Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Iggy" Novel Coming This Winter!

Iggy was bored so he moved to New York.  Before there was Felicity -- the lead character of my "Bliss, Bliss, Bliss" novel -- there was Iggy.  In fact, if there hadn't been an Iggy, there would have never been a Felicity.

When my best childhood friend, Ania, and I were teenagers, we loved taking the subway on Saturday afternoons to Greenwich Village in Manhattan. We saw people with dyed black or blue hair, mohawks, and black leather clothes with silver studs and safety pins on them when we went to the Village.  We shopped at the stores "Flip" and "Butterfly," which sold black leggings and punk clothing.  Butterfly also had jewelry and postcards.  It was a Bauhaus postcard that gave me the idea for Iggy's look.  That dyed black, punk hairstyle spiked up high, and black eyeliner always stayed in my mind.  That was a real punk.

Years later, while living in Canada, I enrolled in a Women's Writer's Workshop at the local college and wrote several short stories with female lead characters, but I never liked them.  They didn't speak for me, and I couldn't find a female voice I could relate to.  One night, while flipping the TV channels, I stumbled upon a 1970's movie starring Jon Voight called "The Odessa File."  Something about the mood of the scene captivated me.  It is about an American man living in Germany with his German go-go dancer girlfriend.  He spends many hours one evening reading a manuscript when his girlfriend suddenly enters the living room and says she's trying to get a taxi for work.  He says, "Don't I always take you?"  They both seem aloof and moody, and the scene just drew me in.  Suddenly, Iggy was born.

I immediately wrote a short story called "Iggy's Dailies."  It was about a moody male character who I put into a scene similar to that evening in Germany in "The Odessa File" movie, but I made him live in Greenwich Village, NYC. I remembered that Bauhaus postcard I'd seen in the punk shop those years ago. I made him look like that.  There was still the problem of what to name him.  I had such a hard time coming up with one, so I told myself that I was just going to look down at the magazines on my coffee table, and I'd choose the first name I looked at.  The first thing my eyes caught focus of was a tiny picture of Iggy Pop.  Iggy.  I couldn't come up with any other names, so I decided to just call him Iggy.

I brought "Iggy's Dailies" into my Women's Writer's Workshop.  They didn't like the title and told me it was not a "slice of life" story, as I'd called it. At the time, I took their word for it, but looking back, I think Iggy is a slice of life story.  It is a sample of Iggy's life.  It's him hanging around in his living room, reading his manuscript.  It's Iggy. Simply Iggy.  It's a depiction of Iggy's everyday reality.  The only difference between my novel and a typical "slice of life" story is that I developed Iggy's character.  He's not just a bit part in a story that's front and center. 

I took Iggy with me to my Novel Writing course and began writing Iggy in chapter form. Next semester, I took a Screenwriting class and adapted the first 10 pages of my Iggy novel-in-progress as a screenplay.  Our final assignment was to choose a few people from our class to act out the dialog in the screenplay.  I chose someone named Joel to play Iggy. He was an actual actor who I'd seen in a Canadian beer commercial where he said "Hi, I'm Joel, and this is my beer commercial."  He played Iggy and told me afterward that he really enjoyed it.  I got encouraged.

When I moved back to New York City, I submitted a few chapters to "Antimatters Magazine," a magazine that published articles about the musicians who performed at a very popular East Village Antifolk Music Club called "Sidewalk Café."  Iggy seemed to be a good fit for the magazine because he lived in Greenwich Village, and he had a musician's look and hairstyle. "Antimatters" published excerpts of Iggy in four of their issues. 

Now, I'm preparing to publish Iggy in complete form as an E-Book and limited paperback.  I will be pinning to his "My E-Book Iggy Gorgess" Board on Pinterest, tweeting about him and running contests on my Facebook Author Page, and I've got a first line for his introduction into the social media world too:  Iggy wanted to meet you all, so he decided to join Facebook.

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