Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, SC, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low Country and rich gullah culture stirring her imagination. She studied illustration at Parsons School of Design in NYC. After a long sabbatical spent raising two boys she returned to the inspiration that first stirred her imagination and paints a spooky brand of imaginative realism. She regularly shows at Roq la Rue gallery in her current home of Seattle, WA.
Q. What subject matter most piques your interest these days? And, does that translate into your artwork?
A. I seem to always be stuck in the past! History really piques my interest. It’s not that I kid myself into thinking times were better then, but I tend to spend a good bit of time surrounding myself with things that have had past lives with previous owners. Often when I paint I look at things in my studio and come up with a story about it, and often incorporate stuff I’ve found into my work. That and nature are my two biggest inspirations. We recently moved to what feels like the country (but really isn’t), abutting a forested wilderness. The flora and fauna, the changing of seasons, my soul really feeds on it.
Q. Mine, too. Switching gears, how did you hear about the ‘Baby Tattooville Event’ and will you be attending this year? When and where is it held?
A. Bob Self (owner of Baby Tattoo publishing) runs the event with his wife, Rani, and they invite a bunch of artists as guests and sell just 50 tickets to people who spend the long weekend together as an immersive experience. http://www.babytattooville.com/home.html We’re really excited about participating in it!
Q. Awesome! Please tell readers about ‘Boxes of Death’ (traveling art show). Will you be contributing to the show?
A. Boxes of Death is something I was chomping at the bit to do because it was pretty far out of my comfort zone. Each artist is given a little coffin to paint. The show tours like a pop up event, I think, down the West Coast with stops in Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco and LA. At first I thought I’d do something over the top and flowery, but then I settled on the idea of the duality of the cat. Lover and killer, adored and feared. The cat in mine has been lovingly arranged by his owner and the little critters are dancing on his grave on the sides of the box. It’s an issue close to home for me! http://www.boxesofdeath.com/
Q. With 7 cats as anipals, I love that you settled on that! Is Brom contributing to the ‘Boxes of Death’ show?
A. Nope. No Brom in this show, though it does seem right up his alley! He’s busy writing.
Q. Now for a fun question: What’s your fondest memory of the Lowcountry?
A. Oh man is that a tough question! I could never choose just one, especially having grown up there and returned many times as an adult. One would be a moonlight swim with my cousins on Isle of Palms. The water was filled with marine phosphorescence. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. But I loved living somewhere so full of history and SO many ghost stories! All of which seem perfectly believable in the context of Charleston. I miss the smell of pluffmud, the dripping Spanish moss, the cemeteries and churches, gaslamps, that stuff gets into your soul and doesn’t let go no matter how long you live away from it.
Q. This Charlestonian couldn’t agree more! So, what else is in the pipeline heading into 2015?
A. Well, I have several group shows lined up including the annual Women Painting Women held at the Principle Gallery in Charleston. Super excited to have a piece heading there! I also have one going to the Copro Gallery in LA next month, Babytatooville in October and then I’m taking some time and coming up with a new body of work.
Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your darkly delightful work?
A. I’m finally on Instagram and am just getting that going http://instagram.com/laurieleebrom, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/lauriebrom and I have prints for sale on my website http://www.laurieleebrom.com/
“Greg and Chrystal Mimbs are photographers living in Murphy, North Carolina. After many years of wedding and portrait photography, Chrystal and Greg have turned their focus to landscape and urban photography. Photographing not only the beautiful scenery and open spaces of the Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and North Georgia Mountains, but also the small towns in the mountains.
Q. Great photos of New Orleans on your Twitter page here. Which NOLA pics are your personal favorites?
A. Thank you, I actually have four favorite New Orleans photographs, all for different reasons.
Evening on Bourbon is my favorite because it is my most sold photograph I have ever taken. Although I really like the photo, I never really intended to show it, much less make it available for purchase. I may have had a mental block on thinking of this photograph as sellable because to me it was a snapshot. I was eating a steak on a balcony along Bourbon Street when I noticed the evening light on the street below. I grabbed my camera, leaned slightly over the railing and took the photo. I never really thought much about the photo until over a year later when I was reorganizing my files and realized that my snapshot was wonderful. Several prints of Evening on Bourbon sell every month and the print is also available as a poster in record stores and Spencer’s Gifts across the country.
1041 Royal Street is my favorite photograph of a building in the French Quarter. I really like the quality of light this early morning photograph has.
