Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kerry Dunn Delivers Hip Noir Style With "Joe Peace"

Yes, dear guests, Madame Perry has returned to her salon with more delightful people for your entertainment. This evening you will meet Louisiana author Kerry Dunn, as he talks about his book Joe Peace, and answers questions about his writing style. Now I love a book in the gritty,  noir, hard boiled detective style, especially with liberal doses of whip smart wit and parry. Dunn delivers. So well, that when I was reading Joe Peace on a flight out of Daytona Beach, the lady next to me kept asking me to stop and read out loud to her. She said it was obvious that my book was much better than hers and she wanted to hear it. Now that's a good book.

Joining us in the discussion is Robert Leland Taylor, an author  who definitely thinks outside the norm. Taylor is the winner of the Southern Playwrights Competition for Kentucky Wings in 2002, and semi-finalist two consecutive years in Amazon/Penguin's Amazing Breakthrough Novel Awards, 2009 and 2010 for A Sunday Stroll through the Ant Farm.

Before we begin let’s buckle our seatbelts and read this description of Joe Peace.

Twenty years ago, Joe Peace was an ace homicide investigator for the Austin Police Department, until his penchant for cocaine and a disastrous affair with his partner Cassie Dugan buries him at the bottom of the APDs burnout brigade. In Austin, Texas, the psychotic founder of the most powerful drug cartel convinces Joe the cash is greener on the other side of the fence, and Joe becomes a player in the drug scene, buys a mansion, and collects beautiful coeds like butterflies, but the party ends when new details of Cassie’s death surface, opening wounds long scarred over. Other crews muscle in on Joe’s operation, and he’s trapped in the twilight between the cops who want to take him down and the kingpins of the street who want to take him out. Joe Peace is a gallows-humored tale of revenge and redemption with noir-like dialogue and slippery morals, along with action, suspense, and soul.

Kerry and Robert, welcome to Madame Perry’s Salon. I’m thrilled to have you both here. Robert, why don’t you begin?

Robert Leland Taylor: I love the gallows humor in Joe Peace. Has humor always been a major element of your work?

Kerry Dunn: Thanks, Robert, and the feeling is mutual, by the way. For sure, humor is what I start with. The problem I had in my previous novel attempts was that humor was the only thing there; characters, plotlines, dialogue, none of it mattered if I was engaged in setting up a joke. Fun for the writer, I guess, but wet charcoal for any poor bastard unlucky enough to read the thing. What I finally learned to do was utilize humor in the act of telling the story. This book has some tragic things going on, if you stop and think about it, and the last thing I want to do, as a writer, is make anybody stop and think. Humor helped me do that.
Kerry Dunn

Madame Perry: Tell us about writers who have had a strong influence on you and your style.

KD: Well, Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark - nah, just fucking with you. Elmore Leonard, of course - the way his characters talk and relate to each other. That interplay is sometimes better than the plots of his books, though in his golden age when he was coming up with "Freaky Deaky" and "Glitz" and "Bandits", everything worked so well together he could do no wrong. Don Winslow is a big modern influence - his slangy, insider dialogue, the way he digresses (I love to digress when I write, much to the chagrin of my editor), and how he can take bad people and find the good in them. Dennis Lehane's brooding noir taught me that you can write about emotions and not bore the daylights out of the reader. Wow. Dashiell Hammett, who I like to parody at times. Raymond Chandler for the byzantine way he goes about a plot. Tim Dorsey, for his silliness. It's a long list. I love to read. I devoured Stephen King's books as a teen, and though I stopped reading him by the time I graduated high school, his "On Writing" is the most indispensible guide I've ever found. I read it three times a year.

RLT: It seems that every writer I've met has a different technique for beginning a novel. Some outline, some wing it from start to finish. Which camp are you in?

KD: I'm a winger, man. I have no idea what I'm going to do when I sit down with my laptop. I used to try to plot things out, but for me the writing always ended up too technical. It was a case where I'd build some steam, but because I had Doris getting murdered in Chapter 5, and here it was Chapter 4 and Doris hadn't even been introduced yet because I have a tendency to ramble (much to the chagrin of my editor), nobody really cared when she was strangled or whatever. When I plotted, I had too many props. So, the first draft, I just go on and see where it leads me. The second draft is where I more or less try to find a straight line between things. And then I trash it all and start over with the third draft.

