Genevieve Valentine’s short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and others, and the anthologies The Living Dead 2, Teeth, After, and more. Her nonfiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Tor.com, and Fantasy Magazine, and she’s a co-author of Geek Wisdom, a book of pop-culture philosophy from Quirk Books.
Her first novel, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, is out now from Prime; you can learn more at http://circus-tresaulti.com. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog [http://genevievevalentine.com].
She is very thankful to The Night Bazaar for the invitation to blog.
When my novel Mechanique came out earlier this year, I spent a week on a four-hundred word Acknowledgments page, trying to balance brevity with judicious thanks to all those who made the book possible. It was all that was required (very few people like to curl up with 20 pages of acknowledgments), but it also didn’t encompass the full scope of thanks I knew were due.
When the Night Bazaar asked me to write about things I am thankful for, I decided that, despite my general allergy to sincerity, it was the perfect time to thank some of those who enrich my life, make my writing possible, and brighten the entire world (results pending).
I’d like to begin with my parents, who (when as a child I made the announcement that I wanted to write professionally) proposed not to look at my writing pre-publication, in case it would make me too self-conscious. As it turns out, I was the world’s most self-conscious teenager, but never about that, so, mission accomplished! I appreciate that my parents trusted I knew what I wanted and let me go about it how I chose, though even today I have occasionally described a story I’m working on, and there’s a little pause before my mom says, “I’m sure it will be very nice,” in a tone that suggests she’s trying to decide what to tell her family and friends if they call up asking her what the hell is going on with me, which I assure her repeatedly will never happen.
Related: Thanks to all family and family friends who have called my mom to ask what the hell is going on with me. It’s good to keep her on her toes!
(In fact, I’d like to thank everyone who reads what I write, no matter how distantly related to me they might be. It’s always a thrill for a writer to realize there are eyes other than hers on her work.)
There are many professionals who have, in interviews or in person, on purpose or in passing, imparted excellent advice, all of which has been invaluable, and for which I am forever grateful. (Sometimes that advice is about how to handle oneself when training for stunts on set, which seems a little ambitious considering I mostly just sit and type, but I’m sure one day that will come in handy, and I appreciate the input.)
Thanks are also due to my friends and loved ones, not just for their cumulative good advice, or their invaluable critique of my work, or their general amiability, but specifically for one of the greatest and most unselfish acts being my friend entails: enabling my love and support of some of cinema’s finest, and most execrable, moments. Movies have been an enormous influence on my life, and movie-watching with a friend is an experience all its own. So, thank you, friends who have accompanied me to many of those movies from which little joy can be gleaned, and often much aggravation and terrible dialogue is harvested. These friends have sat thousands of miles away from me, watching Children of Dune* together over Instant Messenger (in 1897); these friends have presented me with movies I mentioned half a decade ago; these friends have sat through Legion, Beastly, the Twilight films, and the Children’s Theatre Company and School of Minneapolis dramatization of The Red Shoes; these friends, inexplicably, are still my friends, and for that, enough thanks can never be rendered.
(And for everyone I don’t know personally, but who has chimed in to assure me that a movie I half-remember is not a hallucination: I appreciate that. Thumbs up.)
And finally, I’d like to thank that extra in every movie and TV show ever filmed who is either over- or under-invested; please know I have watched and enjoyed every time you staged a wild, silent argument in the background of a scene, or picked your nose while the leads sob about their doomed love in a mid-shot. You are magnificent.
* Laugh all you want, I am super grateful I saw that cheeseball miniseries back when it aired so that I could be a total hipster about James McAvoy’s subsequent rise to fame.