“Shit,” said Christopher, when the front door of a house sprang open early one morning in the town of Riverbend.  Christopher, who stood on a hill across the road, bent down now, scuttling backwards, rustling through the dry dead leaves, hiding himself further in the brush.  He watched a woman emerge from the Victorian house and stand on the veranda in a long white bathrobe.   She was a brunette, not a blonde.  She was tall and slim, not fleshy and curvaceous as he remembered her.   Squatting down on his haunches, stiff with the cold, Christopher wondered if he’d made a mistake.  Despite the shiny brass number on the door which identified it as #24, she might not be the right woman.  Had she passed by him in the street, he would not have known her.  Her dark hair was gathered up high in a topknot on her small, delicate head.  Her movements were clipped as she walked across the front porch to examine the fronds of a potted tree.  But despite all of this he sensed that the stranger on the porch was his Jenny.  He couldn’t say why it had to be Jenny and still it did.  Her posture as she stood holding the watering can, the attitude, the hand on the hip, the line of her cheek, the long neck, the way his breathing fluttered as she approached the front steps, as she looked up and down the road in each direction – he recognized her in his nerve endings.

Jenny X and Nadia Orsini are polar opposites.  Why does so much of your fiction employ this theme, of opposites and doubling?

As I kid, I loved to watch the television program, Batman.  I was too young to get that it was a comedy; for me, it was as absorbing and serious as Greek mythology.  The female characters struck me as incredibly glamorous and dashing, and I vowed to model myself after Cat Woman and Bat Girl.  We never saw Cat Woman without her mask; the villains had no “good” side.  But I was fascinated by the notion of a hidden self.  By day, Bat Girl is a cute, prim young single lady with glasses and hair in a bun.   By night, like certain nocturnal creatures, she’d go out on the prowl.  She’d literally let her hair down and transform into a cool chick in black leather riding a motorbike.   The idea of a secret identity is one that has appealed to me from the time I was three years old.