The Dyes Of Our Lives Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Katie and Kate
How did this come into being?
Well, it's simple really. During the summer of 1999, I had dyed my hair Cherry Cola (a Feria dye), Kate had dyed hers Ruby Fusion (another Feria) and an unnamed friend had dyed her hair Copper Shimmer (yet another Feria dye.) Since Kate and I were planning to have a wild summer, we decided to save all of the boxes and display them on the shelves of her pantry. Sort of a hair dye museum. So up they all went, along with Midnight Mist (Hydrience) and Gothic (Feria Men. We love you Feria! You are the queen of Dyes!) Oh, and a box of Saharan Rose from Natural Instincts that Kate's sister had used the week before.
It was boredom, really. I have this eternal urge to collect things, and there was a semi-empty shelf in my kitchen. Boxes went up. Then they started looking really interesting...
So picture this row of dye boxes. Cola, Gothic, Misty, Ruby, Copper, and Rose sort of off to the side. Have you seen Cola? He's got such a yearning expression, and this expression was directed towards Gothic. Being the slashy-seeing girls that we are, it became immediately apparent that Cola had a huge crush on Gothic, and that Ruby and Copper were a couple. Mist, being the cheap dye that she is, was with Gothic, but didn't really love him. And Rose, faraway and disapproving Rose, was our resident homophobe who hated every minute of this little gay (and bi and straight) group.
By the way, "slash" is a fanfiction term meaning a genre of fan-written fiction that involves homoerotic/homoromantic/homosexual relationships.
Yeah, we're the type of girls who write that stuff you find on the 'Net when you just want to find out about your favorite characters on your favorite TV Show.
That was our core group. With the quick addition of Moroccan Spice (I get bored with my hair easily), our first family, the Shimmers, came into being, and a plot line was born.
Why an all hair dye soap opera? I understand where it sprang from, but why bother with the whole web thing?
Honestly, we were bored. It's fun, and the dye boxes aren't the whole soap. They only provide the character name and appearance, and in some instances, the personality. For example, look at Blackie. She's so butch! I had to buy her, even though I made a solemn vow to never dye my hair black again. Or Champagne. The woman's face screams aristocratic, as does Flaxen's. Sometimes they scream it so loudly that I want to give them a dirty little secret. But I haven't bought Cool Blonde yet, so that'll have to wait.
And since I'm no longer in the country, she'll have to wait even longer.
Every possible hair dye she bought that she didn't want to use...I ended up
being the experiment.
It even got to the point where the unnamed friend of ours bought me Camel as a birthday present. No, seriously. A birthday present.
Why the hell is everyone gay in this soap?
Actually, several of our characters are straight. Misty, Dark, Spice, Goldie, Camel, Auburn, Lightest, Rum, Coral, Nat, Licorice, Mahogany, Bordeaux, Sangria, Glow, Currant, Dark Red, Midnight, Champagne, and Flaxen are all happily heterosexual.
Although Licorice's Goth. Can that count as an alternate sexuality?
I think it would be more accurate to say that most of our main characters are gay. Of the nine characters to which I would assign main character status, six are gay, two are straight, and one is bisexual.
OK, then, why the hell are all of your MAIN characters gay?
For starters, I am gay, and you know what they say about writing what you know. ;) More seriously, there is really no good representation of homosexuality on real life soap operas, so we're trying to buck that trend. On a practical note, there are only so many male dye boxes out there, and it's easier to pair a female dye box with another, more easily accessible female dye box.
And that the male dyes boxes usually have such boring names. We're
not gonna name someone "Natural Blond" or "Natural Brown" if we can prevent
Not to mention that it's more fun to have the characters gay. I mean, if this were a normal, boring, heterosexual soap opera, it'd just be "Oh, my sister slept with my husband and then I slept with her husband." But here it's "I'm sleeping with a man while sleeping with my ex-girlfriend who is sleeping with my boyfriend's identical twin brother now." And c'mon! That's quality!
On that note, what happened to Rose?
Ever hear the phrase "the lady doth protest too much?" It's pretty much a case of that, plus the fact that those people who hate gay people the most are usually latent homosexuals themselves. Also, I love to torture Rose! It's so much fun.
Rose is actually based slightly on my younger sister, albeit a bit more judgmental, less likely to listen to NSync every five seconds, and oh yeah, my sister's not gay.
Where do you get your characters from?
A few of them are based on real life people I know. Copper is me. There's no way around it. If you ever find yourself asking if someone can be that ditzy, the answer is yes, I can. Kate is most like Ruby and Blackie, in that she likes to be tough and sarcastic. Spice is somewhat based on that unnamed friend. Eddie Izzard is kind of the base for Dark Red. Most of the time, a character will have one or two traits from someone I know and then I'll build a fiction around that. Other times, like with Golden, the character will shape itself. Golden Brown's box pictures Jennifer Lopez, and thus Golden became her body double.
We used to go into Walgreen's and the like and stare at the boxes. I'd go "She looks like she's tough, and ready to take on things. I bet she runs a catering company." And Katie'd go "No, she looks like she'd be a therapist of some sort....or a lawyer..." And back and forth it would go.
Where do the characters live?
The characters live in Rosewood, a fictional college town. We have a limited knowledge of the town. There's at least four bars, the Dye Bar, Club 44, an unnamed goth club, and Le Creme. It has a fashion district, at least one high school and the college which is slightly out of town. There's a Community/Women's Center and a dance club called Strawberry's, as well as two restaurants, Aloe's and Les Rouge.
We know there's a building where Misty, Gothic, and Cola work for a discount clothing store, and some sort of auditorium where the fashion show was held. The Plum Oasis gallery is about five minutes from the Dye Bar going uptown, and there's a mall with a Gap and a Victoria's Secret. Somewhere downtown is a New Age/Occult store which Brazil runs and Poppy works. Rosewood Memorial Hospital is where Coral volunteers a lot, and there's the Espresso and Shimmer law firm where Blaze works as a paralegal. Two movie theaters, "the cheap one" and the Stadium, round out the established geography as of now.
The characters live in varied locations in Rosewood, from Coral and Nat's suburban home to Cola's studio apartment in the heart of the fashion district to Flaxen's mansion uptown. Rosewood is a fair sized city, about 20,000 people not including students and 35 to 40,000 with students depending on that year's enrollment. Rosewood is probably based on my hometown of Carbondale, which is also a college town.
And the boxes all live in Katie's room. Sometimes they go on the wall as a giant sort of flow chart of who's connected to who and whatnot. Boy, does that get complicated.
What are your influences?
Probably Buffy the Vampire Slayer for dialogue, those wonderfully trashy and addictive British soap operas for plotting, and pop culture in general.
Can I join in?
Right now, you can join in on the web board.
We can't accept any new characters, due to the fact that we still have ones
we're not using, and we also can't accept any outside writers.
We may have something coming up that will allow fans of the storyline to participate, but that's still in development.
If you still have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.