Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Author Interview: Charie Lamar

Distantly related to Mary Shelley on her father’s side, CHARIE D. LA MARR has created a genre called Circuspunk which is listed at Urban Dictionary. BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE is her first work in her new genre. She also has upcoming stories in Alex S. Johnson's heavy metal anthology Axes of Evil and Shwibly Magazine, James Ward Kirk's Bones and Ugly Babies 2, In Vein for the benefit of St. Jude’s Hospital, Chupa Cabra’s We Walk Invisible, Dynatox Ministries’ Witches!, Ripple Effect for Hurricane Katrina relief, Surreal Grotesque,Oneiros’ Books CUT UP! and other anthologies. She was September's featured writer at Solarcide. She is known for writing in many different genres from crime to bizarro to erotica and even Seussian. She is currently editing a Circuspunk anthology trilogy called The New Whakazoid Circus—the Greatest Show on Paper. And she has just sold a bizarro book to James Ward Kirk Fiction called Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market.

Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie is a book of short stories in a brand new genre—Circuspunk. It contains 26 stories about the circus, carnivals, sideshows, midways and fairs featuring clowns, magicians, freaks, carnies and the crazy cast of characters that go along with them. “This ain't your mama's roller coaster ride! That is unless your mama does acid before hitting the amusement park!” says Mimi Williams, author of Beautiful Monster. “Hate clowns or love them, you are going to enjoy reading her zany and sometimes poignant look at a world we both love,” adds Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus and author of Freaks Like Me. This is a wild ride of stories that begins with the rape of a circus poodle by one of the show’s rescue mutts and doesn’t let up until an overweight daredevil Elvis impersonator becomes a circus stuntman—diving 35 feet into a flaming kiddie pool of water. In between, the combination of satire, splatter and the wild and wacky will have you laughing, with brief respites of stories that will touch your heart and make you think. A professional clown for 9 years, Ms. La Marr tells it like it is, like it should be and like those of you who with clown phobia would like it to be. Put on your rubber nose, put your big shoes up on the coffee table and enjoy Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie. The first Circuspunk book ever!

On your nightstand now: 
Ray Garton’s “Scissors” and Jim Rose’s “Freak Like Me”. Ray is a good friend from Facebook and Jim blurbed “Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie”.

Favorite book when you were a child:
 Many Moons by James Thurber. Still is. I love the humor in it. In so many ways, it is not a children’s book. He does an amazing thing that any children’s author should take into consideration. He recognized the fact that parents would be reading the book to children and added some chuckles and laughs directed at them, too.

Your top five authors:
 Tough question. I would have to break it down into five classic authors and five contemporary. Classics would be Faulkner, Steinbeck, Swift, Hawthorne and Twain with honorable mention for O Henry. Contemporary would be Daniel Silva, Christopher Moore, Michael Connelly, Joe Hill and Margaret Atwood.

Book you've faked reading:
 Never!!! I was the kid whose parents had to yell at them to put the books away and turn out the lights.

Book you're an evangelist for:
 As I Lay Dying. I cannot stress enough how important it is that every writer read it!! Using 17 distinct narrators including a dead woman jostling around in a casket was brilliant.

Book you've bought for the cover:
 Once in the grocery store, I picked up a copy of Daniel Silva’s “A Death in Vienna”. It looked interesting. I was totally blown away. He has become a favorite author – I bought all the books befoe “A Death in Vienna” and have been a first day of publication purchaser ever since. Best five bucks I ever spent on a book.

Book that changed your life:
 Once, I was having a very hard time in my life. I found myself in a New Age store, somehow thinking that if I found the right crystal that called out to me, it was going to help. I must have looked like I was
losing it because a complete stranger walked over and handed me this little book and said, “Read this, you need it.” When I went to buy it, I found out she had already paid and left the store before I could thank her. It was called “The Knight in Rusty Armor”. I think it is about 97 pages long and it totally changed my world. Since then, I have probably given copies as gifts to 25 people. Every time I need a copy to give for a present, I buy out all they have at Barnes and Noble. It is a must read for anyone.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
 One of these days, I want to take another crack at Ulysses. It drove me nuts the first time. As I recall, it ended up thrown against a wall. I love The Dubliners, but can only take Joyce in short increments thusfar. Maybe I will get through it this time.

Why any human should plunk down cash money for your book:
 Actually right now, it’s books. “Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie”, my collection of Circuspunk stories with Chupa Cabra House came out on December 6. “The Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market” my NYzarro book with JWK Fiction came out in Kindle on December 30 and is due out in paperback any day. Humans who are not faint hearted and don’t mind some well-intentioned, off color humor, but like to laugh should plunk down cash money. Or use those nice gift cards they got for Christmas. Both books are snarky and have bite and snap to them. James Ward Kirk said it was hard to edit the Squids and laugh at the same time.

What made you decide to write this book in the first place?
 I decided to write Bumping Noses and create the genre Circuspunk because when I tell people I was a professional clown for 9 years, it is amazing how many people say “I $#%$^$ HATE clowns!” Or “Clowns scare the crap out of me.” I figured if people want to blow up clowns, let’s do it, but let’s do it MY way—with broad strokes of satire and tongue firmly in cheek. It is my antidote for clown phobia. I wrote Squids as a dare from my boyfriend Alex S. Johnson—author of “Bad Sunset:. Joking around I said I should write a book called “The Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market” and he said, “Dare you.” BAD thing to say to me.

What is your writing style?
  I have a fancy office, but I seldom use it. Too quiet. Although it is nice in the middle of the night. There is a streetlight right outside the window and it is very pretty. Mostly I write with a laptop on my knee, sitting on the couch with my PA sitting across the room so I can call out questions to him. I have three dogs who are usually right here with me.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
 Full time. It is hard right now, Alex is in California and with the three hour time difference, it is tough mainting a schedule. Also one of my publishers is in Indiana and the other in Arkansas. One cover artist is in Arizona, the other in Massassacusetts and the designer of the second cover in Europe. So I kind of live on a global time clock and take naps.

 What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
 From Bumping Noses, I hope they will realize that clowns are just people in makeup and end this clown phobia insanity. From Squid Whores, I just hope they will walk away thinking, “She is one funny and insane chick!” As they start to read more of my work in anthologies and upcoming books, they will be surprised to see how many different genres I can work in.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
 Visit my Circuspunk page at Facebook  or my home page  Also read some of the 25 or so anthologies I did this past six months with stories in everything from Steampunk to Horror to Sci Fi to Erotica and just about anything in between. Some are out now – many come out within the next month or so. They can also come to Reddit Books on Monday the 6th of January to my 12 hour Ask Me Anything session starting at noon. I would love to hear from them!

What did you like about writing this book, and books in general?
 I just love writing – anything! Been at it since I was six years old.

What is the tone of the book? Satire? Humor? Informative? 
Both are very broad satire and funny. I am not above poking fun at people and stereotypes of people. I find that to be disarming.

Where can the book be bought? 
Amazon, Barnes and – the usual online sources. I understand some bookstores are already selling used copies of Bumping Noses. So it is on shelves – somewhere.

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