This week I’m deep in the midst of finishing the last line-edits on Roving Pack. These are the latest and last major edits from Toni Amato of Write Here Write Now, who is not only beloved family with me but also my writing advisor who has worked with me on this book every step of the way. This week is made up of long days and late nights – last night involved a late night call with Toni to discuss incorporating some really compelling feedback the result being a subtle but powerful change to the very end of the novel! At this point I’m working to get everything just right and ready to meet my deadline of Roving Pack going to the copyeditor by May 1st. It’s stressful but good too and a little bit shocking that after years of playing with these stories, rewriting, reworking, and shifting them around in pretty substantial ways that we’re actually here. I’m feeling solid and secure in the book and the work that I’ve done and can honestly say that this book feels finished to me. I might be exhausted but it’s a really good place to, made even sweeter by a treat that arrived in my inbox last night.
With Roving Pack releasing this October I’ve started reaching out to authors and fabulous queers in the community for endorsement of the novel in the form of blurbs I can on the back cover and in other publicity. The first one arrived today from a queer author I’ve admired for years – Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sat jaw somewhere around my knees for a little while reading her blurb of the book over and over and over again until I burned it into my memory and convinced myself it was real. Not only is it a beautiful reflection of Roving Pack, but it brought me to tears realizing that she really understood my characters and what I am trying to do with the novel
Check out what the incredible Mattilda has to say about Roving Pack !!!!
“ Remember that time in your life when you had just escaped the terror of childhood to create your own path in the world, maybe a queer path of chosen family, desire and love and lust and intimacy on your own terms, remember all the joyful pains and painful joys you were discovering? Roving Pack nails that bold and precarious time with a precision so rare it’s almost claustrophobic in its intimacy. It’s about a specific culture and place and moment – transmasculine queer punk kids in Portland in the early-2000s – but it’s also about the transition to self-actualization in all of our lives, and the scary and heartbreaking reality that often the pack mentality required for belonging in our new communities leaves us stranded. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a book that explores the intoxication and viciousness of peer pressure in queer lives with such candor. Goddamn this book is brave — I can’t wait to see the havoc it wreaks.”
Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, Nobody Passes