Heavy.

It’s been a heavy week. I’m pretty sure our heaviness here in the States has been felt the world over.

I had a fairly full social media calendar for June. Not packed, but full enough. But honestly, the wind has been knocked out of my sails. Not to mention the fact that I would feel like a real asshole if I didn’t address, at least in some way, the awfulness of these last few weeks. Also not to mention that this isn’t about me, but I feel the need to use my voice.

So, here is my attempt to address it.

Black Lives Matter. Period. No buts. I won’t go into explaining how it’s not okay to reply with all lives matter. If you’re unsure why that’s inappropriate, you can read this.

Racism is real and systemic racism has been so ingrained in our country that many people don’t even understand how their actions create situations of disparity for people of color. Lines were drawn decades ago that still exist today. Those lines make life harder for people of color. You can look into system racism and what you can do about it (VOTE in local elections!) here and here.

Here is a great resource of anti-racist reading material. This link will take you directly to a book store in South Bend, IN that is black and female owned.

So there are a few links to get your brain working and the conversation started.

As an author, I am a storyteller. To tell stories in a meaningful way, it is important to listen to understand. I hope you will join me.

Garlic.

Today, I’d like to talk to you all about garlic.

We all know in literature vampires tend to hate garlic. It is touted as a way to protect oneself from becoming dinner for a hungry vamp, and it is also said to be able to destroy the creatures. It also is a tell-tale for a vampire posing as a human.

But, why?

Continue reading “Garlic.”

Slaughter in the Village.

So, one thing I’m partial to is writing what I know. Before diving headfirst into novel writing, my go-to style was the personal essay. If I’m being totally honest, it’s because I like being right. When I write based on experience, I feel more confident that I’ll avoid conflict. It’s not foolproof, but generally speaking, it works.

For that reason, I decided to use places that I know for the main settings of Turning Point. It starts in Albion, Michigan, which is where I first attended college – Go Brits! It moves on to New York City by way of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the locations I use along the way are completely fictional. At least, that’s the intent. Perhaps Mama Italy’s is real, and I suspect there’s a gas station in Newton Falls, Ohio, but those came straight from my brain.

On the other hand, there is a scene where the reader gets to see glimpses of my Lower Manhattan.

Drew, a young and terrible vampire (and by terrible, I mean, he’s not skilled at the whole drinking blood for food thing), runs through the streets and the landmarks used are places I know and have experienced. One such location is The Slaughtered Lamb Pub. Just as it sounds, it’s straight out of An American Werewolf in London. I always thought it was a little cheesy, but I loved walking near it whenever we went exploring in the Village. As you pass by, you catch a glimpse of a giant werewolf feasting on a gratuitously bosomed lady. The poor dear has been there, accepting her fate, for decades.

slaughtered lamb
K.M. Smith ©2018

Drew also finds himself disgusted by newfound vampire powers while people-watching in Washington Square Park.

Washington Pk 1
Photo Credit: Steve Smith date unknown (2003ish)

And, at one point, Leo and Jake plan a simultaneous attack in Battery Park (that’s the featured image at the top).

Those are the major stopping points on the Turning Point Lower Manhattan tour.

Check it out and see for yourself.

 

 

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