Gianna Perada's Blog, page 3
May 26, 2012
I hate to sound so spammy but it’s true! I’ve decided to offer my novel, Blood Life, for FREE at the Kindle store. Today only… Go get it!! And then review it there after LOVING it. Or just really REALLY enjoying it. hehe
Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/8857h9x – and then PRESS THIS or tweet it or facebook it to your own little space to help me spread the word – offer ends at the witching hour (or a minute before). xo
May 25, 2012
Last night I got to thinking: How crazy must I sound to people when I try to explain that Devendra, the heroine of my vampire / witch series, kept chattering away at me (picture my arms up next to my face mimicking chattering mouths with my hands and a crazy look on my face), keeping me up at night, until I agreed to write her story? CARRAAZZZYYYYY?! Seriously, when I say it, I feel a little nuts, especially in the moment of silence it produces to the unknowing and understanding person. There’s a look in their eye, a faint glimmer of a question, but it never comes. That action, or lack thereof, causes this curiosity for me.
Do I really care? No, not really. I mean in all honesty, as a writer, I know this is normal behavior. I realize that without Devendra’s constant chattering, I’d have no story. Doesn’t matter how creative I think I am or can be, without her as an inner voice, a character to channel, I’d more likely be a dry well. I have everything to thank her and the other characters for. They help my stories come to life. I do not write outlines; I sit at my computer, wait for them to make an appearance, and my fingers move to their rhythm. Period.
Also yesterday it occurred to me – aside from a few glorious hours spent with an old friend I rarely get to see – that Z is trying to fight her way into the forefront. She’s resurfacing too soon, as Devendra is at center stage in my mind just now. Z is another character from another world in a completely different story. She is not a vampire or a witch. She is psychic, in fact a psychic profiler for the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide division (specializing in serial killings)… but she is YET TO COME! Her story is only in the infant stages, a whisper in my mind’s eye, sitting in the to-write filing cabinet. And although extremely important and close to my heart, Z needs to wait her turn! What to do, though? She’s being very demanding. She threw out some great ideas yesterday as I was having my eyebrows threaded (nice timing!) and I did not write them down if nothing else but to tell her NOT NOW. And as I sit here thinking about it, refusing to give her that moment to write down her musings only hurt me. I wonder if she will repeat herself? Poo. I still have two vampire books to write before I can get to her story. Unless I take a break after Devendra and piss off my readers by making them wait an extra year before Book 3 comes out. Dare I chance it?
While patience is a virtue, I don’t believe my characters care, much less abide by the thought of patience or virtue. They want out, all at once, caring not for my time or my lifestyle or the money-making priorities. They say, “Eff all that. It’s time to write all the time.” Nice. Thanks, guys. Love you, too.
May 21, 2012
Since I was seven years old, when my mom bought me a hello kitty diary for Christmas, I’ve been penning stories of the supernatural kind. I didn’t use it as a dear-diary-ramble-fest. Instead, I used it for bringing various fictional characters and ideas to life on the pages in short story form. Driven by my two favorite TV shows: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Twilight Zone, as well as the dark tales of Edgar Allen Poe and Radio Mystery Theater, a little writer was growing within me. Two of those stories will become novels at some point, because looking back at them, I think they’re pretty darn good! Reading past the adolescent mind, the undertones are chilling and exciting! Almost “creepy-kid” level, but not quite. I like to think of it more as “astounding and intelligent imagination and creativity.”
I’m no expert, but I have been writing in this realm long enough that I feel my opinion on the “best of” might matter. So, without further adieu…. here’s my list!
5) People think that horror writers are strange, even downright weird. While I disagree (I think fantasy/sci-fi writers are way stranger), it’s a nice cover, especially if you find yourself in a funny situation. Merely act weird! Works every time and you’re forgiven because, well, they sort of expected it so life goes on without incident.
