To all you shaygets and shiksas out there: Merry and happy. I hope your dreams come true and your credit cards don't get overextended. And if you don't know what goyim, shaygets and shiksas are, that means that you fall into those categories. Don't worry -- it's a loving sort of thing. :)
Thanks to John Gourhan, my funny and generous colleague from St. Mary's College of California's MFA Program, for tagging me in "The Next Best Thing" blog project. The "Next Best Thing" concept lets each writer in turn answer the same list of questions for blog readers who may not know us. Readers are passed along by the person who invited us to participate.
What is the working title of your book?
Well, there's BEARDED LADY, a memoir I'm currently shopping, and THREESOME, a project I began while living in Columbia, Missouri last year. There's also an as-unnamed piece about a fat porn star that I've been playing with ... any suggestions for titles?
Where did the idea come from for this book?
BEARDED LADY sprang from my own experiences with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a syndrome which results in (among other things) excess hair growth, obesity, infertility and male-pattern baldness. THREESOME was inspired by the Chelsea King murder case in San Diego. Chelsea King was a 17-year-old Poway High School student -- that's my alma mater -- who was murdered while going out for a run. And the porn-star thing? Well, I've done my share of ... research.
What genre does your book fall under?
Respectively, memoir, fiction and fiction. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
How long did it take to write the first draft?
BEARDED LADY is the only completed project. It got its genesis in 2006, during my final year of my MFA program, and the final draft was completed within about a year and a half. Then came revision ... and revision ...
What actors would you use for a movie rendition of your book?
I've thought about this, honestly I have, and haven't really come up with anyone or anything. What I'd really like to see is an unknown break out in any one of these parts. Reese Witherspoon doesn't exactly look like me.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? BEARDED LADY is a memoir about living with
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, an adrenal disorder whose symptoms include
excessive hair growth as well as male-pattern balding, obesity, and
infertility. THREESOME addresses the terror and tragedy of sudden loss. The fat porn star one, I don't have a clue. Will it be self-published or represented by an agency? An agency. At least I damn well hope. Who or what inspired you to write this book? Shoot, didn't I answer this one? What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? BEARDED LADY - Augusten Burroughs' RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, perhaps. THREESOME - Ann Patchett's SONGS WITHOUT WORDS. Fat porn star - You got me! (See a pattern here?) What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? I'm a pretty down-to-earth writer. I tell it like it is and while I may dice words, I won't mince them. Besides, I'll buy you a beer if you read any one of these. On draft. Bar of your choice. Honest.
Would the Connecticut school massacre have taken place? Well, not as easily. I am a proponent of gun control and that opinion is becoming ever stronger the more I see things happening in Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon ... for our own sanity, we must maintain an illusion of 100 percent safety. But that's all it is: an illusion.
So this has been going on for a while, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it: I'm applying for a Fulbright Scholarship. I want to go to Romania to study the problem of stray dogs (it's a huge deal -- we're talking in the thousands, possibly millions for all I know), which dates back to Communist days. Right now I'm working on nailing down my affiliation, writing my statement and proposal, and learning Romanian. If I get this, we would go over there in 2014. I don't even formally apply until October, so it's a ways in the future, but this stuff takes time, yo.
In other news, Jack is smiling. And that is awesome.
I'm a writer and storyteller in Berkeley, CA. If you're wondering where that is, follow the smell of patchouli and skunkweed. There you'll find me with my kickass husband, gorgeous little boy, and manic Lab-Australian Shepherd mix pups. I'm represented by Miriam Altshuler of DeFiore & Co., but of course, my views are my own.