MP: By now Joe Peace has had several reviews. Which have surprised you the most?

KD: All of them. I didn't have high hopes for this book, at least when I was being honest with myself about it. They say, don't write unsympathetic characters. They say, don't use flashbacks. Joe Peace was a book where I finally went, "You know what? I'm not a kid. I've followed these rules all my writing life and it got me exactly nowhere. So I'm going to throw all that out the window and see what happens." So, when I get reviews where people write "you wouldn't think that you'd like a character like Joe Peace, but you do", I got to tell you, it makes me very happy, even though I have no idea how that happened, and I don't want to know. I'm just glad it did. Of course, it helps to have the world's best editor/publisher in Sheryl Dunn (no relation) to tell me when the parts break down.

RLT: Do you remember what age you were when you began writing and who/what inspired you?

KD: I always loved to write. Love playing with words. You know how, when you were a kid and it was a blistering summer day and you'd scrape together enough change for a candy bar, and then you'd eat it outside and let the chocolate kind of melt and rub it on your fingers and squish it all together? That's how I feel about words. I was blessed to have parents who didn't scoff when I told them I wanted to write, and I was going to write, and friends who didn't think I was saying I wanted to write as a means of picking up women who thought I might be either intelligent or sensitive (hint: I was neither, alas). My mother is a very talented writer, though she put it aside to raise nine kids, and I remember when I was in grade school she read me some of her stuff and I was so excited to find out that part of her life that was stored in boxes. I try to keep it a secret, but lots of things inspire me. It helps that I was too stubborn to quit when I should have, and that determination I get from my father. The next time he gives up on something will be the first time. I don't have it in every phase of my life, but when it came to writing, you could cut off my hands and feet and I'd peck away with my nose.

RLT: Can we expect a sequel to Joe Peace
anytime soon?

MP: Robert, that was my question.

KD: Oh, you can expect it all you want:) Yeah, I'm working on it now. I'm a stop/start kind of writer and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. You know, they say you have to write every day. No can do. I have to pick my spots. I write in very, very long sessions, at odd hours of the night. I don't write much in the summer. Fall and winter make my fingers fly.

RLT: Are you anything like the wise-cracking, lovable, corrupt character that you portray in the novel? Because if you are, Kerry, so help me, I'll shut this interview down right now and have you arrested in a heartbeat.

MP: Oh, Taylor, please. The man’s has a brilliant imagination. Just because he can write about crackhead cops who switch sides and whose souls are soothed only by more crack, more booze and the beautiful voice of Karen Carpenter doesn’t mean it’s autobiographical. I mean, I’m on a diet but I can read the menu.
Robert Leland Taylor

KD: Get a room, you two. I'm a pretty boring dude. I don't know any cops, and I don't know any criminals. I work on computers, for Christ sakes. But I read a lot, and I see a lot of movies, and I'm big into the anti-heroes. However, I have a hard time being serious, or striving for profundity. You have to be born with profundity, and it ain't me you're looking for, babe. What helped me get into Joe's head was switching from third person to first. I'd never done that before. It allowed me to pretend to be this cat who owned a big house, and was all kinds of illegal, had serious dependency issues, and was still, on some level, well-liked by at least a few people. Mostly, Joe became a friend who I wanted to help get out of a tight spot, but he had to learn to help himself first. So I'd say, at least in that regard, that I have been more influenced by a made-up criminal than anything I put into him as a writer. Even if he still owes me money.

MP: This was fun, but I believe someone’s ride is here. I hope you’ll both return, and that I can persuade Robert to talk about his books and plays. Thank you both for being here.
You can get Kerry Dunn’s book, Joe Peace, on Amazon, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coming Soon - Deborah Blum, "Author of The Poisoner's Handbook"

Yes, my beloved readers, Madame Perry has many exciting interviews for you very soon.
Enjoy the trailer for The Poisoner's Handbook. Yes, I hear you, but what's so wrong about a little teaser?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Presenting Author Branka Cubrilo

Another nod to the wonders of cyberspace and social media, for it was here that I met the author and screenwriter Sylvia Massara, who in turn introduced me to author Branka Cubrilo. This lady is such a prolific writer that one interview here is just a brief glimpse of her work. Of course, I'll provide many links for you to explore. So, let us meet Branka.

