SKATING ON THE EDGE with d.g.k.
D.G.K. Goldberg has been writing in many different genres under the broad umbrella known as "weird fiction." She is also a prolific freelance non-fiction writer, using a variety of names and occasionally writing stuff that makes other people blush. She is a former psychotherapist as well, a job that comes in handy when dealing with the devils in her keyboard.
Her novel Skating On The Edge placed fourth in the Warner Aspect First Novel contest and was released recently as a print-on-demand paperback and e-book. Her novel Doomed To Repeat It will be released as a trade paperback from Design Image Group sometime in the summer of 2001.
Q: Can you
tell us about the Warner Aspect contest, and the process
that eventually led to the publication of Skating on
I entered the Warner Aspect contest as part of a the goal-is-to-write-a-synopsis phase. After making it to the semifinal stage, I got a lovely letter explaining the manuscript wasn't going any further but that Betsy Mitchell would like to pass it along to Paul Witcover who was editing their new electronic imprint.
absolutely loved Paul's novel Waking Beauty so I
was more bent than usual over the chance to have him take
a look at Skating. Paul liked Skating,
so they offered me a contract.
Writing is hard work. Really hard. However, when I worked full time in mental health and routinely got up three times a night to deal with (check one or all of the following) deranged adulterous turkey farmers on cocaine, non-English speaking illegal aliens in full blown delirium, chronic schizophrenics who misplaced their souls and/or medication, and hysterics slashing their own flesh, I found it impossible to write. Hanging out with murderers, maniacs, and mayhem sounds like it would be great background for a writer, and it may well be, as part of the past.
But, I'm at the point of wanting to smack people when they get a wide-eyed "oooh" look and say (always in a breathy voice) "What great material!" It is not "great material" talking a suicidal person out of a weapon, it is damned exhausting work that doesn't leave you with much left over. I cannot think about it or process it in the detached fashion needed to write about it; being near the horrific, grinding alienation that drives people to get on a roof with a gun sucks all the energy out of me in a way that rendered me unable to write during the years I did it.
non-fiction develops research skills, but I do understand
that you should never let the facts get in the way of a
good story. A case in point is Hannibal Lector. He could
not exist, pathology doesn't work that way. Having said
that, I am not the least bit disturbed by the fictional
construct. What does make me crazy is a duex ex machina
bit in a story where some surprising "fact" is
dragged out of the closet to explain the inexplicable.
That fact had better be correct or the story is
I actually was kind of surprised to find myself being a horror writer, and I am not certain how writers end up with that label. I have no idea how to describe my work, and as long as the phrase "post-modernity" doesn't figure into it, I don't really care how anyone describes me.
I suspect that Skating and Doomed To Repeat It will seem, to a reader, to have been written by two completely different people. I don't think that will surprise anyone that knows me, and I hope it doesn't disappoint a reader who enjoys one and therefore picks up the other.
Q: Tell us a little about Doomed To Repeat It, your writing of it and the publication process.
Doomed to Repeat It probably comes from my obsession with the way personal and social history intertwines, particularly here in the South where time seems to be in a state of flux. It's about the ambivalent sexuality that seems to infuse southern twilight and the odd coming of age that seems to strike when people least expect it. For me, it was an effort to tell a story --- most of my writing doesn't because conventional stories offend my sensibilities unless they, like for example (and I'm not kidding or sucking up) the knock the air out of me like your story "The Vampire Shortstop" did (editors note- D.G.K. never sucks up), or some others: "Jeffty was Five" , Joanna Russ's piece in Dangerous Visions, a few others . . . but I'm going all over the place --- unless a conventionally structured story hits me so I feel something so intensely I am near paralysis I get a tad snide about it because life does not come in neat segments, I am far more fond of the 18th century picaresque novels or the postmodern work of Martin Amis or Douglas Adams, both of whom despite their absurdity seem to mirror life more accurately than structured novels with a clear beginning middle and end.
had this niggling feeling that I ought to try one of
these beginning-middle-end sort of things to see if I
could do it, and the core concepts of ambivalence,
madness, and entropy had been rolling around in my brain
I have no
idea. I know that I learn something with everything I
write and from every editor I work with, and there are a
few kind people who follow my stories and that kind of
I am nearly finished with the sequel to "Skating on the Edge", halfway through another, oh, I suppose it's a horror novel, and struggling with a might-be-mainstream novel.
Q: What do
you want us to know about you, and should we be afraid?
I am quite capable to blurt out something totally bizarre about myself that sounds as if it couldn't possibly be true. It always is, and if I state it in a way that people doubt, well that's just protective coloration or Saturday night. Should you be scared? Only of yourself, no one knows what they might do given altered circumstances and circumstances are always subject to change.
Visit D.G. K.'s website
BACK TO MORE INTERVIEWS AT GHOSTWRITER
Scott Nicholson copyright 2001ŠAll rights reserved