Jennifer Marie Brissett is a Jamaican-British American who came to the U.S. when she was four and grew up in Cambridge, MA. For three and a half years, she owned and operated the Brooklyn indie bookstore, Indigo Café & Books. She has a Masters’ from the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing and has published stories in The Future Fire, Morpheus Tales, Warrior Wisewoman 2, and Halfway Down the Stairs. Her work has been short-listed for the 2013 storySouth Million Writers Award. Elysium, her debut novel, will be published by Aqueduct Press in December 2014. She currently lives in NYC. Her website can be found at www.jennbrissett.com.
The Inspiration for the novel ELYSIUM
by Jennifer Marie Brissett
As I worked on the first few chapters of Elysium—not knowing exactly where I was going except that I had a seed idea of gender swapping—my grad school mentor suggested that I consider using a theme. I thought about that for a little bit and then it came to me, I mean the whole book came to me, not word for word or even chapter for chapter, but the story and even the structure of the book all flowed from the theme that appeared in my mind: the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous.
Jennifer Marie Brissett holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the College of Engineering at Boston University. She has published stories in Warrior Wisewoman 2, The Future Fire, and Halfway Down the Stairs, for which her work was nominated for the Dzanc Best of the Web Series.
Jorge Luis Borges called the stories of Craig Strete “shattered chains of brilliance.” Salvador Dali said, “like a new dream, his writings seizes the mind.” First published in1974 and then again in 1977, this book has its foreward written by none other than the great Virginia Hamilton who dubs him “the first American Indian to become a successful Science Fiction writer” and says that “the writing is smooth and unassuming, and yet the fabric of it is always richly textured.” The Bleeding Man and many other out-of-print titles by Strete are available in eBook format for free. Reading this book has made me a true lover of eBooks, since they seem to have the power to bring a long-silent voice back from the great beyond.
Jennifer Marie Brissett is an MFA candidate at the Stonecoast Creative Writing program, where she concentrates in speculative fiction. Her short fiction can be found in Warrior Wisewoman 2 and The Future Fire. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering (Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Visual Art) from Boston University and once owned and operated a indie bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. Her site can be found at jennbrissett.com.
Brrr… did anyone else feel that chill? Well, I did. I haven’t been able to think about anything else since this whole Black Matrix flap started.
I’ve been reading the blog posts from Scalzi and Rachel Swirsky’s guest blog post on Jeff Vandermeer’s site and I must say that I’m more than a little disturbed by the whole thing. The chill I feel is the people at the pro level pulling up the ladder saying, “you stay down there, kid.” These major editors and authors with large clout slamming on a small non-pro market feels just wrong. I plain don’t understand why Scalzi is insulted by the pay rate that has nothing to do with him. He clearly would never submit to Black Matrix, but other new writers might. Writers like myself.