The Good, The Bad And The Oh-Why-Did-I-Write-This-Awful-Thing?
Posted on July 20, 2009
The following is a reprint from Novelspot.net when I hosted a series of behind-the-scenes blog posts during the week of July 20-24, 2009.
NovelSpot Blog Day 1
Hello! Or, as one of my writer friends says, “Hail and well met!” Or, as another writer friend blatantly rips off from a film, “Greetings and salutations!” Or, as I say when I want to annoy him, “Croutons and salad dressings!” Nobody ever said writers were a particularly sane bunch. Many of us know how to entertain people while I pretty much know how to irritate them. It’s a gift. I’m a gift. Oh, I’m Paula Abdul!
And no, my name really isn’t Paula. It’s Kris. Kristoffer Gair. Or, as I insist Stephen King call me, Mr. Kristoffer Gair. I’m currently blogging for your pleasure from the great underrated, under-employed Detroit area where I’m currently editing what will soon by my 4th novel (3rd gay novel)…
I’ve been writing since I was in grade school. It started with puppet plays, then moved on to a couple of fairly poor short stories, several unfinished attempts at longer pieces and a God-awful first attempt at a novel during college. Some books are considered unfilmable. Well, this was a potential film that was unwritable as a book and I really, really wanted Ridley Scott to direct it because, you know, that would happen. It didn’t.
One of my high school teachers contacted me shortly after I graduated college—this was back in 1993—and asked if I would act as a consultant for a couple of days for her. She’d spent a year or two researching a historical figure and wanted to write a non-fiction novel, only she wasn’t sure how to start or how to set it up. I narrowed it down to three different approaches and she went off to write the book. She contacted me two weeks later and offered me co-authorship of the book since she really didn’t have a handle on the whole writing thing. I accepted.
It took 3 ½ years to write the book, mostly because of working 60 hours a week combined with a fledging relationship I found myself in after coming out. My ex-teacher continued to do any research that needed to be done while I completed the text and edited the book. Call us naive, but no publisher or agent was interested in it, something we hadn’t taken into consideration.
There was an agency that eventually suggested they might be willing to represent it as a TV mini-series project, so we created a treatment for a 3-night extravaganza. That eventually got whittled down to a 2-night series and then, finally, a 1 night this-is-what-a-3-night-series-looks-like-done-as-a-90-minute-TV-film-looks-like. We walked away.
And that’s where that project stood for a couple more years.
In the meantime, I decided that co-authoring was not something I wanted to do again and started taking a look at some of my own older material. There was a 12-page short story I’d started about a college student who takes a very surreal weekend trip with another college student, only you’re never quite sure it actually takes place. This appealed to me, so I set about re-writing it. I needed more character background, more establishing sequences and…and…establishing charactery things.
I came up for air 100 pages later and decided to read over my surreal, “Twin Peaks”-inspired tale of curiosities and discovered I’d written…are you ready for this?…a comedy.
The first words out of my mouth were “Oh, shit.”
Which is how my first gay novel, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation” was born.
More tomorrow on what happened next!
Until then, long live New Release Blu-Ray Tuesday.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.