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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Looking After Joey by David Pratt


  
Literary Nymphs Interview

Title: Looking After Joey
Author: David Pratt
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: Mainstream/Literary
Release Date: 4/2/14 









Do you write in more than one genre?

Yes. My first two novels are mainstream-slash-literary, but both also are speculative fiction. The first, Bob the Book, is also a romance. Looking After Joey, strictly speaking, is not. Funny -- when Bob came out, I had barely heard of spec fic. Then I discovered I had written it! And I had not thought of Bob as a romance, but it was quickly embraced by romance readers. My short stories run the gamut from realism to surrealism to metafiction. My works in progress include erotica and young adult, as well as more mainstream stuff.

I learned something about genre when I went on Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf on WBAI in New York. Typically his guests write sci fi; he heard me read at Dixon Place when sci fi and gay writers accidentally ended up on the same bill. He invited me on his show for Pride, and I read a short story I would never think of as sci fi (“The Snow Queen,” from my collection My Movie). Introducing me he said, “I am not going to say this is science fiction. I am not going to say this is not science fiction.” It made me think. “The Snow Queen” is one hundred percent reality, but, to its eleven-year-old narrator, the heroine, Jo, is a fantastical figure, as is her huge house and the land around it. He regards her ability to cook as magical, and the way she harvests pine and bittersweet from the land to decorate the house. She reads and listens to opera. The story may not be sci fi, but it makes one understand the meaning and purpose of a related genre, fantasy. Jo, who is a lesbian, has found in the land, in the kitchen and in music and literature solutions to sexual/spiritual issues the young boy is struggling with in his own way.

What, if any, is the hardest part of writing for you?

Thinking you’ve finally got it right and then realizing you don’t. Again! I hate that.

What inspired the story of Looking After Joey?

I have lots of stories that involve looking, watching, envisioning and fantasizing. As I mentioned, I have a whole volume of short stories called My Movie. Sometimes the movies are literal; sometimes the characters long for a something movie-like that their minds and emotions are projecting. One of those stories, “Calvin Gets Sucked In,” became the basis for the first chapter of Looking After Joey. It had to be very much rewritten. That was an interesting process. The original story was too complicated and self-contained to just be plopped down as chapter one of a novel. It was also more melancholy, and Calvin was frighteningly lonely. There was no Peachy, but instead a friend back in reality dying of AIDS. The story still managed to be quite funny about the porn world, but it was hardly a proper set-up for a comedy of manners. The first thing was to get Peachy into it. Calvin calls Peachy on his cell phone from inside the porn video. Then I had to “open out” the ending of the story. The original suggests that Calvin will be stuck in unfulfilled desire forever. In the novel, he reluctantly goes on with his life. This prepares the way for Joey to show up.


What are some of your other favorite activities?

I love to travel. Fortunately, being a writer requires you to do that! I get to see a lot of new and old places, as well as new and old friends and family as I go around attending literary conferences and doing readings. My cousins always turn out when I read in San Francisco. I have been to New Orleans three times, thanks to the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, and I have come to love it. Actually, I loved it the minute the airport shuttle turned into the French Quarter the first time. I also loved Milwaukee. Who knew? The friend I stay with in DC knows everywhere to sight-see, so I’ve seen Mount Vernon, Annapolis, Arlington and more. I get to go to Chicago this fall for a Wilde City Press event. I also work it the other way around: if I am traveling for pleasure or following my husband to a professional conference, I look up gay bookstores in that city and see if I can read or at least drop by and sign. We’re going to Australia and New Zealand this summer (winter for them), so I’m scoping out possibilities in Melbourne and Wellington. I have visited Gay’s the Word in London but not read there yet.

I am also a music lover. I especially like to discover new music. I love Pandafan, the Long Island folk group that sings on the Joey book trailer, and I love The Amigos Band. You should look them both up. Chris Olsen, who wrote the book trailer soundtrack, and I recently went to Carnegie Hall to hear Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Winnipeg Symphony play a new percussion concerto as part of the annual Spring for Music series. They also had Inuit throat singing. How cool is that?

Where can we find your website?
It’s terrible, but I don’t have a personal one. I have an Amazon author page, and my books have dedicated on pages on the publisher sites (Wilde City for Joey; Chelsea Station Editions for Bob and My Movie).


Wouldn’t it be great if a porn character stepped out of the TV, into your life? Well, be careful what you wish for. Because that’s how Calvin and Peachy end up looking after Joey. And teaching him everything he needs to know to be a gay man in New York City. His final exam? A fabulous Labor Day party on Fire Island. But first, they all have to get invited. This will involve a rogues’ gallery of eccentric Manhattanites, including portly, perspiring publicist Bunce van den Troell; theatrical investor Sir Desmond Norma; studly thespian Clive Tidwell-Smidgin; lubricant king Fred Pflester; and a mysterious young man named Jeffrey. Tender, wise, witty and often utterly deranged, Looking After Joey will make you wish that you, too, had a porn character at your kitchen table asking, “So, when can I have sex?”


About The Author:
David Pratt won a 2011 Lambda Literary Award for his debut novel, Bob the Book. His story collection, My Movie, from Chelsea Station Editions, includes new work and short fiction originally published in Christopher Street, The James White Review, Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Velvet Mafia, Lodestar Quarterly and in the anthologies Men Seeking Men, His3 and Fresh Men 2. Recent anthology publications include Paul Alan Fahey's The Other Man (JMS) and Jameson Currier’s With (Chelsea Station). David has directed and performed his work for the theater in New York at the Cornelia Street Cafe, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, the Flea (in a workshop directed by Karen Finley) and in the New York International Fringe Festival. David was the first director of plays by the award-winning Canadian playwright John Mighton.

Giveaway:
Go to our website (www.wildecity.com) and add the book to your cart. In the checkout section, there’s a section that asks for any coupon codes. Type in Code: wildejoey023 then either place the order or hit enter, both ways work. The total amount in your cart will revert to $0.00. Place the order again and you’ll get a Thank You message. After that, you’ll receive an email with the download links to the files you purchase.



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