The Story Behind the Book is Literarily Speaking’s newest feature. Here we find out either the inspiration behind authors’ books or how they got published. Today’s guest is David S. Grant, author of the literary novel, BLOOD: The New Red.
“BLOOD: The New Red” by David S. Grant
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 throught 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!
The writing style for this book is very minimalistic, little to no description, a straight telling of the story through the over moisturized and often drugged-out eyes of Mickey. The settings were often decided based on Mickey’s decisions in the book, no pre-set “this has to happen here then this” type scenarios. It was my intent to allow Mickey to do the driving and watch how everything unfolds. The other main characters, Paul and Sandy Johnson were interesting to create and make them appear very different on the outside, with a slow reveal showing that on the inside, they are in fact very similar. How do you create a story that has been told a million times before? Well, that’s the same problem facing the Johnson’s with their new line. The answer? To truly love you have to first destroy!
In addition to being a fast moving, fun book, there is a constant power struggle between those who run the fashion industry as well as those (like Mickey) who are employed. Mickey has been around the block, as an ex-model turned ex-porn star turned model, he has raised the bar of his once low moral bar. He is working hard to raise the bar, even if it barely gets lifted off the ground.
Brief Excerpt from Chapter 1
Always look like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I’m standing on the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses, this may be my number one fault.
DJ Shingles, the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry, depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.
My manager signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is secret number three on how to be famous.
Four widescreen televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”
A waiter carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.
A man who goes by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name Hilton.
The Hilton is wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people during the course of the evening.
“Mickey, you’re back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her coffee cup to me.
I glance around at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.
“Good year for cabernets,” Hilton says, then grabs her blouse. “Last season is the new season, huh?” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission accomplished.
“I miss you, Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, or something.”
Sure, I tell her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have been in LES, the new SoHo.
According to my manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne. I have a job to do tonight.
Act like you’ve lived this moment a hundred times over. This is the forty-third secret on how to be famous.
The publisher of BLOOD: The New Red is Offense Mechanisms, an imprint of Silverthought Press. This is my fourth book published with the Silverthought family and I am always pleased with the finished product. For this book I wanted a “Grindhouse” type feel for cover and artist, Joel Gwidt, did an amazing job (with little description provided from me.) Overall I feel this is my best work to date which is a great feeling for a writer on completion of their latest project.
For more information on BLOOD: The New Red please go to http://www.silverthought.com/blood/ Follow David on Twitter: @david_s_grant