Jeanne Thornton is the kind of artistic superwoman who not only writes a critically praised novel, she also does all of the book’s illustrations. A former editor at Seven Stories Press, Jeanne currently lives in Austin where she is the co-publisher of the comics journal Rocksalt. She is also co-founder of Fiction Circus, a literary journal and performance group based out of New York City and Austin, Texas.

Jeanne’s debut novel The Dream of Doctor Bantam was released by O/R Books in September. It’s a love story that’s remarkably free of the flowery adornments typically attached to teenage romance. After her sister Tabitha’s death, 17-year-old Julie Thatch finds herself drawn to the intense and obsessive Patrice Marechal. Patrice is a devoted member of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a Scientology-like cult that Julie’s sister had shown interest in before she died. The more Julie falls for Patrice, the more convinced she becomes of her duty to save Patrice from the Institute’s brainwashing powers, while at the same time struggling to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge of loving someone whose most cherished beliefs are completely at odds with her own. I was thrilled to discuss the novel’s treatment of sexual discovery, the state of indie publishing, and the wisdom to be gained from cooking mishaps with the multi-talented Jeanne Thornton.

Read the interview in Bookslut

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