Author Spotlight! LESLIE TATE

leslietate

 

 

LYRICAL REALISM

 

I write about relationships.

When asked about my target audience, I usually quote Kurt Vonnegut: ‘Write to please just one person’. If asked about the bottom line/my unique selling point, I generally say I’m a writer, not an entrepreneur – and I back it up with what Lewis Hyde said in The Gift: ‘…it may be possible to destroy a work of art by converting it into a pure commodity’. When asked for my genre, I usually say ‘lyrical realism’.

Those last two words can trigger a voice in in my head saying ‘‘literary’, but I keep that quiet, even to myself. Literary is a phrase usually reserved for heavyweight writing that has earned its place in the canon – and as Jeanette Winterson says in her Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery ‘all the arts suffer from canonization’. By that she means that once a work of art becomes part of the so-called great tradition we cease to read its true qualities. In her words: ‘familiarity… history, popularity and association all crowd in between the viewer and the picture and block it out’.  So I avoid the word literary because it sounds arrogant and might kill my books. Of course secretly I aspire to writing literature, but I balance that belief with ruthless criticism of my own work. It’s never good enough or finished, so any label I might give it is provisional.

But I do work hard at my ‘lyrical realism’, aiming to:

  1. base it on character and language
  2. dig beneath the surface
  3. include several types of writing/genre
  4. put in a generic, big-picture element.

Maybe I fail in the attempt, but I prefer taking risks to sales talk about ‘grabbing the reader’ and books as ‘products’, or the minimalist approach advocated by some academics. It means I’m constantly looking for ways to vary standard expressions, while trying to keep a line into the heart. Like music, writing needs contrast, so a good sentence mixes the direct with the complex, the immediate with the meaningful. In the words of poet Don Paterson: ‘For the reader to be blown away by the original phrase it must already be partly familiar to them.’

In terms of character and language, Purple, my coming-of-age novel, has two distinct narrative voices. It begins with a third person account, set in the Sixties, of Matthew Lavender’s youthful rebellion, and continues with his gran Mary’s first-person story of her family and marriage. Matthew’s section is written in close third person; it alternates between long and short sentences, mixing formal and informal language, and it dips in and out of his head. Mary’s section avoids long sentences, colons, semi-colons, dashes or ellipses and uses references and expressions from my N.E. England upbringing.

In Heaven’s Rage, my autobiography, I dig beneath the surface to tell the inside story of childhood, cross-dressing, alcoholism, illness and recovery, focusing on how these experiences have helped me to appreciate the hidden sides of life. And the use of different styles – including novelistic writing, psychological theories, dialogues and poetry – makes it possible to visit and revisit the key moments of my past, approaching each incident from more than one angle. The common thread running through the book is the power of the imagination.

In Blue, the novel that follows on from Purple, the genre is historical, told in the form of a satirical-romantic-adventure. The big-picture element is that it covers that time in life when couples struggle to ‘stay alive’ against the pressures of jobs and bringing up children. It’s also, like Purple, an investigation into modern love.

As Saul Bellow says, ‘Realism specializes in apparently unmediated experiences’. So when I write lyrically I have to take great care to stay grounded and keep the reader close by my side. I want to pack it all in, live and breathe the action and the feelings, while maintaining the flow.  So every word counts, no detail is arbitrary and I have to pick my way through the action with a sharp eye on emotional truth.

It’s all about stretching the language, filling the gaps and moving gracefully from one scene to the next. And the more effortlessly lyrical the writing seems, the more it has been worked and reworked. So the trick is to develop the full range of expression, to write with freedom while fixing it forever in an artificial form. And that’s the hardest rewrite of all.

 

ABOUT LESLIE’S BOOKS

Heaven’s Rage is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. “A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage” – William Blake.’ You can buy Heaven’s Rage here. https://gumroad.com/l/Eegjv#. Or http://www.lulu.com/shop/leslie-tate/heavens-rage/paperback/product-22943294.html

 

Purple is a coming-of-age novel, a portrait of modern love and a family saga. Set in the North of England, it follows the story of shy ingénue Matthew Lavender living through the wildness of the 60s and his grandmother Mary, born into a traditional working-class family. Both are innocents who have to learn more about long-term love and commitment, earning their independence through a series of revealing and closely-observed relationships. Purple is the first part of the Lavender Blues trilogy. You can buy it here. http://leslietate.com/shop/purple/ or on Amazon

 

Blue tells the story of Richard and Vanessa Lavender, who join a 90s feminist collective sharing childcare, political activism and open relationships. Boosted by their ‘wider network’ they take secondary partners, throw parties and observe the dance of relationships amongst their friends. But finding a balance between power and restraint, and handling shared love, proves difficult… Blue is the second part of the Lavender Blues trilogy. You can buy it here. http://leslietate.com/shop/blue/

or on Amazon.

