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Novelist, poet, filmmaker, director, actor, and drag queen extraordinaire.... Sky Gilbert is one of Canada's most controversial artistic forces. He was the co-founder and Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for 18 years. Gilbert was also a regular columnist for Eye Weekly from 1999-2003, providing most of the material for this interview.

My mentor is Frank O'Hara. Everyone should read his poetry philosophy in the essay Personism. It all has to do with wearing tight pants. And getting up in the morning with coffee brewing and someone lying in bed - then sneaking off to write. My other mentor is William Blake. A poem CAN be a "thing" not a "remembrance of things past."


Mia: So, Sky. What do you think makes people gay? Don't answer that question, I'm just teasing you. I came up with that question as a joke after reading your article "Queer as freak" and found it hilariously funny. I quote:

I was at a book launch the other day and a perfectly nice straight white couple came up to talk to me. (They really are very pleasant people; they would never knowingly torture bunnies or crush defenseless bugs under their heels for pleasure.) …We talked about this and that, but after about five minutes the inevitable ineluctably occurred. "So, Sky," she said, cocking her pretty blond head to one side. "What do you think makes people gay?"

I think I understand your exasperation: If you're gay, all of a sudden you're supposed to be the poster boy for gay rights and the expert on homo sapiens, right? Good God, who knows why anyone is gay or straight or otherwise. But the question remains, why do people care what anyone's sexual orientation is? You see, the problem I have with any comparative studies in differences is that it sets people apart. Or as you say, "Those researching the biological cause of difference may claim to be doing pure science, but the work will be used for one purpose only: to correct those differences. In other words -- in support of fascism." (Giving Science the Finger). Otherwise, why don't we look for similarities?

And in Lavender, this interview with Eddie Izzard:

But you're a straight transvestite, correct?

Right. It's weird, because straight transvestites are more confusing than gay transvestites or bi transvestites in my book. If I was bisexual, it would just make so much bloody sense…. It's not like you're half-bloke, half-girl. It's like you're complete bloke plus extra girl added, which is really odd. I just tell people what's happening, and I can't quite work it out.

I'm confused by Eddie's answer with his "complete bloke plus extra girl" thrown in. What is that supposed to mean? If he can't work it out, how he does expect other people to? So here is what I want to know: You're a playwright who happens to be gay who happens to wear dresses on occasion and who directs, writes, acts, makes movies so what part of that package constitutes being a freak? It sounds like either a long history of ADD, or a huge dosage of talent. I'll opt for the latter. But in your own words, Sky, who are you, exactly? Why in the world would you renounce yourself as a freak, or queer for that matter?

Sky: Of course I would define myself differently for political purposes than for personal ones. That is, I have a fictive self that I have put out there ­ queer, sexual drag queen, radical, etc. By fictive, I don't mean fictional ­ that it is untrue ­ but let's just say that it is not completely accurate. .I believe in all those things ­ in being queer, sexual, doing drag, being lefty politically, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's who I am. Of course I think we should claim words like queer and freak for ourselves. Because I am, in reality, a large effeminate gay man, I am treated like a freak and outsider and queer in daily life, so rather than accept these terms as abuse, I own them as positive things (the way many blacks own the word ‘nigger').

Who am I? I'm as I said, a large, effeminate gay man, fifty years old (soon to be fifty-one) who lives with a 34 year old video artist effeminate gay male whom he adores. I have just moved to a small town and bought a house with my lover but we have an openly open relationship and make frequent trips to the big city (Toronto) for wild sex. I also am an assistant professor of theatre studies at Guelph University. I love writing, and that is the only place where I am truly happy, relaxed and content.

Eddie Izzard sounds fine. But it's a lot easier to say "I'm not into categories" or what's the point of them, when you are straight and white, because you don't wear your otherness on your sleeve. And it's one thing to be a straight transvestite performer, quite another to be a straight transvestite truck driver. In other words he's been able to turn a quirk/fetish/lifestyle into something more acceptable ­ performance.