Past Present Future is a photograph that I cannot get enough of. I love the story the photos tells with the older buildings of Jackson Square in the foreground, the newer buildings in the background and the uniquely New Orleans atmosphere of the people in the square. Then on top of all these wonderful features within the same photograph, there are the amazing clouds. I could return to this spot a hundred times and not have all these elements together at the same time.
My most favorite NOLA photograph is the ones I have not taken yet. New Orleans is a photographer’s dream city, there is something for everyone and I always look forward to returning and taking more.
Q. Good answers! Have you ever lived in New Orleans? If not, then how frequently do you visit?
A. I have never lived in New Orleans. For several years my wife and I held 2 pet portrait fundraiser a year for the St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter. The fundraiser was always a one day event, but we would always stick around for a few days to play in New Orleans. Although we no longer take pet portraits, we still try to get to New Orleans every year.
Q. Besides photographing cities, you also capture spectacularly moving mountains and beaches. Where have you found great captures in beach and mountain areas?
A. I live in the mountains of North Carolina, but I sometimes suffer from GIG syndrome (Grass Is Greener), which makes me think any beach is great for photos. I have a weakness for including driftwood as an element in my photographs so Jekyll Island, Georgia is one of my favorite location. Mountains use to be more difficult for me, because I live here. Let me explain.
There is a barn near my house that people from out of town always stop on the side of the road to photograph. I see this barn everyday, it’s visible from my back porch. One day it hit me that these visitors from out of town see the beauty of the barn, where I just saw the barn next door (Farmall Barn photo attached). This made me wonder; when I’m on vacation and I’ve set up my camera to photograph a scene, do the locals in that area wonder why I’m taking a photograph of that tree next door. It hit me that I had what I think of as “Grass is Greener Syndrome”. I could not, no would not slow down enough in my everyday life to actually SEE the beauty right in front of me. I set a goal for myself to photograph only things within walking distance of my house. I was amazed at the beauty I found and the photographs I took.
Living In The Clouds of Western North Carolina is the view from my front porch.
North Carolina Pond is in my back yard (my neighbor’s pond).
Q. <LOL> regarding GIG syndrome. I may have suffered from that one before, too. So, did you take photography courses, or are you self-taught?
A. I attended North Georgia Tech School of Photography in Clarkesville, Georgia and the U.S. Navy School of Photography in Pensacola, FL.
But I’m still learning everyday.
Q. At your Mimbs Photography site here, you offer wedding photography, real estate listing photography, et cetera. What other professional services do you offer?
A. My wife and officially retired almost 10 years ago. Last year we decided to reopen our photography business. A couple of months after going back into the business my wife Chrystal was offered a job using her degree, so she took the job. Not sure I wanted to be working for the public again, I did nothing to promote the business. Just this month I decided to start offering weddings again in a limited form. I’ve always continued to do real estate photos because I really enjoy photographing houses/businesses. I also do some portraits.
Q. I have seen many of your photos from parts of the Southeastern United States. Have you ever visited and photographed in Charleston, South Carolina?
A. I have visited Charleston many years ago, and took some photographs on film. I have been considering returning to Charleston, but have not done so yet.
Q. What’s on the horizon for the remainder of 2014?
A. During my 38 years as a photographer, only a few friends and family ever saw any of my landscape photography. Averaging 50 weddings per year, with my wife averaging 30 weddings per year, we never really had time to think about doing anything with our landscapes until 2 years ago when we started placing them for sale on Fine Art America. The response was wonderful, showing us that we should have been showing and selling them all along. 2014 has been filled with seeking out and photographing beautiful places. Having been published in a couple of magazines this year, we have been getting more request from other magazines to photograph different areas (including Charleston) for possible publication. We hope to travel to more of our ever expanding list of locations we want to photograph.
Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work (social networking sites, websites)?
A. To find our photographs: http://1-greg-mimbs.artistwebsites.com/
Our photography website: https://www.facebook.com/MimbsPhotography
and one other non related:
Our website which enabled us to retire almost 10 years ago (me at 44, Chrystal at 28): http://www.mountaintravelguide.com/
Steve Nagy is “known as “The MAD Hungarian” and [is] a HUGE Dallas Cowboys FAN!! [His] book, “MY 101 Reasons to LOVE the Dallas Cowboys and 10 Reasons to Despise the Phil. Eagles and Their Fans!” is available for purchase on NUMEROUS websites!! These include, but are not limited to, CDBABY.COM, AMAZON.COM, EMUSIC.COM, BBLA.COM (click onto links section), ETC.. [He has] appeared on KVCE 1160 AM Radio (TX), as well as The Yes Network (#1 RSN in the country!) & WCTC 1450 AM (NJ). [His] books have been endorsed by individuals such as Ted Leonsis (owner of The Washington Capitals/Wash. Wizards/The Verizon Center), Bobby Thomson (The man who hit, “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”) [and] Chris Shearn (Yes Network)” (https://www.facebook.com/stephen.nagy.39/info).