 

On Leslie’s website www.leslietate.com you will find weekly interviews and guest blogs by writers/artists/musicians, as well as Leslie’s own writings.

You can contact him on Facebook at Leslie Stuart Tate (personal) and Leslie Tate (author page). His Twitter handle is @LSTateAuthor.

 

Advertisements

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: NICHOLAS TANEK / Author of: Chipped Black Nail Polish and The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself

download (8)download (10).jpg
Bio:
Nicholas Tanek is an American ghostwriter from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Nicholas Tanek grew up as a New Jersey punk rock skater kid who lost himself in the early 90’s New York City rave scene. After years of drug addiction, he got his life together when he was reunited with Lynn, the love of his life, before she died at the age of 37. Instead of choosing negativity, he chose creativity. Losing Lynn inspired him to write his first book, The Coolest Way To Kill Yourself. There is quite a bit of kinky sex, drugs, and music in the life of Nicholas Tanek and he has some unique stories to tell.
Chipped Black Nail Polish
by Nicholas Tanek
A Tribute to A Different Kind of Jersey Girl.
In New Jersey during the summer of 1989, an awkward thirteen-year-old who was obsessed with weird music fell head-over-heels in love with the coolest post-punk rock girl he had ever met.
Nicholas was insecure. He was a daydreamer, wishing for romance when he was told, over and over, that he could not have it. He was a toy, pulled and pushed, wanted and used, dragged along yet held at a distance. Nicholas fell in with the out crowd, and loved every minute of it. He fell in love and got left behind, but not before she changed him forever.
This is an irrational, emotional love story for the teenager inside all of us.
The music is loud, and you’re about to be pushed into the pit.
What some people are saying…
“I should have put you in therapy.” – my mother.
“I can’t believe you’re publishing this. You do not have my permission to use my real name.” – name redacted.
“I insist that you use my real name.” – Kevin.
“Finally, a title that doesn’t scare people off. Not like the first book, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.” – Kim Gray, publicist
The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself
by Nicholas Tanek
Link: http://amzn.com/B00GUSAX7G
Okay, so no one actually kills themselves in this book.
The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself pulls you into the early 90’s New York City rave scene, in all its chaotic, psychedelic glory. The narrator grabs you by your wrist and drags you behind two teenage lovers from New Jersey as they tumble through a whirlwind of reckless hedonism that eventually spirals into a dark, devastating world of drug addiction and heartbreak.
As a teenager, Lynn cried, “No one is ever going to write something for me.”
Nearly two decades later, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Nicholas did just that. The gesture came too late for our unlikely heroine, but his heart was in the right place. A broken heart… but a true love.
Reunited after years apart, Lynn and Nicholas embraced their love and sexuality, and embraced each other, despite troubled pasts, despite illness, despite all of their imperfections and mistakes. They shared the kind of honest and shameless connection that few have had the honor of knowing, and most would never understand.
“We’re not hurting anyone. We’re just living life without caring what anyone thinks about us, without caring about the consequences.”
“It’s the coolest way to kill ourselves,” Lynn said.
So turn the page, and pull the trigger.
What some people are saying…
“I used to think that I was a fairly liberal and open-minded person. But this world is truly a world outside my comprehension and comfort zone.” – my sister-in-law
“You will never publish this book.” – my ex-wife
“Are you crazy? I can’t believe you are publishing this.” – most of my friends
“I love the fact that you are publishing this.” – most of my cool friends
“You have disgraced me.” – my mother
“Why is your mother so angry about your book? Make sure you shovel the snow from the driveway.” – my father
Sincerely,
Nicholas Tanek

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: A. AIMEE

cover gpbpAbout A. Aimee or Being Amy on shaky ground

Hi. My name is A. Aimee – and the A. stands for Amy. So yes, my name is Amy Aimee. And I wrote a book called “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale”, which is a sensual, erotic page-turner, sexual thriller and modern love story. And I’m thrilled to say that the book is getting great reviews all around (even here on the lovely and discerning January Gray site).

So what’s “Good Pussy Bad Pussy” all about? Well, to begin with, my question (or you could say my project) was: How would it be for a woman like you or me to be unabashedly lovely and loving and FREE? Really free? How would it be? To really be that?

That’s what I wanted to know. How would it be to be unequivocally and amazingly lovely and loving and free? To just amp it up and pull out all the stops? And be that amazing someone or something you already know you are (but probably never admitted)? And not be half-hearted about it either but rather really let it out and fly.

In other words, how would it be… not to be bound by our social norms and the traditional programming of who women are and what we’re allowed to do…

It almost makes you blush just to think about it, doesn’t it? You without all your inhibitions. You without all your insecurities. You without being ground down by everyone’s expectations including your own. Just you – allowing you, allowing yourself, to be in contact with, feel and actually live the glorious life which is you, yours.

