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It's been a hectic few months: nothing like deciding to co-write, with a friend, a major huge big-ass grant in April, then finding the perfect place to submit it for a JUNE deadline within the first week. Yes, it was really that way: we did it, but I'm not sure how. It's not how I recommend writing grants, but, well, inspiration struck, and we went with it. I'm actually am fairly sure how we did it--she did a huge percentage of the work, especially the stuff relating to regression analysis.

I've been delayed in my novel writing in part because of grants (I have another one I'm working on--to my surprise, I have discovered I like writing grants! And my friend likes writing grants because it's a break from department heading), and in part because of preparation for the Tolkien Institute which starts Monday, and some administrative work, plus my on-going scholarship in other areas.

However, the novel is going to be finished and submitted this year.

I'm currently considering submitting to Lethe Press. I learned about the press because it's reprinting Melissa Scott's Shadow Man [It is a fraking criminal thing that so much of Melissa Scott's work is out.of.print and not.readily.available--she's just one of the most brilliant sf writers EVAH, period.] *ahem*

Anyway--reprint! And I started mousing around on their site, and went whoo-hoo, I could submit Wanton Gods to them.



It dawns on me that although a few people back in LJ will remember the earlier drafts of this, in a very rough form and totally different settings, that's been a few years. I didn't know many of you then, and I certainly don't expect that people will be likely to remember it all (when I decided to move from fanfic to original fic, I took the fanfic offline).

I started writing what became the genesis of this novel when I had my first faculty development leave in Fall 2004--I was working on a chapter on queer vampires for a book on feminisms and speculative fictions, and suddenly found myself writing a story about...queer vampires. I've worked on it in fits and starts since--but the grant writing and peer reviewed essays and then the feminist sf encyclopedia came along, and, just as above, I followed the inspiration and in a few cases the contract.

I'd originally thought to try to fill out the story and market it for a more 'mainstream' sff market, but when I was considering that earlier this year, I suddenly realized I liked it for what it was, and didn't want to flesh it out (sorry!) with more mundane stuff (that might come in the second one--that has more of a plot than 'master vampire kidnaps incredibly sexy dude and they all end up vampires in a polyamorous kinky vampire um nest'). So I started researching erotic presses.

Something else I noticed: there's a helluva lot of vampire novels out these days, paranormal romance, but they're all het. So I wasn't sure if any mainstream sff press would go for kinky vampires (whipping, knife play, talking about Shakespeare, that sort of thing). So a gay and lesbian press also struck me as perfect.

The impetus for this post isn't just WG, but the fact that as I was drifting off to sleep last night, ideas for a revision of my way earlier novel, Greenbriar Street hit.

I began this one in the mid-80s, in Boise Idaho, and it was my first experiment with a novel length prose work--I worked on it for a while until beginning doctoral work--it was incredibly educational, mostly because my writing group jumped up and down on me until I stopped writing all compound-complex sentences with semi-colons (academic style, sigh). I suddenly see how GB could fit into the storyverse of WG. Riverside is the name of my city--after struggling with setting it in Seattle or POrtland, I decided to steal the idea of making up a city from Charles de Lint--and the name, although I didn't realize it at the time I decided to use it, is an homage to Ellen Kushner. My Riverside is a contemporary (21st century) university town on the west coast, on an analogue of Washington (I LOVED living in Western Washington).

So the plot of GS suddenly clicked into place in ways that made so much more sense--and involved more sex! (My arc as a writer began as a nature poet--Tolkien's influence!--and let me tell you, one had to be stubborn indeed to maintain writing nature poems during the sex'drugs'rock'n'roll 1970s, snort. I did experimental plays, but the only sort of stories I wanted to write were fantastic stories--which did not go over well in college creative writing programs at that time. I also realized I had this terrible inhibition against writing sex in any way,shape or form.

Fandom proved to be excellent therapy for that little problem, and now, I can write novelz!

And they're queer novels.

That's why I could never write sex into my stories before--I was doing the fiction writing classes and such *before* I realized I was queer. No wonder I was blocked.

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robin_arede

August 2009

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