Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today from New York City.
BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
I am the author of ten books, including my latest book, BLOOD: The New Red. I write and contribute rock, travel, and pop culture columns for various websites and magazines. I work and live in New York City.
BK: Please tell us a little about your book....
Blood: The new Red begins at an after party where Mickey, and ex-adult movie star turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh Avenue. While trying to land a job on the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force. Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.
Mickey goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in NYC. The other is Sandy Johnson, another Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory. A runway exhibition has been scheduled for the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson. Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line.
In addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.
Did you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a mental facility? Paul Johnson knows this.
Somewhere between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees. He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees) that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.
Days before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on Mickey’s life. After a brief period of unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now also dead and that he must continue with the show. After all, what would Steven Tyler do?
The night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered on the runway.
In the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey has the last word.
Right before he pops his last Vicodin.
BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
The story of BLOOD: The New Red really starts with one of my first books titled Corporate Porn that featured a model, named Mickey, turning to the adult movie industry for work.
After other writing projects I started thinking about Mickey and what if he was the main character, the narrator, and what if he came back to New York to regain his career as a model? Is this interesting? It was for me. Throw in fashion week, a pair of competitive designers, and Oprah on the runway and I was all in! Given the initial through that went into this tale the story wrote itself, at times I felt more like a ghost writer than I did an author. This also explains the break-neck speed of the book, moving from neighborhood-to-neighborhood and psychiatrist-to-psychiatrist, bridged only by drugs, low morals, and chainsaws!
BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know that I’ve ever considered myself a “writer”; however, I think we are all writers in some degree. I have been fortunate to have publishers print my work and online arenas to write, vent, and share my sense of humor. I feel like I need a few more addictions to consider myself a real writer, any suggestions? I keep hearing heroin is back, but I really don’t like needles so for the time being I’m sticking with popsicles and Patron tequila.
BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
I always have a rough outline before I sit down to start my first draft. For each chapter I make sure there is something that leads into the next chapter, keeping the reader engaged and wanting to turn the page. I don’t spend a lot of time with describing the color of the walls or eye color, but rather try to fill the page with as much dialogue as possible, the more pertinent to the overall story, the better. .
BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?
No (knocking on wood), I have not had writer’s block. I always lean on my outline and notes. If I don’t’ feel like I have enough to start a story I will wait until I have what I need. I mean, who needs the anxiety of staring at a blank page? Not me!
BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?
I am very low maintenance. As discussed earlier, I need my outline and notes. I will sometimes write longhand in a notebook, but most often will use my mini Dell PC to write. My notes and outline are always written out in my notebook. Lucky for me I have only lost one notebook in my life! It was left in a hotel room in Detroit. I laugh to myself thinking about the maid opening it up and reading my notes on dialogue I overheard the night before at the hotel bar. There was a prostitute and what appeared to be a High School Guidance Counselor (assumption based on hair cut, tan suit, and glass frames) discussing where sex toys were sold after midnight.
BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
Personally I hope my writing continues to grow and get better with each book. For my readers I hope they continue to receive what they want from me in the form of quick, dark, and funny reads.
BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I don’t know that there is one “thing”, but more a concept: Reading can be enjoyable! BLOOD: The New Red is a quick read that explores a dark side of New York City and hopefully makes you laugh. You’ve got the fashion industry, an ex-porn star turned model, and Oprah on a runway with chainsaws. I mean, what else do you want?
BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?
Always “Show” and not “Tell.” As a society we don’t use our imaginations as often as we should. A book is one of the few mediums left where you should be able to tell a story, and have the tale unfold in the readers head, not spelled out with every detail on the page.
BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
Continue to read and write; it’s really the best way to improve your writing. Writing classes and groups can help give support and criticism, but the actual writing has to come from within and that tool is best sharpened through practice.
BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?
I continue to write rock columns (MetalUnderground.com, SleazeRoxx.com), travel narratives (TravelMag.co.uk), and an NBA column (ProBasketball-fans.com) on a weekly basis. I am also working on another novel titled The Devil Wears Black Leather as well as a couple non-fiction works centered on rock bands and fear and loathing travel.
BK: Where can readers find you?
Thank you for having me. For more information on my writing please go to http://www.davidsgrant.com Twitter: @david_s_grant, and Silverthought Press: http://www.silverthought.com/blood/
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
David will be giving away a signed paperback copy of BLOOD: The New Red. Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win!
David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”. His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available. David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City. For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com Twitter: @david_s_grant
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