Madame Perry: Welcome to Madame Perry’s Salon, Branka. We want to talk about your newest book, The Mosaic Of The BrokenSoul, but first a bit of background on your fascinating life.
Author Branka Cubrilo
Branka Cubrilo:  Firstly, thank you for your invitation and a warm welcome to Madame Perry’s Salon.
I don’t know how fascinating my life was, but surely it wasn’t a boring one, it was a life of a modern nomad, a bit of restless soul carried from one destination to another. I was born in Croatia and started to write at a very early age. My ‘little quirky stories and poems’ were published in school magazines and in a local youth press.
I always felt as if I had lived in parallel worlds, my daily life was so different to my inner world, and I was mixing them often with ease (for me) and sometimes with astonishment to my family and the environment, hence I started to write a novel to, somehow, separate those two parallel stories. I Knew Jane Eyre was born, based on my, at the time, need to ‘figure out how it would be if…’ I was inclined to know about or figure out, life’s ‘ifs’. While I was finishing the novel, I saw in the papers an advertisement – Young Writer’s Award Competition and hurried to finish my novel to send it off. There were three winners announced and I was, to my astonishment, one of them, the youngest one, with little experience in professional writing and publishing.
Writing is in my blood, it has never left me: subtle conversations I hear in the rain, the rustling of the leaves, the wind… those subtle whispers took me to the various trips around Europe and led me to various interesting people. The knowledge of languages, my curiosity and adaptability helped to easily penetrate into the cultural settings of Italy, Spain, England and Australia.
MP:  Born in Croatia, you were eighteen when your first novel, I Knew Jane Eyre, was published. When it won the Yugoslavian Young Writer’s Award in 1982 it must have been quite a thrill. Tell us about it please.
BC:  I’ve got to correct you here. My novel won the Award and, the three of us (the Award winners) were promised that our novels would be published in the following year. But we were faced with difficulties of a different kind: there were not sufficient funds, there were cultural differences in former Yugoslavia, some political issues et cetera. I was too young to get involved in such games and too preoccupied with writing a sequel that I didn’t know how to respond to such a situation. I already understood that the publishing business wasn’t the easy.
MP:  When was the sequel written and published?
BC:  When I write my novels everything else is on hold. Outer life ceases and I am faced with myself, the narrator, and my characters. I am ‘there’ all the time and to write a novel takes quite a short period of time for me. So, while I was waiting 4 months for the official announcement of the Award winners I had to shorten my waiting time and my anxiety. I felt, anyway, that Jane Eyre, my Jane Eyre, hadn’t been found, so I embarked upon the adventure of Looking For Jane Eyre.
Those two novels were written in Croatian and there were only parts of those novels published in different papers. I had never found the right publisher to publish them. I was always told to ‘simplify my plot’, to ‘shorten my sentences’, to ‘introduce one character at a time’ or not to use ‘too many flashbacks’. But I never wanted to follow the clich├ęs hence those novels really never saw the dawn but stayed in the dusty drawer of my room, back in my hometown of Rijeka.
As I said, some parts were published ‘here and there’, but I had continued to write and to travel.
MP: At such young age - and I’d like to remind our readers that it was before the internet existed to provide information and near instant global fame just by having a youtube video go viral – how were you able to accomplish all of this?
BC:  Look, I never did anything for the sake of ‘accomplishment’. Writing was what I loved the best and I thought that was what I was the best at. All I wanted was to write, whether it be magazine or newspaper articles, short stories, poems, but surely, my biggest challenge are novels, that is where my heart is.
MP:  You’ve written books while living in Croatia, Spain, and Australia. How much does your location influence your work in terms of plot, character development, themes and perspectives?
