Reven Archer Black

Where did the idea to write this come from and how did it come about? "Law & Order SVU" is incredibly specific, though the story within is *way* beyond SVU. I'm curious to know about its journey. What sparked/drove it?

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Carmen Hi! Wow, the answer to this question is so long, but here's the short-ish version.

1. I once watched several seasons on L&O:SVU while in the grip of a very serious (as in, probably-should-have-been-hospitalized serious) fever. I'm sure that's the impetus, even though it was years before I wrote the story.

2. I have always been fascinated/captivated by L&O:SVU, and by its many problems. I feel like the people who make it have a sense about the show, about how they're doing some kind of good, despite the fact that it relishes in sexual violence (and makes rape jokes, and so on).

3. I'm generally very interested in narratives about gender and sexual violence.

4. When I started writing this story, I initially had the idea to locate the actual episode summaries (from IMDB or TV Guide or something) and began just warping them very, very slowly. But after playing around with a few episodes that way (I think the first six "episodes" or so in my story still actually resemble actual SVU plots), I realized that the titles were juicy enough on their own, and I decided to just write down all of the actual episode titles and build an entirely new narrative around it, using Benson & Stabler as anchors but changing everything else. There was something really incantatory about their names that I just loved. I'm really pleased with the result - this is one of my best stories, I think.

5. I should also add that it was really hard to find a publisher for "Especially Heinous." It was either too long, or too weird for most places (a classmate of mine referred to it, derisively, as "fan fiction"). I'd almost given up before Ben Marcus at The American Reader picked it up, for which I am eternally grateful.

Thanks for the question! So glad you enjoyed it.
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