I’m very excited to introduce author, Brenda Perlin. When I first connected with her, I admit she intimidated me … just a little. She was well read, über cool, and she had a wonderful network of friends and authors. Add to that — she is an incredibly beautiful woman, both inside and out.
Her book LA Punk Rocker is ranked as the #1 BEST SELLER in both the PUNK and PHOTOJOURNALISM categories. I learned so much about the punk era by reading it.
I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to interview her, especially since the sequel, PUNK ROCKER drops May 15th!
Please welcome the lovely Brenda Perlin. You’re going to love her.
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It’s wonderful to have you here Brenda, tell us how your best friend would describe you in 20 words or less.
Quirky but loyal. Goofy but has a serious side. Someone you would want on your team. (I am just guessing so please don’t gag!)
No gagging here! I’m sure it’s all true. What is your biggest extravagance?
Time. I don’t work, other than what I do with my books so I have the luxury of spending my days how I choose. That is a bigger extravagance than most people can imagine. I feel fortunate in this way because I know from having to make a living and that comes with plenty of stress.
I’ve never had this answer but TIME is definitely a luxury. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
It’s not so much about change but what I lack. I have always wanted to be able to sing yet I can’t carry a tune. Music is important to me. In another life. I pray I have the talent to be a rock singer.
Yes! You have excellent taste in music. What profession other than your own would you like to try?
Friends have always told me I should be a therapist. I do like working out people’s problems. Always have. I believe I get that from my mom. Everyone went to her for advice.
We have that in common. 😉 What are some of your favorite curse words?
I do like saying fuck-everyone. Yes, FUCK is an old standby.
Love it! Do you have a motto you live by?
Haha! What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
I was able to complete my life story in a trilogy before the age of fifty. Now it’s all fun stuff from here on out.
That’s an amazing feat, Brenda—truly. Let’s learn a bit more about the writer in you. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Life. I write from my own experiences. Some things you can’t make up and I don’t even try.
And what motivates you to write?
Usually I write when there is big drama in my life. I wrote Shattered Reality and Burnt Promises at lightning speed because flames were flying!
Of course! That makes a lot of sense. I can see the drama in the great book trailers too.
What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
More than anything I have learned the valuable lesson of making sure I have read the proof completely looking for typos and such before publishing the book. Reading the book out loud is one of the best ways to catch errors.
I agree with you there. I write regularly for a podcast, and I always catch mistakes when reading my stories aloud. Tell us about your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer.
I do enjoy the process of writing. There is something mighty therapeutic about it. I love when people respond well to my books and I have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. What I don’t appreciate as much are the headaches that come with publishing. And there are plenty. Also, it can be very frustrating trying to sell a book as an unknown author with no one representing your work. It is daunting.
And yet, you always appear so calm. 🙂 How would you define your style of writing?
I am a memoirist. It’s conversational and yet there isn’t too much dialog. I am like the reality TV version of writers. I like giving away all my secrets and exposing the truths that lay hidden.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the writing part when the story is flowing. That is the best feeling in the world.
What don’t you enjoy?
The worst part is relying on other people to get things done. That can be very frustrating and disappointing.
For me, not at all. I was writing Fractured Vows, my third book in Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles while the charades were still going on. From one day to the next I didn’t know how the book would end or where the story was being led. That was stressful and at the same time a bit exciting. Could have gone any way. I was prepared for the worst.
Yes, I feel the hints of uncertainty from the excellent book trailer.
What is your best advice for new authors?
I have learned quite a bit since I signed a bad seven year book contract with a fraudulent book publishing company. Now I would advise people to never sign a contract without legal counsel. Also, hire a professional editor and find some beta-readers to read the finished product as well. Some of the mistakes are just silly ones and make the author appear unprofessional.
Wise words indeed. Let’s learn more about your books. How would you classify them?
All my books are listed as fiction though they are more fact than fiction. I change names and places to protect the identities as well as myself.
Why should people read your books?
I do share a different slice of life. Some of the things I have experienced are unimaginable. It’s always fun to step in someone else’s sneakers.
What inspired you to write the best-selling LA Punk Rocker?
I can put the blame entirely on British author Mark Barry. He thought writing about my punk days would be interesting. At first I was opposed to the idea but then I began listening to the old tunes and saw the wisdom in sharing those stories.
I’m so glad Mark talked you into it! What has surprised you the most about writing the book?
