Talkin’ bout my inspiration…by AJ Mars

Apologies for my derivative and admittedly cheesy title, but when Victoria asked me to talk about inspiration, the words, a cheery misquotation of The Who, immediately floated into my head. Not too surprising, really: it’s been a long, strange, introspective year and, like many of us, I seem to have mentally regressed. Perhaps “retreated” is a better word. At any rate, I’ve been hanging out somewhere in my own 2012 brainscape, at which point in turn I was hanging out in the 1960s. I’ve been churning through my increasingly monotonous work-from-home life to a soundtrack of Genesis, The Who, The Monkees, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles.

Especially The Beatles.

Whenever I feel listless or uninspired, I always come back to them, for an array of reasons I struggle to properly articulate. I have always been obsessed with The Beatles. I love their music, obviously, but it’s more than that. I love their stupid fanclub Christmas records and their daft interviews in which they always resonate to a single frequency, running rings around the interviewer. I love their utter disregard for personal space and the little in-jokes they pull out when everything’s falling apart and they can’t contemplate no longer being the “four-headed monster,” as Mick Jagger described them. I just love how much they love each other, and how complicatedly. I could wallow in it forever.

I’m not alone in this, obviously. Reams upon reams have been written about The Beatles, non-fiction, fiction, and speculation that pretended to be true. I also write as Louise Blaydon; under that name, I wrote a speculative story that was published in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year in 2016. It was called Ascension, and ostensibly it was about a couple of girls growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s who start a band. Really, it was asking a question: what if The Beatles had been women? How would it, and they, have changed the world? And what if they’d been in love like that, instead of in this quasi-romantic, codependent, four-sided way that still broke everyone’s heart?

I have been doing some writing recently. I’ve been writing some non-fiction. I’ve been putting all my formerly-Dreamspinner Press titles up on Amazon Kindle, which has occupied some of my time. But mostly, I’ve been thinking about The Beatles. It’s where my brain goes. I like it there.

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