A Fucking Contrarian

By Zoë Spencer

When I was invited to contribute a story to the original Pankhearst femnoir collection Cars & Girls, the other three stories had already been written. So I decided to do everything differently.

Tee, Evie, and Maddy had all written in the first person, so I went with the third. They had used the present tense, I set my story in the past. They wrote about America and big bad muscle cars. I chose Europe and the Fiat 500. And since their characters were whores, waitresses, and runaways, I made mine an aristocrat. Emily Maltravers, the blue-blooded daughter of a peer of the realm.

What can I say? I’ve always been awkward.

Or as Evie says, a fucking contrarian.

(Takes one to know one, sez I.)

But yes, my oppositional nature made writing in tandem with Maddy a little difficult. First, I had to switch from the third person past tense to first person present. And worse, I had to consider somebody else’s feelings and ideas. Luckily, it’s Maddy we’re talking about. And as the Chinese say, after you’ve gone clubbing in a girl’s favourite shoes and you’ve let her tie you to her bed – strictly in the interests of photography, I add – then … um … something or other deep and profound. Don’t ask me. I don’t speak Chinese. And I wasn’t listening anyway.

But yeah. After many delays, most of which were entirely my fault, Maddy and I are ready to launch our new book, The Vegas Thing, as a web-based serial, starting more or less, a week from today.

In a day or two, Evangeline will be along to give you all the details. And no doubt Maddy will want to tell you her side of the story. But for now, that’s all she we wrote.

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