Rape Jokes Q&A

by thethreepennyguignol

Hey! In case you missed it, I have a book coming out – my debut novel, Rape Jokes, is getting a print and ebook release at the end of this year with the amazing Frayed Edge Press. And you guys had some questions about Rape Jokes (everyone does when they hear that title). So, without further ado, let’s get into the Q&A and talk about release dates, titles, bad ideas, and everything in between!

What’s that title about?

This is for sure the question I’ve fielded most since I announced Rape Jokes, and I totally get why. As far as most of the world is concerned, rape is something you shouldn’t be cracking wise about, and rape jokes as a whole have been on the forefront of some of the most prominent debates about sexual assault and the media in the last few years. But Rape Jokes (the book) isn’t an attempt to make light of sexual assault or the people who’ve dealt with it. Initially, Rape Jokes was just a working title, but as I went on with the story it became clear that there isn’t a more succinct name for a romantic comedy about rape, and I stuck with it. I know for some people it’s off-putting, but it wasn’t my attempt to turn rape into a laughing matter.

Honestly, the idea for this book came when I turned to my partner late one evening, barely looking up from my tea, and cracked a “ha, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a romantic comedy called Rape Jokes?”. And now, here we are. What I’m saying is every idea you’ve had at ten past one in the morning is the best decision you’ll ever make.

Are there any parts of the book you’re especially proud of and if so why?

Honestly, I’m proud of the entire thing and could talk about how very proud I am of it for days. If I had to narrow it down (and bear in mind that I am a British person so “taking pride in my achievements” is a new one on me), I’m really pleased with the fact that this is a book I really would have wanted to read even if I hadn’t written it. It covers some issues that I haven’t seen covered in other books (not that they’re not out there, just that I haven’t come across them yet), and I hope that it makes some people dealing with similar stuff feel understood.

To what extent did recent events influence the book?

I started writing Rape Jokes before the Weinstein scandal and everything that came with it broke, but it had a huge impact on the direction the book took. I remember reading that Asia Argento interview and just bursting into tears, pulling up the manuscript, and writing a thousand words to exorcise how awful all of it was. Rape Jokes is a book I wrote a lot of while really, really angry, and the still-unfolding sexual abuse scandal was a fire under my butt for a lot of that.

Is any of it based on your own experiences and how you dealt with them?

I’ve written about my dealings with vaginismus on this blog in the past and there’s no doubt that handling that and the frustration and self-esteem body-blows that came with it made up a big part of the groundwork for my writing in Rape Jokes about the same thing. I’m also a giant rah-rah-my-female-friends-are-all-my-soulmates type, and I think that really heavily influenced how important the support network is in Rape Jokes. And yeah, there are some other significant things in my life that have influenced the writing of this book and my choice to pen it in the first place, but that’s not something I’m super comfortable going into at this time, though I probably will at some point before the book comes out if it’s something people think would inform their reading of the book.

 How would you define the perfect reader for Rape Jokes?

It doesn’t sound great if I just come out and say “I’m targeting victims of rape”, but that’s sort of the case here. Basically, the person who I think would get the most out of Rape Jokes is someone who has probably dealt with some of the issues it covers (such as sexual dysfunction, rape, assault, harassment, etc) but finds the depictions of these things in the media they consume lacking. I wanted to write Rape Jokes because I found myself despairing at the way rape was depicted in most of the pop culture I immersed myself in, and I imagine that the people who’ll get the most out of this feel the same way.

When can I preorder?

Right now there isn’t a definitive date, but the book is coming out in Winter 2018 and will be available for preorder somewhen in Autumn (or Fall, if you prefer).

Will you forget me when you’re famous?

I fully intend to forget everything and everyone as soon as this book comes out, and lounge around drinking mojitos out of hollowed-out coconut shells on Glasgow Green for the rest of my life.

Are there any other questions you want to see answered about Rape Jokes? Drop them in the comments below, through the form in the original post, or just message me on social media! Please subscribe to the blog for more updates on Rape Jokes as they come, and thanks for sharing in the excitement of this with me!