Via Emma Epps, writer’s & artist’s chain letter

Q: What am I working on?

A: Right now, I am working on the final (really) edit of my third book, Bottle of Rain, and organizing time out for a writing retreat to work on something that’s been on the back burner for many moons (or to start something new, whatever works).

Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A: Good question, since my books don’t fit a genre. The first two books (Groping for Luna, and The Night Trippers) are a saga/love story about an artist and a musician, also about their friendships, art process, day gigs. No one is rich or famous, (currently) doing hard drugs, or  ‘arty’. I was writing about people like the artists I know, and wanted to present them without glamour or demonization. I wanted to show them as regular people, except for their commitment to making art instead of money. I wanted to de-mystify the artist, put art-making back where it belongs, not out on some freakish or ‘talented’ edge, but back into the community.

At the same time, I think of these books as fairy tales, because, as Charles Busch says,* they present life not as it is, but “a fantasy of what it could be”. And Alice, the female protagonist, is definitely a fairy tale character – she’s the kind of person who would sell the family cow for a handful of magic beans.

Q: Why do I write what I do?

A: I want to read it. I couldn’t find these books anywhere so I wrote them.

Q: How does my writing process work?

A: I follow the characters. It has taken decades to learn how to do this; I’m still learning. There will be more on this later.

To follow the chain, see Seana and Alicia’s blog: spikedpunchbowl.com

*The Charles Busch quote is from Whores of Lost Atlantis, a wonderful, hilarious, “let’s put on a play, kids” roman a clef based on what happened with his play, “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom”, the longest running play in off-Broadway history.

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