And yes I know, I’m being a little highfalutin here… yes I hear you. It’s not really possible you say. I know; that’s what they told me too. But still…

OK I admit it. We’re on shaky ground here, aren’t we?

And well yes, as I said, that’s kind of my project. Being a little highfalutin and on shaky ground and all.

And, while shaking and being on shaky ground, still having the guts to go and explore it anyway… in life – and on paper.

So yes, I wrote this book and called it “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale”. So there’s no mistaking what it’s about here, is there? And yes, it’s an on-paper attempt to explore this idea of being free, especially in terms of our sexuality… an on-paper attempt to express some of this without actually talking about it directly that is…

So what my heroine Rachel does when she’s coming from that space is rather intoxicating at times. Or at least that’s my experience, watching her. Experimenting with her. And watching how it actually plays out when she’s not sure about much except the energy she feels… the drive… the intoxication of her own soul… It’s that impulse again, isn’t it?

So yes, I found it quite intriguing to let her loose through me. It was, and still is, an amazing ride. Because whenever I thought about her and her story, I just got sucked into it. It just drew me in and on, which is why I guess, I did and still am writing about her a lot. She/Rachel makes me feel, well, rather heady. High you might say. And sometimes downright horny, when the life juices are steaming/streaming in and through her/me!

In fact, after “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale” was published, Rachel just wouldn’t let me go. Her story kept on calling me, so I kept on writing about her and her exploration of this mind-boggling life we’ve been given and this mind-boggling thing called sex we are all so fascinated by.

One of the things I wanted to explore and write about was orgasm, which I consider to be the ultimate surrender and a powerful portal to ecstasy and the flow state where we are fully present in this now moment. So I started this exploration in “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale”. And then I added to this an exploration of the conundrum that arises if we reach this blissful state of surrender in and through situations (and/or with people) that we don’t particularly like or find acceptable. Situations like this are part of the drama of the book.  In other words, I wanted to explore what happens when the body experiences one thing while the mind is screaming something else? What happens when the sexual experience feels good but the mind is screaming “you shouldn’t be doing this!”?

So I started exploring this idea in the first Good Pussy Bad Pussy book and then continued in the next book… oh yes… maybe I forgot to mention it, but yes, there’s another Good Pussy Bad Pussy book! A completely new one, which is even hotter, higher, and deeper than the first one! And yes it’s now finished and in production at my publisher and the book is going to be released in a couple of months. The name of the new book is “Good Pussy Bad Pussy in Captivity”.

So friends, I hope you’ll enjoy the amazing Good Pussy Bad Pussy reads/rides as much as I have and am still doing!

You can check out the Good Pussy Bad Pussy trailer on YouTube: http://youtu.be/E-Y_gwe4Ce0

Excerpt from “Good Pussy Bad Pussy – Rachel’s Tale” by A. Aimee

Good pussy bad pussy. Despite the traumatic events of New York and the deepening realization that all my actions had consequences, I also knew something else had awakened in me, something I’d never experienced before. A force, a power, a drive, an energy. Call it good pussy, call it bad pussy, call it whatever you will, but a life force had been awakened in me and I couldn’t put it (her) back to sleep again. Right or wrong. She was awake! She was alive! She wanted to live. And she wanted more.

   She, my pussy, was alive in me. I felt her moving in me, reaching out, right or wrong, proper or not. She wanted to taste and touch, to be tasted and touched. She wanted to feel the life force, the energy, moving in and through her. She wanted like liquid desire itself. She wanted because she was, life itself. She wanted because she was, the energy of life itself. And now that she – the genie – was out of the bottle, there was no putting her back again. She was untameable, wild; she wanted to be free, had to be free. Because she loved life, because yes, she was life itself. She was the life force in all of us… she was the creative power of the universe – and yes she was sex. Sex! Sex! Sexual! She was pure and beautiful and couldn’t be kept down or locked up. And now she was awake in me, awake! A ravishing beauty, a hungry cunt, a wantingness for the essence of life. And what was that essence? It was the ecstasy of knowing my own soul, my own being, which was somehow alive and felt like frolicking in that stream of liquid desire that carries one on and on unto a state of orgasmic bliss, which was somehow like coming home and finding a peace that was beyond all comprehension… home, home, home. That’s what I wanted, that’s what she wanted, that’s where she was taking me, taking me, taking me… and there was nothing, nothing I could do about it. No stopping her. No turning back now.

   She was me and I was her.

   And we were flying.

