Some of you who are newly following me may not know this, but in early 2020, I released my debut novel, 99 Erics: a Kat Cataclysm faux novel. The narrator/protagonist, Kat Cataclysm, is a polyamorous bisexual woman and absurdist short fiction writer. And 99 Erics is a humorous account of Kat’s experiences writing a book called 99 Erics, which is about her experiences dating ninety-nine different people named Eric. It is more surreal than slutty. Not that there is anything wrong with slutty.
Despite not being able to promote it as much as I would like due to the pandemic, 99 Erics is the only book I’ve written to date to have ever won a book award: It was the winner of the Publishing Triangle’s 2021 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, an Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) 2021 silver medalist in LGBT+ Fiction, and one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of 2021.
The reason why I’m telling you all this now is because, after much deliberation, I think I’ve finally found a worthy premise for the next Kat Cataclysm novel. A few days ago, I sat down and started typing and the words just flew out of me! Unlike my nonfiction books and essays, which come together in a slow and methodical manner, I’ve found that my best fiction arises when I just let my unconscious mind loose and let improvisation take hold.
Given the good start so far, I’ve decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this month. For those unfamiliar, that acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you try to write every day in November, hopefully coming out the other side with a fledgling first draft of a novel in hand. While I highly doubt that I’ll finish a whole first draft (especially since I have other commitments), I figured I’d give it a go and see how much progress I make!
In the meantime, rather than inundate y’all with those super-rough drafts, I thought I’d share all the publicly available excerpts of 99 Erics, to hopefully whet your appetite for an eventual second Kat installment.
My favorite chapter of 99 Erics — which I believe offers a great sense of both the character and the book — is “Posers.” A video of me reading from the entire chapter can be found on YouTube and a smaller excerpt of the first part of the chapter can be found on Medium.
Here are other excerpts from the book that I’ve published on Medium (all no-paywall):
- Ethical Slut Vs. Confused Slut
- Banana Slug of a Different Color
- Hipsters in Queer Bars
- Bomb (a bisexual coming out chapter)
- The One & Only Writing Tip You Will Ever Need
Note: That last excerpt actually references NaNoWriMo — small world!
For my Patreon supporters, I have a few more chapter excerpts available:
- “Eric Number One” (the very first chapter)
- “Great Expectations” (my send-up of gender-swap stories)
- “Shopping Carts, Part One” and “The Sex Which Is Not One” (a live reading of those two chapters).
NOTE: this essay can also be found on Substack.