I was tagged to be part of this writing process blog tour by the fantastic SJ Sindu whose work you should absolutely check out!
The way it works is that each week different authors answer the following questions about our writing practice and then tag others to participate the next week. So without further introduction, here we go!
What am I working on?
The big project I’m working on is my next novel Lost Boi which is a queer/punk/leather retelling of the Peter Pan story. I spent the last year working on writing/editing/revising the initial draft of the book. It’s gritty and challenging and I think the best thing I’ve ever written. Lost Boi and I are pretty hot and heavy with each other (I identify really strongly with the idea of being in a romantic sort of relationship with my books as they are in progress) but Lost Boi and I have been taking a little time away from each other as its spent the last couple of months putting the moves on some beta readers. I’ve gotten amazing and helpful feedback on the novel and am so excited to continue pushing it forward.
Besides Lost Boi I’ve always got a few things in the works- stories I’m submitting to anthologies, regular dog focused writing at Dogster.com, curating the Queer Book Diorama show (which isn’t truly writing but is related), and continuing to plant seeds for some of my longer term and future nonfiction projects about the creation of queer family.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m so honored and excited to be part of a really tremendous movement of queer and trans authors who are stretching the boundaries of gender, sexuality, and literary form all at the same time. I’m especially grateful to the LGBTQ authors who have paved the way for us to be writing these sorts of books, and am inspired every day by my queer literary community.
Why do I write what I do?
More than anything, I write the kinds of books and stories that I wanted most in my first years after coming out and being disowned when I was first trying my hand (and heart) at building queer families and figuring out the kind of relationship(s) that I wanted to have central in my life. I write the kind of queer stories that I desperately needed, and the kinds of queer stories that I still crave and I write as a way to bring parts of queer communities to life on the page.
How does your writing process work?
My writing process while different for each project is consistent in that I’m pretty regularly writing and putting out new work, but it’s also extremely unstructured. I’m not the kind of writer who sits down to crank out morning pages or some other mandated time/length of regular writing. I tend to be most productive with my writing in busy places I wrote most of Roving Pack, and practically all of Lost Boi in transit on the NYC subway to and from my day job. I wrote chunks of Roving Pack on my iphone in the notes app which I would then copy into a word document, and after that novel released, I splurged on an ipad. Nearly all of Lost Boi was written on my ipad on the subway or in the bubble tea shop down the street from my day job on the occasional lunch break. Usually my writing starts with a single line, that’s stuck in my head demanding to get onto the page and the rest of the story grows from there.
To keep this chain going – here’s my (consensual — they wanted to be tagged!) tag-ees for the next week.
Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of one novel, Our Prayers After the Fire (Blue Square Press, forthcoming), and four chapbooks. She serves as the Associate Editor of Denver Quarterly. katiejeanshinkle.tumblr.com
Kelli Dunham (kellidunham.com) is everyone’s favorite exnun genderqueer nerd comic. Kelli was one of Velvet Park Magazine’s 25 Significant Queers of 2011 and was named to the 2012 Campus Pride Hotlist. Kelli was also given the The Fresh Fruit Festival Award for Distinction in standup comedy, although Kelli has never before or since been called distinguished. Kelli is a registered nurse and the author of five books of humorous nonfiction, including two children’s books being used by Sonlight conservative home schooling association in their science curriculum. Lesbian comedy godmother Kate Clinton called Kelli’s fifth book, Freak of Nurture, a collection of humorous essays published by Topside Press“laugh out loud outrageous storytelling.” The book also caused awardwinning author Barbara Carellas to give Kelli the moniker “the David Sedaris of the genderqueer dyke world” Kelli has three released three comedy CDs: “I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy” “Almost Pretty” and “Why Is the Fat One Always Angry” all which are on regular rotation on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s Rawdog Comedy Station and Pandora’s Margaret Cho Comedy Station. Her fourth CD, Trigger Warning, will be available this spring. Kelli was recently the expert on “What Is Normal” in Twist Magazine (known as Tiger Beat’s little sister magazine), on a page facing a full color poster of Justin Beiber. There isn’t even a ironic statement to match that, it’s just strangely true. freakofnurture.org
I first met Toni Amato through his words. I was a crusty punk kid living in Portland, Oregon and some friends of mine had heard about a new book called ‘Pinned Down By Pronouns’ which he co-edited. I was the only person in my circle of friends with a credit card, so I purchased the book and was utterly smitten. I had no idea that nearly 10 years later Toni would have become a dear friend, trusted colleague in queer story facilitation, an invaluable mentor in my own writing, and most important of all a beloved member of my chosen family.
I cannot speak highly enough about Toni and his work in the community. There are few people I’ve met who truly walk what they speak, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and who truly commit themselves fully to those amongst us who are wounded, freaks, and other outsiders. Because of where I’m from and what i’ve survived trust isn’t something that comes easily to me. I can count on less than one hand the number of people in the world that I truly and completely trust. Toni is one of those people.
Toni emotionally and professionally supported me as I edited Kicked Out, and he has been one of my most trusted editors and writing coaches. He helped me to fall in love with writing again when I had lost my words, and he was a vital editor and guide as I wrote Roving Pack. It is because of my work with Toni that Roving Pack exists.
The past couple of years have been hard for Toni he’s battled physical and mental health crisis. He’s in a rough place right now and in need of community support as he takes the season of Lent off of his work supporting the writing of marginalized queers and to focus inward on healing. To help support him I’m having a special Roving Pack sale – 100% of the proceeds of e-books of Roving Pack purchased will go directly to Toni to support him during this time of healing!!!! Purchase Roving Pack or make your own donation to Toni directly through the Write Here Write Now site