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The Next Big Thing

Tagged by Michael Thomas!

For this particular respondent's purposes, the word "book" in the Next Big Thing meme has been replaced with "project" – because, er, the project isn't a book. And at the moment, there are no books on the burner; too many other, smaller things I want to write, first.

1) What is the working title of your next project?

"To Vapor Disperse."

2) Where did the idea come from for the project?

I've done quite a bit of reading (fiction and nonfiction both) recently, set during the fifties bar culture. The dynamics, gender issues, and social struggles of female-bodied queer folks who participated in the butch/femme culture are complicated, often heart-breaking, and reveal a lot of interesting things about how we've structured gender performance in the past in this country. Concurrently, science fiction and the culture of scifi at that time were evolving in the lead-up to the New Wave movement. There seemed to be something I could do there, about definitions of self/subjectivity, writing, and cultural change.

3) What genre does your project fall under?

That's a hard one. I would call it speculative—the presence of science fiction and genre writing in the story at least give it a genealogical connection—but I'm also aware that plenty of folks would label it contemporary queer fiction or somesuch thing. (Not that it isn't also contemporary queer fiction, but still.)

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is always one of those questions I find hard to answer. Am I allowed to choose Rachel Maddow? Well, I think yes. Maddow would play Grace/Grant; Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence would play Alice; and I'm very much on the fence about who would play Pierce—possibly boxer Patricia Manuel? (Yeah, I'm just trying to pick famous folks who look a little like I imagine the characters look. That is probably not the purpose of this question.)

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your project?

I'm very tempted to just give the epigram, because it does, in a sense, function as a synopsis. In fact, that's what I'll do. (I'm feeling playful today.)

"No matter how much you feed a wolf, he will always return to the forest."

6) Will your project be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither; it'll go out on submission, as these shorter things tend to do.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

We're still in the pre-drafting stages; the past four months have been murder. So, there are quite a lot of notes, but no draft as of this moment.

8) What other projects would you compare this story to within your genre?

For similarity of topic: Ellen Klages's "Time Gypsy," Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues, etc.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this project?

Re-reading Stone Butch Blues over the summer led me to do more research on the time period and its social dynamics, so I suppose that was the inspiration—damn good book.

10) What else about the project might pique the reader's interest?

"To Vapor Disperse" is invested in telling the stories of these three individuals and how they relate to each other and the world at large. The complex negotiations of gender, culture, survival, and the self that each goes through—together and apart—are the driving force of the story. So, for folks who like that sort of thing, I hope that this will end up being something they like.

*

Also, I'm tagging Alena McNamara and Sally Brackett Robinson.
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Comments

This sounds absolutely wonderful.
I just hope it works out. *g*
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April 2014

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