A few weeks ago, I interviewed Damon Suede about his new book, Lickety Split– the full review can be found HERE at Prism Book Alliance. Now, because I’m me–and because he’s Damon– we sort of spilled over the word count, and there were a few more things to say. I’m blessed, because Damon let me post them on my blog.
So without any further ado, I bring you a few deleted scenes from our earlier interview:
So, Damon–Tucker was a sexy hunk of sand-paper-palmed, swaggering, lusty cowboy–who didn’t actually think of himself as “gay” or “bi” or any of the sexuality labels currently used. Do you think there are a lot of “Tuckers” out there? Guys who don’t mind doing “stuff” as long as it’s consenting adults but who don’t actually have the words to articulate what they’re doing? (I have a theory about this, about how language sometimes hinders the full realization of our own identities, but it’s long winded and boring.)
One of the persistent myths and pop culture is that small towns are more conservative than big cities. Sometimes that’s true, but you’d be surprised. Countryfolk are practical in ways that can peel paint and wake snakes. LOL There’s a reason rural areas thrive on gossip and scandal. Folks out in the sticks get bored, so fighting and fucking become a kind of live-action Opera that everyone can afford to watch and anyone can take part in.
In a very real sense, that kind of rough edge, homegrown sexiness is the seed from which this whole book grew. That shit’s hot, yo. I’d much rather read about people connecting in unexpected and fascinating ways and waste time on greasy, waxed bodybuilders standing around in unscuffed boots pretending to be cowboys. Real emotion is really moving and I’d always rather get inside if I can, to split the piñata and knock the candy all over the floor where we can get at it. Lickety Split needed that grit to work the way I wanted it to.
I grew up riding. My family raised Tennessee walkers and quarter horses. They went to shows, rodeos, and auctions all the time. It’s not really my scene, or at least it wasn’t after I hit puberty and I started working in show business pretty regularly, but I love to ride and the smell of hay and horseshit still seems wholesome to me in a funny way that takes me back to the ranch.
Actually Botchy, the battlescarred pitbull, is also real and from our ranch. She’s a big slobbery sweetheart who really does climb up on roofs and patrol the property like a jolly bandit. Champagne coat and pink scars that don’t seem to bug her in the least. Again, I knew Tucker would know how to take care of her.
I have to admit, I fell in love with Botchy. I’ve made out with pitbulls before, and they’ve always been attentive and kind and have never let me feel like I was being used in the least. Botchy was the kind of dog who would break fancy vases with her tail–I adored her as a character.
Well, Janet Rodman is very much real and very much one of my favorite people in Romancelandia. She’s smart and sassy and hilarious as I wrote her, and if even half of her charisma comes across I consider myself fortunate. Part of Patch’s homecoming had to be about his iffy memories. Not everyone is evil, even when it seems so. I knew that there are allies in every community and I wanted him to have a safe space. A teacher, a raucous irreverent teacher seemed like the ideal person to extend a hand to a kid that trapped by his surroundings. Janet was a teacher for many many years and she has an uncanny ability to cut through BS with her wit and warmth. When I first mentioned I was thinking about making her a secondary character in a book she had only one thing to say, “It better be fucking dirty.” And it is.
The truth is when I first thought of including her I had no idea how pivotal she would become to the course of the story and how much the real Janet would inspire the lady on the page. The fictional Janet was me trying to capture the real Janet for everyone who’s never met her. Ironically, she only read the book after it was finished, but between you me and the rest of the world, I feel like all I did was give her an East Texas accent.
I have actually met Janet Rodman, and she’s wonderful. You did her proud–I’m so tickled to know this! Thanks so much for stopping by, Mr. Suede–as always, it’s been a pleasure.