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BLOOD: The New Red
Humor, Dark Comedy, Transgressive Literary Fiction
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
Louise: David, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
David: I have been writing for most of my life and writing books for the past ten. There is truth that the reward is in the writing of the book, but there’s something also to making it available to others. “Blood: The New Red” is the tenth book I’ve published and I consider myself very lucky to have outlets that want to publish my work. Silverthought Press has been a great support as well as my other publishers and online websites and magazines I write for.
Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release “Blood: The New Red” without giving too much of a spoiler away.
David: “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.
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?
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.
Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
David: YES and YES! A little of both, I guess. In my latest book, Mickey is a character from my first published novel, Corporate Porn. Mickey was not the main character; however, I kept wondering what would happen if I brought him back and told the story from his point of view. SO, I brought Mickey back and he is the narrator in “Blood: The New Red.”
I do have notes and an outline (more on this shortly) that reference both the character and story, but I also think it’s important to allow your characters to develop on their own. Let the story go where it needs to go, maybe even you (the writer) will be surprised. When this is the case (you the writer are surprised), you can pretty much guarantee the reader will be surprised.
Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
David: (Pause) Well, let’s first establish that a lot of my writing mixes humor with dark undertones or subjects that may be considered taboo in other book genres. OK! So, not sure if “cool tidbits” would be qualify, but definitely “interesting.” Let’s say if there is a scene where a character is in the basement of an S&M club and is shooting heroin into their pinky toe. You know what…let’s just leave this one alone and assume my Google history is VERY incriminating.
Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
David: Wow, writing by the seat of your pants is NOT the first thing that comes to mind when I hear “Pantser”, anyway… I am a pretty organized writer. I am always taking notes that I will use later in my books or columns. Once I have an idea for a book I will draft an outline that breaks out each chapter and has a summary of what may happen. I usually have a potential plot as well, though I rarely end up using it. This is more of a crutch so I don’t get two chapters in and experience mind numbing anxiety because I’m unsure if I will have an ending.
Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
David: You just gave me an idea for a short story: A writer always writes with his stained flannel blanket draped over his lap. One day his apartment is robbed and the blanket is gone. The writer experiences writer’s block and begins drinking, and comedy ensues! I’ve digressed. No, I don’t have any rituals for writing. Coffee is more of a life ritual for me. I use standard composition style notebooks for notes and outlines and my mini Dell computer to write. That’s pretty much it, unless you count tequila.
Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.
David: I do not have typical writing days. I have several columns and deadlines during the week so I have a list of priorities I focus on. I may write all of my columns in one night, or spread them out over the course of the week. In between I work on short stories, novels, etc… I’m always referring back to notes I have taken throughout the day for ideas or to ensure I don’t miss something I want to include. A lot depends on motivation, time, and the amount of coffee intake. Actually, now that I think about it I believe coffee intake is the main driver.
Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
David: I continue to write pop culture articles (MancavePlaybabes.com), rock music articles (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.
Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
David: I enjoy a lot of different fiction genres, mostly Transgressive and/or authors that are not afraid to just tell the damn story and have a sense of humor. Bret Easton Ellis, Hunter S. Thompson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are a select few of the many authors I enjoy. Right NOW my favorite author is Charles Bukowski. I have been reading many of his short stories and am blown away by his approach and power of his prose.
Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
David: THANK YOU to all of those that have checked out “Blood: The New Red” and my writing. Feel free to reach out to me via email, Twitter, Cash Cab shout out, etc… anytime. For those that do reach out, I am known to give away freebies!
Louise: David, thank you for visiting with me today! Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?
David: Readers can fine me on the web at:
Silverthought Press: www.silverthought.com/blood/
David S. Grant: www.davidsgrant.com
Twitter @david_s_grantBlood: The New Red: www.bloodthenewred.com
And I'll giveaway a signed paperback copy of "Blood: The New Red" to one lucky commenter!
When I approach, Paul gets up from his table and gives me a hug. “Welcome back, Mick. We’ve missed you.” I tell Paul great show and congratulations on the new line, then look at the table and see they are all drinking 1986 chardonnay and there’s a small mountain of cocaine in the center of the table. Paul looks at my cup and asks me if I need another coffee and I tell him I’m okay and then he proceeds to introduce me to the guests at his table, which include Lindsay Lohan, Jay Z, John Stamos, and four models I’ve never met but have bumped into during my previous job. One is a brunette with piercing blue eyes that I may have even shot a scene with but am not positive since I never saw much of her face. I pull out a pack of Camel non-filtered cigarettes and light one up. Paul asks me to join them. My manager agrees, so I grab a seat. The brunette tells me I look familiar, John Stamos says the same, and I grab a random razor from the ashtray and cut a line for myself.
