What Are You Working On?
I am currently working on several fiction projects. Two as an editor: Zowie! It's Yaoi! Western Girls Write Hot Stories of Boy's Love for Thunder's Mouth Press; and Size Matters, a fiction collection of macabre stories about men, written by women -- no publisher yet.
And then I'm working on five other projects as a writer: a children's book about the power of creative thought, Just Think of It!; an erotic memoir, Manhattan, Mon Amour; a romantic murder mystery, A Killing on Mercy Road; a novel about gays & lesbians working in Hollywood during the Silent Era and how they are effected by Rudolf Valentino's sudden death, Twilight of the Immortal; and a graphic novel.
The graphic novel (working title: Downtown 2018) is the most absorbing at this particular moment. It centers mostly on the lives of poor Puerto Ricans in downtown Manhattan in the year 2018. A time when everything digital is discovered to be physically & dangerously addictive, where cigarette smoking is only authorized in limited public spaces but these authorized areas change constantly and are not advertised. Smoking in un-authorized areas carries heavy fines and mandatory jail time. However, smoking is the only known antidote to digital addiction. It's a time where everyone is forced to work in the movies because digital movies now permeate every aspect of society--not just on cell phones, but at bus stops, in cabs, on shopping carts, billboards; any place where a person might stop and stare for even a minute, a digital movie is playing. In this world there is an overwhelming need for constant product. Because everyone must work in digital movies, where the painfully detailed bios of all performers are available with the click of a button, privacy is no longer a civil right -- everyone is forced to be famous. The underground revolutionaries now demand their "15 minutes of privacy" instead of their 15 minutes of fame. At this point, a P-Brane leading to a new dimension is detected below 14th Street. Immediately the wealthy and mostly white people of Manhattan completely exploit the new dimension downtown in order to escape the common world of addictions and fame.
There is obviously a lot of humor here, but also darker messages about the poor, racism in our society, etc.
When an editor at a large publishing house suggested I delete most of the "darker" sequences from one of my current novels, I decided to take those darker elements, embellish them a bit and turn them into a graphic novel. I have also been working on an anthology of non-illustrated yaoi stories, which sparked my interest in trying my hand at writing yaoi stories for illustrators. Downtown 2018 is not a yaoi story, however. It's just that, as a writer, I've found my interests being drawn deeper into the graphic novel/comic book format.
Writing for comics or graphic novels involves a much more streamlined approach to imagery and verbal impact than short stories, novels, or even screenplays do. I like the challenge of trying to distill my storytelling to a handful of very precise words per page, to use language in as visual a way as possible. But I was a professional songwriter for many years so it isn't really that far afield from how I used to write.
Giving my imagination free rein and not having to worry so much about the creatively restrictive aspects of formula fiction for a change. It's been a nice break.
I have no timeline yet for completion. I have pressing deadlines to contend with in 2006, so I'm working it into my writing schedule whenever I can. Luckily, my agent has an active interest in graphic novels. When I'm ready to start shopping the project, I'm sure we will be able to brainstorm on it.
See more What Are You Working On? interviews.
published 7 Jan 06 on Too Beautiful. email copyright 2006 Mark Pritchard, Bernal Heights, San Francisco