Links:

Web site: www.goodpussybadpussy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyAimee14

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aimee.52

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ron5ee

Amazon Kindle link: amzn.to/1lvdAcN

Amazon UK link: http://amzn.to/Yezq9D

Good Pussy Bad Pussy trailer on YouTube: http://youtu.be/E-Y_gwe4Ce0

Audio narration of the first 10 minutes of Good Pussy Bad Pussy read by Tim Spencer: http://bit.ly/1GcwbR5

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1I2I2FI

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: K.D. WILSON

Screenshot_2015-01-25-11-52-37-1

I am a happily married 49 year old proud mother of four. A published author of three E books: Broken Trust, Past Sins and Whispering Woods. Working on book number four now. My first book “Broken Trust” was originally published in 2001 and has recently been republished in 2014. I have also written several poems in the past which were published in 2001 in the International Library of Poets book. 
Broken trust cover

 Broken Trust is a story based upon true events. However, some of the events are fictional. This is Kate’s story about how the “trust” was broken explicitly by the people in her life that she loved and trusted the most. At a young age Kate would learn the hard way how to survive; starting by suffering not only sexual and physical but mental abuse as well by the hands of her father. After suffering years of abuse her father will finally be exploited for the monster that he is. Kate would quickly learn that all but a few of the people that she trusted to help her would quickly turn on her just like her father had said they would. After taking all that she could endure and knowing that it was the only way she could survive, she would try and leave behind all the horrible memories of her father, step-mother and the small town she lived in as she went to live with her real-mother. As she tried to start a new life and trust again Kate found herself in unfamiliar territory as she went from one abusive life to another as she stepped into her real-mothers world of drugs and alcohol. Unexpectedly, she would form a relationship with a boy from her new school. Mike would become a very important part of her life; gradually she would open herself up to him and start to trust again. He would stand by her helping her through some of the most difficult situations that her mother would put her though. There is only so much one can endure though, will he continue to stand by her, or will Mike to break a trust that will devastate her?

Screenshot_2014-09-17-18-29-11-1
 
 From an early age, Steven Hatfield has always been an ambitious person, never letting anything or anyone stand in his way from getting what he wants; not even his own family. After graduating from law school he landed the job of his dreams at the Chatman and Bryant Law firm. Determined to become a partner of the firm, he will commit some of the most horrendous acts against those he feels is standing in his way.
Shortly after his own wife’s murder the opportunity that Steven had long awaited for falls right into his lap; when his firm is hired to represent the beautiful actress Tanya Udry for the murder of her husband. When his rival Joseph Linder and his family dies from an unfortunate house fire, Steven is thrilled when he is asked to be the lead lawyer on the case; knowing that this trial could very well land him the partnership that he had so longed for.
Steven knew that he would do whatever it took to win the case, and he is thrilled when one night a stranger walks into his office with information that guarantees him the win. Unbeknownst to Steven, this same stranger that helped him to win the case that took him to the top of his career, will set into motion a spiral of events that will cause Steven’s “Past Sins” to catch up to him.
bb51f8765a7452241b28b6f1d04ca395c4c1cf6a-thumb
 
 The eerie darkness from the pitfall of trees that surrounded Daniel’s home sent a shiver down his spine. He knew that there was something horrible going on deep within the woods; something so evil that he dared not to step a foot beyond the trees. Every now and then when the wind blew, he swore that he could hear the sounds of drums and what he believed to be a chanting noise drifting in the air. Arising from the porch swing; he quickly retreated back into the safety of his home. Daniel could not help but to wonder if he had made a mistake by coming here. Six months ago to the date he had lost his wife and child in a car accident then three weeks ago he was contacted by the lawyer informing him that his grandmother had passed away. He soon learned that he was the last surviving heir of the Mc George clan; he had been left everything, including this strange farmhouse house that was in dire need of repair. He had been there less than twenty-four hours and already he missed the smog and noisy city that he had left behind. As he reached over and turned out the light he wondered what this quiet little town in Owsley Kentucky held in store for him.
All books are available on Barnes and Noble available on Nook devices. Also available at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kd3547) download in: epub, mobi (Kindle), pdf, rtf, irf, pdb, txt, Online reader and orginal document. 
 
 

COPYRIGHT

©January Gray and January Gray Reviews, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to January Gray and January Gray Reviews with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

January Gray Reviews is an Independent blog and is not affiliated with any Publisher, Agent, Promoter or Book Seller. January Gray Reviews does not make any guarantee to increased exposure or an increase in book sales due to reviewing/blogging and sharing your book(s), Author Spotlights, Cover Reveals, Giveaways and anything else associated with the exposure of your book. January Gray Reviews gives unbiased reviews and does not receive any form of payment or gift from the Author, or anyone requesting the review. Receiving a free book in exchange for review does not influence nor bias the opinions or reviews posted. This exchange of free book-free review (including blog posts and social networking posts), is considered fair and even trade by both the Reviewer and Author (and/or other involved party requesting review.)

%d bloggers like this: