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So NOT Another Mundane Memoir (Both Heartfelt & Hot!!)

Published May 1, 2017 by glgiles

My Review of “So L.A.:  A Hollywood Memoir” by Staci Layne Wilson

So LA Cover

 

Back of So LA

 

Right from the onset, Wilson reveals that she was “born in Hollywood to a rock star dad and a pinup model mom.” If anyone deserves the title of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ then she most certainly does!

I had the good fortune of ‘cyber meeting’ Staci way back when MySpace was stylized just that way:  MySpace. Even before it changed to Myspace. I think it must’ve been circa 2005, as I don’t think Staci even had her trademark look blue-streak hair yet (Hmmm…I wonder where Blue Streak Productions got its ‘roots?!’). Speaking of hair, that’s what drew me to her  MySpace page, initially. Well, that and her wonderful sense of humor! She had a profile picture up on MySpace of her long locks (a la Cousin Itt, with her back to the camera) and the caption “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” That still makes me smile even as I write this.

Her knowledge of ‘Old Hollywood’ is extensive (perhaps par for the course with her Hollywood Royalty Roots). Yet, it’s not just the famous names she honors that makes this memoir a captivating read, it is the city of Los Angeles itself. She breathes life into the buildings and landscapes of old and new with her detailed and richly layered insider knowledge.

Though she’s definitely the product of her parents’ journeys, she also, quite remarkably, forged her own more darkly delightful artistic paths while at the same time rescuing horses, rats, cats, ferrets, et cetera. But, that doesn’t mean her own journey was easy. It wasn’t. In fact, she struggled both emotionally and monetarily for years, but she overcame all with a non-judgmental attitude, even against those who’d caused her so much pain.

Her creativity is boundless, and in a society where much art has become homogenized from fear of social media backlash, etc., hers stands out for both its perfection and almost resistance to the mundane tide. I admire the hell outta that!

 

G.L. Giles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Interview with the Forever-Fabulous Ginger Coyote!

Published September 12, 2013 by glgiles

punkglobebanner (1)

Introduction:

Ginger Coyote, who needs no introduction to the punk community, is the outspoken and ever-fabulous founder of Punk Globe Magazine.  To add to that, she is also the lead singer of the outrageously fun punk rock band, White Trash Debutantes. Coyote is an advocate of gender equality and rights for those who’ve been outcasts in society and/or shunned by many. She has made a great difference in the world by changing it for the better through awareness and party lifestyle FUN!  She’s mingled with some other great talents along the way as well: Donna Destri, Iris Berry, Liv Tyler, Bebe Buell and Joey Ramone — just to name a handful.  You can check her out at these sites:

punkglobe.com

facebook.com/pages/PUNK-GLOBE-MAGAZINE/53902870002

facebook.com/pages/WHITE-TRASH-DEBUTANTES/43641361847

 

 

 

GL:  First, it’s truly my pleasure to interview you again, Ginger! I always love what you have to say, as it’s always heartfelt, edgy and FUN! Now, the last time I interviewed you we talked about the remarkable longevity of Punk Globe. You started the magazine in 1977 as a print publication, but it became available online in 2005 and is no longer a print publication, correct? If so, then would you like to see Punk Globe available as a print publication again, and why? 

Ginger:  No, I am really happy with the size of the audience that Punk Globe reaches by being online. Doing a print publication is so expensive with half tones, printing costs and all the other incidentals. Then there is getting good distributor who can get your magazine on the stands and having it placed properly for readers to find. It is a very hard process, but, most importantly, I am proud of all the trees that I have saved by doing Punk Globe on the Internet.  I am all about “Green Power” and Al Gore…

GL:  You have conducted many great interviews at Punk Globe. What are some of the interviews that you felt made a big difference in bettering the world through raising awareness?