Mia: I read a review of your book, Ejaculations from the Charm Factory. The review by Allan Epburn was in the University of Toronto Quarterly. It was a very bad review. I don't believe a "thumbs down" review is bad, per se, when a reviewer/critic can supply credible reasons to support a negative review. The problem I had with Epburn's review is that he seems to attack the author, you, for your beliefs rather than the book itself:

On the other hand, this memoir reads more fruitfully as the elaboration of a persecution complex fuelled by an overweening ego, in much the same way that Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness provided Sigmund Freud with the material for an investigation into homosexual paranoia. Gilbert frequently justifies his position with naïvety.

For me it would be this kind of "naiveté" that would compel me to think that Ejaculations is not based upon an "overweening ego." First, let me clarify I have not read the book but that doesn't prevent me from questioning Epburn's view. I could see no evidence of this overweening ego in any of the ninety-eight articles written by you, in your poetry, or in other book/play reviews I read. What I am lead to believe is that Epburn brought in some of his own personal prejudices and that, in my opinion, taints a book review. My question to you, Sky, do you think Epburn reviewed your book objectively?

Sky: Sorry, I hadn't read it until you pointed it out to me. I knew of it, but something told me I might not like it. Anyway, I have now read it and I think your analysis is pretty correct. I would suspect (to play Allan's game of character assassination) that Allan is a very uptight churchgoing fag. He is definitely a more conservative fag than I am, and takes issue with my notion that to be queer or gay is to be radical. Of course I don't believe that all gay men are radical, lots of them are extremely boring. But I think their sexuality is inherently radical and often forces them to be at least a little interesting, if they allow it to. There is a lot of opposition to me in the gay community. I am not well liked (I am well fucked, but not well liked, by my peers). I am the scapegoat, or perhaps I should say the lightning rod for self-hatred. Sky is sexual, effeminate ­ not me I'm a good church going hard working fag that mummy and daddy would love. Please don't let me be like Sky oh please... Oh they just all hate me for being such a big success and having so much fun. I’m sorry but that’s the way fags, and most people are, it’s very depressing sometimes.

And you're quite right there is a problem with character assassination as a basis for literary criticism, and the U of T Quarterly should know better than to publish such rot. Some of the most profound people in the world had (or have) big egos, there is no direct relationship between the size of the ego and the smallness of the profundity. I used to take classes with two great Canadian writers ­ Irving Layton and Robertson Davies in my student days. Both were quite profound but had huge, very irritating egos. To compare me with Freud's analysis of Shreber is kinda funny. From what I know of that analysis, Shreber was the basis for a very homophobic analysis on Freud's part. Anyway, only an uptight old churchgoing fag would say I'm paranoid, as if homophobia was over and Matthew Shepard was never murdered....

Mia: Which brings me to my next point. You've often been accused of being controversial, negative, bitter when you've taken a stand on unpopular views. Controversy in my mind connotes aggression, confrontation, when in actuality all it means is that someone disagrees with your views. And there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone provided those disagreements aren't based upon closed-mindednes. But isn't accusing someone of being controversial a form of name calling, a subversive tactic?

Sky: I don't know. I've often embraced the term, in the same way I've embraced queer. I think you're right to some degree. I think it's a euphemism, so that I can be discussed in polite company. In other words, no judgment is implied, but I think it is often inferred. I am not a nasty or bitter person. I do have a lot of anger inside. It only comes out when I have problems with the bank or Bell Canada, though. The rest of the time I’m quite amiable, though I look at bit scary which is not my fault (I’m big and my mouth turns down). Years ago I used to have tantrums now and then but that was when I was running Buddies and I was very unhappy in my job, and on the road to being bitter. That’s why I quit and started teaching. I really like my day job now.

Mia: What did you think of Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore? I ask for several reasons. Moore brought up a very interesting point, "the culture of fear." He proposes that there is much more violence in the US than any other country because of our fear cultivated by the media and the numerous commercials which prey upon people's fears—simply put, exploitation. A prime example of this would be the Y2K "scare." People have fears all the time, real and unrealized; and if you don't have those fears, then the media will manufacture ones for you. But I don't believe it's fear that makes people go out on a killing spree. I think it's just pure hate.