4) This one might seem a little weird, though, contradicting what I just said in #5, but I’ll say it anyway. Ever get so mad at the human race that you just feel murderous? While it’s most likely just horrid PMS (and men get that too, so it works both ways), here’s your chance to get out some aggression in story form without ever actually harming anyone. Have a ghost possess and destroy a person’s body, wreaking havoc on their innards like nothing else can. OR, even better, put them in the path of a killer. Voila! Problem solved and you’re not in jail. Did I just say that?
3) If you love to be scared, watch horror movies like they’re going out of style, and totally get off on the thrill, but feel like recent horror has been lacking in the true terror department, here’s your chance to set it straight! Write your best frightening sequences, pull them together into story form, and scare the hell out of yourself (and others) while doing it! It most likely won’t disappoint you, since you wrote it, and it may even get considered by some of the best horror directors looking for fresh, new, raw material. Maybe they’ll even stop remaking every great horror film in history and just leave them alone while creating new classics. Just a thought. Oh, and a bonus to this one would be having a super hot horror director with a fabulous mind and mad voodoo skills, like let’s say Eli Roth or Steve Niles or Rob Zombie or Dario Argento (I don’t care how old he is, he’s hot by nature!) approach you, review you, tweet you, or praise you in any way, shape, or form. That would be honor enough for a lifetime. To me, anyway.
Eli Roth on the set of Hostel.
2) There’s no limit and there’s no right or wrong in horror writing! You can get as brutal or keep it as clean as you like in your descriptions of scenes or kills. There’s probably a line somewhere in there, but who’s to decide where that line is? If you’re writing dark fiction of any kind, the reader typically knows what they’re getting themselves into when they pick up your book, so you’re pretty safe either way. Although some of them still break the cardinal rule and say something like, “Oh, it wasn’t my type of story, but I read it anyway and now feel the need to give it an unfair bad review because I couldn’t take the violence.” Um, okay. Thanks for reading it anyway. It still struck a chord and that’s a writer’s goal anyway. :-p
And finally, my number 1 favorite reason for writing at all, especially in the realm of horror and supernatural…
1) You get to turn nightmares into reality. You get to pull them out of your head and throw them out there into the world, thus terrifying everyone else and sweeping your psyche clean. It’s self-hypnosis. Self-healing. Self-therapy! Set it free; it sits right at your fingertips and hovers in the depths of your mind. Pull it out, detox, and terrorize others instead. Pure. Simple. Fun.
May 17, 2012
Little me: 1983
Today is my birthday. Yes, that’s right. I like to tell everyone because it makes the day extra special. Today I leave another lower-numbered year behind in favor of “the climb.” What are we climbing for again? Oh, yeah, the aging process! The normal, humanoid, earth-bound curse of getting older. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN… Can’t I write in that I’m immortal? Who’s editing my story of life over here? Hellooooo?! Slow it down, wouldja? Geez.
No, but really, it’s okay. 38 ain’t so bad, especially when everyone gasps in dismay when you divulge such information because, “YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY PAST 28!!!” Thanks, heh… *blush* Sometimes they even preface with, “OMG, YOU’RE OLD!” haha, uhhh, thanks?
It seems like just yesterday I was on the video arcade game show, Starcade (anyone remember that one with MC Geoff Edwards?), with my older brother, Cayo. We were on two shows. We won the first one and lost the second one. If you want to see a clip of our shows, go to the Starcade remembrance site and do a search on that page for my first name, Gianna. Click on that thumbnail and you’ll get a one-page site of our shows. You’ll get a kick out of it. I was TINY and oh-so-young! I swear that feels like yesterday to me. I still get… I want to call it fan mail but I’m not sure what it is, from people who used to watch the show to ask if I am THE GIANNA from those episodes. It’s cute.
