If you're interested in novels about viewing the world through the eyes of queer women, then check out "The Spectacular" by Zoe Whittall.
What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
"The Spectacular" is a novel about sex, freedom, drugs, abortion, maternal ambivalence and late in life queerness through the eyes of three women in three different time periods as they try not to let attachment trauma ruin their lives. I was inspired to write it because I spent every day of my 30s and early 40s asking myself if I should have a kid or not. My ex-wife didn't want kids, my next partner already had them and didn't want more. When you're queer there is just so much planning and ruminating involved. When I was briefly single I didn't have the money to do it alone. I really wanted to be a parent but the circumstances of my life never supported it. So I wanted to look at the question of should I or shouldn't I? from the POV of three very different women in the same family, in different eras.
What does "Reading with Pride" mean to you?
To me it brings to mind the idea of all books coming from other books, and my work is part of an ongoing literary conversation with other queer novelists, as we have fought for years to get our work recognized for its merit. It is important to me to read other contemporary queer works and to be a part of this conversation. The generation just five, ten years above me lost so many of our artists and writers. I feel proud to be writing for and about us.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books and characters?
I think it's important to write the story you're compelled to write, and to reflect the world richly and accurately, if that's what you're aiming for.
Which character did you relate to the most and why?
I'm write different from Missy in her youth, but I when I was a teenager I didn't realize I was queer and I kept having really unfulfilling relationships with cis men and it was often quite emotionally muted and similarly to Missy, dating felt a bit like a game because of that lack of investment and I couldn't figure out why until a girl asked me out and I was like, oh, this is what was missing. Even though later I came to identify as bi and attracted to various masculinities. But at the time it was like seeing in color for the first time. So with Missy, she doesn't realize this until later in life. I often feel like I could have just assumed I was straight for years and never realized it, I didn't have the experience of always knowing. Missy comes out in her late 30s and was a way to imagine that possibility.
What can fans expect from your book?
I hope that it's a sexy good time, and also has some contemplative moments about reproductive freedoms and gender and the impossibility of love between two people with different attachment styles.
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
I have a book of short stories coming up next called "Wild Failure," out in 2023.