Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wesley Cook - It's You (Official Music Video)

Madame Perry regrets neglecting you all for so long. I have more exciting guests and discussions coming soon. For now, let me make it up to you with the very fine Wesley Cook and the official video of his new song "It's You."

You can also visit Wesley's website or follow him on Twitter. He's constantly on tour and will be in your area soon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Byron's review of Forevermore

Byron is actually a very astute book reviewer. Enjoy his review of "Forevermore" by Jim Musgrave!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Author Jim Musgrave Introduces Patrick O'Malley, The Star Of His Newest Mystery Series

Welcome, dear friends. Please pour a cup of tea or an apperitif as I introduce you to an author with many books to his credit already, yet has a newly launched mystery series set in the late 19th century. The stories in this entrancing series are told by Irish detective and war hero Patrick O'Malley, and are deftly woven into actual events of the time.

We are joined by a dear friend of our salon, author, poet and playwright Collin Kelley.

MP: Jim, I am delighted to have you as a guest here in Madame Perry’s Salon along with my good friend Collin Kelley. Tell us how you created the character of Detective Patrick O’Malley.

JM: I used my subconscious. I didn’t realize until after I’d completed the first mystery, Forevermore, that I had been channeling a character very similar to Lawrence Block’s famous sleuth and recovering alkie, Matt Scudder. I even had a partner for Pat O’Malley who was a hooker madame (sorry for the reference, Madame Perry), the same as Matt Scudder had a high class call girl in modern-day New York. Of course, they are completely different characters in completely different times, but I was quite astonished when I realized there were some basic similarities between them.

CK: What drew you to write about this time period?

Jim Musgrave
Edgar Allan Poe
JM: This Victorian period was probably the most criminal time in the history of New York City. Did you know, for example, that the age of consent in the 1860s was 10? Ten-year-old children were being offered to the highest bidders for sexual favors in the second most profitable business in the city (the garment industry was #1). My third mystery in the series, by the way, will have Becky Charming warring with the infamous Madame, Jane the Grabber (Hester Jane Haskins), over this issue. You see, Becky is a high class Madame (like you, Jennifer!), and she’s a Vassar graduate, so she wants to shut-down this Grabber woman, even if what Haskins is doing is condoned by the corrupt city officials of The Ring (Tammany Hall). O’Malley and his partner want to find a way to get her put out of business forever. I love this era because it’s so corrupt and freewheeling in a lot of ways. It’s a perfect fit for a detective like O’Malley, who’s seen the worst of human nature while fighting in the Civil War. Like today’s veterans who become police officers when they return from Afghanistan (another “civil war”?), O’Malley is little bit PTSD and a little bit hero.
Hester Jane Haskins
aka Jane The Grabber

MP: In Forevermore, the first book in your series featuring Pat O’Malley, he investigates the mysterious death of his friend Edgar Allan Poe. How long did you spend researching the life of Poe and the times he lived in to create this intriguing story?

CK: What other books were your inspirations?

JM: I hate confessing this because I am a teacher, but I used to ditch my high school English class to go read Poe in the library. He wasn’t taught, so he was my first “forbidden fruit.” I found a great web site called “The Edgar Allan Poe Society,” and it provided me with all I ever needed to know about Poe. I simply had to weave it into my plot and my character, O’Malley, and I was off to the storyland races! 

Collin, I guess Block’s style influence me, although I obviously had to adapt the jargon for my time period. I was also influenced by reading a lot of James Patterson (short, impacting chapters!) and Thomas Harris (how intelligent a villain can be!). Also, I was re-reading Robert Bloch’s Psycho the other night. That’s a great lesson in compact storytelling that grips you on the page.

MP: Every interesting protagonist or hero has a quirky flaw to overcome. O’Malley’s challenge is intimacy with the ladies, though oddly enough his most trusted friends are the women of the brothels. Please tell us how you conceived the idea for this aspect of our Irish detective.

JM: I took a graduate English course on the Transcendentalists. Since Becky Charming is a Vassar grad, she is able to teach O’Malley how to use his feminine, intuitive nature to connect with what Emerson called the Over Soul. As soon as he “gets it,” he can get it (on with Becky) and then solve his case! What a hero!
MP:  Indeed! Thank you for graciously visiting my salon, and I look forward to your return with more fascination tales from dear Mr. O'Malley.
Collin Kelley
CK:  Jim, I wish you much success with Forevermore and look forward to the next books in the Pat O'Malley series.

Now for the information you need to shadow Detective Patrick O'Malley and Jim Musgrave, get Forevermore on Amazon,  and follow Jim on Twitter. Care to step back in time to 1860 when you're in a waiting room, riding the subway, or just have some time to kill, shall we say? Our dear author has created an app so your getaway is in your pocket when needed!

