Monday, September 22, 2014

The Fascist Ex (and what I'm up to now)

Rather than do my typical summer routine this year (driving myself crazy for not having time to write). I gave myself a pass and took the summer off. And then I wound up writing a lot. It's amazing what you can do when you aren't kicking your own ass.

New Projects:

The Fascist Ex – David Hellman is the American Hitler. He’s rising to power as head of the homophobic Patriot Party, and the only man who can stop him is Adam Ford, David’s college boyfriend, who no one in the Patriots knows about. Much of David’s rage stems from the fact that Adam viciously broke his heart. To save his country, Adam will have to out David - ruin his ex-boyfriend’s life for the second time - and Adam has never stopped loving him.

Love Lines – A scientist creates LP9, a formula that allows one to see love. The market potential is unlimited, he reasons, because who wouldn’t pay to see if their crush, or girlfriend, or spouse loved them, or someone else? The potential for abuse, blackmail, and chaos is as unlimited as potential sales.

Projects that are coming to fruition:

Femorph – Children can change their gender at will, until their bodies calcify on their eighteenth birthdays. Michael’s is coming up in six days. He’s spent half his life as his femorph, Michaela, because his best friend Aaron is in love with her. Michael is also in love with Aaron. When Aaron realizes he can bring the opposite morph to the surface by relaxing the dominant one with an orgasm, he knows he has the power to take Michael’s choice for him. He must choose between what he wants and what's best for Michael and Michaela.

(I finally had that magic moment with this piece where I slaughtered my darlings to get it under 7,000 words for Saints and Sinners.)

Eagle Eye – A sniper is injured and psychologically scarred in one of our endless, amorphous foreign wars. (I wrote it before the rise of the ISIS boogeyman.) He returns home to be dicked around by a newly-privatized V.A. He comes to the conclusion that men who profit by keeping soldiers broken are terrorists. He becomes the sniper of the 99%.

(This one was suffering from a too-quick ending. I’m told that’s a common struggle among men my age.)

Projects I’m shopping around:

Jesse Rules – A closeted grunge-era Holden Caulfield seeks fame, to get his mind off of his unwanted feelings for his guitarist. At the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle, he concludes that nothing gets attention like murder.

(My first novel can’t seem to find a home. It isn’t life-affirming in the least, so gay publishers are balking. It has a gay character, so straight publishers are balking. I tried something different and submitted it to a contest that turns unpublished novels into movies. My character is an amoral fame-hound. Hollywood could be the home my grungy bastard child needs.)

Rise of the Paramancers – In the earth kingdom Gorge, Karth trains to become a geomancer, a sorcerer capable of manipulating the earth. Gorge and the other three elemental kingdoms of Axis are threatened by the arrival of a paramancer, a sorcerer capable of manipulating all elements. An arms race ensues, and apprentices will have to quickly become masters if Gorge is to survive.

(I have a good publisher checking this one out right now. The main thing was, in my world, I didn’t want magic to be Harry Potter point-and-speak. It’s more like yoga – physically and spiritually demanding. I wanted my sorcerers buff and haunted. The characters are facing changes that overwhelm them, so it’s relatable as can be. Karth is straight but his master and best friend are gay, so I’m really going for all audiences. An X-box Kinect game and line of action figures can be in the works as soon as I can convince just one person with clout to care.)

That’s all for now. If you see me with a faraway look in my eyes, it’s because I’m constructing or deconstructing some fantasy world in my head, or dreaming of an ally with marketing connections.
-James Russell