How is it still fascinating to people that women can write fiction? Action, suspense, thriller, crime, dark comedy, etc. are not exclusive to cockbearers. In fact, the capacity to tell stories or write prose has nothing to do with genitals! And yet here we are, 2014, still discriminating against writers because of their sex. I know it’s inherent, it’s conditioned, it’s assumed decorum, to marvel over a woman’s achievements in a predominantly male field, but just because it’s your habit doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.
In recent correspondence, an emailed compliment included the phrase “…for a woman…”, which caused me immediate stomach pain. I fake-appreciated the adoration from an older man, who, as he paid for my book said, “So you’re the authoress!” in a tone really meant to express, “So you’re my hot Latina nanny!” Ay yay yay…
Then there’s the guy who’s gotten all his socialization cues from porn. Somehow the relay of my business card to the gent turns into a, “So what’s up?” followed by a wink and an overt head nod towards his car. I use this card for promotion, not prostitution. I’m glad the new prints only have the website and my business email address…can’t imagine how many “U up” texts I’d receive had I left my number on there.
And women…SISTERS…you are really bad at helping promote your own! Women can be criminals without having some gruesome, sex-related trauma catapult their character forward. Sheesh, the amount of victimhood women look for in their anti-heroes. Aren’t you sick of the “Good Girl Gone Wrong” arc? I sure am! You were looking for someone to cry herself to sleep every night after a day’s work? Sorry, try the next aisle, you’ll find that bullshit between Melissa Bank and E.L. James.
Yeah, I look fantastic in nothing but knee-high boots. You’re right, I do have a pretty mouth. But don’t let the tits and ass distract you, I also write great fiction.
It is not a relief to hold your debut novel in print format. In fact, it is the opposite. Your back tenses up. Your face sours. Your lower sphincter tightens.
What the hell have I just done??
But then, your face loosens, slacking your cheeks enough to produce a smile.
There. The Dedication Page. The old boy telling me, “Good on ya! Finally! Well done, homie!” I always figured he called me that.
It looks good.
I flip through the pages. Bold, pronounced chapter numbers. Easy to read text. Good grouping, good flow. It looks. Good.
I scoff at my Author Page. The photo you guys picked made it in the book; thanks for taking that pressure off my mind.
I palm the back cover, at the gorgeous rendition of the protagonist, then flip to the front cover, and admire Marie Chapin’s beautiful disaster. The bold blue words revealing an inconvenient truth.
That’s when my hands start to tremble.
Three years. Three productive, revealing, empowering years, and the result is this novel. Not just another sci-fi story; it’s a Game Changer. Already receiving delighted buzz regarding its release, even fun expressions of impatience, both on the ground and in the ether. Friends from Canada down to South America, friends from the United Kingdom all through Eurasia. Friends in Oceania, the Middle East, Southeast Asia. A support network built solely from the launch of this WordPress blog. For your support and love via zeros and ones, I thank you.
Give me until April 4th to set up shop and then, the OFFICIAL release of I Blew Up Juarez. We are planning a Meet The Author event locally, and I’m working out the kinks to sponsor a virtual book reading hopefully around the same time.
I am going to keep a stash of printed books in The Treehouse too, so if you live in the United States and want a SIGNED copy of I Blew Up Juarez, please notify me via @VonSimeon, my LinkedIn page, or here in the Comments area, so I know how many to put aside once the shipment gets in.
Ahhhh….but there’s more.
Last week, I signed an agreement to be a contributing writer with Thirteen Press out of London. The short story you helped me edit will be featured in Night Walkers. I’m cleaning up another psycho-terror story to submit around summer, at the soonest. So yeah. Both sides of the pond, you can find Von!
Ahhhh…but there’s more!
My writing partner and I have committed to another project. We’re combining individually-developed Wonder Woman fan fiction into one saga. We had our first collaboration this morning at T and Me and it was awesome! While she immerses in studying all things Wonder Woman, I’m studying historical women warriors, starting with Queen Boudica and then, going back to my studies of the Dahomey warrior women. This shit’s about to get real.
Finally, I’ve submitted prose to a local literary journal with high probability of acceptance, and then, because I’m a zealot, I submitted a poem to a Goodreads poetry contest. Cross fingers I at least final; I haven’t written much poetry since I started developing Juarez.
So…what have you been up to?
A mother of five nervous children gathers her brood in a small cave. They’re hiding in the woods, biding time until the hunt for the family passes them by. To soothe her babies, she closes in towards them and says, “I’m going to tell you the story of how life began eight billion years ago.”
Stop right there! Eight?? Von, you’re wrong. Life began FOUR billion years ago.
Are you sure?
What is science fiction writing except a creative way to ask the question, “What if?” In my story, life did begin eight billion years ago, ushered in by a cataclysmic event known locally as Brahman’s Clap, known to us as The Big Bang Theory.
In my story, life exists on Earth, and it began four billion years ago. However, we were slow to develop. Other universes, other worlds, developed faster.
There are sci-fi absolute-ists, sci-fi relative-ists, as well as sci-fi theorists, sci-fi philosophers, even sci-fi dictators. These genre writers, the company I keep, employ the skill of thinking scientifically – exploring, experimenting, observing, notating – to create worlds.
My science fiction writing is a fun experience, but I also challenge you to think, to draw conclusions, and develop a plausible result on your own. I want to encourage discovery and exploration with my work. I don’t want to be “like…” or “as…” my science fiction predecessors; I want to move forward, bring the story of creation into the 21st century using discoveries of the last few decades: quantum mechanics, anti-matter, nanotechnology, metaphysics, dark energy and others.
The Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey reboot has really encouraged me to enhance the content of my yet-published works. Just finished watching this past Sunday’s episode covering the topic of natural selection. The question of artificial selection is introduced in my upcoming release, and carries over into the next book. While the protagonist is disillusioned with humanity, several supporting characters remain in awe of it. This is something I champion: in order to enhance the human experience through the 21st century and beyond, we must maintain a state of awe.
If you’re feeling cynical, as I tend to do, merely revisit the original Cosmos episodes with Dr. Carl Sagan (on Hulu.com last I checked) or the 2008 Discovery Channel mini-series, “When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions.” I have it in my Netflix queue.
Tonight, look up to the stars, and while you’re looking up there, wave to the scientists on board the International Space Station. Yeah, we did that. Isn’t it awesome?
I just LOVE when a posited theory becomes evidenced right when I’m about to release a book referencing it!! Thanks Universe. :-D Read the news here