BC:  Location influences my work absolutely. That’s why writers travel – in search of original characters or plots. In all of my novels (I have written 8 novels, and have published 5 so far) I travel throughout the world. I start my story in a certain location with its cultural and historical settings and I take my characters across Europe, the UK, the USA and Australia. My characters are well-travelled people, always in search of a ‘greener grass’, ‘better opportunity’, ‘bigger love’, or purely more extravagant adventure…
I can’t escape (and why would I?) those locations: I was born in Croatia, I still carry the salty air of the Adriatic in my soul, Italy was a weekly experience and Italian’s my second language, sometimes I miss Italy more than any other location. I lived in Andalucia with my daughter and the sounds, the wind – the levante, the flamenco, the warmth of Andalusian people lives in me… of course those locations influence my novels. I have written a trilogy called Spanish Stories and the trilogy was situated, with a good part, in Spain, but then, while writing, I heard someone from my hometown calling my name, calling my attention, so I got to chuck him in, to silence his cries, to add colour to the Andalucian grey land. I have lived in Sydney since 1992, it is only natural that this city influences my writings, the city where my daughter was born, made her first steps. It is such a multicultural place that it is a great source of constant inspiration when it comes to experimenting with different cultures and customs.
My novels As a River, Requiem for Barbara, Little Lies, Big Lies and Visconti’s Stories are all set in three or four different countries on two different continents. My characters are often displaced, sometimes confused, often in search of themselves, surely preoccupied with many questions.
MP: The development of serious health issues and the disintegration of your marriage obviously marked great changes in your life. These are the types of changes that produce questions, many for which we must look within. Your experiences, and recovery, are explored in your newest, TheMosaic of the Broken Soul.
BC:  Great changes indeed!
As the title says it is a book of one soul’s ache, to simplify it.
I don’t know if it is true the statement that ‘life is not meant to be easy’, but I surely know that I had a very difficult period in my life and it forced me to look honestly into myself. Who am I and why am I that person? Do I, and to what extent, respect and love that person?
I had published several books in my hometown of Rijeka and the publisher simply decided not to pay any royalties. Easy as that. Even today, 15 years later, he is selling my books and keeping my royalties for himself. That wasn’t a healthy situation at all. I had all those beautiful reviews, acknowledgments and recognition as a writer but I knew that I came across very dishonest people and wasn’t able to do much. I used to (and still do) get fantastic e-mails from readers telling me how much they enjoyed reading my books, or how my book(s) influenced or changed their outlook on life, and it made me feel really good, made me feel that I had really given something to others worthy of all my efforts. But, as a writer, as a human being, I felt taken advantage of from that publisher who never paid my share. It really had stiffened my soul and I was profoundly disappointed with the publishing industry. I decided to write but never to publish again. One could go on Google and find all this information about my ‘worthy books’ and the great reviews but I knew that someone else was reaping the fruits of my labour. I kept on working as a journalist and kept my creative work for myself.
Some sort of sadness, deep sadness took refuge in my soul. I travelled back to Andalucia and all I did there was ‘a deep thinking’. I had a restless soul, a dishonest, greedy publisher and a restless husband! What a fertile soil for an illness.
While I was doing ‘deep thinking’ back there in Andalucia I was actually writing my novel in my head.
Upon my diagnosis of breast cancer my husband left our marital home and all those ‘Andalucian questions’ started to haunt me.
What? What? What? What? And – Why?
That was the working fabric of my novel. As I was writing it the characters from my life appeared on the stage and asked me to integrate them into the tale. The characters from the shores of the Adriatic Sea, the characters from Italian Alps, the characters from Isle of Man, London and DublinSydney… and my life story started to take shape and to be woven onto that fabric.
