Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es @esart @RABTBookTours

Non-Fiction / Memoir
Publisher: Desert Dog Books
Published Date: April 6, 2019

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Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a guided tour through a Tilt-A-Whirl life that takes so many turns that you may find yourself looking up from the pages and wondering how the hell one person managed to fit them all into 40-odd years. And many of them are odd years indeed. From a rootless, abusive childhood and mental illness through serious and successful careers in music and art, much of which were achieved while being involved in a notoriously destructive mind-control cult. Carol Es presents her story straight up. No padding, no parachute, no dancing around the hard stuff. Through the darkness, she somehow finds a glimmer of light by looking the big bad wolf straight in the eye, and it is liberating. When you dare to deal with truth, you are free. Free to find the humor that is just underneath everything and the joy that comes with taking the bumpy ride.

Illustrated with original sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is not just another survivor's tale, it's a creative ride where raw and intimate revelations are laid bare. As an artist and a woman finding self-worth, it's a truly courageous, relatable story that will keep you engaged to the end.

Interview with Author Carol Es

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Any number of knitted finger puppets. I have a collection and I’d probably pick the one that looks like a jackal or the puppy.

How many hours a day do you put into your writing?

I usually write in stints, meaning, I will set aside many months or a year where that’s all I’ll work on. Then I’ll put in no less than 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, do they affect what you write in the future?

Yes, I read them, but they don’t affect what I write or would write in the future, unless I personally agreed with something constructive that someone brought to light.

Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find?

No, but I’ve thrown in jokes that might only be funny to me, or a few other people.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley?

My book is nonfiction, but that doesn’t mean it’s not filled with great characters. Each member of my dysfunctional family was one of a kind. My father, for instance, was pretty nutty. He’d keep a gun in the dishwasher at night, as well as several others hidden around the house for “protection.” Being a WWII vet, may have been part of the reason for the overkill, but he’d even take a pistol with him when taking the little white poodle around the block for a walk. He didn’t conceal it either. It was tucked into the front of his belt. He wanted it to be seen so no one would mess with them.

He was very protective of that dog and really cared about his thoughts. He fed the dog American cheese slices and bacon. He cooked for him—fresh hamburgers every day.

Another thing about my dad was that he never bought new pants. Growing up in the depression, he just kept mending the same ones he had for over 20 years, which were out of style and way too short. He wasn’t an educated person, and he was stubborn. Not a good combination. It wasn’t until his sixties when he finally accepted that 7-Eleven was open 24 hours and that the existence of dinosaurs were a serious possibility.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’d like to write a collection of dark comedy stories. Many will be based on my adventures that didn’t make it into the book. However, I’ll publis them as fiction.

Do you allow yourself a certain number of hours to write or do you write as long as the words come?

Isn’t there some saying about waiting for the muse. She’ll never come if she can’t find you working…something like that.

Do you have a certain number of words or pages you write per day?

I don’t count or keep track of that. At the end of the day I will look to see if it’s a lot, or not very much.

What inspires you to write?

Real life. Real people. Messed up situations, and the absurd.

Would you rather

Read fiction or non-fiction?
I wouldn’t be able to choose.

Read series or stand-alone?

Read Science fiction or horror?

Read Stephen King or Dean Koontz
Stephen King.

Read the book or watch the movie?

Read an ebook or paperback?

Be trapped alone for one month in a library with no computer or a room with a computer and Wi-Fi only?
The library would be a welcome vacation.

Do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour online?
Online. I have intense social anxiety IRL.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. 😊

About the Author

Los Angeles writer, musician, and self-taught artist Carol Es writes for the Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal. She’s been published with Bottle of Smoke Press, Islands Fold, Chance Press, and her Artist’s books are featured in the Getty Research Library, Brooklyn Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is a two-time recipient of the Durfee Foundation’s ARC Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Fellow, and won the Wynn Newhouse Award in 2015.

Awarded grants in writing from the National Arts and Disability Center, Asylum Arts in Brooklyn, NY, Carol won the Bruce Geller Memorial Award WORD Grant for 2019.

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