So back in September 2012, I sat down at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table to start figuring out the super-hairy, nitty-gritty details about the world in which Eden lives before she gets drawn into Under-London. Through a whole maze of choices and a crap-ton of wandering about on the street-view on Google Maps, I wound up placing her in South London, just a bit away from the Peckham-Rye station.
While looking for pictures of Peckham to start building it in my mind’s eye (because, lbrh, I’m too broke to go there myself), I stumbled across a really neat street art piece (above) featuring a raven (well, a black bird of some sort, at least).
Good lord, this week has been hard. My heart’s going out to all of you nerds out there who have lost an icon in the past two weeks. I know I’ve been crushed by one in particular. It’s made it incredibly difficult to focus this week, to buckle down and weave together next week’s chapter. I know I’ll be leaning even more heavily on the might of my crit partners for a bit.
Anyhow, on a more positive note, I present the latest chapter of TNOUL, from my mind to your screen. I hope you enjoy, and if the spirit moves you, pass it along to your friends.If you need me, I’ll be hunched over my laptop, busting out my brains for the words. All I ask is that you keep your ‘lectric eyes on me, babes.
There have been so, so, so many blog posts, articles, tweets, status updates, texts, and who-knows-what else going into the many ways that Bowie’ s influence touched them. I’ve probably read half of all of them, to be honest.
I’m living it, too.
I found my own voice when I discovered glam rock. It started in tenth grade, when a friend sat me down one night and made me watch Velvet Goldmine, and then told me about the guy it was loosely based on (take a wild guess).
It petered in, with A Knight’s Tale, Labyrinth, and Rocky Horror, Moulin Rouge and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It came in waves when I delved into VG’s soundtrack and used it as a starting ground for finding the bands and artists who shook their trees back during the movement. When I downloaded everything I could find off of Kazaa–and then its bastard love-child Morpheus. When another friend heard I liked it, liked Bowie in particular, and sat me down with the entirety of Tin Machine’s catalogue (such as it is) and Bowie’s 50th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Garden.
It thrust me into a world where sexual and gender diversity is celebrated, called to attention, and covered in glitter. Where we are encouraged to look toward a future as impossible and brilliant as star travellers and space invaders (and alligators), as much as we are pointed to call out the old regime, tackle the problems–social, political, personal–we’ll need to get past to get there. It let the world be a grand stage where we’re all allowed to get tarted up, get weird–and flaunt it.
And Bowie was the goblin-king of the court, the veritable leper messiah. There were so many who made the Glam movement happen, but no one seemed to hold up that mantle, who stood out to me as the ‘leader,’ the way that he did. And then! Then he lived past the movement, whole and able to tell the tale. He cleaned up and did what he could to bring joy and beauty to the world. He never stopped creating.
I didn’t realise, until thinking about it this past week, how deep down I’ve taken the basic tenets of that whole movement into who I am as a person.
And just look at how all of it’s manifested in “modern” Under-London, the little world that I’ve made, this imaginary place into which I’ve poured so much of my soul. We’ve got characters existing beyond heteronormative and cisnormative standards, who fight for social and political change; some who get into massive trouble thanks to the pretty drugs their friends give them, and others who flout the wills of society and their families to find their own identities. There’s one that likes wearing sparkly band t-shirts, even.
That’s glam rock as fuck, if you ask me.
So, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going with this. So many of you already follow me on various social media, and you’ve probably heard all of this in bits and pieces, so I really hope it doesn’t sound like just so much tragedy-wanking. But it’s going to take a while to get over this, for me. In the meantime I’ll just play his catalogue at full blast while I pour all that love into Under-London.
He’s told us not to blow it, ‘cause he knows it’s all worthwhile.
Eighteen-year-old Eden discovers her mother has lied to her for as long as she’s been alive: her father is not dead. He’s alive, and somewhere in London. The main problem? Not only is her father not dead, he’s also not human.
Eden is swept into Under-London, a dark and dazzling city lurking just below London’s surface. Her loyalties stretch thin between her mother and father, and she’s drawn into a deadly political game that leads her on a desperate search for Under-London’s missing king. If she and the king’s nephew, Ransley, can’t find him in time, Topside London pays the price.
I’ve opened up all the previously written stories in the Under-London ‘verse! Go check it out, spread the word, and consider pledging your support as launch the novel, The Nightmares of Under-London, tomorrow!
You’ll find all my content under the “Creator Posts” tab right at the top of my profile.
Awwww snap! Got the latest installment in the #underlondonverse just for all y’all lovelies supporting me over on patreon! Don’t forget, we’re running that contest now through 11:59 Dec 31, 2015, and the winners will receive a physical copy of the ENTIRE Under-London ‘verse when it’s all said and done.