Margo Benning seeks retribution for what was done to her, following the lead of vigilante, Meg Fisher, who is on her own quest to fish for certain men...Fish for them. End them.
Giving it Away : Spoilers as Both Noun & Accusation (Why Book Reviews Matter & How to Write a Proper One)
Price: Free! Words: 5,150. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2013. Category: Essay » Literature
This is a FREE eArticle, not a novel; it does not pretend to elucidate completely the subject at hand; it's about 10 pages on the topic. I am too busy writing full-length novels to give it more time than that & yes, I do advertise my other work in the back of it. Please realize this was a quick share of some information I thought important, & that's ALL. That's why I'm GIVING IT AWAY.
Somewhere Else
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 27,880. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
A non-physical walk-in soul makes an agreement with another incarnated soul to take over her body. But Daelah Murdock is a Mormon goody-two-shoes with a pathological attachment to the color pink. And someone is trying to kill her.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,940. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Twenty-five year old Jason Beasley is about to discover, literally, a new reality, and that the research Professor Pritchard has done will lead him to the life he didn't know he was missing. If he could only get used to all the differences; starting with the fact that his own gender had changed.
Reading, Writing & No Arithmetic (Baeli On Series, #1)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,470. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books
Kelli Jae Baeli, Indie Author and Publisher with Lesbian Literati Press, and author of 31 books, numerous articles, stories and essays, shares some thoughts about the writing craft and the writer's life.
Curse of Cache La Poudre
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 28,930. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Danica and Rikki have missed their plane, which couldn't be worse news because now they might just miss their own wedding. ...and being chased through the wilderness, while a great bonding exercise, is not the romantic getaway they were expecting.
Also Known As Rising & Falling (AKA Investigations, Book 4)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 80,640. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Jobeth O'Brien discovers that even when she's out of commission, due to a back injury, there's no way she can stay out of the loop. Not when so much is going on in her household full of women.
Also Known As Syzygy (AKA Investigations Series, Book 3)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,910. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
On December 3, 2012, Saturn, Venus & Mercury aligned. On that same night, three women align to see that justice is done.
Mind-Bending Esoterica
Price: Free! Words: 5,910. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Religion & Science
Science is often wrongly interpreted as unable to respond to wild claims from believers. Complicated things require complicated explanations. Political Correctness has discouraged us, as a society, from speaking the truth, for fear it might damage someone's fragile sensibilities. But progress should never be impeded by a need to coddle adults who respond to the world as children.
Scars of the Old Flame
Price: Free! Words: 3,350. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Psychology » Depression
Then like Virgil’s Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae–I feel once more the scars of the old flame…
Euthanasia: The Good Death
Price: Free! Words: 4,180. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Civil and human rights
An individual's choice to end his or her own life, is at once the most personal decision, and should not be in the control of anyone other than the person considering self-termination. Human beings have the right to end their own suffering, if that suffering will ultimately end in death, or else be prolonged, and without any hope of quality of life.
Red Light Needs a Green Light
Price: Free! Words: 3,840. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Social policy
Contrary to popular belief, in comparing “House” prostitutes–those working from a house or other structure specifically for that purpose–and street prostitutes, 97% reported higher self-esteem. Surprisingly, statistics also show that abuse of prostitutes and women in general were about the same. So the violence against women is the issue here, not prostitution.
Creativity, Intelligence & Depressive Realism
Price: Free! Words: 2,780. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Psychology » Creative ability
Does creativity come first, and then depression? Do depression-oriented people seek creative expression? Do intelligent people tend toward a need for creative expression?
From Genocide to Neo-Eugenics
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,730. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Social Science » Future Studies
The constative issue of eugenics is one fraught with both peril and promise. Can the association with Hitler be put aside long enough to consider this issue without the onerous specter of the Holocaust and the efforts to create an Aryan race? If it can, then perhaps the traditional idea of eugenics must be reframed. We need a "Neo-Eugenics" that espouses pre-conception solutions, rather than post-
Too Much World
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,030. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Biography
"A powerful, thought-provoking collection of essays that reveal the author’s ability to dig deep into the pits of despair, and moreover, seek ways to climb out...” ~KIWI Club Reviews
Don't Fall in Love With Your Words: Fall in Love With Your Craft
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,380. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books
Indie Author of 26 books shares her insights on being a writer and doing the writing
Bettered by a Dead Crustacean
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,960. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
“Prepare yourself for a wildly entertaining jaunt through the witty psyche of the author, as she shares odd and humorous thoughts on a wide range of subjects, proving once again her ability to make us think, laugh and question our own sanity.” ~KIWI Club Reviews
Immortality or Something Like it
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,050. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Gay and Lesbian » Essays
"An odyssey through a life examined, a burden shared, and a soul shining with determination and honesty. You will come away from this book feeling like there's someone out there who really understands what it's like to suck the marrow out of life." ~KIWI Club Reviews
Powerful Things
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 29,750. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
It's hard enough building a life on a new planet, but when you're faced with dissension in your own tribe, you have to decide and decide quickly just how far you're prepared to go.