MP: Broken things, we know, can become beautiful art in a mosaic. Tell us about the imagery of ‘the black pearl.’
BC:  ‘The black pearl’ was my pain. Women, we are trained from a very early age to: do the right thing, be a good girl, be obedient, be a good friend, a good girlfriend, a good society member and a good wife ultimately. And we are trying our best, I’d say. So, what is ‘the best?’, is my question. Does ‘the best’ go right down to denial? Denial of one’s own needs: needs for self-expression on different levels?
‘The black pearl’ could be a consequence of a stiff upper lip. It is pain that is denied, that is buried and it waits its moment, to harden and to grow.
‘The black pearl’ represents the white tears that never rolled down the cheek but went hiding into the chest. ‘The black pearl’ is a synonym of betrayal or of uncertainty.
Many things were broken and all those little broken parts were my little pieces of the puzzle of my own life. Of a big rebus of human existence and its meaning. I felt that my duty at that time was to find the questions to which answers did not exist.
Even though I thought that I had had enough of the publishing industry, even though I thought that I should write this novel only to serve the purpose of my own healing, or shall I say ‘writing therapy’, I thought that it was the right time for me to write my novel in English. So I did.
It didn’t take a long time that the excerpt from my novel caught the eye of ‘Speaking Volumes’ publisher who wrote to me “Branka, I love your writing style…” and we took it from there.
MP:  Many books are published yearly that deal with illness, life’s severe challenges, and various types of recovery or resolution. What have readers told you that The Mosaic of the Broken Soul has brought to them?
BC:  This is an interesting question and I have an interesting and short answer to it: as a rule the readers tell me that, somehow, my book has a healing effect on them. I think that this is really fantastic, because, I have changed my life a lot since I have been ill, and changed it to a better, more meaningful kind of life, more loving and freer one. It is now 9 years since I was diagnosed and I am as healthy as one can be, I write again and I publish again. I have translated all my novels into English, I have a number of short stories which are waiting to be selected and put into a collection of short stories… and I see that the people who read the book tell the same story. They tell me that the book was a great inspiration and guide to them and that, in some way, a positive way, the book has changed their lives. What fantastic feedback, what fantastic motivation for me!
MP: What do you want the reader to take away and treasure from this book?
BC:  The courage when one is faced with adversity. Understanding that life presents us with lots of challenges but we are always in position to chose. We always make choices weather we are aware of it or not, but choices are ours. This is liberating because one doesn’t feel as a victim of circumstances or ‘fate’.
Then, honesty towards oneself. It is inevitable to ask questions at certain points in your life, so ask them, don’t run away because unanswered questions come back, sometimes with more difficulties to find an answer.
MP:  What is in the near future for you, Branka?
BC:  If I only knew? Well, as I said before we always have the freedom to choose. I choose to write and there are quite a number of written books that are waiting to be published. I am still working on some translations of my own books, some polishing of the language, working on my syntax and grammar, English is such a beautiful and challenging language. I have plans to publish a collection of short stories, maybe a collection of poems. I am writing (at the moment lots of it is happening in my head) a new novel about Nicholas O’B and Pia the Poetess.
I am a mother to a young girl who just enrolled in university and this is a big part of my future.
I have itchy feet again, so I long to pack my bags and travel down to Andalucia, or to occupy the small table on the main cobbled piazza of my hometown, I am dying to see the ‘Big Apple’ and to visit friends in London. I hope this year is going to be generous and bring me some of it.
MP: Be sure to call me first, Branka, I keep a wallet of Euros with my passport always!

