L.M. Pierce on pantsing and being held hostage by her main character (plus maaaaybe a sneak peek at
Today I have the opportunity to talk to L.M. Pierce (and fangirl a little bit!--okay, a LOT) about her brilliant novel, Trans Liberty Riot Brigade. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!
I've read your book (my five-star review on the blog linked HERE), and for weeks afterwards, I'd find pieces of the story intruding on my thoughts—especially Andi, the main character. What an amazing book this was! Did Andi just bust in on you and insist that you tell her story, or was this an idea that took root slowly?
*grin* First of all, thanks for reviewing Brigade, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! As for Andi, well, she just materialized out of seemingly thin air and basically threatened me at knifepoint until I got the story down on the page. It started for a NaNo project, and I decided to do first person, present tense, just for “fun.” Fun became real intense, real quick! It was my first encounter with a character that feels like a physical presence in the room, looking over my shoulder, and angrily correcting me as I go. “That ain’t what happened! Look, quit cockin’ it up and fuckin’ around.” Larger than any page can contain, Andi has definitely integrated into my psyche and I can only assume she represents some very pivotal part of my own subconscious… scary as that might be, heh!
I’ve attached an Oglaf cartoon that perfectly summarizes my Andi experience.
One of the things that immersed me in the book was the dialect you used for Andi and Elenbar and the rest of the motley citizens living in the shadow of the Wall. The slang words and style of speech are so specific I could hear it in my head as almost a Cockney way of speaking. How does it sound in your head-voice?
People always laugh when I tell them my inner narrator is British, so I’m glad that came across! I wanted the flavor of it without getting -too- off the track of having it based in the US. Some are more so than others, but I hear them all very clearly in my head – sometimes translating the thickness of the character's voices onto the page was very difficult! I’m glad to hear I succeeded for you!
How do you develop the story you want to tell? Are you a meticulous plotter, or do things just happen?
Ohhhh, much to the dismay of my dear critique/writing partner, Dante, I am hardcore pantser! After I finished the first-ish draft of Brigade, she made me do a beat sheet and plot, which I’m thankful for now that I’m working on books 2 + 3! Plotting is definitely not my first instinct though and even as I review the “plot” I laid out for book 2, Andi’s already screaming at me so I know a lot of that will change anyway! It's nice to imagine that I'm super organized though.
I have favorite books that are like old friends which I read at least once or twice a year. What's your favorite novel that maybe few people know about, but one you go back to again and again?
Watership Down is a great one that I re-read from time to time and I like to re-read more obscure ones like Raptor Red or earlier Bruce Coville stuff. Of course, I also fall into the “I’ve read Harry Potter seventy times and I think I’ll do it again” camp.
I know that Trans Liberty Riot Brigade is just the first in a series, and that Andi's story isn't over. Can you please, please, please tell us a little bit about what's in store for the next book?
*grin* Aww, I guess, since you asked so nicely! Book two is going to see Andi struggle a bit, backsliding on some of her old ways. She will also come to answer her own questions of what it means to be a “Transgressor” and how she wants to be defined in the world. She’s going to be faced with a huge loss as well, one that will come to redefine everything she believes and how she chooses to live. Vague enough for you? Don’t worry, I’m working hard on book two so I hope no one will have to wait too long... Oh, all right, here's the very beginning of book two (suuuuper first draft) - warts and all!
Another Sorta Prologue, But Worse
Goddamn shit junkie.
The nods are comin’ down hard on me and I’m slippin’. I hear rushin’ waves and the twitter of birds, but it ain’t real. Only a memory of an ocean and an old man. A spider-freak who saved my life. I know that at least, though I don’t know much else.
The cold tile feels good against my bare ass and I paw at the paper roll next to me. Dab under my skirt, drawin’ up a slick of blood. Next time I’d say no. I’d start liftin’ at market, hawkin’ to make the rand I needed for some more. Not that they do rands here. They got proper coinage with a fancy loonie bird on it—magical faggin’ leprechaun money in every color of the rainbow.
Ain’t just the money though, everythin’s different here in the wonderful North. A North so wonderful you can even buy Flow and Buff at proper junkie pharmacies. Even all that’s legal. Not much better though as it’s all the same when it’s surgin’ through your veins.
Though this floor’s a little cleaner than most I’ve been down on.
(Pause for interviewer to collect herself and stop jumping up and down with glee.)
Thank you so much for taking time to hang out on the Couch of Questioning today! Where can readers interact with you on the web?
I am all over social media and my website has some fun & free stuff to see too! You can sign up for newsletter updates on my website as well!
Website and Blog: www.piercebooks.com