The antagonist of The Purple People Eaters.
The first draft of my novel, The Purple People Eaters, was completed a year ago today. The novel is about a paranormal alternative universe where a lolita siren becomes a famous pop star that captures America’s libido. The books stars a hard-working Brooklynite who quits her job to find allies and form a revolution against the very horny and morally corrupt society that the siren’s curse created. I’m currently in the middle of the second-draft.
Since the novel’s birth, I have created a number of additional dark fantasies that all make me really wonder about my own sanity. Why is everything I create something to be ashamed of? Why can’t I write something that I can share with my family? Why is everything not just sexual but extremely dark and corrupt? What would it be like to write a happy story?
Like most of these blog posts, I wold be lying if I had any answer to the questions I propose. At times, I love my writing and I love my darkness. I love myself for my darkness. I protrude coal-black truths in my thoughts and in my writing and I would really enjoy creating a community where these metaphors and these morbidities are discussed openly. This is one of the motivations to complete and publish my work.
But when these writings go out, I am going to get so much flak. Hell, I have some legal issues with even getting pieces out there in the first place, so much so that I will commercialize my work to an extent. For example, I am in the process of bumping the age of my siren to eighteen. This is because I don’t want to get arrested or banned from Amazon/Smashwords. But even with those changes, my book will still be very dark. Someone will accuse me for being mentally ill and when that happens I can’t even disagree. I am mentally ill. I do have social anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic depression (Yeah, I am super fun). This does create the way I see the world and thus the art I create. But that doesn’t mean I am an example for every mentally ill person.
Besides a horror-writer, I am also a queer person. Though I have been very close with many straight people where this isn’t the case, there have been
Horror-erotica. Because erotica writing just wasn’t socially awkward enough!
times where I have been backed in a questioning corner for being queer by straight “allies”. When I have been out to them, then I instantly become this giant example of how queer people are. How “bisexual” people are. (Dumbing down your identity 101) How kinky people are. How polyamorous people are. How genderqueer people are. And I instantly become the pinnacle queer person and everything I say or do stems from that. Even though I am one of millions, and we all have our own backgrounds and point of views– even though we are complex multidimensional human beings. We become flattened to queerness. A one size fit all package.
And the frustrating guilt I feel for affirming any stereotype! I am particularly concerned with being polyamorous and “bisexual” and affirming the ideas that all bisexuals are promiscuous and indecisive. But though I’m concerned over this, I am not interested in the slightest to force myself in a relationship structure that I am uncomfortable with just because I’m concerned with what straight people think. I am going to be me, not an example for straight people.
So I’m going to come full circle with my book. I have a lot of guilt with my morbid writing but I also really enjoy it. Not only do I find it fun, but it is like therapy. In exploring my imagination, I find others that connect with it. Should I stop doing what I enjoy because others might think I’m mentally ill? When they find out that I actually AM mentally ill and judge me for it, should I stop doing what I enjoy then? Writing is akin to breathing. I’m not going to stop breathing because I’m going to offend someone.
I’m not really hurting anyone here. There are destructive elements to my novel however they are impossible to replicate because they are layered with fantasy and horror. And these destructive elements are also sociopolitical commentaries about empathetic intelligence, equality, care and compassion, and community forming. These are not themes of a book that shouldn’t be written or published. These are themes I should– that I will be proud and confident about.
I enjoy being queer. At times my traditional background makes it difficult, but in moments of true queer expression, I am more honest with my strengths, beauties, and intricacies. The stuff I love.
The secret to horror writing is to apply these same self-assured attitudes.