Anywhoo… today, on the date that marks my birth for the 38th consecutive time in a row, I will make a point to tell everyone I come across that I am 38 years old, and then wait for the inevitable, “OH NO! I’D NEVER HAVE GUESSED IT! YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY PAST 2__,” to make myself feel better. All day. Yep. That’s my goal. *giggle*
May 15, 2012
Have you ever wondered how some writers get their research, or if they even research at all in their writing? I know I do. I LOVE to research topics that I write about. For instance, I’m working on Devendra’s book now, the life and times of my witch heroine, my own inner personae, and it starts out with a witch trial set in the Witch Court of Burgundy, one of the colored towns of the United Spectrum. The United Spectrum is a world I created so that I didn’t have to worry too much about accuracy and time… a little lazy on my part, I’ll admit, but so forgiving and lenient! As a writer, it’s nice to have a little of that.
However, with the actual trial, I wanted some accuracy. So I purchased books (including the “The Hammer of Witches”: the Malleus Malificarum) and read a ton about the European Witch Craze, and of course, the Salem Witch Trials since they made it mainstream public in works like, “The Crucible,” and, “Three Sovereigns for Sarah.” These were excellent adaptations and stories based on the witch hysteria of the small village of Salem, but the witch hysteria infected inquisitors far beyond Salem. In books like, “The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe,” by Brian Levack, and “Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts,” by Anne L. Barstow, questions are explored pertaining to why women and men were accused in the first place (most often out of greed and religious disagreements – one only had to point a finger at that time and a person could be burned), and how they were handled, tortured, and killed. It was madness!
I took from these ideas and used them in my writing. I put Devendra there in that dilemma but in Burgundy, accused and on trial for her life. I used names of some actual people of the time in Salem and placed them as the executioner, Devendra’s personal jailer, etc. and played on real facts, working in the fiction, to build the scenes and overall storyline.
Although it takes time, the research was/is fun and I’m looking forward to doing it all over again with another book I’ll be working on, “The Butcher’s Daughter,” about a female serial killer set in late 80s / early 90s San Francisco. I’ll need to contact the SFPD about interviewing or “riding along” with officers/detectives to gather insights on the day-to-day workings of the homicide department when it comes to serial killings. Fun, scary, and exciting! The first chapter of that one’s written but put aside in favor of finishing Devendra and getting it out by Halloween.
This week, I’ve put up a promo on my Facebook Fan Page. Get your vampire and witch loving friends to “like” my page and post to my wall that YOU referred them, and get entered to win a signed copy of Blood Life! I’ll run this until Saturday at midnight, so get your booty moving if you wanna win.
Below is a small gallery from the book signing I did in Petaluma, CA, on April 22nd. What a great turnout! We sold out and had to take special orders. That felt good. Next up: I’ll be reading an excerpt from Blood Life at Redwood Cafe in Cotati on Tuesday, May 22nd. It’s an intimate event from 6-8pm. Five other authors will be presenting their work. I’m assuming I’ll be the only one reading from a horror novel. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb!
May 10, 2012
My cover designer and friend, Myah Frazer, came up with a great blog topic for me to go over. A beautiful, multifaceted question regarding character development and intimacy.
“Character development and the intimacy that you, as a writer, do or do not allow yourself to create with your characters. How do behaviors, quirks, nuances, even notions become full fledged characters – what is the process and how much of *you* does it take over? – with their very own psyches and needs – are they demanding and do you find yourself interacting with them on a more substantial level than character/creator.. and how does that affect you?”
I am VERY intimate with my characters, and each and every one of them (the main ones especially) carry traits and quirks of my own. Anything from my past or present comes alive within them. I allow them free reign of my imagination and never worry about how much of me they are taking, because I am always the stronger one. I always walk away me. And that’s not to say I am perfect, but to say that I am strong and extremely malleable. I can share many parts of my own psyche with them, without losing any part of myself. I can jump in and out of writing. There is only one who remains with me always, and that’s Devendra.
Demanding? Devendra is the most demanding. She resides in me always. She’s my inner witch. I have had Devendra with me for as long as I can remember! It’d be hard to let anyone else play her on the big screen, should that opportunity ever arise, and I think it will be in the stipulations of contract that if I cannot play her role (haha!) then I MUST be in the casting room when her actress is chosen. It is so important to me. She is the only one that I consider parallel with me, or part of me on a daily basis, whether I am writing or not. When I finished Blood Life, she kept chattering away at me, wouldn’t leave me alone to sleep, until I agreed/decided to write her story leading up to Blood Life, a prequel that I am working on now and hope to have ready for release by late October. Halloween, maybe. Seems fitting of a vampire / witch novel.
