And where I plan to go from here.
Thank you for telling your back story and being inspirational at the same time. The idea to include your research, which you have to do anyway, alongside your book is genius. It's Dickens on steroids!
I am so excited to watch you as you craft your utopian novel!
From a writing perspective, I'm curious how you will create tension and suspense as your story evolves. Will there be a battle that in the end leads to a better place? Is there a villain that coolly watches the utopian society evolve and attempts to use that to their own benefit? Is there a way to unite everyone without having a common enemy? Human nature is what it is but I want to believe there's a good future for all of us.
I love this so much- "to build the future of publishing and write for it. After a lot of experimentation, I’ve finally found what that means. I may not have “made it” in the industry, but I created a space for myself in the evolution of it".
I am a writer and an actor- creating in two industries going through identity crisis and reinvention. I find myself constantly imagining a different way this all can work, a different way I want to work, while simultaneously bumping up against all the pre-existing limitations. It is so expansive to find someone else pushing against those boundaries while reinventing within them. Very excited to dive deep into your archives and follow along with the current journey!
This is exactly what we need. What a horrible waste to have lived through a global pandemic and then be satisfied with a status quo culture. I am also in search of visionary view.
Very nice, Elle. I am looking forward to both projects--both to the content and how the publishing efforts turn out.
Regarding the Utopian novel, have you read any Solarpunk and will that be an influence? I am currently writing the last novel of a paranormal fantasy series. When that is done, I really want to write some science fiction in a "positive future"/solarpunk vein. Depending on how that goes, I will consider all the different avenues for publishing that I am learning about from you!
Really exciting ideas -- thanks for sharing how you're innovating in the publishing industry! I'm sure your story will inspire many others to follow suit.
It’s a great sign “you can’t help yourself”, you’ll be writing what you were meant to write instead of what the lit agents at the last writers conference said they were looking for. The end result will be leagues better coming from the heart.
After a very chaotic year I’m finally getting the chance to get caught up on Obscurity and I’m so enjoying it! And so happy you found a way to deliver it to an audience who appreciates it. Your use of language is so beautifully evocative of the 19th-century, it doesn’t surprise me agents took a pass. They’re usually seeking work that’s comparable to the latest bestsellers (“it’s like X meets Y!”), making me wonder how many book sales are driven by Amazon algorithms.
Love, love, love it
This newsletter really opened doors of ideas in my mind. Thank you! I'm excited to see what you have in store. Proud of you for coming this far by paving your path on your own!! <3
1. Scrolling Facebook is considered reading? 🤦♀️
2. Your new project is phenomenal! I always appreciate your insight into writing/reading/publishing trends. Substack has been a lifeline.
Kudos to your general mindset: "I want to to do ____ -- so I did"... Regardless of literary genre, a quick "how-to" piece on using Substack to serialize content would be excellent; your top 'lessons learned'; what worked best; etc... I think you DID write a short, top-line piece along these lines? Thx for the inspriration!
I’m going to echo the sentiments already expressed: this is exciting work on the horizon. I’m very interested in the non-fiction aspect since I want to know what we can DO. There’s a lot of hopelessness in this world and I definitely sink into it. Imaging a better future can help keep us all afloat.
Mazel tov on your new books! Looking forward to reading more. 🎉 📖 🎉
Have you ever read Starhawk's THE FIFTH SACRED THING ? It presents both a dystopian possibility and a more utopian 'There's a place for you at the table," super inclusive vision . It's old but still powerful.
Further thoughts. If you go hunting for Whole earth Catalogs the most bang for the buck for what you're doing may be the 30th anniversary issue because they reprint the very first one and then discuss how all that rolled out between the two editions. Sort of the "utopian curve" if you will.
Also, a contrarian view of what the catalog caused:
More good references for human behavior, government and incentives:
I get a lot of hate from my lefty friends for suggesting things by this guy. He's provocative but very perceptive and with a very good grip on government and economics:
I'll continue to roll this one in my head and see if I can come up with more.
Great post, Elle!
I really like the idea of using this platform to give readers serial fiction AND nonfiction that connects to the story! It's an expansion of the author's note and I love reading those, especially when the author talks about their research. Hopefully, it'll draw in new readers too. My hunch is it will be a good tool for audience building since many authors use an op-ed in a similar way.
I'm also kinda hoping one of your non fiction posts will be a lit review of utopian fiction because I'd love some recs.