7 Minutes in Book Heaven with McKenzie Wark and Raving


Meet McKenzie Wark and her new book Raving. It’s 7 Minutes in Book Heaven! Where we meet queer authors and talk with them about the new books they have coming out for us to love and cuddle up with.

What’s Raving about? McKenzie takes us into the undisclosed locations of New York’s thriving underground queer and trans rave scene. Techno, first and always a Black music, invites fresh sonic and temporal possibilities for this era of diminishing futures. Raving to techno is an art and a technique at which queer and trans bodies might be particularly adept but which is for anyone who lets the beat seduce them. Extending the rave’s sensations, situations, fog, lasers, drugs, and pounding sound systems onto the page, Wark invokes a trans practice of raving as a timely aesthetic for dancing in the ruins of this collapsing capital.

Buy Raving

Visit our Bookshop page at thisqueerbook.com/bookshop or at https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9781478019381

Connect with McKenzie

Twitter: @mckenziewark
Instagram: @mckenziewark3000

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Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Awen Briem, Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.


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J.P. Der Boghossian: Why, hello, everybody! My name is J.P. Der Boghossian, and for our new listeners to this podcast, we have a new episode of This Queer Book Saved My Life! That drops next week. But today, This Queer Book presents to you Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, where I interview Queer authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. With me today is McKenzie Wark. Hello!

McKenzie Wark: Hi, how are you, J. P.?

J.P: I am very well. It’s so good to have you here.

McKenzie: Thank you for having me.

J.P.: Absolutely so per the rules of the game, McKenzie and I are going to spend about seven minutes in our virtual studio talking about her new book Raving, while also getting to know more about the amazing professor and writer who is McKenzie Wark. So, McKenzie, are you ready?

McKenzie: I’m ready.

J.P.: Okay! I will set the timer and here we are. question number one. Would you please describe Raving as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who that celebrity crush is? Of course.

McKenzie: My celebrity crush is Hari Nef, the actress, writer, and all round fabulous Trans woman.

J.P.: Ooh!

McKenzie: I think I have seen Hari on the dance floor, but one never tells. What I would say to Hari is Raving is a book about the experience of losing yourself in the dance, and specifically in the Queer, Trans rave scene that is flourishing in New York City right now. It’s about the ways that we can get free collectively, and also the tensions and frictions that are associated with that and that get in the way of that.

J.P.: I love that. I can’t wait to read this book. Okay, question number two, What is a sentence from a novel, an essay, a poem or other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

McKenzie: This one that I actually quote in the book is from Stephano Harney and Fred Moten’s, The Underground Commons, It goes like this, ‘Having looked for politics in order to avoid it, we move next to each other so that we can be beside ourselves because we like the nightlife, which ain’t no good life.’

J.P. Der Boghossian: I like that. That’s great and it’s quoted in the book

McKenzie Wark: Yes.

J.P.: Perfect perfect. Okay, question number three, what do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

McKenzie: This is such an evil question. I’m just going with the sentence that starts this book Raving, because the best sentence is the one that gets you going as a writer, so “I’ll just give
you that first thing I look for at raves: who needs it, and among those who need it who can handle their habit?

J.P.: Oh, yes, that is a great sentence to kick it off. Oh, I really can’t wait to read this book. Okay
question number four, What’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

McKenzie: This one is hard because I’m reading a lot of Trans literature and it’s mostly kind of tragic and awful with like bad hookups and things going wrong,

J.P.: Oh, no.

McKenzie: I’m going to mention Lawrence John Joseph’s book At Certain Points We Touch, which is about a relationship with a person who is not necessarily a good person, but I like the tenderness of it. I want to shout out that one.

J.P.: Perfect, thank you. What’s it about? Like what happens in the scene?

McKenzie: It’s a book about someone who seemingly fell out a window, and it’s an account of their life by the person who attempted to love them and figured out that they couldn’t, So the scene I’m thinking of is sort of like a struggle around, like Gay, and Trans femininity between these two characters. They sort of lack ease and comfort in either of those sort of positions with each other. It’s sort of like not good romance. but it’s good writing about you. Like the difficulty of Queer and Trans romance.

J.P.: Thank you for sharing that. Okay question number five, What are your favorite scents or smells to write about?

McKenzie: Given that I just wrote a book about raving, called Raving, I’m going to go with sweat and poppers

J.P.: That makes sense. What specifically? Actually, If I can ask a follow up, What specifically about those scents or smells do you find evocative?

McKenzie: That’s just the scent that sort of triggers feeling of being in the moment you know? Being in the state of raving itself is like, that’s what it smells like when you’re in,

J.P.: That’s what I remember. Okay. question number six, What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

McKenzie: It Is to do an outline first. I know that works for some people, but for me it just absolutely doesn’t. I just have at it, you know?Writing is just manual labor If you just bang away on the keyboard. The real art is editing.

J.P.: I like that. So no outline. You just jump right in.

McKenzie: Just bang away and like a musician, you practice your instrument. Just bang away on the keyboard. But the real art is being able to edit that later. My method doesn’t work for everybody, but for some people, I think that’s enabling.

J.P.: Any editing advice for folks?

McKenzie: Be ruthless with yourself on behalf of the reader.

J.P.: I want to take that quote and put it up on the website.

McKenzie: You should! Feel the sting of the lash.

J.P.: I like the framing of that for the reader because there’s always that kill your darlings, and I’ve always felt like, Oh no! But to put it in the frame of you’re doing it for the lens of the reader.
I like that. Okay. question number seven, Promote yourself. How do we order your book? How do we follow you on social?

McKenzie: I am McKenzie Wark on Twitter. McKenzie Wark three thousand on Instagram. You can also find me on Discord If you want to poke around in there. You can pre order Raving signed copies from Spoonbill and Sugar Town books. You can find them on the Internet, and you get a signed one from me and it’s available also directly from the Duke University Press on their website, I’ll be appearing on both the West Coast and East Coast promoting the book in April.

J.P.: And those dates will be on your social media?

McKenzie: Yep, it’s all on Twitter. I’m a relentless promoter of other people as well, but also of myself on social.

J.P.: That is something that I am learning how to be better at the self promotion of things. Okay, well, that’s all the time that we have. Thank you so much, McKenzie.

McKenzie: Thank you, J. P. It’s been a pleasure,

J.P.: Likewise. This has been another episode of Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, which is presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life. Our podcast is executive produced by Jim Pounds. Our associate producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kafer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Seann Smith. You can become an associate producer and we welcome you to join us. All the details are at Patreon dot com slash this queer book. Transcripts of all of our episodes are available on this queer book dot com. You can buy the books featured on our various podcasts on our bookshop page at his queer book dot com, slash bookshop, We are on Facebook, plus, we’re at this queerbook on Instagram and Twitter, and soon to be on Spoutable. My name is J.P. Der Boghossian, and stay tuned to this space every Tuesday for new episodes of Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, and This Queer Book Saved My Life. Until then, see you Queers and allies in the bookstores!

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