Some of my most creative thoughts happen when on a dog walk, as do my best conversations with my dog-walking buddy. So I thought I’d invite some of my author friends along to join me and my girls and see if I can find out a little more about them and the book they’ve just released.
‘My girls’ are Poppy and Ruby
Joining me today in her walking boots and all the way from her home in California is Brenda Perlin, who has come to chat to me following the release of L.A. Punk Rocker which is already selling very well and gathering strong reviews.
Brenda is the author of several novels including The Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles. From memoirs to illustrated books, Brenda evokes passionate responses in her readers by using a provocatively unique writing style. Fractured Vows captures the soul-wrenching conflicts of a personal struggle for emotional fulfillment. You can learn more about Brenda on her website and her Author Central page.
Hi Brenda, I hope you’ve had a good flight and are ready for a hike across the fields of sunny Cambridgeshire?
Hi Georgia. Love Poppy and Ruby! (Thank you :-))
Can’t we at least stop for tea first? The last time I was in the UK I remember the tantalizing tables of pastries. A girl has got to eat. Right?!
Absolutely! I shall treat you to a fabulous cream tea Brenda, everyone should sample one of these when they come to the UK and it’ll set us up nicely for the walk!
Now that you’ve got my undivided attention Brenda this is your chance to tell me all about L.A.Punk Rocker and how it came about, encourage everyone to buy it and then to move it up their to-be-read lists?
Other than Billy Idol’s tweet mentioning the fan fiction story author Mark Barry wrote about the King Rocker himself, I think the best thing someone has said about this book was in a review we received.
“Brenda talks about visiting places which many of us have only heard of in movies and in articles. She talks about hanging around with musicians before they became known. She leads us through her struggles as a teenager dealing with conservative parents yet trying to fit into the emerging punk scene – the only place she felt she belonged. It is a struggle many of us can relate to.”
(If you can’t see the quote from Billy Idol on this photo it reads ‘Pretty wild chapter on me maybe u should’ve written my book, good luck with it..BFI’ – how cool is that!)
I guess I took it for granted since I grew up in the city of Angels and saw celebrities all over the place. Mostly Gold’s Gym but in those years I was GUY crazy and it was all about the bands. We had to go out of our way to meet the band members whether it meant finding out where they were staying or sneak backstage at the clubs. We were pretty resourceful and somehow were quite successful in our endeavors.
What I found out was these idols were real people. In my experience they were just as flawed as the rest of us. Ha!!! Well, maybe not Bono from U2. He was PERFECTION in every way. Let’s not get me gushing again. See, the teenager lives in us, always and I am proof of that. When I noticed Billy Idol responded to that tweet I posted I thought I was going to pass out. I didn’t want to seem too excited since my boyfriend was standing right next to me . Seeing me freaking out over a rock star at this point in my life would not look pretty. Funny thing was he thought something terrible was happening to me and was prepared to drive me to the emergency room.
Having also read Shattered Reality recently (the review is right here!) I’m fascinated by the real life stuff and level of honesty that seems to be the theme in all of your writing. Did you find the process of writing your books cathartic? Have you had any problems from those featured in them following publication?
Thank you for reading Shattered Reality Georgia. It’s still a work in progress. I can’t seem to let that book go. Maybe because it’s my first.
It has evolved since I first started writing it and to think it was going to be a sweet story about getting married and all the self-doubts that come with being engaged. Instead it didn’t start coming to life until the end of the marriage. If I didn’t have the beginnings of that “wedding” tale to go to I might have fallen apart.
Even though many of my lies came out in Shattered Reality I wanted this trilogy to be as honest as possible. I even hated changing names but I wasn’t looking for any more trouble. I surely found more than my share of it after the adultery. Not sure if these books are an apology for what I did or absolution from my sins but I possessed a great need to get them out there. I doubt these books would have come to be had my boyfriends wife not thrown fuel into the fire. Had she just walked away or acted somewhat human there wouldn’t have been be any material to share. I am not a fiction writer and don’t like to make things up. I prefer the real deal. No disguises or cover-ups. Reality is much more interesting. That’s why I can appreciate reality TV. Not all of it, mind you, but the shows that feel as authentic as life and don’t seem scripted. There is nothing better than feeling like you are a fly on the wall and that is my goal for all my stories.
We all need help at various stages of writing and I’d like to know more about the team you have behind you. Who helps you pull your books together until they are ready to be published? Including who designed the fabulous cover for L.A. Punk Rocker.
