Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kris Ripper here today to talk about zir release, Gays of Our Lives and The Big Picture. Welcome, Kris.
The Big Picture
I’m not a writer who focuses a great deal on theme and motifs while I’m writing. If you do your job right—if you write a book that’s formed well, and has a coherent story to it—then all that exists whether you know it or not.
I was the kid in the literature class who sat there daydreaming about my own books while the teacher went on and on about the Biblical resonances in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Start talking High Lit and my eyes glaze over.
There comes a point as a writer when you realize that this stuff exists in stories. All kinds of stories: novels, poems, movies, television shows, video games. If you’re caught up in a character or a plot, chances are there’s something about it, thematically, that calls to you.
As a reader/viewer/consumer, you can pay attention to this stuff or not. (I always find it’s a lot more fun to decode and deconstruct stuff with a group of folks who enjoy that sort of thing.) But as a writer, I think it’s pretty important to have at least a passing knowledge of the stuff you’re actually trying to say with a story.
And let me stress again, that this stuff is accessible to everyone, even those of us who weren’t good in school, even those of us who were trying so hard to understand Tristram Shandy that we missed the sex bits.
In Gays of Our Lives it’s virtually impossible to miss the sex scenes. (Whew. Nothing like reading a whole novel and facing your professor’s “So, let’s talk about the sex in this book” with a blank stare.)
Gays of Our Lives is a sort of adult coming of age story. It doesn’t document the transition many people experience when they leave their family of origin—raw, and edged with fear, excitement, expectation. Emerson’s thirty-one years old; he broke away his family a long time ago, but he’s still saddled with an young adult’s mental baggage about who he should be, and how he relates to other people.
Sometimes the hardest battles we ever fight aren’t the ones against authority, or bullies, or even our own bodies (though Emerson’s had skirmishes in all of those areas). Sometimes it’s the persistent voice in the back of your head telling you you don’t deserve to be happy, that you don’t deserve to find a good partner.
One of the coolest things about books—and storytelling in general—is that you can find yourself in characters who are very little like you. Emerson’s a white, cisgender, gay dude with multiple sclerosis; of those things the only thing we share is that we’re both white. But I had a great time living inside his head, and taking his journey with him, and I learned a little bit about myself along the way.
What about you? Across mediums, who’s the character you’ve most related to, and do they superficially resemble you at all, or are they vastly different?
About Gays of Our Lives
Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.
Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.
But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.
About Kris Ripper
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris:
To celebrate the release of Gays of Our Lives, Kris is giving away your choice of ebook from zir backlist. (Any release from Kris Ripper prior to Gays of Our Lives.) Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
This title is part of the Queers of La Vista universe