December 12th, 2012

Ellen Ripley 1

"I take the thought of you and burn it to the ground." 1

So, here we are on 12/12/12. Already. Which, after 10/10/10 and 11/11/11 might seem sort of ho-hum to a few. But, keep in mind..."we'll" not see this sort of three-part numerical symmetry again until the year 2100. And, well, that'll be a different world entirely, if it's any world at all.

Now, this from Niall Alexander's blog, The Speculative Scotsman, posted way back on October 17th, regarding Blood Oranges (it's shown up here and there on the web):

Caitlin R. Kiernan has ever been awfully forthright about the publishing process, and brutally honest about the act of writing too. So going into her masterful last novel - that's The Drowning Girl: A Memoir for those of you who missed it - we knew in advance that it marked the end of an era.

Sad, but true. And some might say overdue.

Anyway, as in the tarot - not to speak of The Smashing Pumpkins' back catalogue - the end is the beginning. The beginning, in Kiernan's case, of a series of three all-out urban fantasies published under an open pseudonym.

I honestly do not know what to make of these paragraphs. I read them, and part of me wants to say, "Yeah, I see what you're saying." But there's this other part that insists, "No. You've missed the point completely." That is, with regards to my writing, is the transition between The Drowning Girl and Blood Oranges the end of an era? Well, no. I suspect I have been misunderstood. Though, I often misunderstand myself, so I understand how such things happen.

Personally, I see two "eras" to my novel writing: 1) Silk (1998) – Daughter of Hounds (2007), and 2) something new that began with The Red Tree (2010). However, that second era, if I've given the impression that it has ended, I never meant to. I do not think I meant to. The three Kathleen Tierney books are...well...think of them as me pressing pause, because I actually did need to recuperate from The Drowning Girl. From both of those books, really. But it's not over. Okay?

And what of this?

And some might say overdue.

I'm still not sure if that means that I deserve a break from my masochistic writing habits and the intensity of my introspection, or it it means that a lot of folks out there will be glad...of something.

Finally, can Blood Oranges be described as the beginning of "a series of three all-out urban fantasies"? Well, um...actually, to point of the book is, largely, to lampoon and undermine the tropes and clichés of "paranormal romance" and what readers and publishers have allowed urban fantasy to become. So, I fear "a series of three all-out urban fantasies" is misleading. Yeah, it's fantasy in an urban setting. But I don't think it's quite accurate to call a parody precisely that which it sets out to parody. At least, not as a term is generally understood. In this case, the term "urban fantasy." I hear that, and I think tramp-stamp covers, "shifter" romance, and books written at a fourth-grade reading level.

Also, my short stories and novellas are, in large part, the same sort of fiction I wrote in The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl. Totally uncommercial esoteric bummers guaranteed to eventually land me in a cardboard box at the corner of Crack and Whore. So, there's that.

Sorry. This is weird territory. Mr. Alexander, you say nice stuff, which I greatly appreciate, but you've also sewn confusion. Leastways, in my muddled psyche.* I would be grateful for any and all clarifying statements. Oh, and I was quite flattered by the Smashing Pumpkins comparison. I'm not offended, just somewhat mildly perplexed.

Aunt Beast

Postscript: Then again, I'm perfectly willing to sell out, if anyone's buying, and the price is right.

*Oh, fuck me. I'm being self-effacing.