With the release of her new novella from NeoText today, we are so delighted to be joined by the novelist and writer, Jardine Libaire. She has written many novels including Here Kitty Kitty, White Fur and the yet to be released You’re An Animal; she also writes for TV.
Hi Jardine, it’s so wonderful to have you here with us.
Thanks so much for having us to your awesome site!
Could you tell us about your novella, The GoldTwinz?
Sure. The premise is that 20-year-old twins Marc and Yvette, anarchistic souls who live in the Everglades, finally admit that she’s meant to be an outlaw mega-star and he’s the only one who can get her there. First they have to destroy his childhood abuser and get her out of a sex-cam “lullaby” contract she made to support herself while Marc was in prison. If I had to describe the story’s origins, I’d say it’s inspired by Spring Breakers, Wild at Heart, Moonlight, serialized pulp, a little Harry Crews, a little Delacorta, cheap supermarket tabloids, Flowers in the Attic, a little dirt and grit, a big heart, a smidge of Bonnie & Clyde, old Rihanna videos, sunshine noir. An almost campy, psychedelic story about Yvette’s rise to fame as an artist/singer, with a backbone of “mystery” like old-school Patricia Highsmith. It’s a mash-up for sure.
What has it been like working with Neil Krug on The GoldTwinz?
It was a joy, just a real pleasure. To see as we worked what he was producing while I was writing, each in our own corner. Especially because this was during the pandemic, the project became a bit of a lifeline to me. His work is also just straight-up inspiring, so saturated and moody, and it’s full of mystery and possibility and dream and threat, but it’s never vague. If that makes sense. That accomplishment, in his images, of a razor’s edge and also a riddle, is thrilling to me. He also impacted the narrative and even generated a new character.
How did the collaboration with NeoText come about?
I’d been talking to John Schoenfelder about various TV projects, all genre mashup daydream projects, and we started chatting about this concept: Les Enfants Terribles set in the Everglades, with a crime/road/gothic edge. It migrated into a novella collaboration with Krug.
Could you tell us about the origin of The GoldTwinz?
Part of it has been thinking a lot about the meaning of anarchy, not in the sense of disorder and chaos, but in the sense of people self-organizing and not relying on institutions. I recently moved from the city out into the Mojave Desert, and daily life is so different. Everything that’s happened in our country in the past five years or so has brought it to the surface that many Americans have different ideas about who’s in charge. I thought it would be exciting to test my city self and try to see life from the point of view of kids born and raised in a place where the wilderness is the ruler, to try to write characters who rely on each other and their family and their very close community, and who take things into their own hands whenever they need to, and even when they don’t. I also love the idea of sunshine noir, combining the tropical and Technicolor with a dark underworld.
How did Neil Krug get involved with the novella?
Neil and John had also been talking about projects, and then John put us in touch with each other. Neil and I got to talk about what kind of work we dream about making, what boundaries we want to break in the work, how we see film and photography and text combining and intersecting, and how the experiment of collaboration can yield fantastically out-there results sometimes. Then we both set out to create our own components and we shared pieces of the outcome along the way, weaving the two together.
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
I’ve always been jumpstarted by going out of my lane, by reading something in a category I’ve never even heard of, or by trying to understand a new genre mashup and its roots and purpose, by asking people what they’re currently obsessed with and then checking it out. Most recent expedition: reading Westerns, starting with Shane by Jack Schaefer. It’s so easy to get in a rut! I love being disoriented.
A big thank you to Jardine for chatting with us, we wish her and Neil Krug the best of luck with The GoldTwinz.