a dark & tasty blog by kl pereira

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"There is no one who is not a storyteller"

So says Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely series. I was fortunate enough to work an event for her newest book, Radiant Shadows (drop what you are doing and get thee to an indie bookstore to buy this posthaste!).

I've worked a whole lot of book events in my day (as you all know, a writer must wear many hats to make ends meet) and I say without reservation that Melissa Marr is the nicest writer with which I have had the pleasure to work an event. She brought us swag (you'll see me strutting around Boston sporting some hot bracelets marking me a faerie both solitary AND with the dark court, both of which match my new temporary tatt, which is just as pretty as the real one I'm getting in June) and treated us to a chill evening of real conversation about the series (!!!!), identity, and life as a writer.

I had prepped some questions before the event (being the huge lit/fantasy geek that I am). The first, the obligatory (because I'm always obsessed with what people are reading) "What are your influences" question was met with some interesting answers. Of course, we are all influenced by Neil Gaiman (because, hello!?) but when names like Faulkner and Browning were brought up, I immediately felt that I could see how and why the use of multiple-perspective, close-third works so well in the Wicked Lovely novels.

The second question, the one that I was hoping like the rub on the magic lamp, the key opening the door of the secret garden would help me figure out how to fix the pitfalls in my own work, was: "When you are working with adolescence and topics that are quite real, like rape and abuse and addiction, how do you negotiate what you write against cliche?" Marr said that what appears in her writing springs from real conversations and that she doesn't sugar-coat anything. Life is real and as a writer you have to do the honest thing.

A beautiful and real answer. I just wish it wasn't so hard.

(The pic is a shot of the Australian cover! So hot!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Fire-Breathing-Well-Endowed-Geek-With-A-Birthmark, Wings, And A Penchant For Picking Poppies In An Insane Asylum!

Whew! That's not just a clever title, it's a saucy synopsis of the amazing salon I organized this past Saturday featuring some of Boston's best fantasy writers.

It was a wonderful evening that would make any mead-hall dweller proud. Our little gathering took place in an old brownstone in Back Bay (I even built a fire to add ambiance!). There was delightful company, too-many kinds of grog to count (though I chose to take the Lambic because raspberry beer is the thing!) and tales that covered many delightful corners of the fantasy realm.

The lovely Chip Cheek shared an excerpt of his tale "Potency", a yarn about a well-endowed dragon. Chip had us roaring with delight and no wonder--"Potency" has been nominated for a Pushcart! Congrats, Chip!

Always engaging Ethan Gilsdorf treated us to a reading from his fabulous book, "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks". Ethan's writing on the ins-and-outs of D&D play had the whole audience nostalgic for our own bygone days of teen geekdom (though one person pointed out that he'd declined a D&D game to attend the reading, proving that the geek lives on in all of us).

The ever-ethereal Sophie Powell spun a story set in the tumulus in Wales, complete with the Poppy Queen herself and of course, yummy Welsh-cakes. This excerpt is from Sophie's novel-in-progress, The Poppy Queen (which we are all anticipating with glee!).

The beautifully dark and twisty Sue Williams gave a morsel of her novella "The Winged Hendersons from Welton-on-Sea". This cheeky story about a winged boy had everyone aching in understanding for the trials of winged adolescence. (This piece has also won prizes and honorable mentions...see Sue's blog for the details!)

Frighteningly fabulous Cam Terwilliger relayed his curiously creepy tale "Aminadab" (published in Sycamore Review!). He had us cringing and laughing and fondly remembering our love for Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Finally, I shared a bit of dark fairy tale with a piece called "Hansel and Gretel"...though it was by no means your average Grimmsian meditation.

This salon was fun, festive and a wonderful opportunity to get out of the box and see what fellow writers have been up to. I highly recommend coming to the next salon (featuring spooky stories!) or starting one of your own!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hitting the Muse in the Face

Sometimes, I feel like I'm hitting the Muse right in the kisser.

I sleep late, I take too long getting my morning chai, I decide it's time to de-cat the guest room, to do the laundry, to practice the piano that I can't even rightly play.

It's procrastination to another level. It's no longer procrastination: it's total slag-slack.

I need to find what is missing in these two poems. The key, the lock, the secret ingredient. I need to pull it apart so I can find you what it's made of, so I can re-make it into what it's supposed to be.

But how to do this? The conundrum of the writer/artist. I keep learning how. And then I forget.

So I have to re-learn.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In art and dream may you proceed with abandon

This is how I love Patti Smith:

I sit on my stoop at 11pm on a Saturday night, watching not much of the world go by (most in my hood are tucked in houses, in crooks of arms) and I smoke a clove and a half, feeling high from the heady mix of herb, fiberglass, and eugenol and read this:

An artist wears his work in place of wounds.

I'm giving you the good-bye
firing you tonight
I can make my own light shine
and darkness too is equally fine...
you died for somebody's sins
but not mine

Freedom is...the right to write the wrong words.

Leaving you tonight with thoughts of living and dreaming with abandon.