I’m still floating from all of the intense magic that was this weekend. Friday night was the national release of Roving Pack and took place here in NYC. It was an incredible night for me, no it was more than that but I’m still stumbling around in the magic and can’t quite find the words to actually articulate just how powerful of a night it was for me. For me, Friday was the opportunity to watch this book, which has dominated my life and work for the last couple of years, actually be born and officially go out into the world. There’s nothing quite like releasing a book, I think it’s probably like how people with children talk about the experience of holding a newborn. Books are my babies and standing in Bluestockings bookstore on Friday night I was filled with all the hopes and dreams I have for this little book and what it can accomplish.
If I’m being entirely honest I can comfortably say that Roving Pack is the best thing I’ve ever written – it’s the most risky too. I took a lot of chances with this novel both in content and style, and have been absolutely overwhelmed with the response the book has gotten so far. I wasn’t sure if the community was quite ready for a novel like this, but I knew that I had to write this book this way. As I said Friday night in response to a Q&A question of “What would Click (the main character) say if ze were sitting in the front row of this reading.” - my answer? “I don’t think he’d punch me in the face.” Taking on Roving Pack as a book for me was very much about writing a novel that was a representation of a time/place, not a sanitized and watered down version. I knew that the characters I was working with were idealistic and exacting. I couldn’t clean them up and sell them out to make the book more marketable. These were stories that needed to be told, but they also needed to be told authentically with every bit of grit and glitter embedded in the page. Standing at the release event on Friday night I felt confient that I’d succeeded, that I had done justice to my idea of a book as well as to the characters I’d created. Roving Pack is a novel that I know will make people uncomfortable, and I hope will also bring to life the kind of book that ultimately would have made me to feel less alone, in hopes that it will do the same for others.
I’m still sifting through my thoughts about Friday night and the release of the novel. I have more writing in the works about family – specifically queer/leather family and what it means for me that I had those closest to me here by my side as I released this book. I think those are the sorts of thoughts/ideas that will percolate for me over this week as I work on getting back to my normal routines – which of course at 3 weeks before our Europe tour are anything but normal. That said; keep an eye out for some upcoming blogs!
In the meantime, check out this conversation between author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore and myself at The Advocate as we sit down to talk about our experiences writing on the queer margins! It was the featured story on the main page yesterday! click here to read the full conversation