The first book I ever wrote was ugly as hell. It was raw, disgusting, weird, and twisted. In fact, when I first started writing it I didn’t even know what it was. I thought maybe it was a memoir, because it was all about a certain period in my life, but I could also see that it was so fragmented and exaggerated in places that thinking of it as an actual linear story was quite a stretch, even for my imagination.
I worked on it every week for two years but I kept it a secret. I hid the pages I wrote in a locked desk drawer and never looked at them. I was too embarrassed, and ashamed. I knew the writing was bad, that was one thing, but I also didn’t want to look at the demons that were showing up. I didn’t want to know what those demons were trying to tell me.
Every time I tell someone I write transgressive fiction the first question I get is, “What’s transgressive fiction?” If we’re talking in person, I explain it as best I can (usually not very well). But if we’re emailing I send them the definition cut and pasted from Wikipedia:
Transgressive fiction is a genre of literature which focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual or illicit ways.
Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressive fiction may seem mentally ill, anti-social, or nihilistic. The genre deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sexual activity, violence, incest, pedophilia, and crime.
That definition is actually a very good one. It definitely covers all the bases. However, every time I send it to someone to explain the kind of fiction I write, I feel weird.
The 12 days of Christmas are upon us, and to spread the holiday cheer I’m giving away 12 copies of my memoir, Between the Shadow and Lo.
Enter to win between now and Dec 27 and you might get a little unexpected gift in your mailbox this merry season.
I spent the years of my early 20s in Seattle as a raging alcoholic, feeling like I was split between two different personalities. Between the Shadow and Lo is an autobiographical novel of many of the experiences I went through during those years. The book deals with addiction, depression, extreme dysfunction, and the dark side of life.
Starting today, Between the Shadow and Lo is available in ebook ($2.99) and in paperback.
Thank you, as always, for your support my dear writer friends.
I really couldn’t have written this book without you.
Today’s post is part a Writing Process Blog Hop I was invited into by one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Simmonds over at Jumping From Cliffs.
As part of the Hop, I’m answering four questions about my personal writing process and then passing the baton on to four other bloggers who contribute tremendously to the creative writing blogosphere.