Without giving away too much, what is your favorite part of the novel and why?
The prologue of Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is one of my favorite parts, which is why I choose it the most for public readings.
The core theme of the book is how a boy learns to define himself as a man. Chapter after chapter, I consciously challenge, exaggerate, skewer, and deconstruct male stereotypes. Not so coincidentally, I was pretty much raised in this exact type of atmosphere: I was a cradle Catholic who wrestled with the Church's misogyny and moral inflexibility, plus I was raised by parents who wrestled with these very same things. The prologue is based on my true story: My Dad got a vasectomy after the third Sweany child was born, but then about 10 years later pretty much guilted himself into un-vasectomized. Given the nature of my story, I felt like a father and son arguing about reversing a vasectomy was a perfect way to foreshadow everything to come in the novel. I set the table for the major players, while having a father expound on the literal loss and reclamation of his manhood.
Since 2000, Brian Sweany has been the Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world's largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug. Brian has a BS in English from Easter Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. He's a retired semi-professional student, with stopovers at Wabash College - the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute, Marian University - the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that, if you don't count Brian's expulsion, has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free, and Indiana University via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending.
Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and now lives near Indianapolis with his wife, three children, and a neurotic Husky/Border mix named Hank. He's currently working on his next project, Making Out with a Blowfish, which is the sequel to Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer and the second book in a planned trilogy. For future details, check out the authors website at www.briansweany.com
Click here to read my review of Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer.