Today I'm bringing you something a little different. Ever heard of Circuspunk? No? Well, Read On!
BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE
CHARIE D. LA MARR
Cas, Charie, welcome to Peacewrites! Please tell us - what is “CIRCUSPUNK”?
Charie:This is the definition that I sent to the Urban Dictionary. “Circuspunk is a new sub-genre of punk/bizarro literature scene created by Charie D. La Marr, aka Persiphone Hellecat, aka Kotton Kandy - a former professional clown. The genre includes stories that take place in circuses, carnivals, midways, sideshows and also includes stories of birthday party clowns, freaks, magicians and costumed characters. With some elements taken from her experiences in the world of clowns (she won't tell which are true and which aren't) the genre is a blend of truth and fantasy that takes in the usual bizarro mixture of fun, sex, satire and splatter. Also included in the genre are dark stories, Lovecraftian stories, noir stories and other variations and combinations of contemporary literary genre.”
Cas: Intriguing, Charie! Please introduce yourself.
Charie: My name is Charie D. La Marr, creator of the genre Circuspunk. Some of you might know me from Facebook as Persiphone Hellecat, and some might even know me from the nine years I spent as a professional clown as Kotton Kandy.
So why, do you ask, does a person who spent nine years wearing the motley suddenly start writing stories where clowns blow up? First of all, that is only a part of Circuspunk. Circuspunk can bring in any other genres that you want—from romance to sci-fi and everything in between. The stories include circuses, carnivals and fairs, midways, freak shows and sideshows, clown, magicians, freaks, acrobats, carnies … all of it!
And the reason is simple. Behind all that splatter and funk, I love the circus! This is a very irreverent, but loving look at a subject near and dear to my heart. But I just got tired of hearing people say, “I #$%$%$% hate clowns!” I would show them my picture and they would agree that as a clown, I was adorable, but they still hated clowns and wanted to see them wiped off the face of the earth. So I decided, if people want to blow up clowns, let’s do it MY way—with tongue firmly planted in cheek. And so Circuspunk was born. I hope that it makes people laugh and desensitizes that clown phobia. I consider it an antidote.
Now, that is not to say that I don’t understand clown phobia in children. As a clown, I took many courses in the psychology of children and how to handle them. I understand that we raise our kids telling them not to talk to strangers. And yet the first time they see a clown, they push the kid into the clown’s arms and get out the camera. I would freak too if my parents made me hug the strangest person I ever saw! I learned to get down to their level, stay back and talk softly and work to gain their trust until they came to me. I would talk about what was on their t-shirts, what their favorite subject in school was, anything to loosen them up and gain their confidence. And the truth was, I ended up in literally thousands of baby books because I never met a kid who ended up not liking me.
Sadly, I cannot say the same of their parents. I was a performing clown. I did magic shows, I walked around with magic tricks in my pockets and puppets. I was not a gumball machine. I didn't give out cheap trinkets or make animal balloons. I saw way too many parents allow young ones to suck on those balloons and once saw a kid have to have a cheap ten cent ring pulled out of her throat.
My message is simple. Love us. We walk around all day in costumes that sometimes weigh close to ten pounds with wigs and full makeup in the hot sun. We get shin splints from working on unforgiving concrete surfaces. We work hard taking classes and keeping our skills and talents sharp and growing. And we ask nothing more from you than a smile. Is that a lot to ask for?
Cas: Doesn't sound too much to me! Can you give us your book's description?
Charie: BOOK DESCRIPTION
BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE is a book of short stories in a brand new genre—Circuspunk. It contains 25 stories about the circus, carnivals, sideshows, midways and fairs featuring clowns, magicians, freaks, carnies and the crazy cast of characters that go along with them. “This ain't your mama's roller coaster ride! That is unless your mama does acid before hitting the amusement park!” says Mimi Williams, author of “Beautiful Monster. “. Hate clowns or love them, you are going to enjoy reading her zany and sometimes poignant look at a world we both love,” adds Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus and author of “Freaks Like Me.” This is a wild ride of stories that begins with the rape of a circus poodle by one of the show’s rescue mutts and doesn't let up until an overweight daredevil Elvis impersonator becomes a circus stuntman—diving 35 feet into a flaming kiddie pool of water. In between, the combination of satire, splatter and the wild and wacky will have you laughing, with brief respites of stories that will touch your heart and make you think. A professional clown for 9 years, Ms. La Marr tells it like it, like it should be and like those of you who with clown phobia would like it to be. Put on your rubber nose, put your big shoes up on the coffee table and enjoy BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE. The first Circuspunk book ever!
BLURBS FOR BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE
Charie La Marr's first work in her self-created genre Circuspunk, "Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie" is a loving but irreverent look at the world of the Circus- from behind the scenes and in front of the lights. Hate clowns or love them, you are going to enjoy reading her zany and sometimes poignant look at a world we both love. Charie has the heart and soul of a clown and the polish, pop and sparkle of true author. – JIM ROSE of The Jim Rose Circus and best selling author of “Freaks Like Me”
"This ain't your mama's roller coaster ride! That is unless your mama does acid before hitting the amusement park! Or, rather, make that the circus. Hang on to your popcorn, make sure your red nose is properly secured, and don't get too close to the elephant! But above all, enjoy the hell out of this awesome book! Circuspunk has officially arrived and you do not want to miss this show!" – Mimi A. Williams, author of “Beautiful Monster”
I had the good fortune to read many of these stories in this book as they poured from Charie's fingers. As they arrived, I read them in big gulps, ever more impressed with the range she commands as a writer. From lyrical delicacy to bold, raunchy, side-splitting humor, La Marr is in full control of her powers. I can't remember reading a collection this consistently entertaining. – Alex S. Johnson, Author “Bad Sunset” and “Jason X – Death Moon”
“In Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie, Charie D. La Marr compiles the best of the bizarre.
Clowns and contortionists gather under this veritable big top tent to usher in Circuspunk,
the latest subgenre to invade the small press scene, one town at a time.” – Kirk Jones, author of “Uncle Sam’s Carnival of Copulating Inanimals”
I have known Charie for a long time and she is every bit a clown and a storyteller. In fact, she’s one of the few people I know who can keep up with me! Read Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie. You will laugh. And take my word on it—you will be hearing more from her! Mickey Rivers NY Yankee World Champion 1977 and 1978 and clubhouse clown.
I have never come across a story that Charie couldn’t tell. She always manages to put her own slant on everything she write. Whether she is writing about baseball or the circus, her stories will capture your imagination and draw you into her world, holding you there until she is ready to let you go. BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE is a funny and crazy look at the world of the circus written by one who has been there. I expect big things from her, and honestly I cannot wait to see what she has in store next! – Ray Negron, author NYT bestseller “The Boy of Steel” and “Yankee Miracles”
Distantly related to Mary Shelley on her father’s side, CHARIE D. LA MARR has created a genre called Circuspunk which is listed at Urban Dictionary. BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE is her first work in her new genre. She also has upcoming stories in Alex S. Johnson's heavy metal anthology Axes of Evil and Shwibly Magazine, James Ward Kirk's Bones and Ugly Babies 2, In Vein for the benefit of St. Jude’s Hospital, Chupa Cabra’s We Walk Invisible, Dynatox Ministries’ Witches!, Ripple Effect for Hurricane Katrina relief, Surreal Grotesque,Oneiros’ Books CUT UP! and other anthologies. She was September's featured writer at Solarcide. She is known for writing in many different genres from crime to bizarro to erotica and even Seussian. She is currently editing a Circuspunk anthology trilogy called The New Whakazoid Circus—the Greatest Show on Paper. And she has just sold a bizarro book to James Ward Kirk Fiction called Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market.
A redhead with a redheaded attitude, she lives in NY with her mother and son (who works for her as her PA) and fur children Bailey Corwin, Babe Ruth and Casey Stengel. She has a degree in Interior Design, Summa Cum Laude, from New York Institute of Technology. She also spent nine years wearing the motley as a professional clown.
Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie
“High School House of Horrors” – Short Story – Kindle Single
Ripple Effect (anthology) – Short Story “Entertaining an Angel Unawares” and
Bones (anthology) – Short Story “A Bone to Pick”
In Vein (anthology) – Short Story “Nothing Is Forever”
We Walk Invisible – Short Story – “Fifty”
Witch! (anthology) – Short Story – “The Three Hags Go To Burning Man”
Solarcide (online magazine) – Short Story – “To a Coy Mistress”
The Shwibly (online magazine) – Short Story - “The Dream”
Surreal Grotesque #13 (online magazine) – Short Story – “Convergence”
Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market
Fireside Popsicles (anthology) – Short Story “The Lady in the Sideshow”
Ugly Babies 2 (anthology) – Short Story “Beauty is Only Skin Deep”
Indiana Horror (anthology) – Short Story “A Touch of Indigo
Cut Up! (anthology) – Short Story “The Lady and the Panther”
Axes of Evil (anthology) – Short Story “The Return of the Plaster Casters”
Octavia’s Brood (anthology) – Short Stories “Sweet Autumn” and “Growing Up in His Shadows”
Outpourings-For the People of the Philippines (anthology) – Short Story - “A Moment in Time”
Bad Girl Tales (anthology) – Short Story - “The Dressing Room”
Surreal Grotesque #14 (online magazine) Short Story – “At Home With the Clintons”
Several projects as a ghostwriter.
Cas: Many thanks, Charie! Well,I don't know about you, dear readers, but I'm intrigued! I'll definitely be reading Charie's book, and will be back with a review once I'm done. If you'd like a copy for yourselves, here are the links: