Tales From the Bottom of My Sole (2020) is a sequel to A Boy at the Edge of the World (2018), an episodic novel about a young gay man’s exploration of sex, intimacy and love. I introduce the protagonist Daniel Garneau when he’s eighteen, and we follow his misadventures in dating and relationships over the next seven years.
My writing is inspired in part by my own life experiences moving to Toronto, and my work as an LGBTQ+ counsellor. For many years, I’ve had the privilege of hearing hundreds of stories by young queer and trans men, from all walks of life. Daniel’s story is a distillation of these, their truth and their legacy.
It was important for me not to be circumspect or coy in depicting gay sexuality. But I wanted to offer it the same literary realism that privileges heteronormative sexuality. At the same time, by keeping to a minimalist, documentary language, I hoped to actively engage readers
in creating the story, one enlivened by their own personal, subjective meaning.
In structuring these novels, I observed how people share their lives through Facebook and Instagram. What if I were to translate this form of story-telling into narrative prose? So Daniel’s story is recounted in the first person, and begins with his statement: “I could remember that moment as easily as turning a page in a photo album.”
I’ve called Daniel’s story a “confabulated fictional memoir.” Of course, the autobiographical works of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs were also influences. But what was most important to me was to capture the adventure, levity and wonder of young adulthood. (There is enough gay-themed story-telling that is grim, sardonic or tragic.) I hope you may love Daniel's story as much as I do, and join him on his continuing self-discovery... at the edge of the world. ~DKY