Thank you for mentioning the cover. Steven Novak did a great job on the design. I had a vision and he captured it right away. He is quite talented. He has done all my covers except for the children’s anti-bully book, Ty the Bull. I like that his covers pop and that is what I look for in a good cover.
I do have many cheerleaders and great relationships with people who I have never met. Too many to mention.
My greatest supporter is the book publishing business is Mary Ann Bernal. I don’t know if she felt sorry for me when I was going through publishing changes or what but she jumped right in to help me. And boy has she helped me! She is who I call my spartan warrior princess but I have the feeling she is not just mine. She is a giver and I am sure she has been a life saver to others, as well. Her editing impressed me when I read my finished story in Reality Bites, Mark Barry’s Anthology which included one of her stories too. She is multi-talented and has a heart of gold, but like me she is learning to use the word NO more often. At least, I hope she is. We have that in common though she has more to offer, in my opinion. She should start saying no more because she has some stories to put out and maybe another historical fiction novel. At least, I hope so.
I will always be grateful to John Emil Augustine who worked with me with Shattered Reality originally when it was called Home Wrecker. For some reason we connected right away and became a kind of a team. A team meaning two people who would always support each-other. In fact, I don’t feel right going on Marsha Casper Cook’s Blog Radio without John. He is like my side kick.
And last but not least, Mark Barry makes me feel like my work has something to offer. He calls my writing “faction” which makes me feel what I do is a bit more legitimate. Ha ha. I need the validation. He is a star in the making. Too brilliant for himself, maybe. You don’t meet that many people who are so sharp and writes lines in emails that should be saved for a future book.
Not only did Mark convince me to write L.A. Punk Rocker but he helped me put life into my stories. It’s something that comes natural to him and seeing him in working mode allowed me to learn through the process.
“Brenda, I want to hear the music, smell the scents, see the scene. Take me there!” His guidance was better than school. Yes, he gave me the push to do my stories up right. Less telling and more showing!
If you could choose to be any character out of any book, who would you choose? And why?
That is so hard for me because most of the books I enjoy reading the characters are all so damaged. Not sure I would want to be any one of them. I love the agony. The human existence. Can I have more time to think about that one? Find me someone perfect and it might seem boring. The quirks are interesting.
(Take as much time as you need Brenda…we’ve got all the time in the world, Ed)
I had to think and now it’s almost 1 am and I finally figured it out. Lisbeth Salande!!!! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Great series but what I love most is the strong character lead. There is a sadness I can relate to but more than that I love her strength and independent nature. Empowering. Brutally honest and dark as can be. She is so powerful that she is almost a comic book character.
If I were picking a movie character to emulate it would be the lovely red headed punk Lola from Run Lola Run. There is just something special about her drive and motivation. Now that excites me Georgia!
A few quick fire ones – although your answers don’t have to be ☺.
Cocktail or cuppa?
Not fair! It depends on the occasion though I do love a good cocktail. I am a happy drunk.
India or Iceland?
I have to say Iceland since we are looking at a vacation to that part of the world though India sounds life changing and I love Indian food!
Which superpower would you like to have? And Why?
I do love to get the inside info so I would like to be that fly on the wall that I talked about. To be able to be invisible excites me. I have always been this way. As a child I had to know every one’s business. Nothing has changed.
What piece of advice would you like to give your 16 year old self – if you were given the opportunity to use a time machine!?
I always felt behind on everything no matter what age. I wish I could have been a little easier on myself and slowed down. Maybe I might have followed through with more of my interests.
I’d tell my sixteen year old self that I was fine the way I was. I didn’t need to fit in with everyone else. It would all work out later on.
If I come back in another life I hope to be a professional dancer with long legs and speak fluent French. Maybe even be a singer on the side. You just never know. Maybe I will just come back as a punk rocker and if that were the case I’d be alright with that. Those were fun times and L.A. was a great place to be.
Thanks for joining me Brenda it’s been terrific to have the chance to chat to you and I wish you every success for the sales of L.A. Punk Rocker I have already devoured this and my review can be read right here!
You are just too kind Georgia. Thank you for having me here again and reading my work. So enjoyed chatting but isn’t time for some more tea or should we have a cocktail to celebrate L.A. Punk Rocker? Any excuse will do.
Absolutely B! It’s a book that definitely deserves a glass, or two, raising to it!! 🙂
Cheers to you and all of the contributors and supporters of L.A. Punk Rocker.
Before I forget I want to give a special thanks to Cindy Jimenez Mora, Deborah Hernandez-Runions, Steven E. Metz and of course, Mark Barry who shared their stories in the book.
The all important purchase links for L.A. Punk Rocker