In several of your articles, especially, "Give us facts, not fear" you mention the "politics of fear." I got this much out it: fear is a catalyst for selling everything, in the name of greed and business while AIDS victims, homosexuals, blacks and other minorities become the target of consumerism at the expense of their lives, literally. And let's face it, Pharmaceutical companies have much to gain by illness as the funeral parlor. Key difference is that pharmaceutical companies are scarier than mortuaries—once you reach the funeral home, you're dead and it's over. But, pharmaceutical companies, health department, the medical industry is purgatory. You live through a lot of lies, suffer a great deal in the hopes of getting well. And by your articles, we don't know exactly what the nature of that illness is. But I digress.

Sky: Digression is good. It's usually what's most interesting in what people say. I loved the movie. My partner and I saw it together, and were irritated at first ­ a lot of anti-gun jokes ­ and anti-gun jokes are a good thing in theory but rather thin and tedious after awhile. But when he got to the part about the mother of the boy who shot another boy, and the appalling working conditions she had to endure (she could never see her children) it all came together, and his argument made sense. I also agree with him about the politics of fear. I think most hatred (except in the case of psychotics ­ you can't explain their hatred) comes from fear ­ of being ridiculed, of being lesser, of being other. And so you lash out and find a scapegoat.

But since you did mention the pharmaceutical companies, I will say that most of my AIDS diatribes are really about them. Most of the radical people who challenge the HIV hypothesis are challenging modern medicine in general. The toxic often lethal ‘cures' that have been touted by the pharmaceutical companies for AIDS are nothing less than money making ventures based on fear mongering. AIDS, like any other disease, is related as much to genetics and overall health as it is to this supposedly lethal virus (If it's so lethal, then why do so many people who have it remain alive for so long, and some never seem to die?).

I believe in practicing safe sex, because it makes sense to me that promiscuous anal intercourse can give you lots of germs. On the other hand, your chances of living or dying of anything probably have more to do with how old your grandmother was when she died, than anything else, and that's the depressing truth.

Mia: In your article, "AIDS Dissidents must be heard," you say you don't believe HIV is the cause of AIDS. I don't quite understand why you don't believe HIV is the cause of AIDS just because a few people you know have been living with HIV for so many years. I do want to note that I'm not that knowledgeable about AIDS, the disease/syndrome; in fact, I'm ashamed to say that I'm quite ignorant about AIDS and its treatment. However my ignorance hasn't stopped me from wondering about the nature of the disease. I also have my suspicions about how effective the treatments may be. So if you don't mind, can you clarify, or give us a synopsis of why you don't believe HIV is the cause of AIDS?

Sky: I realize I started answering this in the previous question. But it's important to realize that statistics are often skewed and can rarely be trusted, especially when they refer to ‘minorities'. It's completely wrong to suggest that I know a ‘few' people who have been living with HIV for so many years. I simply have to look at the whole gay community and ask ­ if HIV is so lethal and sexually transmitted and that's the whole story ­ why is it that so many sluts are still living and so many nice, homegrown churchgoing stay at home fags are dead? Because there are other factors.

I have the same beliefs as those who are radical about Cancer. I don't believe it's just about tumors. It's about lifestyle and genetics, and how you take care of yourself and what drugs, pharmaceutical or not, that you take and your attitude, and happiness and stress. The medical establishment would have us take a pill. I believe our health is more complicated and individual than that, and that homosexuals are branded as being susceptible to AIDS in the same way that women were branded as hysterics in the 19th century and for the same reason ­ it's a way of pathologizing our fears about a dangerous group.

Mia: By the same token, you also don't believe that people die of AIDS because AIDS is a syndrome, not a disease. But a syndrome can be defined as a collective group of symptoms that indicate or characterize a disease. Of course, by that definition it doesn't mean that AIDS IS a disease. It seems to me the government needs to define what AIDS truly is and treat it accordingly, but I suppose that's asking for too much. I remember reading the book, "And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts over a decade ago. In trying to find out how AIDS, then called an epidemic, spread in the North Americas, all the fingers finally rested on one gay airline attendant responsible for spreading the disease. I was appalled that they could come to that conclusion. One person responsible for a whole epidemic!? Do you have any thing further to say on AIDS, or even the book by Shilts?