Collin Kelley's latest book of poetry, Render, is available on Amazon and bringing in great reviews! He'll be back soon to discuss it with us.

Remember, my dear friends, surrounding ourselves with good books, music, food and wonderful people is a gift of love to all. And as always, your comments or questions are welcomed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

British Humorist Carol E. Wyer Is The Pick-Me-Up We've Needed!

Are you familiar with author Carol E. Wyer? The USA is sadly lagging behind the UK and Europe in their love of this lady. Wyer has been referred to as BOTUK, meaning she's the Erma Bombeck Of The UK. She lists among her favorite quotes "You can't succeed at everything in life, but you can laugh at everything." Anonymous

Fortunately I came to be a fan of hers through another of Madame Perry's favorite writers, Sylvia Massara. If you are a reader of both of these proficient and savvy authors you'll see they are allowing some of their characters out to play in each other's books. I suppose they are like literary exchange students. I am very pleased to introduce you to Carol E. Wyer.

Madame Perry: How did you know the blog style of novel would work so beautifully?

Carol: It took a lot of research to discover that Mme Perry. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging when I decided to write the book. I wanted to write it as a diary but I thought that format had been done far too often. One night, while in bed listening to the dulcet tones of Hubby snoring, I realised that in this day and age a woman like Amanda/me would socialise on the internet. That could be the answer. I Googled “blogs”, and read quite a few of them. That made me decide I could present the whole story through blog posts.
Carol E. Wyer

Next, I set up my own blog, called it Facing 50 with Humour, (just like Amanda does) and started writing about my life in the form of funny diary entries. By the end of six weeks, I had quite a few followers who commented regularly, much like Amanda’s followers. They gave me such fantastic feedback that I realised I had found a great format for the book.

I started the novel but also kept my blog. I won’t spoil the end of the book, but in one of those cases of life imitating art, I found myself in exactly the same situation as Amanda. I even found a new on line best friend - a follower much like #sexyfitchick - who has become a dear friend of mine since. 

MP: What has been your favorite reaction from a fan?

CEW: I have had the most incredible emails from people who have thanked me for making them laugh, but one that touched me the most came from a lady who said simply that she had lost her best friend to cancer the morning she picked up my book. She didn’t know why she had picked up the book, because she hadn’t intended reading it, but after starting it, she couldn’t put it down. She believed she was meant to read it that day. She told me that it saw her through that saddest time and helped her deal with the loss. In spite of how bad she felt, the book made her laugh. She believed, as do I, that laughter can really help. I was so humbled by that email. I still have it filed on my computer. I keep them all. They are the real reward that a writer gets for writing.

MP: Amanda is being courted online by her first love. Without giving away too much of the story, do your readers offer their opinions on what choices they prefer Amanda should make?
CEW: Those who have spoken about it have assured me that Amanda made the right choice. I have to say that several women have also confided that they have found themselves in exactly that position. There are a surprising number of women who are engaging in on line flirtation or something more meaningful.

MP: I’m sure thousands of your readers are as happy as I am to read an engaging book with an intriguing romantic story line appealing to us gals ‘over 30.’

CEW: Thank you. I am very glad that you enjoyed it so much. It means a huge amount to me when people tell me that they have liked my book.  I was delighted when one reviewer said that I had done for the over 40s, what Bridget Jones had done for the over 20s. That was a lady who “got” the story. There is not enough “fun” literature available for women of a certain age that deals with emotions that have, like us, also matured. I can’t read chick lit any more. I feel like tutting with disapproval at some of the things young girls do or say, but I have not dried up emotionally and enjoy books with relevant content, that is, relative to someone who has already had a long term relationship.

At the same time I decided to write humour. Humour works well when you want to educate someone, or get a point across. I also believe that life is too serious for most of us these days and we need to be able to sit down and read something that will have us chortling. I wanted the book to be like a friend. I want people to read it and say, “Yes, that’s me. I am like that.”

MP: What writers inspire you?

CEW: I studied French and English Literature at University and was heavily into Chaucer, Voltaire and Shakespeare, so if I am honest, those are the people that I have been most inspired by.

More recently, I have enjoyed literature by humorists like Ben Elton, and Janet Evanovich always makes me smile.

I used to be a prolific reader but writing now takes up most of my free time so I don't get the chance to sit down and savour a good book these days.

MP: And we thank you for the entertainment and gratification you provide for us, the readers. Cheers, Carol, and we're waiting for more. Thank you for generously sharing your time here with us, and please visit again.
Get to know Carol and have some laughs while reading her website. Go all the way - follow her on facebook, and tweet with Carol!