Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Next Big Thing: Interview

Writer C.E. Putnam has "tagged" me in the authorial game of "the next big thing," in which one answers questions about a project and then "tags" other writers. My self-interview appears below, and I am "tagging" Renee Simms, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Laurie Frankel, Suzanne Warren, Sandy Evans, Tamiko Nimura, and Carter Monroe.

What is the working title of the book?

Without One

Where did the idea come from for the book?


I was thinking about flesh-eating bacteria, and I wondered what would happen, socially, if there were a bacteria that destroyed men’s penises but otherwise left them physically healthy. –That is, an epidemic, like AIDS (when it first arose), with vast social and psychological implications.

What genre does your book fall under?

Social satire, based on a science-fiction premise, with lots of stuff about romance, sexuality, politics—and questions of masculinity and “manhood,” obviously.


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?


A friend in Hollywood thinks Seth Rogan would be perfect for one role. Peter Gallagher, maybe, for another role. Emilie De Ravin, Melissa Benoist. Steve Buscemi—maybe he could direct it--since we're fantasizing here.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Because of a bizarre new epidemic, something is happening to men: their penises are falling off.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

First draft—probably 18 months.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As always, I inspired myself. I’m a one-person crew, for better or worse. You do what you can. I also wanted to see if I could write it. I’d say I’m a poet by nature, so novels are still quite daunting to me, even though I’ve written a few.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Implications of the penis-plague, which is known as Rapid Penile Degeneration Syndrome (RAPIDS), go all the way to . . .the White House!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is now available on Kindle, and two agents have asked to look at it.


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