Louis Flint Ceci is the editor of the recently-released anthology Not Just Another Pretty Face. I’ll leave it to him to explain it, as he’ll do it much better than I, but as it contains a whole bunch of writers I admire, I heartily recommend grabbing yourself a copy.
1. Tell me about a book of yours that you’re particularly proud of…
I am really excited about Not Just Another Pretty Face, the anthology I edited and published under Beautiful Dreamer Press, released April of this year. I don’t think I’ve never seen anything like it: an illustrated anthology in which the pictures came first, and each of the stories and poems in the collection was directly inspired by them.
I dreamed of this book for over two years, ever since I first saw Tom Schmidt’s photographs. Tom, who goes by “Dot” for his photographic work, took hundreds of evocative photographs of go-go boys in atypical poses and dramatic settings and didn’t know what to do with them. I saw them and immediately thought, “There’s a story behind each of these.” So I talked to some authors at Saints and Sinners in New Orleans about doing an anthology based on the photos. They really liked the idea. We even took a field trip to The Corner Pocket for some, um, “research.” The results are even better than I had hoped. The stories, poems, essays, and one play are as different as the photos. Even the table of contents is unique, using a thumbnail of the picture as an index.
2. Recommend me a novel/short story by someone else that you think everyone should be reading…
I look forward to reading more of each of the authors in Not Just Another Pretty Face
, but there are two I especially want to keep my eye on. The first is ‘Nathan Burgoine
. His stories about werewolves, demons, and vampires operating in the shadows of Ottawa have a psychological depth you don’t often find in fantasy and speculative fiction. His latest novel, Triad Blood
, is just out from Bold Strokes Books. His story in my collection is a kind of spin-off from that: a minor character who appears only briefly in Triad Blood
is the central character in “Bound,” and once again Burgoine explores the importance of being true to yourself even while assuming—and sometimes forcefully taking—your place in the community of your peers.
The second author I want to read as much as I can is Erik Schuckers. This author is a prose poet. His imagery is dense yet always fluid, always in snyc with the pace of the story he’s telling. Read his “Duke’s Mound” in Issue 6 of The James Franco Review. Every paragraph contains a sentence that turns me green with writer’s envy. So far, I’ve only read his explorations in the realm of creative non-fiction. I would love to see what he could do with a novel.
Louis Flint Ceci’s poetry has been published in Colorado North Review, and his short stories and essays in Diseased Pariah News. His autobiographical short story, “The Tree and the Cross,” appears in the anthology Queer and Catholic, edited by Amie M. Evans and Trebor Healey (Routledge, 2008). He is a former high school speech and English teacher, and a former college professor of Journalism and Mass Communications. An avid swimmer, he has competed in the two Gay Games and won three third place medals at the 2007 IGLA Tournoi International de Paris. He won the Gold Medal in the Poetic Justice poetry slam at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney.