|On The Shelves Now|
FELICE'S NEWEST BOOK!!
The new book is called 20th Century Unlimited, and it consists of a short novel of about 155 pages and a novella of about 55 pages.
As is usually the case I have no idea where the idea for either story came from. Sometimes I think I'm channeling dead people and telling their stories. Sometimes I merely accept the fact that I have multiple personalities who are all clamoring to be heard.
The beginning of the longer work, "Wonder City of the West," came rather directly from the 10 years that I lived in the Hollywood Hills, close to the top of a hill that most people don't even know of, even though it is visible from Sunset Blvd and accessible by the straggly, two lane, western end of Hollywood Blvd. I used to hike up to the top every week or so as cardio exercise.
Both of these stories are "Speculative Fiction" and both of them are time-travel stories, although not in any ordinary way. "Ingoldsby" is sort of a summer-house party story, and "Wonder City" is an homage to filmdom's Golden Age in Hollywood, filled with gossip and scandal. Like I said, not your ordinary time-travel stories.
Oddly enough, "Ingoldsby"--which is the name not of a person but of an architecturally famous (fictional) house in Central Wisconsin, began as a screenplay, but was terrible. I then converted it into a play, and that was better but not much better. Then years later, it became the document-only piece of prose fiction printed in 20th Century Unlimited. And then for a reading in the Midwest, I re-adapted the last two genres into a stage-work, and "Ingoldsby" was produced for one night only at the Black HawkTheatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a play.
I think a few young actors could play Neal, the main character. But he is described as 5'6", dark blonde, with a swimmer's body. And he is in a pool for much of the action. So it's got to be really nice body and he's got to be cute. As for "Wonder City" the older guy at the beginning can be played by someone like Richard Dreyfus or Beau Bridges. But the younger one would be a star-making role so we'd need a movie-star gorgeous guy who can pass for 18 years old and off hand I don't know of any. There are important women characters in both tales, also. I don't quite get Kristin Stewart, but Emma Stone would be perfect in "Wonder City" as Sue-Anne, and "Casey Mulligan" would make a terrific Celia in "Ingoldsby." In both cases once those leads are cast, the other roles should more easily fall into place. In both stories, there are "groups" or "gangs" of characters who are imlicit parts of the stories.
The most succinct precis of these works would be something like --"The 20th Century is over and done with. Or is it? Not in these two provocative tales."
Although I have a couple of literary agents, I sold this book directly to the publisher of my last two collections of stories, TwelveO'Clock Tales and Contemporary Gay Romances, Liberty Press, of Bold Strokes Press. They have remained open to all of my literary madness.
"Wonder City of the West" was written in 31 days, from August 1-31 in 2012, and then recently polished for about two weeks. "Ingoldsby" took about 10 years on and off via different genres and drafts before it reached it's final form.
I can think of nothing comparable to these works-- maybe Noel coward mixed with Robert Silverberg, with some Hedda Hoppa and Ursula Le Guin thrown in for flavor? They are, to repeat a word coined by my late friend, Jon Peterson, Picanesque.
Inspiration is all around us constantly and most of it is bad, when not utterly useless. I write when stories feel ready--usually over ready--to be written.
I am interested in how people lived gay and straight lives in different time periods, especially that period of our own history which is pre-liberation and possibly equally liberated.
A big thanks to M. Christian who invited me. And to John Everson, who started this thing.
Check him out at http://www.johneverson.com/wordplay