I’ve got a story, “Cousins,” in the Milwaukee Noir installment of Akashic Books’ acclaimed “city noir” series. I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to write about my beloved city again. In the case of “Cousins,” I’m writing about Silver City, the near-South Side neighborhood, part of which I represented for eight years on the school board. I bent the traditional hyper-hetero/cis gender noir genre for this story: The protagonists are a gay woman and her trans* cousin.
On that note: Here’s an invitation to all of you writers to say “yes” whenever possible. If you know my writing, you know that I LOVE a happy ending. I’m a tender-hearted creature-writer who must be prodded to let my characters suffer. The noir genre, with its violence and sordid underbelly-ness, is far from my natural instincts. But I said “yes” when editor Tim Hennessy asked me to contribute a story to the Milwaukee Noir collection, because I believe in stretching myself as much as possible as a writer—and I love Milwaukee. “Darkness?!” I thought. “I don’t write darkness!” But apparently, I do. And then something even more amazing happened …
Cutting Edge: Female Noir
Legendary novelist and short story writer (and fellow Milwaukee-lover), Joyce Carol Oates, asked me to contribute a story to another Akashic noir collection: Cutting Edge: Female Noir. I’m sweating as I type this because the other contributors include Aimee Bender, Margaret Atwood, Edwidge Danticat, and Valerie Martin. My story, “The Boy Without a Bike,” enlists another gay female protagonist in some “trailer park noir.” All signs point to this volume coming out in November 2019—more details as soon as I have them!
Virtual Author Visit to Your Book Club!
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