I finally got the go ahead from my editor to spill the beans on the top-secret tie-in project that has eaten my life over the past few months.
That’s right, Faustketeers, it’s FRINGE.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s kind of an X-Files-style science fiction series in which a female FBI agent teams up with a (literally) mad scientist and his reluctant, ne’er-do-well son to investigate an escalating plague of weird, unexplained phenomena.
I’ve been hired to write three prequels, each centered around one of the three main characters. The first, called THE ZODIAC PARADOX, features Walter, the scientist, along with William Bell and Nina Sharp in 1974. The second THE BURNING MAN, features Olivia, the FBI agent, as a teenager in 1995. (This is the book I’m working on right now.) The third and still untitled book will feature Peter, the scientist’s son, during his shady, gray-market dealings in 2008, just before the start of the first season.
Will post more details as they become available.
Posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago. 1 comment
So I’ve been tagged in this kind of group question-asking recommendation chain called THE NEXT BIG THING. Authors answer questions about their work and then “tag” other writers to do the same. I got sucked into it by Alex Sokoloff, who tagged me along with Wallace Stroby, Michelle Gagnon and Zoe Sharp. (Click their names to read each of their entries.)
Here are my answers:
1) What’s the title or working title of your new/next book?
I’ve got several media tie-in projects in the works right now, none of which I’m able to post about yet, but my most recent book is the first of my lesbian private eye series Butch Fatale: Dyke Dick. It’s called Double D Double Cross. There’s a second Butch Fatale book in the works as well.
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve had this idea in my pocket for years. I’m a avid fan of vintage hardboiled pulp and I’ve always wanted take that traditionally hypermasculine genre and give it my own modern spin. So I created a classic, old-school private dick who just happens to have a vagina. That’s how Butch Fatale was born.
3) What genre is your book?
Pure hardboiled pulp. With a generous helping of erotica on the side.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Or TV series?
Hollywood doesn’t really have much room for females who identify as masculine of center, so it would be pretty hard to cast a well known actress as Butch Fatale. However, I was thrilled with this video put together for my book trailer contest by a young LA actor named Max.
As far as I’m concerned, the part is hers!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Butch Fatale is a fast-talking, skirt-chasing, two-fisted lesbian private investigator with an insatiable appetite for two things — women and trouble.
That pretty much says it all.
6) Is/will your book be self-published or traditionally published?
This series is really a labor of love without much in the way of blockbuster, mainstream appeal. Since I’ve already published more than ten novels the old-fashion way, publishing the series myself in eBook form seemed like the ideal option for this project. I also did a successful kickstarter campaign to raise money for a special, limited paper edition of the first and second books bound back-to-back in the old “Ace Double” style. I like to call it the 69 edition. Of course, work on the series has been slow going, due to all the tie-in work I’ve had to take on in order to pay the bills. But I tinker with it whenever I can, as a way to relax and have a bit of fun on the side.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first book, about six or eight weeks. This second one is going slower, due to my current heavy workload, but I really want these books to reflect that quick and dirty pulp aesthetic. I don’t want to be polishing each sentence for years and years. That’s part of what makes it fun.
What other books within the genre would you compare this story to?
You can see the clear influence of Richard Prather in the series, particularly the comedic elements. Like Prather’s famous dick Shell Scott, Butch is tough and smooth with the ladies, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See #8 for the who. For the what I’d say that I was tired of reading hardboiled crime novels in which LGBT characters are either comic relief or villains. I wanted to create a queer hero.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Did I mention the sex? It’s dirty. Real dirty.
I'm not going to tag anyone else with this, but I will ask you readers to share your own recommendations of favorite vintage hardboiled detective novels. I'll start with one of mine: STRIP FOR MURDER by Richard Prather.
Posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago. Add a comment
This article annoys me for a variety of reasons. Check it out. I’ll wait.
I’m not denying that female only (or male only) space can be a good thing in certain contexts, but this suggestion that we’d all be better off if we go back to gender segregated education is just plain wrong.
For starters, there’s the underlying heterocentric pretense that completely negates the experiences of gay and lesbian students. A gender segregated school system would increase the possibility of sexual and romantic distraction for them, rather than eliminating it as the author suggests.
Second, it puts even more unfair pressure on young transgendered people, who have enough battles to fight on a daily basis and don’t need yet another opportunity be catastrophically misgendered.
Then, here we go again with the pervasive idea that all men are slavering rape monkeys who just can’t be trusted. And according to this article, the answer isn’t to teach our sons not to rape people, it’s to send our daughters to what the author apparently imagines would be a peaceful, penis-free utopia where nothing bad, scary or mean will ever happen to them.
Which brings me to the last and most deeply personal reason why this pissed me off. Because I was never date-raped or sexually harassed in school, but I was relentlessly physically and psychologically tortured by other students. Female students. So you’ll forgive me if I find the idea of being sent to an all girl school to be less than fucking idyllic.
Instead of sending your daughter to Barbie’s Malibu Dream School, how about teaching her to handle herself in the real world, where there are male people, good, bad and indifferent. Where things aren’t always going to be easy and she will need to be strong and focused and confident enough to handle whatever comes her way. Where not everyone she meets will fit into the standard pink and blue cliché of what “girls” and “boys” are supposed to be.