Sky: Shilts is nuts, and a self hating gay hysteric. It's very interesting though that some poor flight attendant got blamed for it. Interesting that people are so scared and jealous of the lifestyle of the gay flight attendant (what a dream ­ a life that is one big vacation ­ lots of fucking in different cities) that they must demonize him for it. Whether HIV is the sole cause of AIDS or not (I suspect it isn't) the attached moral disgrace should give us some idea that a lot of fags and straight people are working out their feelings about sex with this disease, and it all has little to do, ultimately, with science or medicine.

Mia: You're passionate about your political views: some of them which include, overzealous government interference, homophobia, hypocrisy, conservative middle class gays, art, books and writing. But before we go onto your writing, I have a couple more questions for you. One of your main complaints about middle class gays: "Why are so many gay men politically lazy? Because, unlike effeminate fags and transgenders, straight-acting gay men can often "pass" -- and reap all the benefits of appearing to be butch white males. So, hey -- why protest anything?"

Do you ever wonder if your passion is sometimes a little misplaced; a little bit of the conspiracy theory, hysteria, or paranoia?

Sky: Quite simply no. If I was a more political type, or into victim politics, I would harangue you at this point. But let me say calmly that you don’t know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. And you probably don’t know what these horrible fags are like. We live in a culture where it’s not okay to call homosexuals faggots (unless you are one) a very politically correct culture, where mainstream newspapers would never talk about a homosexual problem, and yet where homophobia still exists, and affects all our queer lives. There is something extra pernicious about homophobia these days -- because everyone claims it’s over, or things are much better, it can operate much more effectively and quietly. These fags who deny there is a problem are not only in denial, they are hoping that if they wish homophobia away it will be gone. They also imagine that they will be accepted by straights if they don’t challenge homophobia, and if they say that homophobia is gone. I see it up front because the content of my work is gay.

Now I’m pleased that you are doing this interview, and I don’t mean to criticize you or your motives, so let me speak generally -- in many interviews I am asked more about my homosexuality than about my work. The fact that I am out and gay and it forms the content of my work is still a huge issue. This means, ipso facto, that I am not imagining anything, and that there is, in fact, a lot of hatred out there. I’m not saying you’re homophobic, but I’m saying that you and I live in a homophobic culture where the fact that I’m an out gay man is an issue, and needs to be discussed when in fact in an ideal world, it ultimately shouldn’t be.

Mia: Let me offer an example. In your article "The Law comes to hogtown" you likened Julian Fantino, Toronto's Chief of Police, to a nazi when he in error arrested 55 homosexual men for pederasty. It turned out that all the men were of legal age, and yet Fantino never apologized to the public for his blunder. You paraphrased a quote by Martin Niemöller about the Holocaust: "First they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. Then they came for the Catholics, and I said nothing. Then they came for the blacks, and I said nothing. And then they came for me…" I just wonder if homophobia is as big of a threat as it's widely misunderstood. People who misunderstand something like homosexuality aren't always out to subvert, or conform others.

Sky: Hmm, I think I answered this above. Let’s put it this way, I confront homophobia every day, people are clearly afraid of my sexuality and don’t want to hear about it (in general, not just the details) they are clearly disgusted. I will say that this is sometimes related to sex negative attitudes more than homophobia, but homophobia is just a subset of sex negativity. Sure, our culture is subsumed by sex, but it’s all about bad girls and bad boys and sin, and excess and decadence. Sex is not just a good thing, a real thing a part of life, it has to be apologised for, or it is controversial. People are afraid of sex, and for many people homosexuality is all about sex (which is true, in a way, why have we made such a big deal out of sexuality if it wasn’t important to us?)

Mia: In your article, "How to be an ex-theatre person," you wrote, "The kind of plays I'm interested in are well-conceived -- with fascinating plots, ideas, characters, images and dialogue. They are sometimes even entertaining. But they are not slaves to the audience and they don't serve up a laugh every five minutes along with a titillating but safe storyline." Amen to that! But can you give me an example, title of a movie, that fits the kind of plays that you consider are well conceived?

Sky: I liked Memento. It didn’t respond immediately to expectations. It surprised us. I like most all Ken Loach movies (Scottish director, about working class people, especially one movie --Ladybird -- brutally real and scary.) I’m a big fan of Joe Orton. Lots of laughs but very dangerous undercurrents. I like art that doesn’t simply congratulate the audience on their lives, but challenges some of their assumptions. I really loved Robert David MacDonald’s play Camille (Scottish hit in the eighties). Plays exist in time, and tend not to weather different eras, except for say, Shakespeare. I like Shakespeare. And The Homecoming, by Pinter, very anti-patriarchal. And Fefu and Her Friends, by Maria Irene Fornes -- radical in form and content, with a feminist message, really my ideal play.

