|HOME DIRECTORIES EVENT COVERAGE BACK ISSUES PURCHASE PHOTOS SUBSCRIBE ONLINE|
ANNA MARIE COX opens up about her new novel and alter ego, the WONKETTE
This January, Cox will release her first novel, Dog Days (Riverhead) which traces Melanie Thorton’s political aspirations through the horrendously hot days of August as she works on Senator Hillman’s presidential campaign. Melanie, green and somewhat naïve, tries to prove herself in the “war room” as the campaign deals with numerous scandals, and later ends up having a wild affair with journalist, Rick Stossel.
Many local hotspots are mentioned including the Four Seasons and Local 16 in Adams Morgan, which she reveals has bathroom stalls with doors tall enough to have sex behind without others knowing.
Her characters appear to be more fact than fiction. Senator Hillman might as well be named Senator Kerry, and Cox acknowledges that the campaign she described was modeled after Kerry’s presidential effort. There are other special appearances, the Bromptons could pass as Washington lobbyists Jeffrey Weiss and Juleanna Glover Weiss, and the CNN terrorism reporter, an American with an English accent, is undoubtedly her version of Peter Bergen. Even the Bush twins make a cameo in the book at Smith Point, a local Georgetown watering hole they frequent.
Cox doesn’t want this to become a guessing game about who’s who in the book, “Who has reread Primary Colors? You read it once because you are trying to figure out who everybody is and you want to know the dirt. I would like Dog Days to stay on the shelf for more than fifteen minutes.”
Guessing games will no doubt be played, but Cox’s mix of fact/fiction helps to recreate the feverish passion of an election. Her characters communicate through Blackberry messages, known as “the berry,” from bathroom to bedroom, reminding readers how the campaign consumes every minute of the day as workers get swept up in a cause that overruns their lives.
Yes, there is sex. Cox admits it is easy to talk about sex, but much harder to write about it.
She relies on her wit. “During an election year D.C.’s standards of attractiveness—already graded on a generous curve—tracked more on availability than physical beauty. ‘It’s like the Special Olympics of sex,’ Melanie thought, everyone’s a winner.”
Dog Days, will no doubt satiate Wonkette fans, as it is everything you might expect from its author, and then some. It might surprise other readers to discover that there is much more to Cox than the Wonkette, who is depicted on the site as a geeky librarian with a cat. “That’s not me,” she proudly declares, “[but] it’s my pussy,” meaning her cat. Really.
Cox’s Rules to Live By
1. No candy until after the movie previews are over; popcorn is OK.
2. Don’t start a CD until on the highway; radio is OK.
3. No alcoholic drinks until you clean the coffee maker, so it’s ready for the morning after
4. No drinking cold beverages out of hot receptacles, but ice cream in a mug is OK.
5. No drinking martinis out of anything other than a martini glass. It wouldn’t be proper.