This is extremely excellent: my pal (and a wonderful write) Lisabet Sarai asked me to write a bit about the inspiration behind Finger's Breadth for her Beyond Romance blog. Check it out here ... and, meanwhile, here's a tease:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,Moves on; nor all your Piety nor WitShall lure it back to cancel half a Line,Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. -- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
I may have said this before but it's always worth repeating: here's a hearty thank you to Lisabet for the opportunity to write a little piece for her excellent blog.
This time, Lisabet has asked me to write a bit about the how my newest novel, Finger's Breadth, came to be.
In a nutshell, Finger's Breadth is ... well, maybe too weird for a nutshell (perhaps even too much for a coconut shell) but I'll give it a shot. Basically, it's a near-future gay erotic horror/thriller with a hefty dose of social commentary. Less-than-basically, it's a series of characters dealing with "the cutter:" the nickname given to a mysterious figure drugging random men and amputating the first digit of their little finger.
I told you it was weird.
In many ways I see Finger's Breadth as a thematic sequel to my previous novel,Me2. In that book I had a lot of fun playing with the idea of identity. Less-than-basically that because of peer pressure, mass-produced lifestyles and fantasies, we are all becoming more or less interchangeable.
I say "thematic sequel" because after writing Me2 I was itching to challenge myself with a new project – one that allowed me to explore human nature again. With Finger's Breadth, I tried to reach down even deeper and get even dirtier with how we relate to one another: socially, sexually, you name it.
The seeds that would eventually sprout become Finger's Breadth came from a wide variety of sources – or threads that would become the quilt if you don't like plant metaphors – but, botany or fabric, they have more in common than you might think. One of them came from my fascination good versus evil. Yeah, yeah, I know: lots of people have done – and will do – the exact same thing. But I've always been frustrated at how cowardly a lot of authors have been on the subject -- cowardly, because very few people seem to be willing to honestly look at the question.