Dinky's Demise
Price: Free! Words: 1,630. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
She was fearless and he wanted to be fearless.
When It’s All You Can Do To Be All You Can Be
Price: Free! Words: 14,420. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Military biography
I raised my right hand and was sworn in with a room full of other recruits on December 7th, 1987. I was at that time too naïve to know that this meant I was saying, “I have no more rights, and you may abuse me at will.” It must have been in the sub-text somewhere, but I missed it.
Flash Fiction, Volume 1
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,610. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
A collection of short fiction about right and wrong, greed, estrangement, a Chihuahua, what makes us real, bad customer service and rude patrons, a loveable mutt, a lesson learned, a talking newspaper, dealing with the unschooled, apparitions, the future as past, and accepting loss.
Therefore, I Am
Price: Free! Words: 1,950. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Everything seemed to irritate him lately—even simple things he had never questioned before. Something was wrong with his life, but he couldn’t decide what it was.
Burn Her to the Ground
Price: Free! Words: 3,680. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
After being estranged for 10 years, a lesbian woman tries to mend fences with a visit to her mother. She brings her New Zealand girlfriend along
Punkin's Big Adventure
Price: Free! Words: 1,800. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
A sad attempt at a children’s story. Not quite suitable for children.
House of Escher
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,820. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
The morning after too much to drink, a young woman finds herself in different clothes, in a strange building, in an unknown city, and trying to get away from a killer.
Mark of the Almost-Beast
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,250. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
A professor explores her naughty side, and discovers that things are not always what they seem.
Brave & Crazy
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,280. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
Can't get no satisfaction...unless you're the girls in the band.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,450. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Lesbian Erotica
It was an honest mistake, but what Abby didn't realize was, her girlfriend had an agenda.
Chickens Come Home
Price: Free! Words: 4,050. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A lesson in forced karma when a young woman takes matters into her own hands.
Becoming a Statistic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,950. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » True Crime » General crimes
Alone on a dark road, a young woman learns something about herself she didn't really want to know.
True Blue Colors
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,660. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Rookie cop, Veronica Polk finds herself undercover, on a case that could make or break her fresh new career.
Tristoon the Incorrigible
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,910. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
After Beowulf, and before Xena, there was Tristoon...From out the hollow Redwood, emerged a small warrior bedecked in the gear of the Realm. Tristoon fastened her chain mail and adjusted the sword at her side. Another day, another battle, she thought wearily. Was this not a tiresome thing?
Wear a Helmet
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,650. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2010. Category: Essay » Literature
In Wear a Helmet, Baeli again displays her ability to swing from unapologetic humor to revealing even the most painful fragments of her psyche.
Also Known As DNA (AKA Investigations Series, Book 2)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 77,160. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
In this sequel to Armchair Detective, Jobeth & Phoebe are enjoying Lakewood, Colorado & Jobeth's newly licensed AKA Investigations. After a fresh start,life seems idyllic & full of promise. The dream is soon shattered by ghosts from the past, appearing to tear the fabric of love and trust. A crescendoing battle of survival will test their courage, as they discover the darker permutations of DNA
Random Acts of Blindness
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 49,210. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2010. Category: Fiction » Erotica » General
A professor struggles with her sexual identity after crossing paths with a clever young lesbian, in this erotic novella.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 84,350. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Brenna, A quirky bisexual author, escapes to Hogscald-a place where Mother Nature is not always nurturing, the Bubbas are watching from the knoll & her nearest neighbor lives in a treehouse & thinks she's been inseminated by aliens. Micah, a masseuse, trudges through the exasperating & often comical dating scene in real life & on the Internet, still desperately searching for a suitable partner.
As You Were
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,170. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
When an average day ends in a tragic accident, Tru Morgan must embark upon a quest to regain the life she once had with her lover, Brittany Jabot, while sinister outsiders take advantage of the precarious situation. Yearning, revelations, and lurking danger pull at the threads of a once-idyllic life. As You Were is a romantic story driven by mystery and suspense.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,100. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Drama » American
In this Mainstream Suburban Drama, Patriarch Dominic Fontaine meets his freakish demise during Hurricane Katrina —the rubble of his hurricane-proof mansion all around him—& no one suspects that a vengeful woman came to kill him.
Armchair Detective
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,010. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Jobeth O'Brien awakens on the floor of her kitchen, her battered face and the memory of an angry visitor tells her that she is close to something important in her investigation. Her quest for the truth pits her against errant husbands, a modern-day madam with a taste for blood, a horny landlady, a vicious attack dog, & the lies she tells herself.
Achilles Forjan
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,550. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Amy Jane Spenser is a Burlington, Vermont paramedic. Troubled by bouts with sleepwalking, and the strains of her job, she begins to spiral out of control, and in a moment of exhausted frustration, makes a mistake that could cost her everything.