Can you tell us a little bit about It’s a Nightmare, book 1 of The Gold Stone Girl Trilogy?
The Gold Stone Girl is set a million years in the future. Mina, a rogue DreamWeaver, is born in the Off-grid of Winkin City, the Night Mare’s one city world. It’s a world where human females are 3/5 human, and licensed as domestic pets. Mina is found inside the mossy womb of a willow tree, alongside lygaeids hibernating as larvae. Hers is a hero’s journey, as she lives the life of a human breeder, who discovers that in order to survive here, she must change everything.
What's your background with writing?
I’m a WGA screenwriter. I’ve published some short plays, and I’ve written and directed a feature film starring Academy Award winner Melissa Leo and Emmy winner David Strathairn, along with Giancarlo Esposito, Sabrina Lloyd, Denny Dillon and Jason Downs, streaming everywhere. [note: The film is Racing Daylight]
I think of myself as a storyteller. The mediums change but the craft is the same. Stories are the way I reflect the human condition.
Who are your inspirations/influences?
Mina’s story was born at the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami, Florida, 2008, (shameless plug: where my film Racing Daylight won best USA Feature).
The trailer for the winning International documentary featured hundreds of colorful cloth bundles clogging a two river swirl, somewhere in India. The crawl on the screen informed us that the bundles were the shrouded ‘bodies of castoff baby girls’.
It was then that I wondered how I might tell this story, so that when the mother throws her bundled baby girl into the water, it’s to save her life. I wondered how we might use this story to start a deeper conversation about the gender war escalating around us everyday.
I’ve always been a huge fan of epic hero’s journeys, so JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, JM Barrie, people with initials in lieu of first names, seemingly. I like stories with larger moral meaning, something more than shoe leather, (running), and explosions.
What was it like working with CreateSpace?
It was painless and user friendly. I used ebook Launch <firstname.lastname@example.org> to format, and am happy with the clean, professional files they delivered in mobi, pdf, and for print.
Who was responsible for the cover/book design?
The artwork is a painting of my mother that my sister rendered when she was 5. My daughter, Caitlin, is a brilliant artist, (graphic and studio). She’s responsible for the cover layout and design of book 1, and she painted the portrait for book 2 when she was about nine. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the final book of the trilogy. I wanted the cover to be playfully in your face. Something that says “look at me!” and when you do look, you’re not sure if it’s whimsical or creepy.
What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?
I have very little money to throw at marketing, so I’m guest posting, using a cyber pr firm to help generate blog/amazon reviews, reading at local book stores and libraries. I clip blog and Facebook post on subjects centered on the world of my book, female oppression, rape culture, pollution, conspicuous consumption,gendercide, honor killings, fgm, the list goes on. I’m also reaching out to a company that crowd sources visionaries, in the hopes that a humanist movement qualifies.
Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?
Reading at book stores and libraries, even for book groups, has been a good way to set the work in a larger contemporary context. It affords me a soap box for the issues I’m rigging large, and in your face, and it also guarantees a few sales.
I narrate audiobooks, so it’s fun to perform the excerpts as samples for those who might prefer an audiobook.
Shameless plug: I won the Harper Audio contest to read on Neil Gaiman’s 10th anniversary full cast version of American Gods. I also read with Neil live, last April at Bard College’s Big Read of Housekeeping.
What is the name of your blog, and what can readers expect to find there?
I clip blog and Facebook post, on subjects that interest me, which are also themes in the novels, female oppression, rape culture, pollution, conspicuous consumption,gendercide, honor killings, fgm, but also magic, nature, and dreams.
What projects do you have planned for the future?
The Gold Stone Girl, Book 2, Disbelief, is due out this month, November 2014. Then I’m on to a polish of book 3 for late spring publication. After that, I start scripting the The Gold Stone Girl mini-series. Melissa Leo and Adam Lefevre as Bubba and Dee-Dee? Works for me!
Is there anything else about you we should know?
The books deal with a patriarchal rape culture. These books are not traditionally YA. However, I’m an advocate for early sex education, and basic social awareness, so buyer beware, there is sexual content and violence, just as there is in the world today.
I have a guest post on kick-ass heroines here.
Thanks for stopping by Nicole!