“No-one believes in ghosts,” said Steven, and leaned back against the booth, “that was my point.”
Described by the author, Time’s Fool is a novel about monstrosity, about desire and communication. It’s about the self we present to the world and the needs we whisper to ourselves in the darkness. It is about honesty and the fear of honesty. It is about the things we refuse – refuse to say, refuse to seek, refuse to believe – because sometimes, ignoring those things is all that keeps us sane.
GenderTerror had the fortunate ability to interview Wilfred Earl about their novel, their experience marketing the novel as an out trans person to a non-LGBTQ crowd, and about crowdfunding their novel.
GenderTerror: Tell us a bit about Time’s Fool.
Wilfred: Time’s Fool is a contemporary Gothic novel in the Victorian tradition – so it is about repressed desires, the need for change, and the terror that change brings with it – but it brings those concerns and fears in to our pragmatic and postmodern world.
It is also, essentially, a dark, gripping story about what happens when a bunch of students who break into a vampire’s house and – not knowing his secret – wind up starting a friendship with him. I’ve been calling it my love song to the gothic, a queer homage to Dracula – but really its a smart, sexy, and darkly comic book for everyone who ever has wanted something more, without quite knowing what that thing might be. It’s about why we love the night, and why we fear it.
GT: What were your experiences crowdfunding the novel, especially marketing something that may not appeal to non-LGBTQ people?
W: Crowdfunding was a very interesting experience, and I’m aware that might be taken as a reference to the curse – may you live in interesting times. It was at once very frustrating, and incredibly rewarding. People were so generous, and keen to read this book, and it felt awful constantly dogging people who you knew had a lot of stuff going on in their lives.
Talking of stuff going on in people’s lives – during the crowdfunding process I also transitioned, socially and made the first steps towards medical transition. I’d come out as non-binary about 6 months before signing to Unbound, and the two things happened very much simultaneously. I absolutely would recommend no-one try to replicate this. Ever. It was a very foolish move. Just from a logistical perspective – it’s difficult if you’re simultaneously trying to persuade people to buy a book a written by Alys Earl, while getting them to call the person who’s written it Wilfred.