Friday, October 2, 2009

Getting personal ... Scented Phoenixes and Shrinking Violets

Maybe y'all noticed I changed my screen name to get a head start marketing myself-- you know, building my online presence and all that jazz. Well, in honor of this momentous change (seriously, this is a big deal for me. I loooooved the anonymity a screen name provided. I guess I'm just shy, but more about that later) I've decided to make this post a little more personal than usual.

It started raining last night all the way through to the morning. I took the streetcar to work for the first time in years, but I couldn't find my galoshes, so my feet are wet. While I'm warming up with a nice hot chai with real half and half, and checking my email, I see I have a Click and Ship notification. I just about die of ecstacy. But I don't dare die, because then I'll never get my Oceans of Love and Millions of Kisses limited edition Lucy Westenra themed Halloween bath oil.

For those of you not in the know, I am an addict. I love things that smell good. I'm reading Jessica Verday's The Hollow right now and loving it because the main character wants to be a perfumer. One of my favorite books is Suskind's Perfume. You're about to get a peek into the depths of my madness. I buy perfume-- unsniffed, no less!-- off the internet from a place called Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

Who in their right mind would buy perfume off the internet, you might ask? Well, I never said I was in my right mind. But the website is so evocative and poetic; dark, bawdy and romantic at turns that I can't resist the urge to smell like a Hawaiian goddess or the personification of Smut. Or the spicy Bengal that smells just like my chai. I love the Beardsley prints and other art that adorns the pages. The perfumers at bpal take inspiration from literary sources, too, running the gamut from the innocent scents of Alice in Wonderland, to the dripping aquatics of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu. Right now you can smell like Hellboy, if that's your thing. Just reading the website stirs my creative juices and I rarely leave the house without applying some sort of bpal oil that suits my mood.

So you can imagine my elation at the Click and Ship notification. My package will be in my grabby little hands by Tuesday. I enjoy a shortbread cookie, dunking it decadently into my chai as I scroll through blogger. I hit up my usual haunts, leave some comments, when I read on Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf that one of the cutest ya books I've read in some time might not get another print run if sales don't improve. This leaves the buttery shortbread tasing like ash in my mouth, and my Click and Ship/perfume high vaporizes.

Shrinking Violet, written by Danielle Joseph and printed by MTV Books, is a book about a normal girl with normal problems. Her name is Tere, so she's got that going for her. ;) And she's horribly, terribly, painfully shy. I used to be shy, too, and on occasion, still get the urge to run to my bed and hide under the covers rather than meet new people at a party. But Tere overcomes her shyness when she's given an opportunity of a lifetime-- to be a disc jockey on her step father's radio station. Of course, her shyness complicates things along the way, and she tries to keep her radio persona a secret (something I can definitely identify with), but she gets her Cinderella story ending. And the Miami setting adds a hot, sultry, sexy vibe to the story.

Head on over to Danielle's livejournal, where you can read more about the book and the author, and what she's doing to promote book sales. You could win a prize!

Danielle's problem is probably a lot more common than we aspiring novelists realize. I think we're all learning that debut authors can't just sit back after the novel is published and wait for the money to roll in (not to be taken to mean that I think Danielle was doing this). Over the past few weeks I've learned just how important self-promotion is, and what content is or isn't appropriate for a writing blog, a topic that has been recently discussed by some of my fellow bloggers, such as Lazy Writer (Susan), and Abby Annis. Now more than ever I realize that I made the right decision to change my screen name, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. ;)

So yesterday we talked about banned books, and this morning we're trying to save one from the obscurity of the small print run. It's been fun revealing some of my passions to the blogosphere-- whether it's my love of books, which I know most of y'all share, or my obsession with perfume oils, which I'm sure not many people can really understand. But we all have our vices. Mine just happens to smell like chocolate, black cherry and orange blossom.


Abby said...

Good to know a little more about you, my smelly little friend. ;D I'm always jealous of people who smell good. Anything smelly gives me hives, so I'm stuck smelling like me, which is terribly boring.

I think that marketing myself is what terrifies me more than anything about this whole process. I'm not good with putting myself out there, and like you, I'd rather hide under the covers than meet new people at a party.

If and when I get to that point, I'll probably have a panic attack the first time I have to do a book signing or interview. Don't worry. I'll let you know where I'll be so you can watch. Should be very entertaining. :)

So, are you addicted to statcounter yet?

Tere Kirkland said...

OMG, I was just about to tell Tess she'd made a monster out of me! Yes, I am a stat-counter addict now, too. It's like a whole new world of stats! And now that I blocked my own computer, I'm getting a whole new appreciation of my own blog's traffic. Or lack thereof, lol

Happy Friday!

Oh, and I'm going to be a bpal cheerleader for a sec and ask you if plain essential oils give you hives, too. Like plain clove or mint extracts? Cause there is no alcohol in these oils and I hate alcohol based perfume. My skin is a little sensitive so I can't wear anything with cinnamon, but the other scents are wonderful.

Probably best not to get sucked into the madness like me, though!

Rebecca Knight said...

Tere, I'm totally in love with you for introducing me to that perfume site! Neil Gaiman's books have a whole line, including smelling like the dab driver from American Gods. LOVE. IT.

Also, it is great to get to know you :D.

Abby, I'm shy, too. Maybe we can get published at the same time and take turns holding the smelling salts over one another on tour. Yay!

Tere Kirkland said...

Yes! Another cult member, er I mean, convert. LOL, the Stardust line is one of my favorites, and proceeds from most of the Gaiman scents go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which is a worthy cause if you enjoy your First Amendment Rights.

The best part of these oils is that they smell different on everyone. Check out the forum for scent recc's. If I have a signature scent, I think it's Libertine, or Grandmother of Ghosts. Don't even get started with the Limited Edition scents! It's even more addictive.

I mean, who doesn't want a perfume called Lick It, or Eat Me? (the latter is reference to Alice in Wonderland and has a companion scent called Drink Me. Tons of fun!)

Tess said...

Hello fellow statcounter addict. Just one more thing to add to the addictions list, right? Yesterday someone searched out "Tess fingers"

I don't even want to know.

Lady Glamis said...

So awesome to get to know you better! I was wondering why your screen name changed!

I have the "Perfume" book on my list of To Read. I have a bit of a thing for scents, too. I just have a hard time putting that sense in my writing. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Tess, yes, I am officially addicted to statcounter. Tess fingers, huh? Maybe I'll just stick to checking the visitor graphs... ;)

Glam, thanks! Just thought I'd share a little of my day. And while Perfume isn't for everyone, (C'mon, it's full title is Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.) even as a translation its narration and voice is just incredible. And the setting superbly melded with the scents of 18th c. Paris. I found a hardcopy of the first English edition at a used bookstore for six bucks. Score! It's one of my favorites, but it's definitely a bit creepy. Hope you enjoy it!