Monday, April 15, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley from author Carol Es @esart #nonfiction #memoir #interview #giveaway @RABTBookTours

Non-Fiction / Memoir
Publisher: Desert Dog Books
Published Date: April 6, 2019

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Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a guided tour through a Tilt-A-Whirl life that takes so many turns that you may find yourself looking up from the pages and wondering how the hell one person managed to fit them all into 40-odd years. And many of them are odd years indeed. From a rootless, abusive childhood and mental illness through serious and successful careers in music and art, much of which were achieved while being involved in a notoriously destructive mind-control cult. Carol Es presents her story straight up. No padding, no parachute, no dancing around the hard stuff. Through the darkness, she somehow finds a glimmer of light by looking the big bad wolf straight in the eye, and it is liberating. When you dare to deal with truth, you are free. Free to find the humor that is just underneath everything and the joy that comes with taking the bumpy ride.

Illustrated with original sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is not just another survivor's tale, it's a creative ride where raw and intimate revelations are laid bare. As an artist and a woman finding self-worth, it's a truly courageous, relatable story that will keep you engaged to the end.


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Too much psyching myself out: negative self-talk or telling myself what I’m doing isn’t any good. I guess we can all be our own worst critics.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Surprisingly, I don’t own an iPod. I don’t listen to music while I write or paint either.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I do. But I have very few critique partners. I have to really trust those people and make sure they “get” me. But as for beta readers, I like to have a large sampling of different types of people depending on the draft, and what it is of course.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading a couple. I’m finishing a book of short stories by Stephen Hines called the Late Season. It’s so good that I love reading it slowly. I’m also reading Jenny Lawson’s third non-fiction work, Furiously Happy, a humorous look at her mental illness and other funny little tragedies life brings.

How did you start your writing career?

Oh, I don’t know it was a career yet. Thanks. I’ve been writing most of my life though. I’ve been published with small presses and have had some articles about art printed here and there. But I’ve mostly achieved those things by begging. My blog ( has been a constant thing since 2003. Before that, in the early 1990s, I’d put together handmade zines and distributed them to coffeehouses and whatnot. And some of my stories and poems were published in underground publications.

How about I talk about what I just released a few days ago? My memoir, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley. It has been available since April 6th ( It’s the true story about a rough childhood and my early adulthood, most of it being spent with a dysfunctional family that constantly moved, and then in the Church of Scientology. I was a member of the Church for about 20 years. At the same time, I was a professional musician and artist. A rather ambitious one at that. I toured in a rock band of mostly Scientologists, over which time I began to realize that I have a mental illness. I had to keep this under wraps since Scientology has a bleak view of psychiatry and mood disorders, and as a member, I had this view too. In the last chapters of the book, I touch upon how difficult it was to climb out of the cult’s mind set and heal from it all, including trying to heal from the sexual abuse I put up with as a kid. As sad as it all sounds, a dark humor is sprinkled throughout the book, as well as silly black and white illustrations. Now, this is only part of what my book is about. It’s about so much more and gets complex with relationships too, but I don’t want to take all day, or take up too much space with the details, nor do I want to give away all the secrets. Ya know?

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to answer questions on your blog! 😊

About the Author

Los Angeles writer, musician, and self-taught artist Carol Es writes for the Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal. She’s been published with Bottle of Smoke Press, Islands Fold, Chance Press, and her Artist’s books are featured in the Getty Research Library, Brooklyn Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is a two-time recipient of the Durfee Foundation’s ARC Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Fellow, and won the Wynn Newhouse Award in 2015.

Awarded grants in writing from the National Arts and Disability Center, Asylum Arts in Brooklyn, NY, Carol won the Bruce Geller Memorial Award WORD Grant for 2019.

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