Paul follows my lead, does a line and then lifts his head. There are still remnants of powder on his nose, but judging from his smile, he doesn’t care. “Mickey, I want you to be my feature model, and I want to use you for my next project. What do you say?”
No one has ever turned down an offer from Paul Johnson, one of the top two designers in New York City. I consider saying no, just to make history, but my manager doesn’t agree with this decision, so I put some cocaine on the razor blade and turn toward the brunette. On cue she lowers her dress, revealing her left nipple. I dump the coke onto the top of her left breast, move in, and snort it. She giggles and then says, “Now I remember you.”
I excuse myself from the table because my manager has me scheduled to bump into Sandy Johnson near the men’s restroom in three minutes. On my way to my spot, Dontay walks past and hands me a full coffee cup and slips me the number of John Stamos, “Just in case,” he says.
Sandy exits the bathroom with his fly unzipped, hand in hand with Stan, his boy toy for the night, laughing and then flagging down a waiter holding a sign: 2002. My manager has strategically placed me between Sandy and the waiter so Sandy notices me and walks over. “Mickey! My God, you look fabulous!” Sandy gives me half-hug and cups my buttocks, then mentions that he has heard a lot of rumors involving me and the porn industry. I just laugh and tell him there’s nothing wrong with franchising my body.
“Amen to that.” Sandy turns to Stan and tells him to fetch him a glass of 2002 because he needs to talk business. Sandy surveys the scene and leans in to me. “Fabulous, isn’t it?” I nod and then Sandy says, “Just murderous!”
Sandy moves next to me and puts his arm around my shoulder. “Did you see my show today?” It was great and congratulations I tell him but am cut off as he tries to say something, pauses, then finally says, “So I see you were talking with Paul.”
I take a drink of Johnnie Walker and then say, “Yeah, actually he just offered me a job.”
Sandy grabs his heart. “Oh, the betrayal! I think I’m going to faint.” Stan appears out of nowhere with a chair for Sandy to sit down in and hands him a glass of wine. Sandy takes a drink and agrees that it is indeed 2002 and this seems to settle him. “Mickey, baby, we go way back. Your first runway, I believe. Honey, you need to come work for me, not that…” Sandy flickers over toward Paul, “beast!”
My manager tells me that I need to step outside because Juanita, my girl, can’t get inside because she refuses to wear shoes and has just put out a joint on the bouncer’s arm.
I tell Sandy thank you, and he says he’ll be in touch. I lean into his ear and let him know his pants are unzipped and he says, “I know, it’s the new sign.”
I finish my cup of scotch and walk outside where Juanita is not only not wearing shoes but is also not wearing any pants, only a light purple Versace thong. The bouncer notices me and tells me that he doesn’t have a problem with the thong, but there’s a policy regarding the shoes. I let him know I understand and then buy a gram of cocaine off of him. I put Juanita in my limo and give her the gram to keep her busy. “I need to go inside and finish some business. I’ll be right back,” I tell her but she doesn’t hear a word, already ripping open the gram and cutting three lines. “Thanks baby!” I hear her yell as I shut the door.
Back inside, my manager wants me to be on the right side of the bar because the glow from the light accentuates my features best. I look over and see Paul Johnson telling a story that I’m guessing involves a Hollywood movie star, too much champagne, and no panties while he decides which two models he is going to take home tonight. On the other side, Sandy Johnson is whispering into the ear of Stan and undoubtedly outing many of the stars here tonight. Presently, in between sips of three-hundred-dollar glasses of wine, they are pointing at Andy Garcia and nodding.
My manager is noncommittal but pleased. We have accomplished our goal for the night. I glance over at Paul Johnson, then over at Sandy Johnson, the two kings, bitter rivals and not related. Simply known around the city as The Johnsons.
Walking out of the Grand, I look over at my limo. The window is rolled down and Juanita appears to have passed out. I walk over to my driver and tell him to take her home. As I turn back toward the club there is a TMZ camera in my face. “Mickey! Mickey! Who are you going with?” I light a Camel, remove my aviators, and look into the camera. “I’m going with Johnson! You can use that!” FLASH.
I go back to the doorway of the Grand (where I can hear “Mama Said Knock You Out” over the speakers), score another gram, stop off in the bathroom for a line, and then catch a cab to Lucky Sevens. In the cab the song “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis is playing. I cut a line and offer it up to the cab driver, who can’t snort it fast enough. I do a line and sit back, smiling.
Act like you’ve lived this moment a hundred times over. This is the forty-third secret on how to be famous.