Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Guest Blogger: Stacey E. Bryan
The Magic and Mayhem of Being Out of Sync
Thank you, Terri and Pamela, for hosting me on my blog tour, which is my first ever.
It’s apropos to be visiting Mayhem and Magic, as those two Ms have been a large part of my life lately, heavy emphasis on the mayhem.
Once Day for Night was accepted for publication, I gritted my teeth and jumped into the waiting vat of oil. Social media may not feel like a vat of oil to most people, but imagine this: You live in a city that’s made entirely of cars (Los Angeles) and yet you hate to drive. You still had a flip phone a year ago. For no discernible reason, the family poodle Puff hated your guts. You sent your first Tweet three months ago. And you’re still not sure where it ended up.
I have often been out of sync with things, and social media has been the monster plaguing me lately. When I was querying for my novel, one publisher wanted to know “my marketing plan,” and when I wrote back, essentially, “Could you…define…marketing plan?” I never heard from them again.
And rightfully so! I suppose. I wouldn’t want to hold my hand through the publishing process. I did promise to be open-minded and eager to learn and assured folks that I had lots of writer friends who could help me. And thankfully, my publisher believed me. It’s been a rocky road, but it’s also been informative and even border-opening. Lots of new faces, names, ideas, possibilities have come with my finally taking that dreaded hot oil bath. And really…the oil wasn’t even that hot. Definitely not blistering and blinding. Just a tad past uncomfortable. When I stumbled across someone in Pamela’s blog saying that they “somehow ended up with a Google AND a Twitter log-in,” and was trying to resolve that, I was like…yeah! Not alone. Not alone!
Being out of sync with things is probably mostly why I write. It inspired the main character of my novel who never quite fit in, gets pulled in different directions without a solid plan, and ends up reassessing her life around the time when most people start to seriously plan for retirement. She’s not at retirement age, but she’s also not 25 anymore, and this fact can be and usually is a death knell when it comes to Hollywood, where she lives, causing her a lot of anxiety.
Having focused on topics like anorexia, divorce, and artistic suffering in the past, turning to second reality paranormal comedy was a change for me and lots of fun to write. Much like Terri, I’m into Stephen King and one of my favorite novels used to be I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. But also like Terri, I love Janet Evanovich’s hilarious series. I’ve been through number Twenty or Twenty One of her Stephanie Plum novels. And, in fact, my main character Rae is a lot like Stephanie Plum, and if they knew each other, they’d probably be good friends.
Day for Night takes place in Los Angeles, where I was raised, so there’s lots of talk about traffic and flaky people naming their children after the moons of Jupiter and being in the Biz, if only in the fringes. Another aspect contributing to my feeling somewhat apart from things while growing up was being mixed race, and race in general is a huge issue in the City of Dreams. That inspired me to make Rae mixed race and to tread those waters continuously throughout in what I hope are humorous but yet eye-opening ways.
Apart from these everyday facts of ordinary life, Rae is about to find out just how paranormal the world actually is. And she doesn’t handle it well. She’s a hard-drinking, sometimes foul-mouthed 38-40-something protagonist who simply wanted to buy a condo in Hermosa Beach. Her attempts to pretend nothing is happening while her life continues to spiral out of control, largely due to making important decisions while dead drunk, were a lot of fun to write. Of course, getting other people to laugh with me—that’s my biggest goal. That’s where the magic comes in!
When reality TV star Rae Miller is kicked unceremoniously to the curb by her back-stabbing cast mates, she quickly realizes that revenge fantasies and unemployment are the least of her problems after she witnesses an alien abduction in broad daylight. Worse, after escaping a terrifying almost-abduction herself, Rae succumbs to a sexy Nosferatu’s silky assurances, becoming undead in order to up her alien Ultimate Fighting skills. Life is hard as a 38-to-40-something aspiring actress in L.A. Thank God for Jack Daniel’s and denial.
Stacey was raised in the San Fernando Valley but born in San Francisco, where she left part of her heart. She has worked on a dude ranch, coached gymnastics, and captions for the hearing impaired. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines in New York and L.A., including Ginosko and The Rag. She is currently working on the sequel to her novel Day for Night. She lives in “beautiful downtown Burbank,” as Johnny Carson used to say, with her husband who is also a writer.
Visit her at https://staceyebryan.wordpress.com
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