Mia: You were a student of Irving Layton's poetry class. You admired Layton because he was "politically incorrect, full of fire and music." Was there any thing else about Layton, his writing, teaching that you admired other than the fact that he introduced you to Edward Field's poem on graffiti?

My own view of graffiti is that it's an intent to blatantly deface property, and spit on the rights of others who own something no matter how ugly it may be. For example, I'd be just as hopping mad if someone sprayed graffiti on a trash can as if they sprayed my house. I'm all for graffiti in the name of art, but why can't they spray their own backyard? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that graffitists and rapsters aren't particularly interested in promoting homosexuality. Am I completely unfounded?

Sky: But that’s the point. It’s about agreeing with the right to speak, even if the content is upsetting. Graffitists and rapsters have lots to say, and some of it is offensive and stupid, but all of it is usually from the gut. It’s a yell or a scream and I’m into the impulse not necessarily the product. My attitude to graffitti is a romanticisation of the impulse to rebel, to yell. One doesn’t expect yells to be politically correct or even pleasant, but people need to yell. I get upset when homeless people piss in my yard or yell outside my door. But then I’m awfully lucky to have a yard and a door.

What about Layton? He was simply very passionate and unapologetic. It was lovely. He’d sit down with us and we’d look at poems and he’d tell us why he thought they were good, or bad. But he obviously cared about creativity and creation and loved poetry.

Mia: In your article, "I was a teenage objectivist", I wanted to interject something of Ayn Rand's political views. Odd that you should bring up Rand because I did entertain for a brief second that her books might have influenced the incident at Columbine. The idea that man "must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life."

Spoken like a true hedonist. Life is expendable, objectified when one human kills another in the name of "righteousness." But of course, I don't know the motives behind the killers so this is a hypothesis. Personally, I didn't care for Rand's economic or fictional writing. Yes, she does in some ways promote a sociopathlogy of sorts with her objectivism: "Rand's vision of a perfect egoist, a lone creative artist, intellectual." But her ideals were too overly simplified. Man is not a rational creature by any means. Just the fact that her books have sold over 400,000 can account for the irrational behavior of cultism or fanaticism. And Fanaticism has never been a safe thing. If you don't "belong" then create your own world and coerce everyone into it and isn't this a form of conformity?

Sky: I was into Rand a long time ago, now my interest is scholarly and sociological, I’m interested in why her work (and the Bible -- it equals Rand in sales!) are so popular. Both fundamentalist tracts that allow people to believe that they have heard ‘the truth.’ Rand is a guru, a God to some, and people need that, although I think it comes from an irrational, unhealthy impulse. As for Columbine, I think that you’re correct in thinking the things that lead kids to idolize Rand would lead people to shoot others. These were unhappy kids, made fun of, in a gun culture, alone in a mass culture that ignores real human needs. They wanted an identity, something to make them special. They wanted an escape. All this is offered by Rand and by shooting somebody. Literature (even bad literature like Rand’s) is dangerous, like a gun, and that’s what makes it interesting.

Mia: Would you care to discuss a film that "actually reflects the details of our queer existence." I myself haven't watched that many gay films, I don't think. But you're right. Most of the movies made by "straight" production companies tend to be very bad and very few of them reflect men loving men, comfortably and naturally as breathing. For one, they cast all the wrong actors—the straight ones: Tom Hanks for the role of an AIDS victim in Philadelphia, Matt Damon in the Talented Mr. Ripley, Brad Pitts and Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire (except for Antonio Banderas), Brendan Frasier in Monsters and Gods. They were awful, ruined the movie for me almost every time. The list could go on and on, but why don't they use gay actors for gay roles?