But that would require actual parenting.
Posted 8 months ago. 1 comment
I gave the Butch Fatale video contest a few extra days just to see if any other entries would come in at the last minute, but no such luck. Don’t know if people were too shy, or reluctant to do the work required to shoot and upload a video, or maybe just intimidated by Max’s awesomeness. Regardless, that makes Max the undisputed champion and the official face of Butch Fatale, Dyke Dick.
By happy accident, I ran into Max and her partner last night at OutFest 2012.
She’s even more dapper and charming in real life.
I’ll be working with Max to come up with a final book trailer for the Butch Fatale series. My original plan was to shoot something from scratch with the winner and edit it myself, but Max did such an outstanding job of nailing the flavor and feel of the series that I may just end up using a slightly modified version of her video.
Time is running out on my Butch Fatale video contest, and we only have one entry so far. If you think you’ve got what it takes to give Max a run for her money, submit your own entry before July 15th. Full details on the contest here.
If more than one entry is received by the cut off date, then readers will be invited to vote for who should play Butch Fatale in the new book trailer. May the best butch win!
The first entry in the Butch Hunt video contest has just been submitted, by Max in Los Angeles.
Max does Butch Fatale
I’m blown away by how perfectly she nailed the feel of the character and the novel with her entry. The sense of place, the cocky, sexy attitude but also the sense of humor and fun. She tips a hat (literally) to the 50s but it still reads as modern.
I found Max through her blog, which was recommended to me by one of the butches in my own Butch Hunt video from Dyke Day LA. When I contacted her, I told her I wanted her own take on the character and that she was free to express her own personality and style. She nailed it. I couldn’t have done better if I had been directing her myself.
In light of this awesomeness, I’ve decided to extend the deadline for the contest. Deets here. Assuming I get at least one more entry, I’ll set up a poll to vote for the face of Butch Fatale right here on this blog. Stay tuned, Faustketeers…
Posted 11 months, 1 week ago. Add a comment
Kickstarter. All the cool kids are doing it. Now, I’m doing it too.
I’ve backed other people’s projects before, but this is the first time I’m trying it myself. Being an old fart like I am, I’m amazed at the profound changes to what it means to be working writer . A lot of other writers my age are crying apocalypse, and they’re not entirely wrong. But I figure you can board up your windows and sit in your basement bitching about the changes or you can rivet some steel plates, saw-blades and rocket launchers onto your mini-van and drive off in search of adventure.
You want to ride shotgun?
So yeah, Kickstarter. It’s really different than anything I’ve done before, but I’ve been blown away by the positive response so far. We’ve already hit nearly 60% of our goal in the first few days. Because of Kickstarter, I’m able (I hope!) to fund a project that doesn’t hold much in the way of mainstream appeal and offer it directly to people who want to read it. Also, it’ s allowing me to produce a special “Ace Double” style back to back paper edition that few traditional publishers would be willing to do. Because corporate bean-counters don’t see the value in something so esoteric, expensive and impractical. But I do, and clearly you do too.
So keep reposting, sharing and retweeting. Keep the pledges coming. Force me to come up with stretch goals to add after we hit the initial goal. I have no idea where this armor plated minivan is headed, but it’s gonna be a helluva ride.
Posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago. Add a comment
This post is about sex. It contains naughty words and frank discussion about, you know, “down there.” You’ve been warned.
I know a lot of bi and pansexual people who like to say that they’re all about what’s on the inside. That they are “just attracted to the person” and don’t care about the genitals and bodies that go along with each person. Which is fine for them.
I’m not like that. I look at totally different, even opposite, bodies and think “hubba hubba!” If I eventually meet the person and they’re sexy on the inside too, then it’s a home run. If the person turns out to be a creep, then it’s a pass no matter how hot they look. But for me the attraction always starts with the way someone looks and the way they carry the bodies that they have. I’m a very visual, lights-on kind of gal. I want to see what I’m working with. And I love variety.
I realize that for most people who identify as either gay or straight, this hunger for variety may be hard to understand. They are into one thing, and that’s it. Many even have a strong negative reaction to the opposite of what they are into.
Beyond basic plumbing, people also tend to favor a certain “type.” Me, I have several primary types that will always turn my head, but then I’ll find myself ferociously attracted to someone who is nothing like any of them. That’s what keeps life interesting for me.
And speaking of basic plumbing, I’m just going to come right out and say that I like it all. I like (XY)cocks, butch-cocks, and trans-cocks. I like (XX)cunts, trans-clits and neo-cunts. I don’t see any one of these as “fake” or a substitute for any other. Each one is it’s own unique thing which I find beautiful and sexy.
I like fat bodies and thin bodies. Muscular bodies and soft bodies. Hairy bodies and smooth bodies. I’m not just putting up with something that isn’t really what I want because I like what’s on the inside. I think each diverse and different body that I choose to play with is sexy exactly the way it is.