GL: You are well-known for writing about sports and the WWE. Where can readers go to read what you’ve written about these?
SN: Yes, I’ve been a fan of both since I was a kid in the early ’80s. I’m a HUGE fan of the Yankees, Cowboys, Capitals & Notre Dame Football. I practically watch every game. I guess that’s why I’m still single! LOL!. A couple of years ago I decided to turn my passion into a book. In 2006 I started a book about my favorite moments in Dallas Cowboys’ history. In 2010 that first manuscript was made into a CD. I titled the audiobook, “MY 101 Reasons to LOVE the Dallas Cowboys & 10 Reasons to DESPISE the Philadelphia Eagles & Their Fans!”. The CD is available on most major websites that sell audiobooks. Here is the link to one of them ,www.cdbaby.com/cd/stevenagy .
In terms of the WWE, I have written a book about my favorite moments, however this one has not been published yet. What was really cool about it though, was that I was able to get some LIVE interviews from “old school” WWE HOF that I first watched and admired as a kid. Hopefully the public will get a chance to read it sooner than later.
GL: I love your humorous tweets and I also enjoy the talent you feature at your ‘FANS OF “The MAD Hungarian”‘ Facebook group. Where can readers go to connect with you? (social networking sites, etc.)
SN: I guess my favorite one would be twitter, @nagysnest. Please follow, as I do have a lot of celebrities that follow me. Therefore the conversations are ALWAYS interesting! I’m also on a website called, STAGE 32. It’s a great place to meet people in the entertainment industry from all over the WORLD! http://www.stage32.com/profile/72162/stephen-nagy . By the way, I will eventually respond, so please check out the sites and let’s rap.
GL: As a lyricist, too, I’m always fascinated with what kind of music those I interview listen to. From following your Twitter posts, I’ve gleaned that you like hip-hop and country music. Who are some of your favorite singers/bands?
SN: Oh yes, especially being originally from NJ, hip-hop is a must! My favorite rapper of ALL-TIME, who I believe is considered the best, is “The Notorious B.I.G”. He represented East Coast and is someone who I would put in my top 10 influencers in my life. In terms of country, there was always country music being played in my house growing up. Mostly “The Outlaws” : (George Jones, Hank Williams JR. & SR., Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, etc.). Even though they are before my time, “The Beatles” are my favorite group of ALL-TIME. Which would lead me to my favorite solo artist, John Lennon. I could write pages on how he has inspired my life. I wish I had an opportunity to meet him. Today it’s kind of cool that his wife, Yoko Ono, follows me on twitter. That is an honor. My favorite song is, “Imagine”.
GL: I love “Imagine,” too. Great melody and lyrics! Switching gears, I enjoyed your serenade of Christy Bella Joiner at: http://youtu.be/E106i7paF0A
How did that come about?
SN: In Jan. 2012 we had worked on a cancer awareness article together. Here was our article: http://rfsportsradio.blogspot.com/2012/09/christy-bella-joiner-joins-author-steve.html
GL: What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2014?
SN: Well currently I’m working with award-winning filmmaker Cassidy McMillan in helping her to promo her documentary film, “Bullies And Friends”. Here is an interview that we were a part of on 12/14/13: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vallanomedia/2013/12/14/collaboration-with-a-cause . I’m also looking to be part of a movie, as I have recently meet some directors in person & via twitter that feel I would cast well as a cop in a horror film. I agree with them. I’m also exploring my comedic side as I’ve always loved to tell jokes and entertain people. I have a couple of original jokes that I have been tweeting to known legends in the comedy world. As a matter of fact I have the honor of being followed on twitter by Dana Carvey. This past weekend, Louie Anderson also commented on this joke that I sent him, “Asked my friend an excuse to give AA sponsor for missing meeting. He said, tell him that I was hungover from last night!” Do you want to know what Louie said?! Then you got to follow ME, @nagysnest is the place to be!
