This post is about an author with the power of transgression. Nevada McPherson has written mostly screenplays and her recent book published by Outcast press, "began as a feature screenplay," says Nevada, "then as I was adapting it into a TV series, I decided to adapt it as a novel first. I got the idea for new characters and storylines so I decided to make the novel a series." Poser is the first in this new series called the Eucalyptus Lane Novels. It's set mostly in and around Palo Alto and San Francisco, California, inspired by summers she used to spend there. Let us absorb some inspiration!
1. Hello Nevada. Happy new year and new "book". Let us begin with your novel series. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Happy new year, Neda! Yes, the Eucalyptus Lane series begins with Poser, set mostly in Palo Alto, California. The main character is Ambrose, a runaway from Texas who ends up in the Bay Area and falls into drug dealing while working part-time at an S&M dungeon in San Francisco. Through a series of mishaps, he angers his connection and finds himself again on the run. His friend suggests he stay at her sister’s guest house in Palo Alto and gets her sister to agree to this by telling her that Ambrose is a Stanford grad student, so Ambrose finds himself having to pretend to be something he’s not. He also falls for his friend’s sister, who’s married and has a small child, leading to further complications. Throughout the series, Ambrose is a magnet for trouble, and his efforts to go straight give way to a steeper slide toward more serious criminal activity.
the story is told as the author really sees it, unfiltered by prevailing attitudes of propriety or political correctness.
2. Sounds interesting. Do you only write novels, or do you work on other types of writings as well?
I’ve mainly written feature-length screenplays, three of which I’ve adapted into graphic novels and one short script that I directed as a short film. I also write short non-fiction, have some short stories in progress, and was commissioned to write a short environmentally-themed play that’s been performed several times.
3. Wow. You're a multi-talented author Nevada. When did you realize that your work is more of a Transgressive genre? Why?
I had a hard time defining my work at first. I’d broadly categorized it as noir, but there are many different aspects of noir, and initially, when I looked for a publisher, I didn’t see a place that really stood out as a good fit. It wasn’t strictly crime fiction, although it certainly has that. It isn’t a conventional romance, either. It was reading Twitter posts by Outcast Press, which eventually became my publisher, that helped things click for me, including blog posts by their assistant fiction editor, Natalie Nider of Trainwreck Tendencies. These clarified what transgressive fiction is and helped me to make the connection between that and what I was doing in my own work.
4.Great. I agree that this genre has many similarities with other genres such as noir, dirty realism, absurdism, and so on. What is it about the Transgressive Genre that attracts you?
That I don’t have to water down or censor my story nor the details in it to write in this genre. I can write about whatever I find the courage to, without the limits of more typical genres. Like noir, transgressive fiction can encompass many different styles and subjects, which I find very attractive!
5.You can say that again. Self-censorship is what I learn to avoid while writing in this genre. That's the reason, in my workshops, I encourage people to practice this genre as a tool for expressive writing and helping to ease depression, anxiety and stress. However, anything Transgressive is not a comfortable genre to publicize and publish, could you share with us your publishing experience about your novel series?
My experience has been very positive. As an outlet for transgressive fiction, Outcast Press not only talks the talk but walks the walk regarding creative expression and freedom of speech. I’m happy to be published by a company willing to take a chance on my work and that of others who write in this genre. Much like City Lights in San Francisco, which broke new ground in the 1950’s by taking a chance on writers whose work was outside the mainstream at the time, Outcast is an avant-garde publisher for the 21st century and I’m thrilled to see my work in their line-up!
6. What do you think makes a good transgressive story?
That the story is told as the author really sees it, unfiltered by prevailing attitudes of propriety or political correctness. Also, that the characters are allowed to be their truest, unvarnished selves: raw and real. Transgressive stories usually deal with characters who chafe at society’s strictures and conventions, so how they deal with that is bound to take various forms. I love that this is something transgressive fiction seeks to thoroughly explore.
7. Well said. Are there any characters in your writings that most represent you? How?
That’s a very interesting question! I think all my major characters represent facets of myself or people I’ve known in one way or another. We all have a side we present to the world, but also have “backstage” views of our own lives, so maybe putting elements of my own personality, both good and bad, as well as a certain amount of fear, anxiety, pleasure and pain on display through my characters is a way of pulling back the curtain on things that would normally stay hidden from view. Perhaps writing about those things through my characters is even exhibitionistic in a way. I hadn’t really thought of that before, but it could be true.
8. What are your goals as a writer for this year?
My main goal is to work on the second and third novels in the Eucalyptus Lane series. I also plan to revise the pilot script for Poser I was writing earlier, which is actually how I got started writing the novel in a roundabout way, and where I created some minor characters who became major. In addition to that I’d like to set aside time to revisit a draft of a novel I wrote some time ago about the life and times of Erich von Stroheim, the silent film director and actor who played the butler in Sunset Boulevard, and whose epic battles with Hollywood’s biggest producers is the stuff of legend. I’m also writing a new short story and will be posting more often on my blog.
Fantastic. Thank you Nevada for being here today. You're an inspiration and look forward to future collaborations.
If you're interested to know more about Nevada, please follow these links:
Web site: www.nevada-mcpherson.com