Age of Aquarius marks my professional debut in the world of literature/fiction. Having not actually managed to finish any stories up until this point I decided I needed a project with a deadline, and a word count. Something I could plan out, and get finished, so I could work on the skill of endings.
I hate endings. The only good endings are the kind where the thing you want most to happen, eventually does. And truly, that's merely the beginning. So in the end, we find our beginning. And that's how I feel about Age of Aquarius. I feel like it is just that, a beginning for the lead characters, and for me.
Sapphic Signs as a concept had been touted to Torquere Press as a Sapphic Planet production, and they had decided to go with it. This meant as the writer's of Sapphic Planet we could snag one of the twelve stories, which were to be based around a chosen star sign.
Everyone went ofr their own star sign, including myself. but not because I knew what aquarians are all about, I hate all that rubbish (apols if you believe in it, but generally, I'd say I'm a non-believer in most things).
I chose Aquarius because it a other connotations, ways into the theme that didn't have to involve being one. Even though my characters are. So, with this in mind I strated a number of stories, loosely based on ideas I already had. But all of them seemed so epic, I threw the lot out.
I decided to make this story a revelation and experience for myself. This is why I chose the time frame of the 1960s. And I researched. A whole lot. I knew that I needed a systematic way to get through the story. I chose months. Each 'chapter' had a monthly title. This was as much for my benefit, as the readers.
I chose NYC because I love it, and know it. I also decided I wanted a character that was unlikeable, but seductive. Someone who was a bitch, and knew it, but was still sucessful, and whom people adored. We all know that person. You hate her, but she's hot.
I wanted her to meet her match. And I wanted them to have friction. So now I find myself with two women, on opposite sides of the same sphere, living in New York in the sixties. The next stepp was to work out what the heck was going on.
I took each month in turn and found images and accounts of things that were happening at the time, in the places these characters frequented. I learned a lot. The sixties was a time of huge conflict, and change on a major level, especially in america. We all know this, I knew this, but i never really journeyed through it until this book.
Everything I mention in this book is based on a histoically accurate timeline. And weaving fiction into fact is quite fascinating. It brings a truth with it that is hard to achieve in other ways. I felt like I really knew these people, and had a connection to their lives.
I chose the artist because I am one, and the critic because they are our best friends and our worst enemies. I explored the idea of pain breaking down our defenses because I know a lot about that, and it is a universal theme that most of us can relate to.
I wanted to write something with more to say than just here's two hot women who rub each other up in the wrong way, until they find the right one. For that I needed some context, that was easily accessible and did not need a great deal of description. I hope I achieved it.
Age if Aquarius was released January 19, 2011.
Thanks go to all at Torquere Press and Sapphic Planet.
Extra thanks go to:
Jen Badham for being a great Beta.
Lara Zielinsky for pre-publisher edits.
And particular thanks mentions to:
Author Interview - with Caroline Rennie, All Fm
Wednesday, February 9th 2011
Thanks to Lara Zielinsky for recording this live.
nb. songs have been removed due to copyright restrictions.
Young and often political English artist Charlotte Hope clashes with renowned New York Times art critic Rachel Stein, whose praise is hard to earn. Set in the late sixties in New York City during the infamous Summer of Love, and with a backdrop of national and international conflict, tension builds between two women, who find themselves working together toward a common goal.
Charlotte learns she doesn’t have to like everyone she sleeps with, while Rachel discovers quite the reverse. Eventually they learn that tragedy can bring people to their senses, and bring them together.
“Why are we doing this?” Charlotte asked plainly one afternoon as they lay in post-coital slumber for the usual designated ten minutes. That slumber seemed to now include a little chatter, she noted. Jefferson Airplane blared out though small tanned speakers, something about joy dying and the truth being lies. Rachel picked tobacco from her teeth. “Because it’s fun.”
“Depraved is what it is.”
“I prefer to think of it as decadent,” Rachel blew a cigarette circle at her before answering the question. Charlotte frowned at the act, squinting to avoid the gray cloud that was advancing. “I don’t know,” Rachel said. “I’m sure there’s some psychological bull crap behind it. For you I imagine it’s about power, forcing me to submit to your will.” She smiled. “Personally I just prefer angry sex; it’s generally better.”
“Is that why you do your best to enrage me?” The question was clearly rhetorical.
“You say it like I have to try, darling!” Rachel drawled, smiling indulgently.
There may be some original prints of the artwork created for the trailer available soon, watch this space!