Friday, June 6, 2014

Guest Post: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade…and Turn to Books By Marilyn Peake

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade…and Turn to Books
By Marilyn Peake

If you’re a news junkie like me, life can get seriously depressing.  Never mind can get, it just is.  With all the violence among individual people and entire nations, all the hate speech online and on cable TV, all the corrupt politicians, all the poverty and suffering in the world, all the prejudice, all the economic crashes, it can seem pretty dim out there.  Add in the bazillion news reports on impending disaster and possible apocalyptic futures, and it is dark.  I mean really dark, as in a meteor has struck Earth and sunlight is a thing of the past.

If you’re a writer or reader, you have a way out of the darkness.  As a writer, you can use your pen (or more aptly, your computer keyboard) to paint a world that leads you into a place of light.  As a reader, you can step into that world and follow the path that leads to a better place.

Think of lemons.  Bright yellow lemons.  And sweet, delicious lemonade.  I’m thirsty already.

As a writer, I’ve set the main characters of my novels and short stories in difficult circumstances and helped them find their way out.  Or not.  Sometimes there is no way out, but the story points to ways in which the real world could make things better.  Many of the particular circumstances are similar to stories in the news.

I wrote the short story, OCCUPY FAERIE, when members of the Occupy movement were being tear-gassed by police.  In this short story, an evil faerie has an affair with a corrupt politician and uses him to undermine the Occupy movement.

I wrote the short story, COYOTE CROSSING, after hearing harrowing tales of illegal Mexican immigrants being mistreated and turned into slaves by cruel employers in the United States.  In COYOTE CROSSING, I dealt with the horror of this type of treatment by turning a realistic story into Dark Fantasy and added a twist of Dark Fantasy at the end.  In this case, there was no light at the end of the tunnel, just an attempt to shine light on a painful subject.

My most recent publication, SHADE, a Young Adult Mystery novel with Paranormal elements, introduces a teenaged girl named Shade.  Her real name is Galactic Shade Griffin, but she hates the quirkiness of it, so she simply goes by Shade.  Life has dealt her a bad hand of cards.  Her mother is addicted to drugs and alcohol and is constantly breaking up with boyfriends and moving with Shade to a new town.  Shade is forced to start at a new school over and over again, and her strange name is catnip for bullies.  In order to control the chaos in her life, Shade cuts.

In her junior year of high school, Shade is once again starting at a new school.  This time, however, she has a ghost boy in her attic bedroom who serves as a mentor.  She also has a new best friend, Annie.  When Annie goes missing, Shade discovers just how much inner strength she has.  She ends up facing a situation similar to one of the most horrifying stories frequently on TV news.

I have a deep respect for Shade.  Struggling with circumstances similar to some of the most heartrending, bitter stories on the news, she’s capable of creating a bit of lemonade.

Shade is a girl on a hero’s journey, going from smart-ass to badass.  If you handed her lemons, she’d squeeze them into a pitcher, add water and sugar…and then plant the seeds in the ground and grow a lemon tree!

Marilyn Peake is the author of both novels and short stories. Her publications have received excellent reviews. Marilyn’s one of the contributing authors in BOOK: THE SEQUEL, published by The Perseus Books Group, with one of her entries included in serialization at THE DAILY BEAST. In addition, Marilyn has served as Editor of a number of anthologies. Her short stories have been published in seven anthologies and on the literary blog, GLASS CASES.

Awards: Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, Winner of the Dream Realm Awards, and eight Top Ten Finisher Awards in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.

P.S. Be sure to check her other books out for me, okay? Okay. x


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