A few months ago I shared with you some pictures from an amazing Roving Pack reader named Michelle Brennan who had felt so connected to the novel that she made a “book in a box” style diorama of the novel! I had completely forgotten about the book in a box reports that so many of us created in elementary school and was over the moon with the idea that someone was bringing them back, and using it as a medium to represent really queer books!!! Michelle sent me some early photos of the diorama, which I shared on the block and was completely smitten. Now though, I have to admit though, that was NOTHING compared to the magic that arrived in the mail last night!!!!
Michelle, the amazing queer artist who is behind the creation of the Roving Pack diorama is also an amazing tease – she wanted me to be surprised by the final piece so when she finished the diorama she didn’t send me any pictures. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the box and removed all the packing peanuts. She captured everything about Roving Pack so brilliantly.
When I was writing Roving Pack I never ever could have imagined the outpouring of support and connection I would see from the community. This was a story that I knew needed to be written, needed to get out into the world. I hoped that perhaps it would connect with a few people, but I had no way of knowing that it would be so well received, that people would write me beautiful letters telling me how much they needed this book. Messages, emails, letters and other communication from folks around the world who have felt connected in some way to Roving Pack is without a doubt the most meaningful praise/award/recognition I could receive and I really believe that I have the best readers ever.
The detail that Michelle packed into this this diorama is impeccable, I can’t imagine how many times
Michelle must have read Roving Pack to be able to capture everything from the main character’s tattoos, to the details of the apartment – floggers on the wall, the infamous black sheets, the little books that come off the bookshelf, which are all the titles of books that a queer kid might have had in the early 2000’s, the zine on the floor that can be paged through, everything is just amazing. When I first opened the box, I think I sat on the floor with the diorama for a good 20 minutes just looking at every single little detail and keep returning to it. To have someone make such amazing art, based on my art???? I can’t think of a higher compliment!
Here’s the thing, Michelle is also in a major battle against cancer right now and needs help from the community because we live in a society where people have to crowd source to survive the financial fallout of a major illness. Do you have a couple of bucks (or more!) to throw her way? Michelle is an amazing member of our queer community and we need to help her and her family gets through this difficult time without having to worry about how the bills are going to be paid.