Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GUEST BLOG: Warren Rochelle on "What's Next?"

 Warren Rochelle worked as a librarian for eleven years, alternating between North Carolina and Cartagena, Colombia. In 1989, he decided to follow his heart and left school libraries and started graduate school again, this time in creative writing, at UNC Greensboro. His first book was a critical work on Le Guin’s fiction, Communities of the Heart: The Rhetoric of Myth in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, Liverpool University Press,2001. He  is now a Professor of English at University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He's the author of The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007) and The Called (2010).

 What is the working title of your next book?
*Hmm. I have a completed novel, The Golden Boy, which is currently being edited by Nancy Berman, a free-lance editor friend of mine.  I am working on a story collection, with the working title, Happily Ever After and Other Stories. I have a novel-in-progress, The Werewolf and His Boy, almost finished but I have put it on hold to finish the story collection.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
*I don’t have an agent, alas. Self-publishing is an option, but before I try that, I am planning on sending the manuscripts to various small presses that have published similar books.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
*The Golden Boy:
The original idea came from the notion that all fairy tales are true, and that the magical and mundane coexist, although the latter is not always aware of the former, or rather doesn’t believe in the former—at first.
Happily Ever After:
Homophobia persists, lingers, and is girding its loins to fight to the death. And as a result, stories are still being published and films are still being made in which the gay characters do not have happy endings, usually with one dying, leaving the survivor to mourn.  I was determined to write a collection of stories in which my gay protagonists have happily ever afters—more or less.
The Werewolf and His Boy:
*The story that inspired this novel, “Lowe’s Wolf” (published in the Spring 2010 issue of Icarus) was inspired from a dream my partner had about a wolf hiding in Lowe’s.

What genre does your book fall under?
*Genres for all three: Fantasy, speculative fiction, gay fiction, alternate history.

 How long does it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
*Good question.  Maybe a year or so?

 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not sure. There are several gay werewolf stories out there—novels and short stories. My friend, Catherine Lundoff, just published Silver Moon (Lethe Press, 2012) about a lesbian werewolf of “a certain age.” Queer Wolf (QueeredFiction, 2009) is an anthology of gay werewolf stories.
As The Golden Boy is an alternate history/fantasy/gay novel, there are just too many out there for me to pick one. But Time Well Bent (Lethe Press, 2009), a collection of queer alternative history tales, comes to mind.
Peter Cashorali wrote Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories Retold For Gay Men (HarperCollins, 1997) and these stories, this collection, inspired me to write my own.

 Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
*Hmm—which characters? Which actors? I’m not good at this sort of question!
The Golden Boy: Well, maybe Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for the title character, the golden boy, and Gavin, who is the protagonist. As adults, anyway.  The boys grow up in the story, so their ages range from 6 to 40-something.
The Werewolf and His Boy: The werewolf, Henry Thorn: Agiris Karras, who played Riley Stavros on DeGrassi.
Happily Ever After: 10 stories—too many characters!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
*Like I said, for The Werewolf and His Boy, the original inspiration came from a dream my partner had.
I think I have already answered this question for each book in the idea question. In general, I find myself inspired by such things as:
Dreams, fairy tales, myths, the people I love, love …

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
*The Golden Boy: It is set in an alternate universe, in which there is no United States, rather the Columbian Empire. Magic is real, albeit restricted and the magical are persecuted in the Empire.
The Werewolf and His Boy: For the people around here, the novel’s setting: Richmond and Fredericksburg, VA, with a foray to England.
Happily Ever After: The stories we know so well—the fairy tales, the myths—are still as powerful as ever, even as we reinterpret and reimagined them. That these stories have gay heroes might pique the interest of gay SF and fantasy fans.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
*I hate these kinds of questions! Here are some possible sentences:
The Golden Boy: Can Gavin, part-fairy and gay, keep his true self secret, be true to himself, and survive in a country that wants to kill people like him?
The Werewolf and His Boy: Henry, a werewolf, and Jamey, a godling, must find the key left by Loki before it is too late and magic explodes in the world, and at the same time, sort out their love for each other.
Happily Ever After: Everyone deserves the chance to have a happy ending.