It's a pleasure to welcome Author Pavarti K Tyler and her new book, White Chalk, to my blog. Today she is talking about Sex & The American Author.
Recently, my mother described my writing to a friend of her as “erotica”. And while I’d love for that to be true and am currently working on an erotica series, it is not in fact what I write. Primarily I write literary fiction, but I’ve never shied away from a sex scene. My mother’s comment isn’t so much about what a write, but proof that if you’re a girl, and you talk about sex, you need a label.
So when my mother described my books as erotica, I just rolled my eyes.
“Ma, you know none of my books are actually erotica.”
“Really? What about that one you wrote about the couple…”
“That’s horror, there’s just sex in it.”
“So it’s erotica.”
Repeat of above eye roll, “Sure, I guess, erotic horror, but my others are all literary fiction.”
“Oh, I guess I just think of all your stories as being kind of dirty.”
To be fair to my sweet and wonderful mother, I don’t think she’s actually read any of my books, or anything other than the first half of Harry Potter in the last ten years. And she’s been dealing with my perceived unnatural interest in sexuality for over three decades now, so it was a fair assumption.
As a teenager I read Anais Nin and Henry Miller. I also read Dostoyevsky and Proust. This was done in my spare time, for fun. And yes, I’ve been told there’s something deeply wrong with me.
I read a good deal of erotica as well as cannon literature and one of the reasons I shy away from YA books, despite the current craze and admitted quantity of interesting and unique stories, is they don’t delve deep enough for me. People are broken, damaged and strange creatures. We all laugh and cry. We all bleed and we all come. Erotica feeds the part of me interested in the penultimate moment of release. I even wrote an article about its place in Literature for Indie Reader last year (http://indiereader.com/2012/08/anais-nin-50-shades-foreplay/).
You see, I’ve always been interested in the human experience, in the moments of inspiration and the beauty born out of pain and ecstasy. My books may not be erotica, but they all look into the essence of what it is to live. So many of us walk around with our iPhones and cluttered minds, we forget about living in the world around us until it punches us in the face, slamming our nose into the pavement, and forces us to really look. The precipice we sit on when that happens—that moment—that is what my books are about.
One of my favorite quotes is about this actually: “Everyone has his private tragedy. It's in the blood now - misfortune, ennui, grief, suicide. The atmosphere is saturated with disaster, frustration, futility. Scratch and scratch, until there's no skin left. However, the effect upon me is exhilarating. Instead of being discouraged or depressed, I enjoy it. I am crying for more and more disasters, for bigger calamities, grander failures. I want the whole world to be out of whack, I want every one to scratch himself to death.” ~ Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Life is not really being lived without exploration of all the pain and delights god has offered us. And yes, that can be done without explicit sex or violence. Sometimes, the most evocative exploration is into that which is absent.
But I feel things deeply and have never understood how to shield myself from the implications of diving into every experience as if it were the only opportunity to do so.
In college, I dated a fella briefly who asked me once:
Do you always have to be so intense?
This was asked mid stairwell make out session.
We stopped seeing each other shortly after that.
I never could under stand his question. He was 21 years old with a penis and a college freshman sitting on his lap. The idea of not wanting to push that moment as far as it can go never occurred to me. I guess he reached his breaking point before me, his line in the sand of morality or social norms stricter than mine.
To be fair, I still haven’t found mine. I’ll let you know when I do.
About the bookChelle isn’t a typical 13-year-old girl—she doesn’t laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years. Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her—to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee. When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche. Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists. GOODREADS AMAZON Publisher: Evolved Publishing Publication Date: July 22, 2013 ISBN Paperback: 9781622532988 ISBN Ebook: 9781622532971 Audience: Adult Genre: Literary Fiction SubGenre: Coming of Age Pages: 250
About Pavarti K. Tyler
Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated SmithCollege in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience. Her other projects include: Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press). Shadow on the Wall has been received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.
White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”. In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.