The rest of my stars, although important, they take smaller parts of me and run with those pieces becoming their own individual characters. Lokee is tricky, as he is the bad side of me. He’s dark and dirty, but also wants nothing more than acceptance and love. Since he does not get it, he strikes out at everyone and exudes hatred instead. Alexandria/Alethea is my weaker side, my inner victim becoming strong with every growing day. Roman is my perfect lover projected… he is every man I’ve loved and want to love. He’s my “Weird Science” creation of a man instead of a woman.
Lillith… she is very special. The mother of the Combined. The Goddess of the vampires and the witches of the Spectrum (the world I’ve created for them to exist among humans). Lillith is my dangerous but controlling side. She is the most powerful character among them all and next to Devendra. She is my own mother in many ways. The strong one holding us all up, the one that remains in control, and the ultimate nurturer and protector.
I allow them all that they need to help me write their stories. I channel each and every one of them into my words and my life as needed. And I hope they decide to stay with me through the bitter end. Maybe even forever after.
And in case you missed it, I recorded a live excerpt reading of Chapter 12. I'll be reading live, from a different chapter, on May 22nd, at this cute little local cafe that hosts local author readings monthly. Check out the little website… buy the book! Watch the video. What else? Oh, like the fan page or follow me on Twitter to keep updated! hehe
May 8, 2012
I am so much a writer, the blessing (and curse) runs through my veins like nothing else in this world. It’s magical, like a predestined craft, a trade, a calling, even, that no other hobby or profession can satisfy. And I must have time to write. Correction, in this crazy world, I must make time to write or my life just feels . . . ordinary. Writing is my life. I wrote my first short story, about a crazy cat lady who died and all her cats ate her, at 10 years old. And look, I didn’t become a serial killer!? You’d think, “Whoa, troubled kid!” Nope. Not troubled (in that sense, anyway). But wildly imaginative, and a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Edgar Allen Poe shorts, et al. Enough said.
Many authors will tell you they come up with story ideas through occurrences in everyday life or through dreams / nightmares, and then outline them before sitting down to write them out. Not me. In fact, outlining really messes up my flow. I sit down and channel the story. It just comes to me. I’ll sit with no idea which story I’m going to write in (since I have five other books in progress at present). It depends on the mood I’m in. I’ll sit down in my office and place my fingers on the home keys of my Asus keyboard, feeling the firmness of them, waiting for the first words to come to me. And that’s just what happens.
Sometimes I will start slowly and speed up as pictures and ideas invade my mind, or, if I’m lucky, my fingers start smoking across the keys as I pound out a scene or two, even a chapter, in record time. When the temporary possession ends, I go back to read what I’ve written. When it’s good, I can’t believe I wrote it. I get humble but excited. When it’s bad, it gets deleted and I walk away. Simple as that.
I will say, though, that some ideas do come to me through everyday life occurrences rather than dreams. Dreams do sometimes play a role in my imaginative tales, but being out in society, people-watching, gets me the bulk of my material. I see people, I study their actions and body language; if I make eye contact, I decide what they’re thinking (or their thoughts literally fly out at me – it’s frightening!) and it fuels a character or scenario. Little do they know they’re supplying my story tank in some little important way. I wonder if they’d be flattered or weirded out by it? I’d be flattered, but I’m a writer, so I understand. How about you? How would you feel if you found out the reason for a stranger’s stare was that they were momentarily struck by your presence and that you’re quite possibly supplying ammo for a fictional character’s actions?
May 4, 2012
I recorded my first excerpt reading: Chapter 12 of Blood Life. In this scene, Roman, my male hero character, loses the love of his life to a scorned vampire, Lokee, in a brutal death. All four main characters at this early point in the book are introduced (though Alexandria already dead), and it is a pivotal point in time for Roman – he will now become a vampire and spend centuries waiting for Alexandria’s soul to be reborn so they can reunite. Devendra, my heroine of Combined blood (witch / vamp hybrid) will show her true form to Roman for the first time.