GL: LOL! I saw that, and readers know where to go to check it out, too. Cheers!
WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.) has both!! You can pick up a paperback or kindle copy at: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Vamps-Gl-Giles/dp/1613181477
Here are some of the reviews:
Praise for G.L. Giles’s “Water Vamps”:
“Water Vamps is one of the most clever supernatural stories I’ve read in years… only the
singular mind of GL Giles, in all her guile and wit, could have come up with the idea of aquatic
vampires who behave like the sirens of yore. As wildly out to sea as the premise seems, Giles’ rich, warm, and emotional writing style manages to make everyone seem so real, and our young protagonists, Robyn and Marion, are as grounded and substantive as can be. Water Vamps is a truly unique, engaging story – the sort of which makes GL Giles the worthy successor to the authors of my childhood (Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L’Engle) and will certainly earn her a place in the canon of today’s most imaginative and engaging emerging fantasy authors.”
Staci Layne Wilson, author of DARK LULLABY and co-host of Inside Horror
“G. L. Giles once again brings vampires to life, this time in a young adult novel spanning centuries, dimensions and death. Giles’ tale of protagonists Robyn and Marion includes all the usual suspects one expects from a good horror tale; vamps and werewolves, romance and loss, life and death. Mixing these ingredients with a brand new revisionist spin, Giles creates a world familiar yet astonishingly different from similar young adult fare. Giles has not forgotten what it is to be twelve. Armed with this knowledge, she lures readers in with interesting characters and daring messages not mired in traditional fantasy tropes. Giles cannily circles the familiar before transforming her tale into something entirely new. Water Vamps is a tale of tolerance and understanding, written in descriptive, engaging prose.”
Will Colby, reviewer at KillingBoxx
“I picked up Water Vamps by G.L. Giles on a recommendation. The line under the title, “a young adult adventure story,” would generally be enough to turn me the other way—just not my scene—but having been promised that these vamps, although very different from the traditional in many ways, stick to one rule that should never be broken—they do not sparkle—I decided to give it a try. The book’s slim length and easily accessible style made it ideal for an evening plane ride home from a conference. The risk was minimal, and the reward turned out to be far greater than I would have thought possible. Water Vamps delivers a young adult adventure story, kids coming of age and learning life lessons and discovering love as they face dangers and learn the value of teamwork, all the good stuff the line below the title promises, but it also delivers quite a bit more for us grownup horror fans. Giles builds the supernatural side of her Charleston, South Carolina on a rejection of an absolute Christian world view that would easily classify goods and evils, Van Helsings and Draculas, etc. This rejection is manifest through the protagonist family’s pagan values, which narrative outcomes affirm, but it also provides justification for a proliferation of creatures and perspectives within the novel (or novella’s) 84 pages. We have the titular water vamps, of course, but they have different sects and philosophies, as do land vamps, who have different powers that go with different philosophies. Furthermore, the water vamps’ (and presumably) others’ powers develop according to some judgment of their accomplishments that comes from some unspecified higher power, a higher power capable of accepting all creatures within Giles’s diversely populated world, whatever kind of vamp, human, siren, raven or other being the creature might be, as long as it follows an ethic of self-authenticity and respect for others…as an affirmation of human diversity (which we see in everything from James Whale’s Frankenstein to Clive Barker’s Cabal/Nightbreed to the Shrek movies) is how this morality seems to operate as a creative force within Giles’s work, giving us (or at least me, as I’ve lectured on the history of vampires across the country) a kind of grammar and vocabulary for vampires we’ve never seen before. And given how many goshed darned vamps have flooded this market since Louis and Lestat got castrated and turned into Mormon teens, that’s about the highest praise I can imagine giving a vampire tale…So YA and vamp fans, brace yourself to be dazzled by creative thinking but left feeling eager for more.”
Professor L. Andrew Cooper’s review at Horrific Scribblings
“A good storyteller shows the ‘human’ in the alien creatures, in this case water vamps, and the ‘alien’ in the humans and GL Giles’ “Water Vamps” lives up to a great fantasy tale because of it. A new kind of vampire is created in Water Vamps and Giles fascinates readers with those differences. It is not just blood sucking vamps but a kind of species that lives in water and behaves sometimes similarly to sirens. These creatures live by a set of rules – ones you probably haven’t encountered before – and these codes are mirrored in the young lives of the human protagonists. Targeted for young adults, the depth of the story easily catches adult readers in its snare as all good fantasy/fairy tales do.”
