I just finished and submitted a 2nd short story version of the first few chapters of what I’m tentatively calling QUILTBAG, a furry riff on Tales of the City. Or, if you prefer, Tails of the City… if you follow me online, you might have seen me mention my Cat and Alligator stories… or Jinx and Cecil… my attempt at writing a love story. So, if you ever hear me shout out, “I haven’t killed anyone yet!” then I am probably in the middle of one of their stories.
I’ve submitted the first story, Quipus, to Fang 9. It’s a short look at the May-December thing they’ve got going on. I think it’s lightly sexy and I wrote it for an anthology that is never coming out. It was hard for me to write: previously, my attempts to write about love have always created a large amount of bloodshed. I have a HUGE issue there, I’m sure. I restarted the story 4 times, and always started with Cecil dead and Jinx trying to get revenge on the insurance company.
That wasn’t very erotic… and not the traditional romance.
Then, I tricked myself into writing a flashback where Cecil and Jinx were together and happy… and every time I found it getting dark, I pushed the beginning back. What a weird way to write! Then I went and snipped off both ends. Turns out, happy endings are all about where you stop.
Then, since I mastered how NOT to kill my characters, I decided that I was going to submit something even nicer to Roar 9. So I typed away and then 28,000 words later I had something that I was happy with.
Problem was… the word limit was 18K.
I am curious to see how things turn out with those. These guys are finding happiness in Aesop’s World, one of my darker story-verses. This is a universe where cannibalism is practiced in one of the major religions, so it is literally a dog-eat-dog world…
I haven’t decided if I’m going to do an “ensemble cast” sort of book. The background characters I’m writing a bisexual bear, a queer xolo from Texas (Tejas, in that universe), a gender-fluid, possibly trans, rabbit, and others all beg for stories of their own. Like Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, I might just release them as a serial (but thru Patreon or something). With a big enough cast, I can kill at least one of the character’s off guilt free.
I have my eye on the Xolo’s current roommate.
But, on the other hand, maybe it would be more commercial if it’s just Cecil and Jinx?
Plenty of time to think on that.
Oh, and I buried the headline… or maybe just the stuff related to the headline. This month’s interview was delayed. But February’s should post on schedule… Nicole Kimberling’s Blind Eye Books is a publisher I’ve seen on the Lammy awards several times over the years, so I very excited to have her agree to be interviewed. Bonus, her interview needed almost no editing. Which is always nice.