Sky: A lot of gay actors are not very talented. A lot of gay actors are effeminate. Too effeminate, too real. Producers don’t want reality, that’s too scary, they want a man acting gay, putting it in parentheses rather than being it. People don’t like to know that men are really effeminate and girly, and not just playing that way, that they ARE that way. It threatens their ideas of who they are. I loved QUEER AS FOLK -- but only THE ORIGINAL British version. The American version is a shit soap opera. The British version is so real, not ‘issue’ oriented, just about people. It accepts promiscuity as ordinary, and it’s about the real human problems -- the details of homosexuality are there --but they are taken for granted, not judged or turned into an issue.

Mia: You’re turning 51 in December. Happy Birthday, Sky. Any plans on how you’ll celebrate your birthday? I was very touched by your article, “Age before beauty”:

Since I'm going to talk about being an old fag, I'd better clear up some misconceptions. The first is that gays are obsessed with youth in a way that straights aren't. Give me a break. If you are old, sick or what is considered "ugly," you will not see yourself represented in the mainstream culture. Everyone -- gay or straight -- wishes they were young, beautiful and healthy. And the horrible truth we can't admit is that very few of us are.

And not all older gay men are interested in having sex with younger ones. In fact, there's a whole gay sexual scene that encourages sex between older, bigger, hairier men. The Bears, as they call themselves, actually make the young, skinny, hairless guys feel inadequate. Unlike straight sexuality, which, in film and television at least, romanticizes relationships between middle-aged yuppie men and younger women -- and rarely anything else. But there's one thing straights don't have to deal with when they confront aging: homophobia.

Mia: It’s true, straights don’t have to deal with homophobia. Just a mass of other phobias. But gays on the other hand have not much to look forward to because as you say “there are so few positive, sexual images of gay aging.” I’d like to see that change: encourage more positive images of gays living a full life that they’re entitled to as anyone else.

I could be castigated for being misinformed, but I think there are more positive images for aging lesbians than there are for gay men and I’m saddened by that for several reasons: What does it tell us about our acceptance of the gay culture as a whole? Lesbians are more acceptable because, well, they’re women and they’re not really “gay”; they just haven’t found the right man? Are gay men being discriminated against more, well, because they’re men and men aren’t capable of loving other men? I don’t know what to tell you, but it seems to me something isn’t right about any of this.

Sky: You’re right about lesbians. But they are generally less body fascist than gay men. There is much more acceptance of fat women or aging women in the lesbian community, because to some extent being a lesbian is about escaping the male, patriarchal gaze. Also, there is nothing really threatening about older sexual women. There is Mrs. Robinson, I suppose, but when they get really old, sexual women are laughed at (which is cruel and inappropriate) whereas dirty old men are not only laughed at, they are considered dangerous (sure sometimes t hey are). This is because our misogynist culture tends to value women as sex objects, and so when that cliched attractiveness is gone, they become almost not human. Men, viewed in our culture as hunters, predators, sexual aggressors, are admired by the patriarchy when young. As they get older this hunting becomes inappropriate and dangerous and sad. Except it’s not. It’s just a reality.

Patriarchal culture sees value in having children, sees it as in fact profound, and sees old age in terms of passing on insights and love to a younger generation, the children. Men and women who have no children are sad -- according to this view -- what will they do in their old age? Then t here’s the lonely homosexual, the idea that if you have lived a life of promiscuity you end up lonely. Well there’s nothing very lonely about promiscuity if you have your head screwed on right, if you know how to love others and yourself. But our culture is afraid of promiscuity so it has to make out that it’s a lonely desperate dead end that leads to wasted lives.

I am a happy hunky horny fifty one year old, and to paraphrase Noel Coward, I intend on continuing to have sex with lots of people until they stop wanting to have sex with me, at which point I’ll be perfectly happy to settle down with an apple and a good book!

Mia: You’ve written numerous books, poetry, plays, articles; directed several successful plays, what’s next for you, Sky?

Sky: Two books this fall-- Temptations For A Juvenile Delinquent (poetry) and An English Gentleman (fictional biography of J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan -- a novel) I am working on my PHD Thesis - Noel Coward and the Queer Feminine -- which I hope will by published next year, as well as my next novel which is titled (coincidentally enough) Kiki/Tryst.

Mia: Sky, thank you for such an engaging, provocative interview. I appreciate your candor, your honesty and good luck with the books.

For more information on how to order Sky Gilbert's books, visit Sky's website: