The Page a Day Writers Group

Posts Tagged ‘Kirsten Imani Kasai

I had a great time reading a few poems and chatting with the lovely folks over at Pretty Owl Poetry about art, words, process and creativity last night. My poem “thirst” appeared in their third issue along with a photograph that I took in Romania (cover). Thanks to Kelly, Rose and Gordon!

 

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Welcome to the My Writing Process blog tour!

Terena Scott, the fabulous author and publisher/founder of independent press Medusa’s Muse, invited me to participate.

Q & A with Kirsten Imani Kasai

Kirsten Imani Kasai

1) What am I working on?

Right now I’m wrapping up the first draft of my fourth novel, The Book of Blood Magic. It’s a deconstructed Gothic horror novel novel about a time-traveling succubus and a Creole plantation in 1850s New Orleans. Lydia, a present-day architectural historian, discovers journals and letters from Isidore and Emilie Saint-Ange, owners of Belle Rive, the only Creole plantation in 1850s New Orleans. Through the medium of a dream realm and mysterious house, Lydia and Isidore ​​become entangled in a supernatural shared psychosis.

The novel’s triple narratives explore: The onset of psychosis and mental health treatment as viewed through contemporary and 19th century lenses—BOBM contrasts modern care with the burgeoning revolution in psychiatric care and asylum reformations; Slavery, the abolitionist movement, caste and class systems as experienced by mixed race (mulatto/Creole) French and American citizens in the 21st and 19th centuries; The juxtaposition of religious Spiritualism, Vodou and the advent of rationalism (preceding Darwin’s Evolution of Species).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My writing is lyrical, poetic and dense. I’ve heard it described as “ornate.” I am just as concerned with the musicality of the writing, its imagery, sensations and textural impressions as the standard structures of dialog, plot, pacing etc. I like to write stories that leave “what happened?” open to interpretation, like a puzzle you can return to and solve in new ways each time. I believe fiction should be challenging, emotionally stimulating and intellectually nourishing. Additionally, it’s very female-focused, exploring the realities of women’s complex physiologies, the interplays of internal and external experiences, how the layers of our lives are impacted by and, conversely, affect the world around us. Sexuality is a topic I’m forever examining and dissecting: sometimes, that makes readers uncomfortable, but the topics that discomfort us tend to be the ones we most need to explore and evaluate for their roles in our own lives.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Hmm, see above! I’m drawn to the dark side, the seamy underbelly, the disturbing, creepy, weird and unusual. Humanity and life in this world is endlessly fascinating.

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve learned to wait until an idea has completed its gestation phase and demands attention. Then I start work, writing just to get the feel of the idea and let the voice of the story express itself, for they are always distinct and unique from the other stories/poems I’ve written, and follow the trail to see where it leads. More of a discovery writer than a plotter/planner, I like to open myself to the process, almost as if channeling it. Sometimes I think of myself as a radio. I need to tune in to the right frequency to hear the broadcast, then I basically take dictation, and go back later with an editorial eye to technically shape and refine it. Sounds a little “out there” but it works. Storytelling is a collaborative effort between me and the characters who need to speak–I act as an interpreter of dreams and the hidden world. With the Book of Blood Magic, there’s more work on my part to piece together the story as its presented to me. It requires a lot of research to make certain I’m getting the details right so that they feel as real as waking life.

Next week, June 16, 2014, Page a Day guest blogger James Rhodes and Michelle Augello-Page will answer these questions. Be sure to visit the sites below to read more insight into the writing process.

James Rhodes is the author of The Hettford Witch Hunt series. He grew up in a small sheltered village on the Wirral where there was very little to do except read and write stories. After drinking his way through university he moved to live with his wife in Baltimore City. He has taught at university level, worked as a day labourer and spent a happy time working as a gardener. He currently lives in a small sheltered village on the Wirral with his wife and three children. He would much rather you read his books than paid for them. Read his interview at pageadaywriters.wordpress.com.

Michelle Augello-Page writes poetry, erotica, and dark fiction. Her work has appeared in art galleries, online and print publications, anthologies, and audio and e-book formats. Michelle’s collection of dark and erotic stories, Into the Woods, was published by Oneiros Books in 2014. She is also the editor of Siren, an online zine for artists of all genres who create new, edgy, and experimental work. Read her interview at michelleaugellopage.wordpress.com.

“Poe and his enduring literary legacy assure me that there will always be a market for our sort of gloom and doom. A century and a half later, his stories still resonate with readers. For Poe expresses what is most essential and inescapable, peaks of joy, deep pools of regret and the desperation with which we cling to the known world—whether fearing or welcoming our inevitable end.” Check out my new essay on Annotation Nation.

 

Body Parts

Oi! Get yer sick & twisted, right here! 

Announcing the launch of an exciting new literary venture from authors Kirsten Imani Kasai and Jesse Caverly (aka Excelsior Smith).

“We are not afraid.”

Body Parts is a new, online literary magazine that publishes speculative fiction, fantasy and horror. Each quarterly issue focuses on a theme, which can be interpreted in a multitude of ways and expressed  through the creation of  bold, fearless writing.

Issue no. 1–METEMPSYCHOSIS–debuts October 2013. We are currently accepting submissions, now through August 31.
Details at www.bodypartsmagazine.com.

It’s always a thrill to see one of your projects  “make it” into print, and just as exciting when a book is published in the latest, cutting-edge medium. My newest novel Private Pleasures is now available from Sizzler Editions.

The erotic master of RHAPSODY IN SNAKESKIN is back with another cutting-edge erotic masterpiece: PRIVATE PLEASURES! Plunge into a gritty underworld populated by hallucinatory dancers, deceitful lovers, and back-stabbing best friends. Joely is a peep show dancer plagued by revenge fantasies about her clients. She’s desperate to feel normal and win the heart of her handsome neighbor. But when she meets Twilight, a dancer with a penchant for brutality, Joely’s facade begins to crack, revealing a lust she never suspected. As two jealous lovers vie for Joely’s attention, she must confront her shadow self, a black leather virago with a taste for blood. Can Joely possibly survive her own darker self?

An astonishing sensual adventure, PRIVATE PLEASURES is a compelling exploration of the sex industry’s effects on the women whose labor sustain it.

BUY  $5.99

Last year I switched cell phone carriers and was invited to pick a new number. I chose from a list that Imagepopped up on the clerk’s computer screen. The one I selected seemed perfectly nice; having no real preference for any particular numerals or numeric combinations, I simply selected one that seemed easy to recall. Apparently, I got a number that belonged to an enlisted man whom, I gather, has gone AWOL or is otherwise on the lam. Since taking over D.B.’s number, I’ve fielded his booty calls/hook up texts, shared several holiday greetings with strangers, broken up with (perhaps) one of his booty calls, rejected collection agents and informed his military superiors that he/I would not be showing up for training exercises at the Marine Corps base.

It’s one thing to put off a collection agent, but another altogether to tell D.B.’s far away friends that he’s blown them off. One guy and I had a fairly fun series of Thanksgiving texts. A spurned pal at Christmas reacted much less favorably. His texts were littered with profanity. Apologizing to D.B.’s friends/family members for his rogue behavior left me feeling as sorry for the rejection as if I’d issued it myself. “I don’t know where he is. Sorry he didn’t give you his new number. Have a nice life.”

For a while, I was tempted to start answering these calls/texts in guise of D.B., just for giggles. One of my friends wanted me to text an address D.B.’s booty call just to see if she showed. I began to have a fantasy of the sort of havoc one could wreak in another’s life, and wondered often about D.B. Was he dead? Shirking the law/military or avoiding child support payments or the IRS? Why had he abandoned his friends? Did he ever show up for any of those “Be on base at 0600” calls? I Googled him and searched Facebook, but his name is a common one and I didn’t find any reasonable leads.

My ruminations on taking over D.B.’s life brought to mind stories of famous impostors and swapped identities, from the Prince and the Pauper (enjoy this much more entertaining Monkees version) the woman who allowed her cleaning lady to stand in for her on telly and eventually found herself living in the attic (Going Loco by Lynne Truss), to the perverse emotional swindle recounted in Armistead Maupin’s The Night Listener. I worried briefly about people who might call my old number and what the new owner would tell my creditors (a few) and booty calls (admittedly, none).

There are fascinating real-life tales of impostors such as Princess Caraboo or Martin Guerre, though I am not destined to be among them. Eventually, calls for D.B. ceased. Which is all well and good, but lately I’ve been receiving calls for P.C…

My new e-book is available for DL! Chock-full of sexy/scary short fiction and poetry, it’s a bargain at just $5.99. Buy now!

Good sex, like a good scare, can be hard to come by, and sometimes they go hand-in-hand. Just think of that lover who was just a bit too edgy and scared you a bit, but oh what lovemaking because of it! Sex can enlighten and enliven us as surely as it can ruin and humiliate us. It can open and close doors in our souls (“Erela”).

It can be our absolute undoing but in those vertiginous moments of falling apart, we often find a greater freedom, if only for a moment. She Alone Can Move Me”, “Flowergirl”, “I’m Yours”, “One Perfect Kiss”, “Poorer Sister”, “Rhapsody in Snakeskin”, “Turned Out”, “Celebrity Machine”, and many others.

LISTEN to an audio play of “Rhapsody in Snakeskin”

Kirsten Imani Kasai writes: “Pleasure is an art form executed in the medium of the skin. Pleasure is about sensory exploration. Touch, taste, scent. A look. A caress. A faintly wafting breeze of perfume. It’s about preserving memories (the sound of her voice in your head, the bubbling excitement that builds when kisses deepen, her heat as she writhes beneath you), but it’s also subjective. Eroticism is willing objectification and boundary expansion. Through surrender of self–whether physical or emotional–we become truly magical. True pleasure is the death of reason, a stripping away of all the scaffolding that shores up our crumbling facade. We are forced to confront the unsanctioned appetites of our imaginations. In the private world of lovers, we can delve into forbidden roles, submerse ourselves in themes of power play, absorption, loss of self, transmogrification, union, the dissolution of personal limits and the passionate commingling of souls.”


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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