Gary Starta, author/reviewer and a ‘Top Ten Finalist in 2010’s Preditors and Editors Poll for Science Fiction’
“I was thrilled when I read about the Water Vamps that Giles created…every author needs to come up with a new twist that makes their vampires unique and memorable. With vampires seen as a species, Giles has definitely done this overall, but then she takes it a step further by creating an entirely new species that seems a little like a mermaid, a little like a siren, and all vampire!…Their story [is told in] “Water Vamps,” and it will slake the thirst of anyone wanting to know more. Giles weaves a tale of intrigue and gives us a glimpse of the underwater world of the Water Vamps, and the history and origins behind these beautiful and dangerous creatures is truly unique!…We get to interact with these creatures on a more personal level: they go to school, have spelling and vocabulary tests, have to deal with their parents and even crush on each other. In this sense, we get to see the more ‘human’ side of the water vampires and see that the youth water vamps are similar to the human heroes, Robyn and Marion. Written for young adults, the main characters are children, and the adults are secondary to the story, which will appeal to any young adult. Robyn and Marion understand each other, and they (like the water vamps) have to deal with all the things children deal with, despite their unusual gifts. Even without these gifts, Robyn is a role model for any young female with her strength of character, respect for adults (at least those who deserve it) and her loyalty to Marion, who deserves his own credit for his loyalty and friendship…In the end, even the water vamps come to be [those] we can relate to and accept in this thrilling ride into the waters of Charleston, South Carolina.”
Deanna Anderson for Target Audience Magazine
“G.L. Giles has written a YA book worthy of a closer look by young adults and adults of all ages. Her stories read like a welcome canteen of water when one has been in a desolate literary desert for too long. Let’s face it. One can’t throw a stake without hitting one of the many vampire novels out there these days. With Giles’ book however, one hits a rich vein of gold or perhaps in this case, blood and, as every vampire knows, the life is in the blood. The life blood of “Water Vamps” is in the talent of such a gifted writer as Giles. Such are the literary riches one finds in “Water Vamps.” If you love vampires, you are in for a rare treat. The most intriguing thing about her Water Vamps is that they are a fantastic and wholly unique twist on the vampire myth. Even if vampires are not your cup of tea (or goblet of blood) you will be engaged by Giles. It is her skillful writing style, engrossing narrative and some of the most interesting characters in all of literature that brings delight to the reader. I absolutely love the biracial storyline with Robyn and Marion. With this, Giles doesn’t merely tell a story. She digs deeply into the human consciousness, bringing out old modes of thinking and revealing them in the light of day, inviting the reader to expand his or her mind. This is story-telling at its best. The most important thing I can say about this book is this: Best twist on the vampire mythos ever.”
Evelyn Smith, author of “Transylvania, Louisiana” and “City of the Undead,” for Eviesite (WordPress Blog)
“G.L. Giles creates a delightfully original vampire mythology in her young adult book Water Vamps. The main characters Robyn and Marion (aptly named after the literary adventurers Robin Hood and Maid Marian) engage in their own adventure involving Water Vampires, a complex hybrid of ravens and mermaids—with teeth! Giles celebrates the unconventional in numerous ways throughout the book, which any vampire-lover will embrace whole-heartedly. Her compelling tale follows the burgeoning young romance between Robyn and Marion which leads to their dangerous encounter with the Water Vamps. Giles mixes her unique history of vampires and the background of Charleston, South Carolina, creating a fully absorbing fantasy tale. Together, Robyn and Marion discover a pair of deceitful adults and a perilous, hungry species who are more than they appear to be on the surface and with whom they have more in common than they realize.”
Bryce Warren, author of “Voodoo Mayhem”
Michael Sargent’s interview with me on Turquoise Radio will air again this Sunday, July 21st at 10 a.m. EST and 3 p.m. GMT. We discuss my latest release, WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.), at great length, etc.! 🙂 Here’s the link to check out Turquoise Radio: http://www.turquoiseradio.com/
And, here is the link to check out WATER VAMPS at BlackWyrm Publishing: <a href="http://www.blackwyrm.com/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=234″>http://www.blackwyrm.com/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=1&pid=234
Thanks for the sales at Amazon, too: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Vamps-Gl-Giles/dp/1613181477/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1374188904&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Water+Vamps+by+Gl+Giles