You can visit Branka's website and follow her on facebookTwitter, and Speaking Volumes. Please watch the trailer for The Mosaic Of The Broken Soul, and to order your own copy click here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mitzi Szereto ~ Pride And Prejudice: Hidden Lusts

Madame Perry:  Mitzi, you look so young, lovely, cute dimples, hang out with Teddy Tedaloo (who, like you, has a deceptively innocent visage ) and you write erotica that makes the pages too hot to turn and too sizzling not to play with that fire! How, and when, did you recognize your brilliant skills in that genre?

Mitzi Szereto:  Thanks for your use of the adjective “brilliant”! Actually, I’ve written poetry and stories since childhood; my first piece of long-form fiction was a gory murder mystery replete with deadly poisons and buried corpses. I’d been writing a variety of things, genre-wise, once I decided to seriously pursue writing as a profession, but it was quite by accident that I started working in the area of erotic literature.
Mitzi and Teddy
Photo: Eric Schneider

From my readings in the genre, I didn’t have much patience for the contemporary works, preferring the more refined prose of the classics. Obviously, that affected my approach to some degree. I come from a fine art background as well, so I’ve always applied myself to my writing as an artist would, using words as my medium rather than paint.

When dealing with material that is more erotic in nature, I think it’s important to incorporate a bit of artistry and lyricism into the prose or else you end up with something that has as much elegance and sensuality as what you find scrawled inside a toilet stall.

MP  When Pride And Prejudice: Hidden Lusts was launched, you had several events scheduled, and some included readings. How was that? I mean, details – please! Were extra fans necessary?

MS  It’s all a blur! I did a ton of interviews; in fact, I don’t think a day went by when I wasn’t doing an interview or being scheduled for one. I was also doing a lot of international traveling during that summer (which resulted in yet more interviews), plus I had an appearance at the Warwick Words literature festival not long after I returned to the UK. My Red Velvet and Absinthe anthology came out not even three months after P&P, so it was a manic time for me. Mind you, it’s always a manic time for me!

MP  According to Wikipedia you’ve written thirteen books as Mitzi Szereto, and six as M. S. Valentine, plus countless other stories in magazines. In your spare time you are a blogger, anthology editor, web TV entrepreneur and public speaker.

Obviously a prolific writer – you must have, in addition to talent, a style, technique or discipline to enable you to do so much and do it so fabulously well. Please share some tips for the rest of us.

MS  I suppose my biggest tip would be to find a research facility that will clone you so that you can do all the things you need to do to keep yourself out there and keep creating new and interesting content. I don’t have a particular technique; I just file away inside my head all the things that I need to do and I try to get as much of it done as possible, always finding that I’m at least two or three months behind on where I want to be.
I suppose as far as discipline, it’s down to this: I know I need to do what I need to do, and somehow or other I do it. It’s an endless trial of frustration to keep up. I think you’ve got to be very committed to your goals and willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve them. This isn’t a nine to five job that ends when you get home from the office—it’s day and night, seven days a week. You’re lucky, indeed, if you can manage to take off an entire 24-hour period without attending to something pertaining to work.

MP  What music do you listen to when you write?

MS  I never listen to music when I write. I need silence. Music is too distracting, as is the presence of people. I’m lucky that Teddy is relatively quiet when I’m working and doesn’t create problems and disruptions. The only downside is, he’s not too cooperative when it comes to making cups of tea. To be fair, it’s a bit difficult for him to reach the kitchen counter without assistance.

MP  What do you enjoy best about your web TV show? Can you talk about your favorite guest?

MS  It’s hard to choose, as I’ve met so many interesting and amusing people for the Mitzi TV segments. I probably had the most fun in “Knees Up Mother Brown,” which was a musical pub night in London. The place was filled with so many colorful characters, both the performers and the audience. For “Baby You Can Drive My Car” I did enjoy flirting with Formula 1 racecar driver and “Top Gear” presenter Tiff Needell, not to mention teasing shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Oh, and Fred Flintstone and I were getting pretty cozy in his log-mobile, too.

Having Teddy co-host with me on the “Bear Necessities” video was also very rewarding, as we covered the Hugglets Teddy Bear festival in London. We met a lot of exhibitors who are actively involved in charities, especially those pertaining to bears. I’d like to hope that I helped spread the word about a lot of great causes with this segment. I should say that not all guests are planned; in the majority of cases they just happen along. Other than the Morris Dancing segment, which I’d pre-arranged with the chaps from the Westminster Morris Men, I usually have no idea who I’ll be interviewing until I actually get out there with my mike.

MP  An American by birth, how did you become a resident, and citizen of the UK ? Has this been a strong influence on your work?

MS  I think I’ve always been British in my heart and soul. Britain is known for being a land of eccentrics, so I fit right in! I moved to the UK in 2001, and quickly became established there. Aside from doing a post-graduate degree, I became a creative writing lecturer at university within a year of having relocated. You have to be resourceful to make your situation work, which is true of most anything, really. I’m not going to say it was easy. Anyone who deals with immigration departments can tell you what a headache it is, not to mention expense. But when it was all over and I found myself being sworn in as a British citizen, I breathed a proverbial sign of relief. So yes, Britain has been a strong influence on my work, even from way before I’d arrived.

MP  Mitzi, when you wrote Pride And Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, is there one character above all others that you fantasized about? And in those lusty fantasies – what well known person would they resemble?

