Consuela was once based—very, very loosely, I might add—on a novel of Dickens called The Pickwick Papers. Surprisingly few incidents from this book actually made it into Consuela, and after turning a lot of the characters into girls and getting it out of a historical setting altogether and into dystopian, any resemblance to Pickwick became threadbare.
Except for two things.
There doesn’t seem any reason for the book to still be here, yet it is (not unlike Pickwick, which expired about a century ago); and there remains a theatrical flair to the characters. Consuela got some reviews and attention when it was published, but then it quickly lost relevance. However, it sprang back for reasons that still have me scratching my head. Probably trying to tickle my brain into letting me in on the reasons! And the characters do have some of that larger-than-life, honestly bizarre quality that is part of Dicken’s work. People say “Dickensian” for a reason. He could be just blisteringly fake. Really blistering, at times.
Within that fakeness, that tall unrealism that permeates the funny, but almost unrecognizable eccentrics of his world, there is a grain of truth. That can be how we see the people around us. In a very detailed, but honestly unrealistic way. It’s too acid. Our friends and coworkers aren’t really like that because no one is like that. But people do that if there’s something they just don’t want to see about others and so in a way, these fake characters are true to human perceptions. That influence lingers on Consuela’s cast and in working on this story I learned a lot, from the inside out, of what makes characters like that so interesting.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.