Chapter 12 was written before much of the book. In fact, it was one of the first chapters I actually finished writing! The rest of the story centered around this very important section. It set the tone for all the characters in my mind, opening a pathway for the rest of their lives and intentions. The quote at the beginning of the chapter, by William Blake, was also the first time I realized I wanted to have quotes to fill in blank spaces of the interior layout.
“Sleeping lyca lay
While the beasts of prey
Come from caverns deep
View’d the maid asleep.”
Key Character Introductions:
Roman – hero male, vampire, not terribly powerful but a great lover… so who cares, right? haha
Alexandria/Alethea – the first introduction to a key female character, mortal, (later Alethea who will become a vampire), Roman’s soulmate. Alethea will be introduced in a later chapter, she is constantly antagonized by Lokee and part of an intense plan of Fate for the race of the Combined.
Devendra – my great witch, also a vampire (Combined), sort of a goddess incarnate, extremely powerful but held back in favor of letting Fate play out as it is supposed to. I am currently working on her book, a prequel leading up to Blood Life.
Lokee – born of Combined blood, very powerful main antagonist, Devendra’s son and archenemy, threatens the Combined race as a whole, destroyer of all things good.
Lillith – the Mother of the Combined, first a witch, then a vampire, will be much more active in Book Three, also the star of the 2nd edition book cover.
I posted my excerpt reading video on YouTube in my newly created channel. Please watch it! It is a collaboration of myself and my mother, a theater director and set designer extraordinaire.
Share it like crazy!! Help me get a little viral wit’it.
May 3, 2012
April 24, 2012
The Blood Countess: Erzebet Bathory
There are many books and movies on vampires out there, both past and present. It’s all the rage right now, as they have been resurrected from Anne Rice’s romantic and sexy reign into a new, more carefully crafted modern version consisting of glitter, current clothing trends, and youth. And people are eating it up. Can’t get enough! Nothing wrong with that. Stephanie Meyer created a masterful series that is completely unparalleled and I applaud her. Nor is there anything wrong with the wildly popular series’ Vampire Diaries or True Blood. I remember when True Blood was getting ready to reveal itself. A vial of fake blood in a syringe made its way to my mailbox with absolutely no explanation and creeped me the eff out. O.o
MANY MANY versions of vampires these days… and they are all unique. That makes me happy, being that I’ve just released a book chock full of my very own version of these alluring, lovable, sexy immortal creatures. These days in literature and in Hollywood, the vampire has been dissected every which way but loose. (Well, maybe a little loose if you consider Eddie Murphy or Leslie Neilson as the vampire!) Some wear sunglasses, foundation, and sunscreen to blend in, others bathe in the blood of virgins, impale guests at dinner, vaporize, shape-shift. Still others walk around in Victorian lace, Levis (or the like), patent leather or latex, combat boots and cloaks… some even resist the urge to feed (gasp!) with special serums, while others prey on the weak or ruined. You name it, it’s out there; there’re never-ending possibilities. They’re fictional characters after all, are they not? But mine don’t sparkle or burst into flames when sunlight touches their skin. Nor are mine geared toward the young adult audience. I’m aiming at the 17+ crowd.
My vamps live in a colorful world of their own, borrowing little to nothing from anyone else. They play and prey by their own rules, they love sex, participate in violence, magic, and match and test Fate on a daily basis. They don’t sparkle in sunlight; in fact, sunlight doesn’t affect them at all. They walk among humans and witches and wolves (not werewolves… just wolves). Some even share blood with witches and become their own race: The Combined. These are mega vamps or mega witches, if you will, whichever side you’re on. Me? I’m on both. I play for both teams, the witches and the vampires. And I prefer mine dark and sexy, with a splash of undeniable intrigue. And magic, of course.
Who do you play for? Why? What do you like in your vamp or to get your vamp on? Humor me.