I’m going reading and then teaching a free class tonight at Pilot Books in Seattle as part of the bookstore’s celebration of small press month. I’m reading from 6:00-6:15 and then will be talking and teaching a free class. Come around if you are in Seattle. For the full calender check out Pilot’s Web site.
I recently published a story in Opium which had a Fan Fiction supplement (in issue 9). I wrote a “fan fiction” (mis)appropriating the bodies who are the main characters in Jim Crace’s much-loved novel, Being Dead. While working on that story I also wrote a story mashing up Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and Colson Whitehead The Intuitionist. (I’ve posted it at Fictionaut, where you can read and comment if you like.) I’ve horsed around with this kind of story for a while, I realized. I have been sporadically keeping a blog, A Boy, a Cat, a Lifeboat, which has done (I hope) what Yann Martel did in the Life of Pi to Brazilian writer Moacyr Scliar’s novel Max and the Cats, and a while ago I published a story in The Clackamas Literary Review, The Death of Charlotte Bronte, which was re-appropriation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography, The Life of Charlotte Bronte. One of the pleasures for this type of story, for me, is that it enjoyable to steal and make something a bit different from things that kind of don’t belong to me. I’m not so sure how much a plot, or a concept belongs to anyone, but left to my own devices, I tend to write the same kind of stories over and over eventually I suppose arriving at the perfect version of some story I need to tell. Tonight I’ll talk about the pleasures of lifting someone’s else character, story, or concept and making it do something that would, I hope, appall the original author.