New fiction: ‘Hector Fucking Katros’ in Tincture Journal 16 (Summer 2016)

Tincture Journal Issue 16, Summer 2016 cover imageSleeping with your students was outrageous. Luckily this did not at all reduce Melanie’s enjoyment of his doing it with her.

– ‘Hector Fucking Katros’, Tincture Journal 16 (Summer 2016)

I haven’t published any fiction in a couple of years and am really excited to announce a long short story (11,000 words!), ‘Hector Fucking Katros’, is out in Tincture Journal 16 (Summer 2016) . Tincture is a fantastic independent Australian literary journal that publishes in ebook (epub or Kindle) formats.

This story is something I began writing as rather an angry young woman – I was at that time a feminist critically minded to the point of self-destruction, and a creative writing program burnout. As so often seems to be the case for me, I had to grow up into a different person – I’m now only mildly irritable, and nearly middle-aged – before I had enough distance to develop the raw material into a satisfying work of fiction.

The story treats, among other things: artistic ego, women’s rivalry and self-loathing, Australian ethnic politics*, and the foibles of the creative writing industry. It features questionably ethical sex between questionably attractive people – who are nonetheless passionately attracted.

I’m so fond of this cast of prickly, rather fabulously badly behaved characters, and hope readers feel the same.

I’m indulging myself by quoting some of my favourite lines, in the hope of enticement:

  1. Wiry little stooped troll of a man, pin-headed, rat-faced. He had that pan-directional anger of men who know they’re hopelessly physically unattractive, ill-favoured by powers of irresistible magnitude.
  2. Neither of them had anything to show for workshop that night, which made them visibly cheerier than anyone else there.
  3. Melanie could observe her own absence of caring as if looking down from a high place as the wind whipped. Was this what it was like being Hector? It was wonderful.
  4. You think you can embarrass me, she thought, and checked out his dick in his shorts while he wasn’t looking.
  5. She had joined the club of completely sordid bastards. When she compared it to the usual clubs she got herself in—such as people who somehow end up clearing up other people’s coffee cups after a meeting, or people who discover an excessive amount of other people’s rubbish in their bin—it appeared unbelievably superior.
  6. The sheets stank of man and cigarette tar, half disgusting, half enjoyable—it was the smell of their sex.
  7. She had once claimed that whatever was Skip for I love you, too.
  8. Sleeping with your students was outrageous. Luckily this did not at all reduce Melanie’s enjoyment of his doing it with her.

‘Hector Fucking Katros’ appears in Tincture Journal 16 (Summer 2016), which is on sale in epub/Kindle on Tincture’s website, and is also on Amazon, Tomely, Kobo and Google Play. You can also add it on Goodreads. Support Australian independent literary publishing and give it a go.

ALSO PS I have been writing this thing so long I may literally die if no one reads it and talks to me about it. You don’t want me to die, do you?


*A note on vocabulary, for international readers: in Australia, ‘wog’ is a reclaimed ethnic slur that (for idiosyncratic reasons related to patterns of migration) refers to people of southern European, Balkan and sometimes Middle Eastern ancestry. This word is largely now used affectionately by its in-group to refer to itself. ‘Skip’ is the counter-slur, meaning Anglo-Australian – based on an old TV show, ‘Skippy the Bush Kangaroo’.