Today is the day, ladies, gents, and otherwise. Candid my long in the making novella is finally available! You can buy it directly at the Queer Young Cowboys website: here, or get it from Amazon if that’s your flavor (though the publisher and myself earn more if you buy it through QYC): here. Also there’s a youtube trailer!
Regarding the custom request giveaway. Just snap a photo of yourself with the paperback and send it in (you can blur your face, cut out your head, or just not include anything identifying if you like) or send a photo of yourself with the first page of the third interview if you’re reading an ebook version (on your e-reader, computer, phone, whatever other newfangled tech you kids get into). I’m only writing ten of these babies (at 1250 words each) so get into it!
Now, I bring you Sex is Life. A conversation series between publisher, writer, sex enthusiast Johnny Murdoc, and my humble self. It started as a way for J and I to get to know each other and turned into a sprawling beast of a chat. If you’re interested in either of our work, I’m sure it will prove an interesting read. It is, of course, entirely candid. The interview series will start here on this site and follow on his blog tomorrow: Jan 9th, on his blog: Johnnymurdoc.com.
Here’s the (first part of the) interview:
JOHNNY: There’s been a lot of growth in a certain kind of queer self expression—I’m thinking of the post-Butt print explosion—that really explores gay men (et al…) in a way that’s more well-rounded than porn, but also doesn’t ignore the fact that gay men are (sometimes intensely) sexual creatures. Like, we can talk about gay artists and culture but we can also talk about how we fuck. One thing that I haven’t seen flourish in this discussion, though, is fiction. I know why I write fiction, but why do you write fiction? How do you think that fits in the expression of queer culture? And why do a piece like Candid, which is written in a traditionally non-fiction format (the interview), as fiction, instead of actually going out and interviewing real gay men about their real lives?
BENJI: I think in a way I did interview real gay men for Candid. I’ve stolen chunks, bits of the lives of men I’ve known, slept with, happened across and threw them all together in this crazy pastiche along with pieces of my own experience and soul. In another way it was also kind of an exorcism for a lot of the thoughts I’ve been having and arguments I’ve been hearing recently about what queer culture is and what it should do. A part of the chorus that has been running through my head while writing Candid has been, and forgive me if this smacks of pretension, but it’s something Toni Morrison said:
“I have been told that there are two human responses to the perception of chaos: naming and violence…There is however a third response to chaos, which I have not heard about, which is stillness. Such stillness can be passivity and dumbfoundedness; it can be paralytic fear. But it can also be art.”
To an extent that characterizes the moment we’re at in queer culture: a lot of people think marriage equality is the most important thing, to fix that within our sights, say “this is our struggle” and to order ourselves against it. The other end of the spectrum is the impulse to burn down the shrines, to reject any shred of the hetero-normal. I think this book is a little bit of that third way: examination without implicit judgment. And there’s lots of sex, which I think a lot of people can agree is nice.
As to why I write fiction, I think it’s to examine possibilities, to titillate, to keep myself occupied. It also helps me locate myself and define my position in the world by running my thoughts up against opposition. Self-interrogation, I guess. Does any of that make sense? And what about you, what’s your reason for writing fiction, I’m curious.
Part Two of the conversation series is now available at Johnny Murdoc’s website.