And if someone is shy about their body or uncomfortable with their particular genital configuration, I respect that. As a Domme, I like to push boundaries but I never want to take someone to a place they are not ready to go. If I can encourage someone to show off what they have and feel proud and sexy, then I will. But if they prefer to keep certain areas covered, I can live with that. As long as I can see the rest of them. As long as I can see their faces and look into their eyes.
Now let me say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a type or being only interested in one gender. I just want to open up people’s minds and help them understand that their way isn’t the only way. It’s one of many.
I also want to say, for the record, that I’m not confused. I’m not in denial about my true orientation and I’m not conducting my sex-life as a show for the entertainment of others. I know that I don’t fit in to the various stereotypes that exist on both sides of the gay/straight divide and I have no interest in changing what I think is hot in order to make other people feel more comfortable. The only people I’m interested in pleasing are myself and my partners.
So sound off, bi and pansexual readers. How do you feel about this inside/outside thing? Do you find yourself attracted to the way people look, or their personalities, or both? And what sorts of reactions do your partner choices elicit from gay and straight friends?
Posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago. Add a comment
Attention Butches, Studs, AGs and all Masculine of Center readers: Think you’ve got what it takes to play two-fisted dyke dick Butch Fatale? I’m gearing up for my next Butch Fatale novel, and I want to put together a sexy video teaser trailer. All I need is YOU!
Here’s what you need to do:
Post a video (any length) on YouTube containing each of the following components:
A) Introduce yourself and tell us why you should play Butch Fatale. (NOTE: You DO NOT have to look exactly like the cover illustration or match the written description! I welcome entries from all ages, shapes and types, including butches of color, fat butches, and anyone else who thinks they’ve got what it takes. Cocky, sexy ATTITUDE is the key here, not looks.)
B) Read the following excerpt from DOUBLE D DOUBLE CROSS:
“When the tattooed tomato walked into my shabby Echo Park office, I had no idea if she was gonna kiss me or slap me. I was hoping for the former, but betting on the latter.
Her name was Diversity. Back when we first met, she’d been this waifish hippie chick fresh out of UC Berkley. A second-generation granola dyke whose homespun, organic hemp exterior hid a multi-O dynamo that wouldn’t quit. We had three tempestuous months together before it ended badly. Can’t say I was surprised. She was the type who got all juicy over the idea of slumming with a rough and tumble blue-collar butch like me, but couldn’t stop lecturing me about how I was internalizing patriarchal oppression because I cut my hair like Tony Curtis.
In the years since we’d parted ways, I hadn’t changed all that much. I’ve been 5’10” since I was fifteen and walk around at a fit 150. Muscular arms, broad shoulders and big, solid tits that I gave up hiding years ago. Never been pretty, but I’ve grown into handsome pretty well. Still cutting my hair like Tony Curtis.”
C) Include some extra footage of yourself hamming it up for the camera. Seduce me. Sell me your sexy swagger. Stand out from the pack and charm me right out of my panties.
D) Include this URL in your YouTube post http://amzn.com/B0076OEOG4
E) Email me a link to your post at christafaust AT gmail DOT com
The rest is up to you. Get creative. Use props and costumes if you like. Be as slick and polished or raw and gritty as you like. Be unique.
I will post links to all the videos received by July 1st 2012 here on this blog and all my readers will be invited to vote for the winner. That winner will be the star of the new Butch Fatale teaser trailer.
Good luck, and may the best butch win!
This is it. End of the line. The very last Noir City post of 2012. The final show was a Marsha Hunt double bill, starting with Mary Ryan, Detective.
A female detective (Hunt) goes undercover to bust up a gang of thieves. Which is pretty much all you need to know about the plot.
As I said in yesterday’s post, this film is so rare, even the star had never seen it. It’s a little too light-hearted at times to be classified as Noir, but I still enjoyed it anyway, mostly because of Marsha Hunt’s performance. I can’t remember ever seeing her act tough before, (Muller’s flick The Grand Inquisitor notwithstanding,) and I have to admit it was kind of hot. I loved her hard-ass attitude towards her cellmate and her slapping the tied up guard during a fur heist just to prove she was a real crook. And I was able to forgive the thankfully brief appearance of yet another child actor, a girl this time, because she turned out to be a thief, working a jewelry counter scam with her mom and another woman.
The gorgeous Ms. Hunt was on hand to discuss the film during the intermission, and she looked as effortlessly chic and classy as always. At 93, she’s still a knock out.
On a side note, if you’re interested in vintage fashion from the 30s and 40s, check out her book The Way We Wore.
Next, Kid Glove Killer.
This one, I’d seen. It’s a sort of proto-CSI story about a pair of
“police chemists” (Hunt and Heflin) who use science to solve a series of politically motivated murders.
It gets a little draggy in the middle and Heflin is weirdly unlikable in this role, but Marsha Hunt looks foxy in a lab coat and the forensic angle makes it interesting. It’s cute and charming and there are some pretty funny bits, but again, not really Noir. Still worth seeing on the big screen.
So that’s it, Faustketeers. Hope you enjoyed playing along at home, and hope you’ll make an effort to check out some of these films on my say so.
See ya in Noir City.