I'm super excited to interview Kevin Patterson about his new book For Hire:Operator!
Dr. Liz Powell: What is this hot new book, For Hire: Operator? I’m Dr. Liz from Sex-Positive Psych.
Kevin Patterson: I’m Kevin Patterson from Poly Role Models and author of Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities.
Dr. Liz Powell: And I’m so excited to have Kevin here to talk about his upcoming book that I’m so psyched for which is For Hire: Operator. So Kevin, tell us about the book. Why did you do it? What is it about?
Kevin Patterson: I was about halfway into writing Love’s Not Color Blind and I just sort of took a break. I was just sort of getting fried working on it. I mean it takes a lot of tough subjects in raising polyamory.
Dr. Liz Powell: I know that feeling.
Kevin Patterson: But I took about a month off and just wrote the first draft of basically what I’ve been calling Queer, Polyamorous Superhero stories. That’s like the quick tagline of it. I took a break, wrote it and then I have a co-writer, Alana Phelan, who is online as The Polyamorous Librarian. She took a look at it. She does a lot of book reviews. She is a librarian. That’s something that she deals. She spends a lot more time just like going through books than I do. And she helped me restructure a lot of things, same character, same stories, in different ways.
Dr. Liz Powell: That’s awesome.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah.
Dr. Liz Powell: So the title is For Hire: Operator. What’s the operator piece about?
Kevin Patterson: Well, the way this universe works, super humans are separated in sort of two columns. Superheroes who like life of action are separated to two columns: superheroes and operators. And superheroes are more public servants. They have jobs with local police forces. They get paid. But they also have like social media presence and endorsements and that sort of thing. They are the rock stars.
Dr. Liz Powell: OK.
Kevin Patterson: Whereas operators are people who do more like a legal dirty work, things that are on the margins of the law and they get paid x amount of money but independently like without public record of what dirty deeds they are doing.
Dr. Liz Powell: That’s hot.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah.
Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah. I love that idea.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah. So the main story in this one is an operator who is in a relationship with the country’s most famous superhero and sort of where the complicated bits of that come from.
Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah.
Dr. Liz Powell: And so with this book, Queer, Polyamorous Superheroes, why queer poly superheroes? Why these specific stories?
Kevin Patterson: Well, I’m a superhero head. I love the X-Men the way I love my own family. And when I want to write stuff, I like the idea of doing stuff in the realm of like color books superhero-y sort of things. But there’s a limit. And a lot of times that limit might be like financial like if you do something, if you have like a queer character then you can’t sell in certain markets or if you have too many people of color or what have you. And just like …
Dr. Liz Powell: Because white folks would not buy things unless they are overrepresented in the population.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah, disproportionally represented.
Dr. Liz Powell: Yes.
Kevin Patterson: And we wanted to do a universe that wasn’t limited by that. And at the same time like polyamory, like I’ve read so many stories where the answer is both. The answer is so heavily both.
Dr. Liz Powell: What? All of this like this one or this one? How about you date both of them because you like them both for genuine reasons?
Kevin Patterson: Yeah. And in fiction, that’s such a limit that every love triangle is ended with some ridiculous thing that happens like, “Oh wait! No, they were siblings the whole time. Oh no! Option number two got killed. It’s just option number one.” And there are so many different …
Dr. Liz Powell: Oh no! Option number two decided to be an asshole all of a sudden.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah. So yeah, inexplicably.
Dr. Liz Powell: For no reason like they were great before and then all of a sudden douchebag.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah. I’m glad Bridget Jones missed that bullet.
Dr. Liz Powell: Oh God! I love that movie. I love happy romantic movies.
Kevin Patterson: I never knew you’ve seen it. I guessed.
Dr. Liz Powell: Oh, that’s fine. You did great. Good job.
Kevin Patterson: Well, we wanted a universe that wasn’t limited that way like if there’s going to be a tricky love triangle. It’s not going to be because these three people have a problem with being with one another. It’s going to be because these three people are compartmentalized in their public and private lives so much that they literally don’t know different aspects of each other lives.
Dr. Liz Powell: Wow!
Kevin Patterson: It’s going to be something more like that. If there’s non-monogamy that makes sense, we’re going to put in there. If there are people of color who exist in the world, they’re going to be put in there. And if somebody likes somebody else, I’m not going to manufacture a reason for them to not be together.
Dr. Liz Powell: That’s awesome. That’s super awesome. And so, what else do you want folks to know about this book? Like it sounds really great. I know the Indiegogo is going right now but probably will have closed by the time this video goes up.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah, yeah. The Indiegogo goes until the end of September. But beyond that, there is @ForHireMag on Twitter. The Facebook page where most of the information is going is Facebook.com/forhiremag. And it’s going to be available mid-October and we’re really excited about getting this out there. Follow myself @PolyRoleModels. Follow Alana Phelan @ThePolyamorousLibrarian and we’re going to be putting out as much information as we can as we go.
Dr. Liz Powell: Yeah. And I’ve been retweeting and sharing everything that you’ll post because I think this is a great, great book. And it really fills a hole. There are not a lot of stories about polyamorous folks. There are not a lot of superhero stories that center on people of color aside from like Black Panther and then the new Marvel is moving towards …
Kevin Patterson: Yeah, they are trying.
Dr. Liz Powell: … more people of color being incorporated but …
Kevin Patterson: Yes.
Dr. Liz Powell: … white people are upset.
Kevin Patterson: That’s how it works.
Dr. Liz Powell: That’s how white people do.
Kevin Patterson: Yeah.
Dr. Liz Powell: So, thank you so much for doing this. I’m so excited.
Kevin Patterson: And thank you for having me on.
Dr. Liz Powell: Absolutely. I’m happy to.
Kevin Patterson: All right.
Dr. Liz Powell: All right. Thanks everyone.
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