Today is a guest post by Author Charie La Marr who will tell us why she created a whole new genre called "Circuspunk" and wrote her book Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie.
Take it away Charie!!!
For nine years of my life, I regularly covered my face in clown makeup, tucked my hair underneath a pink wig and stepped into a pink costume and size 14 pink Mary Janes. Probably the happiest years of my life. I did everything from small circuses to parades to birthday parties to grand openings. I appeared voluntarily at every children’s charity in the New York area and spend a lot of time in children’s hospitals doing magic tricks and making balloon animals for little sick children. For about five of those years, my son was alongside me dressed as a hobo. We had some great times together and I think it taught him a lot about being altruistic and compassionate. They were great years.
During those years, I spent a lot of time studying the art of clowning. And yes, it is an art. Throwing on makeup from the party store and a one-piece costume with balls down the front does not a clown make. I have studied everything from juggling to child psychology. That may sound odd, but good clown understands children. And I can honestly say that I never met a child who was afraid of me when I left them. Sure, some of them started out afraid, but that is understandable. We teach our kids to be afraid of strangers. Then we stand them beside the strangest person they’ve ever seen and expect them to post for pictures. A good clown knows to keep their distance and let the child approach them. They know how to talk softly and pick up on something that interests the child—maybe commenting on their neat sneakers or cool t-shirt. Sooner or later, you will find the child getting closer to you and even making contact. I was told my own great niece Victoria was terrified of clowns and that I shouldn’t go near her. Five minutes later, my mother snapped a photo of her in my arms kissing my pink nose.
However, what has always fascinated me is the number of adults who tell me, “I hate $%$#^ clowns!” They see my pictures and tell me that I was cute but that they are still terrified of clowns. Which has always struck me as odd. Kids don’t generally know that I am just a person in makeup, but adults do understand that rationally. And yet never a week goes by that someone doesn’t tell me, “Clowns $%$^% scare me!”
So, I thought about that for a long time. And I decided something needed to be done about it. And I developed “Circuspunk”. I decided that if adults want to blow up some clowns, let’s do it. But let’s do it MY way—with lots of snark and satire. And I sat down and started writing “Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie.” You want exploding clowns; believe me I have got plenty of them. But you will laugh along the way—a lot.
The reviews have shown that it is doing exactly what I wanted it to. People are laughing and developing a new attitude toward clowns and the circus in general. And nothing could make me happier. I intended to make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, and most of all, to give you a better understanding of the person behind the makeup. There are literally thousands of people in America who clown—from hobbyists to professionals. They do it out of love. They are no different than model railroad hobbyists or stamp collectors.
I have a lot of wonderful memories. Some of them are hilarious, and some of them are bittersweet because I know the child who hugged me and gave me a necklace made of buttons and beads didn’t live to see another year. I treasure the time I spent making people laugh in person, and now I hope that I can make you laugh when you read my book. Just a warning, it gets bawdy and naughty at times (lots of times actually) but I hope that it will give you some chuckles. And most of all, I hope that the next time you see a clown, you don’t hyperventelate and walk across the street just to avoid them. Smile and say, “Hi!” Believe it or not, often there is a very quiet and shy person underneath that makeup.
Charie La Marr
Author of Circuspunk book "Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie" and NYzarro book "Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market"
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MEET THE AUTHOR:
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.