What is your motivation for writing Guys Like Us?
The idea of writing a novel has enticed and intimidated me for years, but the need has been building. Part of my motivation is to show that I can do it, that I have a novel in me, that it’s not just self-delusion. It took reading Stone Butch Blues for me to really understand what it could do for people other than me. I could be pretty happy writing it for me, writing a story that speaks of my reality and my truth in a fictional context, but once I saw it as a story others could relate to, I knew I had to do it.
What will others get from this novel?
That will depend on who they are and where they are coming from. I’m hoping that anyone can read it and get into the story, into the characters and appreciate the world I’m creating for them, the story of someone searching for meaning, for the meaning of life as it applies to them. For other genderqueers, butches, people who are not binary gender conforming, I hope it serves as validation. Looking out at what’s available in terms of stories – novels, short stories, movies, etc. – there isn’t much that I can latch onto and say, yes, this is something I can relate to as being close to my experience in life. I won’t say my search has been exhaustive, there are certainly stones left unturned, and there is the beginnings of a list of stories for and about and by genderqueers out there, but it’s still very small. And because genderqueer is such a broad umbrella term, the experiences of one person may only overlap those of another gender non-conforming person a little. To me that means we need more stories. Not by other people about us, but by us about us.
What’s this novel about?
It’s about a small town kid who chafes at the small town mindset that narrowly defines who and what you can be based on the junk between your legs. It’s about how that kid grows up continually at odds with that small town until they leave it behind. Going out into the larger world, that kid attempts to navigate numerous communities, all of which say they are rebelling against the mainstream but all of which require conformity of some kind as an entrance fee. Eventually, the character discovers that while membership may have its privileges, the membership fee may be too much for someone striving for authenticity and truth.
So what does the character do? Are they just alone then, unable to find a group to fit into?
You’ll have to read the book to find out. And while you’re waiting for me to finish it, consider this, is fitting in the goal?
Ok, so let’s go back to a previous question, you’re motivated to write this novel for the greater good?
Well, that and the damned thing seems determined to emerge, so instead of letting it eat my brain like a hungry zombie and claw it’s messy way out of my head, I decided to write it.
Besides, chicks love writers, right? I’m sure once I become a successful novelist, the chicks are gonna be flockin’ around me like seagulls around a fishing boat.
Shit, what do you want? I’d love for people to love the novel, to love the characters and the story. I’d love recognition from other writers that I’ve got the chops. I’m not even considering making any money, because that is such a long shot and it’s not a motivation behind this.
Oh, and I want to be immortal. When I’m long gone, I want someone to rediscover me and the way I saw the world through my novel. Or novels, hopefully.
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