Tabitha Blankenbiller–a dear friend from my MFA days, whose blog you really should be following–tagged me int his sort of writerly chain letter thing, wherein you note a few things about your work and pass the torch to another writer down the line. The idea is a sort of blog tour. (Though because no actual human entity is going to see all of the posts from all of the writers tagged down the line, presumably, I have to wonder what is really on tour–the questions themselves? If so, that is, uh, highly metaphysical. o_0)
In any case, here goes.
1) What am I working on?
I’m working on the second draft of a book I wrote via dictation. Which to say, I’m typing it out, one chapter at a time, and futzing with each chapter before moving on to the next. My intention with this process was to write a first draft as close as I could to my subconscious mind. (Writing this way also played roughly the same role as those highly undignified plastic cones we put around our pets’ necks following surgery and such–it kept me from looking back.)
It’s been interesting, to say the least. I dictated just a few sentences every day–sometimes as much as a few paragraphs–over the past year while working on other things. Much of it will have to be rewritten. But that’s fine, because I actually know the story now. That’s what the first draft is for.
Oh, and what’s the book about? It’s a literary sci fi novel about a woman who is the pet of a robot in a near-future Earth in which artificial intelligence has supplanted humanity as the planet’s dominant life-form. Thanks for asking. =D
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and even some hypertext. Within the realm of fiction, I write both literary fiction and sci fi. My current project, quite honestly, is straight up sci fi. Because while my literary training leads me to believe that the level of character development I’ve pursued with this novel makes it “literature,” since my (amazing, inspiring) weekend at Norwescon (a sci fi and fantasy convention in Seattle), I’ve come to realize that the genre is full of that level of depth and development. It’s just that the mainstream literary world doesn’t seem to take it seriously. (Why? Because there are spaceships and aliens and such?)
That said, I don’t think there’s anything in sci fi or literary fiction that’s quite like what I’m cooking up, in that it takes the possibility of sex and love between humans and robots seriously. It’s also a novel that’s very much about the natural world–animals in particular–and our relationship to it.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I am who I am.
4) How does my writing process work?
See above. I also write first drafts of stories and poems by hand and type them in. This is how I turn off my neurotic editorial brain until my neurotic editorial brain is called for.
Next week, look for the Blog Tour to roll on with Jessica Lynne Henkle–another writer friend of mine whose blog you really should be following. =)
Jessica Lynne Henkle is a writer, book reviewer, and publicist. She whips up blog posts, busts out articles, and crafts novels, short stories, and poems. She’s also an editor. She proofs, analyzes, critiques, and perfects everything from book-length manuscripts to one-page posts. Last but not least, she is also a book publicist at MindBuck Media.