MS  For the purposes of P&P, I will say that Mr. Darcy is the character that appealed to me the most—and we can give credit to Colin Firth’s marvelous and sexy portrayal of Darcy in the BBC TV series as being a strong influence. He embodied Darcy in a way no other actor has and, I believe, ever will. But generally speaking, I don’t make a practice of putting personal fantasies into my work or patterning characters on people I might necessarily fancy or lust after. I’ve done it so rarely that the only time it immediately springs to mind is with my recent short story “The Blood Moon Kiss” in Red Velvet and Absinthe. I patterned the male protagonist after Ian Somerhalder (and yes, I do fancy him!), also using the setting of a popular television series about vampires as a backdrop.

I’ve noticed over the years that many people like to assume that if your content is erotic in nature, then it must reflect upon your own sexuality and proclivities and, as you’ve already referenced, lusty fantasies. I’m not entirely sure why this assumption came about (perhaps it’s been aided by the writers themselves!), but it isn’t an area I exploit. Besides, I write a variety of material that crosses into and blends many genres, so lusty fantasies don’t necessarily have any bearing on the content. Can you imagine if every author of a blood-and-guts crime novel claimed to be inspired by his or her lusty fantasies? We’d have a swarm of literary serial killers on the loose! For me, writing is all about imagination and creativity. It’s our job as writers to create—and I’m just doing my job.

MP You and Teddy are so fabulously busy, I’m delighted you could visit Madame Perry’s Salon. This has been an absolute pleasure, and Teddy, rest assured your required gift basket is on its way.

MS  A gift basket for Teddy? Goodness!

MP  What? You didn't know? You may want to check Teddy's phone bill. It's quite allright, as he'll share with you.

If you are not already living in the exciting world of Mitzi and Teddy, here are some very useful links. You can follow Mitzi on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and MySpace, and visit her Errant Ramblings blog,  website or go straight to MitziTV . Buy Mitzi's books on Amazon USA, or Amazon UK, Teddy invites everyone to follow him on facebook and twitter, too!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Madame Perry's Salon Is Officially An Award Winning Blog!

Aussie author, TV producer & host Sylvia Massara has presented Madame Perry's Salon with The Versatile Blogger Award. It is my first blog award and I am delighted. It comes with requirements, however, to reveal seven things about myself (which I'll mercifully keep short) and to award it to five other blogs.

So, the seven reveals about Madame Perry.
* I've riden a camel in the Canary Islands.
* I prefer driving a car with a manual transmission.
* Six times I've sung The Star Spangled Banner at the Monster Truck Jam Event in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center.
* One should never deny while in my presence that Rosalind Russell was the only true Auntie Mame.
2011 - Mme Perry and
Monster Truck 'Reptoid'
* Dog is my co-pilot.
* It continually astounds me that I have met so many fun, fascinating and delightful people through blogs and social media.
* It also astounds me that over the course of four years I hung out with my jazz idol Anita O'Day more times than I can count in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Anita O'Day, Robbie Cavolina, Mme Perry

And now to present this award to five other blogs. My promise to you is that they are all worth visiting. Lo prometo!

Sisters in Crime - The best crime writing dames are found here! Their mission statement is "To promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry." 

Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional - Author, poet, playwright and journalist Collin Kelley's blog will by turns inform, entertain and provoke the reader. And he's one of my dearest friends. His book Remain In Light is a finalist for the Townsend Prize.

Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou - Essays on life and observations from a fascinating gal I met four years ago. As she says "Everyone has two faces. I simply have names for mine."

Janey Godley
Janey Godley - a Scottish stand-up comic, actor, journalist, playwright, podcaster and blogger and author of Handstands in the Dark, her critically acclaimed memoir. Brilliant with a whip-smart sense of humor, and very wise and insightful about people.

Richard Blandford's Hound Blog - The author of Hound Dog and Flying Saucer Rock & Roll has a blog as dry and funny to me as his tweets which are not unlike a rubber band snap. A great writer, but I also love that, like me, he values finding old books.

Sylvia Massara
 Again, my gratitude to Sylvia Massara. How lucky was I to meet you. I'm looking forward to being your publicist and living in Italy.