Ginger: I think that Cyndi Ford’s article in the September 2013 issue about the 10 year old boy being abducted by his birth mother and her mother was wonderful. Making this aware to the ‘as many people as possible’ is the real goal. We MUST find him!!  For his birth father’s sake. I also did an article about bullying happening in a school district and the ordeal that the child’s parents were having with the parents of the students involved. It surprises me that this behavior still exists with adults. For that matter, it also surprises me that the kids are not more aware of the bullying problem and trying to change it. I am also happy with all the wonderful people on staff who work on Punk Globe.  I have a wonderful writer whose name is Lisa Lunney. A brilliant young woman who has third degree melanoma. She has her bad days and her good days. She does not let the ‘Big C’ get her down. Life is just not fair. I loved Laura Linney and The Big C. We have Tyler Vile who just turned 19 years old and suffers from cerebral palsy, but you would never know by his fantastic, well-crafted and very intelligent interviews. Check out his interview with Nina Antonia, George Tabb and Roddy Byers of The Specials [Thanks, Ginger! I also dig this one at: http://punkglobe.com/ninaantoniainterview0812.php%5D. He has not let his handicap hinder his ability. Will Sid Smith just turned 18. He has been writing since he was 16. He is pulling in some great interviews. Please google his interview with Pauline Black of The Selector [Thanks, Ginger! I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Interested readers can check it out at: http://punkglobe.com/paulineblackinterview0713.php%5D. All the other people who work on Punk Globe have had their share of setbacks. But we are all forces to be reckoned with. So, I am very proud of the fact that I have never closed a door on anyone who wanted to be a part of the Punk Globe family.

 GL:  Punk Globe also reviews many cutting-edge reads, etcetera. Which books, albums and movies would you recommend based on their really capturing the spirit of punk culture?

 Ginger:  Well, of course Punk Globe would be first and foremost—at the top of the list. For myself, I have also found inspiration from comediennes such as Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho, Judy Tenuta, Julie Brown and the iconic Joan Rivers. They all lay it on the line and know NO fear. Plus they are so fucking funny!  I am an advocate of humor and how you can reach so many more people by using comedy as a learning tool. Rather than being preachy and boring people to death to make a point. In the ‘80s Peter Belsito and Bob Davis released a book called “Hardcore California:  A History of Punk and New Wave.” I was impressed by how diverse the table top book was. They covered so many people. As far as fanzines, I always loved Flipside Magazine in Los Angeles. They covered everyone.  Most of the other fanzines were very elitist and did not support anyone but a few choice few. Steven Blush’s movie, American Hardcore, was good but there was a blatant lack of women in the film version.  Also, the lack of bi, gay and trans people (who should always be included in all films). I was personally sad that I was not lucky enough to have made the movie version of the film. But I am on the DVD release.  I still get stopped and asked about my involvement in punk rock. Susanne Tabata from Vancouver has a documentary called “Bloodied But Unbowed,” and I think it is a well-rounded film. There are so many writers, filmmakers and photographers who are putting together so many projects. I hope I will be included in their projects. Of course, Shameless is stellar! The show is so brilliant that it’s like having John Waters and Matthew Bright on Showtime writing it. The show is one of the best that TV has to offer.

GL:  You partially read my mind, Ginger, because I was going to ask you next about some of the  comedians whom you and I both share a love and respect for—off the bat, Margaret Cho, Lily Tomlin and Judy Tenuta come to mind. What makes their comedic sensibilities resonate with you? Who are some other comedians you admire?

Ginger:  As I said in my answer to the prior question Margaret, Lily and Judy take no prisoners and say what we all are thinking—that is a gift!!! Margaret was a member of my band, White Trash Debutantes, at one time. I have written a song called “Judy Tenuta” about the Giver Goddess Fashion Plate Saint.  Get on your knees pigs…Make no complaints…Judy came to see The White Trash Debutantes when they played The Blue Lamp in San Francisco. That is when I first introduced Margaret Cho to Judy. When I met Lily Tomlin I was just bowled over by her brilliance. She is an amazingly cool woman. I love the work she is doing with Lisa Kudrow on Web Therapy [me, too, Ginger, that’s one of my favorite shows—consistently funny!] I love Lisa Lampanelli, Kathy Griffin, Wendy Liebman, Jayne County, Joan Rivers, Dorothy Lyman, Fran Drescher, Delta Burke, Bea Athur, Kim Dallesandro, Tina Fey, Joy Behar, Rosie O’ Donnell, Betty White, Sandra Bullock, Bill Maher and Don Rickles .  I only wish I had Kathy Griffin’s sharp wit. She can throw it down with the best of ‘em. Bebe Buell, G.L. Giles, Iris Berry, Mary Powers, Kathy Peck, Pleasant Gehman, Will Sid Smith, Pauley Paurette, Sebastian Kinder, Ms. Ligaya, Sharla Cartner, Marc Floyd, Steven Jones, Evol Powers, Jimmy Walls,  Debbie Harry, Donna Destri, The Gypsy Poet, Johnny Paris, Steve Balderson, Randy Jones, Wendy Kaufman, Liv Tyler, Jon Gries, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Kim Dallesandro, Mink Stole, Miss Guy, Jayne County,  Cherry Vanilla, Brandon Smith, Siobhan Lowe, Alex, Pauli Gray, Denise Demise,  Eric Borst, Chelsea Rose, Joe Dallesandro, Jeff are just a few of the great people who exist that help me keep going!! [Thank-you, Ginger—likewise!]

