Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

Putting 2015 to Bed

[caption id="attachment_1223" align="alignleft" width="203"]2016[/caption]

In the newspaper world, “putting to bed” means finishing something and moving on to the next level. Today is my final blog post of 2015, so I thought it was appropriate to put the year to bed and look ahead, too.

You probably make a list of resolutions each New Year’s, only to realize the list is largely undone by the time Christmas rolls around again. I know that’s true for me. Sometimes we’re overly optimistic; sometimes we’re delusional. And sometimes life just gets in the way.

This year marked a few serious changes of direction, most of them planned and thought-out. I committed to changes in my marketing: increased public speaking and more deliberate involvement in the AIDS community. The first was a conscious decision (though the topics have changed). The second was more of a recognition of the biggest change: what happens when the Friend Grief series ends.

The fifth book came out this year and the final book in the series – Friend Grief and Men: Defying Stereotypes - is in the works (expect a late March publication date). As you can imagine, marketing five books at once – soon to be six – is a sometimes overwhelming part of my work. Still, I enjoy most of it, especially when it involves being able to engage readers in person. Lucky for me, I’m not one of those shy authors.

I’ve been honored to receive recognition for my books and essays, and even more honored when people tell me that what I’ve written has helped them.

But by far the biggest development has been the decision to write a much more complicated book when the series ends. I promised my friend Delle I’d write a book about people grieving the death of a friend: one book, not six. But it’s too late to change that now. What I didn’t expect is that I’d have something else to say when that was done. That book, of course is Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community.

It took me most of the year to commit to it, after considering the idea since April, 2014. I wasn’t being overly-cautious: it’s a daunting project and I feel a deep responsibility to get it right. That’s why I have no problem asking for help. I’ve received suggestions of women to interview, films to view and archives to access from people I’ve never met. Some are Facebook friends, many are friends of friends. People I’ve never met – and would never have found if not for social media – are excited by the book. From across the US and the UK they’ve offered their help to a stranger, because they want these women to be recognized. And I will do my very best to not let them down.

Plans change, of course, but 2016 is looking like this:
  • Publish the final book in the Friend Grief series, continue promoting the series and release a bundled version in print, e-book and audio.
  • Conduct research and interviews for the new book until November, when I start writing it.
  • Expand public speaking to more conferences, libraries and other venues (including London in November).
So, that’s it (isn’t that enough?). A busy year, to put it mildly: one that requires a lot of focus and flexibility. I hope I’m up to it, because I really feel the responsibility to get it right for my readers and the people in my books.

I hope, too, that you’ll come along for the ride. It might be bumpy, certainly imperfect, but I can guarantee it won’t be boring.


Best wishes for a holiday season full of love

and a new year that’s peaceful, fulfilling and amazing!



(My crowdfunding campaign runs on RocketHub until Jan. 15. In addition to gifts from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, your donations are tax-deductible.)