Authors Talk: Felice Picano and Mel Bossa on the Future of Books



FELICE PICANO MEL BOSSA X390 (PROVIDED) | ADVOCATE.COMPicano: Mel, younger friends say labels like gay, straight, bi,
etc. are passe, too limiting and even kind of Identi-Kit. Do you agree?

I’m not afraid of losing my identity because I've had to protect, hide,
nurture and try to understand it for so long, that no one could ever
steal it away from me. When I absolutely need to define myself in a
particular situation, I’ll say that I am queer or bisexual. As far as my
writing goes, I'll let the readers label it. Some call it gay fiction,
or bi fiction, or M/M fiction, and all those tags are fine with me.

Bossa: Felice, you have two books coming out this year. After all this time, do you still feel as excited about a book coming out?

Each book I’ve written is an experiment. I know people like my “strange
stories,” so the BSB title, Twelve O’Clock Tales, should do well. The
short novel from L.A.’s Modernist Press, titled Wonder City of the West,
is unlike anything I’ve done, a fantasy set in 1935 Hollywood. I’m
curious what the reactions will be.

Picano: What inspires you, Mel?

Music. I have soundtracks for every one of my books... I also do
volunteer work for a crisis center and schools, so I meet many people
and do a lot of active listening. This fills the well of my imagination,
but more importantly, it keeps me connected to reality, which in the
end, is what I need to write good fiction.

What kind of books would you like to see more of in the coming years?


I’d like to see more GLBT sci-fi and fantasy. Sci-fi writers in the
’60’s and ’70’s did a lot with “other” sexualities. Since then it’s gone
backwards—pandering to tweens! My 1995 sci-fi novel, Dryland’s End, is
either loved or hated because it deals with sexual and gender issues
intrinsic to the future. It’s set in a Super-Techno-Matriarchy. In its
sequel, a teenage boy is impregnated against his will for political
reasons and must flee and discover why. I fucking dare someone to
publish it.

Visit for more information on Picano, and to read more on Bossa.

Tags: Books