GL:  What has the White Trash Debutantes been working on recently—materials-wise? Where will you be touring in 2014? Which track(s) were on the Nash Bridges’ soundtrack?

 Ginger:  With White Trash Debutantes it depends if we get an offer for a show that interests us. When I first heard about his Punk Homecoming it sounded like a lot of fun. However, now I am on the fence with what seems to be happening. I see the old cliques from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s reappearing. And all their favorites getting good time lots and the rest of us are throwaway bands. It is sad but true. Hopefully it will prove to be fun. George Michaelski, who was the music supervisor for Nash Bridges, was a fan of the band and used quite a lot of our material. Since the show was filmed in San Francisco he wanted to use SF bands. Thank you so much, George! We are open to working with film makers, documentaries and the media in general. I am getting approached about writing my memoirs and possibly an indie film about myself. I must remember ‘Orange Is The New Black’. Working more with Spikes Jewelry on product jingles…

GL:  The White Trash Debutantes have also been featured in several films—one of David Markey’s comes to mind as well as one about the fans of one of my favorite movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. How did these features come about? And, will the White Trash Debutantes be in any upcoming movies that you can tell readers about?   

Ginger:  Yes, we were highly featured in the film Tweak City by Eric Johnson, starring Giuseppe Andrews of Detroit Rock City and American History X —among many more films. It was filmed in San Francisco and was fun but a lot of work to make. Dave Markey’s film was about Shonen Knife, and we had a small role in the film. Dave is a sweetheart and an old time pal. We were asked to participate in The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s 25th Anniversary with a Rocky Tribute company called Midnight Insanity. It was so much fun! We performed with Pat Quinn, the original Magenta, and the wonderful Cassandra Peterson (who is Elvira). My dear friend, Vitamin C (Colleen Fitzpatrick who played Amber in John Waters’ wonderful flick, Hairspray) was our guest and she was pals with Cassandra, so we became friends. In fact, I reconnected Colleen with Debbie Harry. I was on Mad TV a few times and that gave me a lot of recognition. Our music was used in many films, and I did a film about the life of the late great Marian Anderson who was the lead singer for The Insaints. The film was called The Last Fast Ride.  I am also featured in Susanne Tabata’s film:  Bloody But Unbowed (about the early Vancouver punk scene and the impact it made on the west coast). I was on MTV a lot and would like to thank Kurt Loder for being so very kind and generous to myself and the band.

GL:  What other projects do you have in the pipeline for the tail end of 2013 and heading into 2014? 

Ginger:  Hopefully, my memoirs getting written and working on a film about myself. Of course, any shows that White Trash Debutantes may be offered and, most importantly, keeping Punk Globe alive and even more fun! Always VOTE Liberal! Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Tammy Baldwin rule!

GL:  Thanks again, Ginger! There’s truly never a dull moment with you, and that’s one of the reasons I love you!

Ginger Coyote

Lily Tomlin and Ginger Coyote

The White Trash Debutantes Photo by Chester Simpson

Interview with Gary Starta

Published May 5, 2013 by glgiles

New Cover for Demon Inhibitions

I love the heroine/protagonist (in many of your books): Caitlin Diggs! Is she based on anyone in particular in real life?

She’s been in my mind for the past eight years and I think of her as alive but she’s pure fantasy. I can see actresses possibly portraying her like Carla Gugino. I have a mind’s eye vision of her whenever I think of her name. It’s a funny thing about being an author. She lives but not in the realm I see in.

Please tell readers, who are unfamiliar with your books, which of your novels she appears in.

