1) What is the title of your book?
The book is called Strangely Made.
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
Well, it’s a collection of stories, so there are as many “origins” as there are individual pieces. A few examples: “Dancer, Daemon” ultimately had its origins in a Gene Wolfe essay on obscure words in his Book of the New Sun. The word that caught my eye was “matachine,” meaning a masked sword-dancer. That brought some beautiful, sexy images to mind and I set about trying to explore them. Eventually it gave me a story. “Singapore” was directly inspired by a real restaurant I used to go to, and the beautiful, fascinating woman who owned it. I talk about the origins of one of the book’s vampire stories, “Gather Together Tonight,” in the book’s introduction.
3) What genre does it fall under?
It includes a number of different kinds of stories—sf, “slipstream,” heroic fantasy, fairy tale, vampire, SM--but I personally think of it as erotic dark fantasy.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’d love to see Meryl Streep play the Ogress in “Beauty Thrasher.” Maybe Emma Thomson as Alie in “Day Journey, With Stories.” And this is kind of off the wall, but I could see Tia Carrere as Kaso in “Dancer, Daemon.” I would be fascinated and rather afraid to meet the actor who could play Darien from “Darien Sucks.” Ralph Fiennes? Naaah.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
I can’t do any better than the publisher’s very short description: “Fetish fantastique!”
6) Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither; it was published by Sizzler Editions, an imprint of Renaissance e-Books. I’m very happy to see these stories out from the same publisher who has revived Lord Dunsany, William Morris and George MacDonald, as well as putting out some extremely fine contemporary erotica.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
The earliest of the stories, “Lioness,” dates back to the early 90s, when I was living in Seattle. The more recent stories were finished just before the book was submitted, so collectively you’d have to say it was nearly twenty years in the making! Some of the individual stories took years to get right; “Circe House” took about three years, “Dancer, Daemon” took seven, as I recall (!).
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
As a collection of SF & fantasy erotica, I’d love it if people found reason to compare it to books like M. Christian’s The Bachelor Machine, or Cecilia Tan’s Black Feathers, both of which I’ve read and admired very much.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been privileged to know a lot of very sexy, passionate and fascinating people, and to have had some lovely, sometimes frightening experiences. They are all reflected in Strangely Made, as well as my lifelong interest in fantasy literature.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, it has an absolutely beautiful cover, I think, and a very flattering introduction by M. Christian. And I don’t think you’ll find another collection that combines ogresses, steampunk, vampires, a transgendered heroine, and two very different takes on “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”
INTRODUCTION BY JASON RUBIS
INTRODUCTION BY M.CHRISTIAN
DAY JOURNEY, WITH STORIES
WHEN WE RISE
AN EXTEMPORE ROMANCE
HERE IN VALLOIA
GATHER TOGETHER TONIGHT
Circlet Press just released a very attractive new edition of M. Christian's collection THE BACHELOR MACHINE. High time, too. These are deftly-rendered, beautifully nuanced stories, most with a cyberpunk flavor, but all worth reading & savoring multiple times. A book for anyone who needs reminding that sexual science fiction can be done with style and substance...or anyone who loves good fiction, period. Particular favorites of mine: "Bluebelle" and "Everything But the Smell of Lilies." Consider it recommended--like highly, daddy-o.