I didn’t expect to find so many people that were still so enthusiastic about the music.
I haven’t been involved in punk rock for more than thirty years but I have reunited with some of the friends I had from that time period. The interest in the music is still going strong. And who knew Billy Idol still had so many admirers?! I’ve even joined up with his fan club the #BIFFWW. These gals always have your back, so it seems.
That’s terrific Brenda, and now you have the sequel, Punk Rocker officially releasing May 15th! I admit I’ve already bought my copy since I saw it pre-released a few days early. I’m very excited to read it! Let’s learn more from the blurb.
PUNK ROCKER is now available on Amazon!
Book blurb for Punk Rocker
Punk Rocker is the much anticipated sequel to “L.A. Punk Rocker”: top author Brenda Perlin’s best-selling punk anthology.
Here you will find a collection of short stories from those who were there in the early days. Hard core musical anarchists who saw it all, heard it all, did it all – and survived to tell their stories.
Along with Brenda and the West Coast punks, Punk Rocker features rebels, writers, commentators and street kids from all over America – talking about the music, the fashion, the attitude, the passion, the lifestyle and, of course, the bands who made it all happen.
Meet people who discovered punk’s new dawn – and those who were there for its sunset, in the ramshackle mausoleum of the Chelsea Hotel.
Backstage, in the clubs, in the gigs, in hotel rooms with the band, on the streets –Brenda was there. She saw it all. And so did her friends.
Punk Rocker. If you missed it…what are you waiting for?
What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?
Of course, reviews are a pleasure. For me, I have made it my mission to jot down notes when I am reading new releases to help the author. And I do believe it helps. Who wouldn’t want to erase the overused words or typos, if possible? I am starting to do it less because it’s often a thankless job but that is another subject for another time possibly.
I know you’ve helped me with your copious notes, and I so appreciate it. ♥ Let’s finish with a fun lightning round!
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? A framed drawing of my first dog Alex. The artist in Venice Beach only charged $5 to do the portrait but it’s my favorite possession. I’ve even considered having a tattoo done from the drawing but as of now I have put that thought to rest.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Kauai is where I feel the most connected. There is just something about the water that touches me.
Name a food you can eat everyday. Mangoes
Salty or sweet? Sweet Sweet Sweet!
Cat/dog/other pet? I am a dog person.
Favorite style of music? Is David Bowie a style? Ha-ha. I like classic rock, rock and alternative.
The best gift you’ve ever received? I was sick in 2007 as was told I might not ever walk again. I am blessed with the gift to walk. That is not something I take for granted. Ever.
Your most guilty pleasure. Papa John’s pizza delivery and reality TV.
Name something you cannot go a day without. Exercise and music. I am officially addicted.
Thank you Brenda for sharing with my readers. I learned many new and interesting things about you—all the more to admire. 🙂 Congratulations on your accomplishments and the upcoming release of Punk Rocker. I look forward to reading and reviewing it.
Readers, please find Brenda at all her virtual homes below. She’s as amazing as she sounds.
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Connect to Brenda
Additional book trailers
Brenda Perlin is an independent contemporary fiction author of five titles and numerous short stories. From novels to illustrated books, Brenda’s provocatively unique writing style evokes passionate responses in her readers. Ever since she was a child, Brenda has been fascinated with the writing process. She draws her biggest inspiration from Judy Blume who sparked her obsession with pursuing personal expression through prose. Brenda has always lost herself in the world of literature.
Her first series, the highly-acclaimed Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles, captures the soul-wrenching conflicts of a couple struggling for emotional fulfillment against those who would keep them apart. Next, Brenda ventured into the realm of graphic novellas with Ty the Bull, a story about a young boy who overcomes bullying, and Alex the Mutt, which explores the journey of love and loss of a beloved dog.
Her latest, Punk Rocker comes after L.A. Punk Rocker, both are anthologies where authors write about the music scene in the late seventies to the early eighties: a time when she was in Hollywood meeting famous bands and enjoying the new music scene.
Now that Brenda has just released Punk Rocker, the second book in the punk series she is contemplating whether or not she will forge ahead with another book to complete the series, along with a photo book, L.A. Punk Snapshots. While she is still listening to her favorite bands from the eighties, Billy Idol remains the ultimate King Rocker and music is just as important to her as ever. All her works are available through Amazon.