An interview with B.T. Gottfred

So I sat down over a cuppa with author B.T. Gottfred to discuss his new book “The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy”.

This is the transcript:

 

 

INT. COFFEE SHOP. DAY


CHARLIE WALKS OVER TO A MAN SITTING AT A WOODEN TABLE DRINKING OUT OF A 
"WORLD'S COOLEST DAD" MUG. 


CHARLIE
Mr. Gottfred?

B.T.LOOKS UP FROM THEIR MUG AND PEERS AT THE YOUNG PERSON STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM.
THE CLOTHES WORN BY THE SMALL CHILD MADE DECERNING THE GENDER ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.
 B.T. DID NOT RECOGNIZE THEM. 

B.T.
Can I help you? 

Charlie:
I'm here for an interview. The name's Charlie. Charlie Smith.

B.T at that moment recognized the girl from all her messages to him via Instagram.

B.T.
*Gestures for Charlie to sit*

Charlie
*sits down, placing book, purse and keys on the table*
I'm going to go order a drink. Would you like a refill?

B.T shakes their head and Charlie goes to the counter to order a strawberry
cheesecake cream soda

Charlie comes back over minutes later with a creamy pink drink in hand
tucking a few dollars into their wallet.

Charlie
Would you like to go ahead and get started?

B.T. shakes his head. Charlie gets out a recorder and the questions begin. 

Charlie
So B.T., Your book deals with gender identity and coming to terms with it. 
How did you go about writing this type of novel? What inspired you?

B.T
Two central inspirations. I’m married to a woman where we take on the opposite 
traditional gender roles/responsibilities. It made me start to wonder what gender
truly meant and what role it had in relationships and society.
Around the same time, my closest group of friends
became (largely) a group of gay men.
One breakfast, one of these men took out his phone and showed me pictures of him 
dressed as a woman and he said, “Aren’t I a beautiful woman?” 
And the answer was a resounding yes. It also made me rethink what and 
who and why I am attracted to.

Charlie
What is your favorite part of the book?

B.T. SMIRKS AT THIS QUESTION

B.T.
Them discovering themselves and each other in a motel room.

Charlie
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

B.T
Letting the characters be enough.

Charlie
What do you think your characters, Zee and Art would have to say about you?

B.T TAKES A SIP OF THEIR COFFEE

B.T.
They answer that very thing in my acknowledgments.

Charlie
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

B.T.
That a large part of my internal makeup is a sexually and gender fluid teenager.

Charlie nods, understanding completely.

Charlie
You've mentioned that you yourself have felt more "feminine" at times?
If so, how so? 

B.T, struggles to find the words, not expecting such a personal question. 

B.T.
Well, part of what I am attempting with this book...and with my life...
is to question what ‘feminine’ even means. If by traditional definitions of feminine
which again, I wish we could divorce from the female gender, I would say my most
dominant trait is being intuitive/sensitive to emotional states of others.
Sexually, I enjoy all sorts of aspects 
that traditionally only women would be allowed to admit to.

CHARLIE SENSES B.T. SHIFTING A BIT UNCOMFORTABLY, SO THEY CHANGE THE SUBJECT

CHARLIE
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

B.T.
Great reviews make you feel great. Bad reviews make you feel horrible.
I try to let them balance you out. I would say to people reviewing on Goodreads
that for non-top selling writers like myself, these reviews are far more important 
than they are to established writers. So know that and wield that power with the
sensitivity you would like someone to if your book was in a similar position.

Charlie
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely 
from your imagination?

B.T SCRIBBLED SOME WORDS HURRIDLY ON A NAPKIN AND GIVES IT TO CHARLIE

B.T
I wrote a piece about this here 

THE NAPKIN READS: 

http://fiercereads.com/blog/straight-author-and-his-gay-best-friend-birthed-character-together/

CHARLIE TUCKS NAPKIN AWAY FOR THE POST

Charlie
Do you write full-time or part-time?

B.T.
I also write, direct and produce movies/digital television.

Charlie
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hardback books?

B.T.
Traditional ones — mostly because I need a break from screen time.

Charlie
What book/s are you reading at present?

B.T PULLS OUT "BOOK OF MORGAN" BY RON CHERNOW. 
CHARLIE SMILES, RECOGNIZING THE AUTHOR

B.T
Book of Morgan — by Ron Chernow.

Charlie
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

B.T.
Catcher in the Rye — first book that I felt a voice was inside my head.

CHARLIE TAKES A SIP OF HER DRINK AND SMILES.

CHARLIE
Who is your favorite author and why?

B.T
Raymond Chandler — he wrote with such straightforward
artistry it’s hard to comprehend.

Charlie
What advice would you give to your younger self?

B.T. IS QUIET FOR A MINUTE OR TWO THEN SPEAKS

B.T
Be nicer to yourself and more patient with the business of art.

CHARLIE
Where can we find you online? 

B.T.
btgottfred.com

Charlie
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

B.T. GETS A GLAZE IN HIS EYES AND LOOKS AWAY LIKE HE IS TALKING TO A CROWD

B.T.
Thank you for being you and loving my characters for being who they are.

CHARLIE
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 

B.T SMILES

B.T.
Thank you Charlie

btgottfred_lowres

B.T. Gottfred (Brad T. Gottfred) is a screenwriter, producer, director, playwright and young adult novelist. He wrote and directed the digital series THE BOONIES, which premiered on go90 in 2017. His debut novel, FOREVER FOR A YEAR, was released in July 2015 by Macmillan/Holt, followed by THE NERDY AND THE DIRTY in November 2016. His third book, THE HANDSOME GIRL AND HER BEAUTIFUL BOY, will be released in May of 2018.

Brad wrote and directed the play WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES that played to sold out audiences for over four years in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Diego. The critically acclaimed play made its Off Broadway premiere at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Gottfred also wrote, directed, and executive produced the feature film THE MOVIE HERO, which played at over 20 film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards including the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival.

In June, 2017, Gottfred co-founded the film/tv/digital production house BOLD SOUL STUDIOS with new media pioneer Corey Moss.

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