Austin author Paige Schilt workshopped the first three chapters of her new memoir, Queer Rock Love, in Donna Johnson’s memoir class at The Writing Barn. She managed to finish up a chapter over a weekend spent working at the Barn as well. (Donna Johnson will be teaching again with us at the beginning of 2016, so all you memoirists keep an eye out for those dates.) Austin author and Writing Barn regular, Aimee Thomas, attended Paige’s book launch. She writes up the experience for us here:
Celebrating Queer Rock Love: A Family Memoir
Written by Aimee Thomas
Eight months ago, Paige Schilt held a feedback session in her wife Katy’s office. She baked a quiche and made a salad, served coffee and awaited the response of 10 early readers. Her seven-years-and-counting project had grown from blog posts and musings into a manuscript.
A damn good one.
Fresh from Transgress Press, Queer Rock Love debuted in Austin at BookWoman on September 13. And while this gathering numbered 10 times as many people as that initial feedback session, it was characterized by the same warmth, welcome and love found on that January afternoon and in every page of this deeply funny and affecting memoir.
Paige captivated, reading excerpts brave, beautiful, hilarious and heartbreaking. Katy beamed from the front row. Their son Waylon, having gamely agreed to a reading describing him at his most vulnerable, confounded by his first bout of diarrhea and considering Jesus’ most likely response to a similar situation, ended the evening signing autographs alongside his mom.
Among the crowd were friends old and new, family – by birth and by choice – regulars of BookWoman and first timers. The mood—ebullient. And the evening capped off in the most fitting way, back at home with food, friends and lots and lots of love.
About Queer Rock Love
What happens when an introverted feminist academic tosses off her big black nerd glasses and succumbs to a brutal crush on a hard-
rockin’ Texas boygirl? Queer Rock Love is a deeply funny book that shatters the notion that queer life belongs in cities, that family is always heteronormative, that gender can ever be neatly settled, and that a good romance ends on your wedding day. Available at BookWoman, Transgress Press and Amazon.com.
About Paige Schilt
Dr. Paige Schilt is a writer, mother, teacher, activist and band wife. Her stories have appeared on The Bilerico Project, Offbeat Families, and Brain, Child. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator at conferences, including Gender Odyssey, Contemporary Relationships, Creating Change and Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit. Paige is married to Katy Koonce, frontman for the band Butch County. They live in Austin, Texas, with their son.