Caitlin Diggs is a Special Agent with the FBI and appears in Blood Web, Extreme Liquidation, Demon Inhibitions with cameos in Murder By Association and Kindred Killers – where she appears as a crossover character in the Stanford Carter novels. He, also in turn, appears in all of hers. Fairly soon, she’ll appear in 9 Incarnate, another Diggs novel which has been contracted with Whiskey Creek Press. I encourage readers to jump in with any book. Each book has a definitive ending and background information.

I’ve had the good fortune of reading and reviewing a number of your novels at this point. I have read some of your science fiction/paranormal thrillers/fantasy romances, etc.—like “Extreme Liquidation” and “Demon Inhibitions”—and even your crime novella entitled “Murder by Association.” Why are you drawn to writing in these genres?

It seems crime is at the heart of these novels, but for the most part it’s the paranormal edge that peaks my curiosity and hopefully the readers. I am fascinated with situations where conventional won’t do. Caitlin Diggs assumes abilities after contacting an artifact. It’s these abilities that will have to step up her game to catch a perp who also might possess strange powers.

Besides having human characters, you also have a well-drawn character in the beautiful (and psychic) Tonkinese cat named Celeste. Please tell readers which of your books she is found in and if she was based on a real-life cat(s).

Celeste, like Caitlin, appears in the aforementioned titles. She started out in a short story called Animal Instincts where her savvy leads to the capture of a supernatural killer. I am excited to say she has a doppelganger named Bastet in Demon Inhibitions and 9 Incarnate as a parallel universe has opened. She is based on a real life cat who has many names, among them: Mistress Quickly. A real Alpha cat, she is a feisty Tonk who definitely fits the bill for the character.

I have always found it interesting that you were a journalist. Do you feel that having been a journalist has aided you in creating your fiction? If yes, then how?

I am still not quite sure. I think I approached my first novel with reporting in mind. I have even created a couple of minor characters who are journalists. In journalism, you want to report the most interesting and important fact first. But that isn’t necessarily so in fiction writing because you want an interesting beginning but don’t want to play your hand so to speak when it comes to the most important details of the story. I really am not that conscious of it. Writing seems to be writing in my world and I am comfortable with doing either.

Switching gears, I know that you and I shared a love of the television series Fringe. What did you think of the series finale?

Wow! This is the best question I will probably ever be asked! I did love that show mostly because it brought all kinds of probable pseudo science possibilities into play and allowed us to ponder what if they came true. It seems fringe sciences may one day be accepted. I strive to bring many theories into my stories as well.

But getting back to Fringe, beyond the science, the characterization was a great draw. You have to have plot and characters with equal appeal and Fringe did this. I was saddened to see the end where Walter Bishop left our timeline. But it kind of made sense because his Peter was originally from another realm and it seemed the universe had to even things out. Maybe the universe really does have a consciousness to do this. It also was interesting that the end mirrored the beginning of the series with Walter being a vague memory in Peter’s mind.

What series are you vested in now? And, could you see your books being made into movies and/or television series?

I surely would hope! Actually, I like the books first and foremost. How many times have you heard someone say ‘the book was better’? Probably because it was! Some of my readers see what I’m writing so I guess it would make for good visuals on a screen. It would also be awesome to have great actors cast who could actually bring that character to life and beyond. I am writing a new series involving paranormal investigators. I think this might work in film.

What projects are you currently working on?

A series called Camden Investigations. The first two books are written which focus on the coming together of ghost hunters and Ufologists.  I wanted a present day scenario with no detectives, just ordinary people dealing with extraordinary situations. If you like the paranormal, artifacts, science theory and suspense this series should peak some interest.

My other book coming out this year is called Dead Market. It’s about a cop turned zombie who finds Big Pharma was behind his transformation. The funny thing is I based it in Florida before I moved there.

Where can readers go to check out your wonderful books? 

The easiest way to see the books is Amazon Central:

http://www.amazon.com/Gary-Starta/e/B0043L6YK2

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/scifiauthorGary

Demon Inhibitions Facebook  Page:

https://www.facebook.com/DemonInhibitions#

Demon Inhibitions Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BVAYAVI/?tag=viewbookat0e-20

 

Thanks, Gary, it’s been a pleasure!

Thanks for having me and I wish you success with your upcoming release!