The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing Repulsive -- What is that & Where can I get one?
The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive is my first book. It’s a 92-page collection of short stories and poems interwoven into a gripping narrative that follows a group of gay & lesbian Latino club kids during the course of the 2008 presidential elections. As they plunge deep into the agonizing lows of anxiety and addiction, we see how they affect and are affected by the national politics happening around them.
You can read two excerpts if you’d like:
1) Short Story “Mourning”
2) Poem “Need”
The book is available for purchase online at numerous well-known and independent sites such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and GiovannisRoom.com. You can keep up to date with The Voting Booth After Dark’s recent reviews, interviews, and readings by “liking” its Facebook Fan Page. Hope you enjoy the read!
Vanessa Libertad Garcia, what’s the story behind your middle name Libertad?
My family is Cuban. Libertad is my mother’s name, which my mom passed down to me as a middle name. Back in Cuba during the 1950’s my grandfather Armando abhorred the cruel Batista regime and therefore, like most other Cubans of his generation, turned his political support toward Fidel Castro’s Communist Revolution. The Communist Revolution triumphed and overthrew the Batista regime, and my mom was born shortly thereafter in November of 1960. To celebrate the revolution’s victory, my grandfather decided to name my mother “Libertad,” which means Liberty in Spanish. Subsequently, however, my grandfather realized that Castro’s Cuba was a big sham – they’d all been had. He said that in lieu of what communism actually brought Cuba, he should have named my mom “Miseria” i.e. “Misery” instead of “Libertad” i.e. Liberty. Oh, papaito! Lol.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing and/or making movies?
I have a blast gorging on other people’s art. Mostly everything outside of the usually torturous & boring mainstream. I enjoy underground, local, and international pieces that tend to experiment with form while reflecting upon the trials & triumphs of everyday lives. EX: Theatre Plays and Movies (Documentaries, Fiction, Foreign, Experimental), Film Festivals, Reading Books/Zines (Fiction, Poetry, Biographical, & Spiritual), Art Exhibits, Live Music – Jazz & World Fusions mostly, Mixed Media Performances, ETC. I also enjoy blogging about them sometimes at my blog Bloggimia. (http://bloggimia.wordpress.com/ ) Oh yeah, and watching hilariously AWFUL films with one of my best friends Baby Dewds (Danielle O’Terry), and then reviewing them at our blog: The Blockbuster Exclusive Academy (https://www.facebook.com/theblockbusterexclusiveacademy ) I also have fun not going to parties. Man, I hate parties.
What finished projects are you currently touring?
The two most readily available projects are: Book: The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive summarized in answer to the first interview question. And Film: The feature documentary I co-produced titled Synthnation, which explores the revolutionary impact underground dark electronic music has had on “outcast” club and youth culture by investigating music geniuses such as VNV nation, Front 242, and others.
You can order a copy online at its website:
What books and films are you making next?
My 2nd Book: Bloody Fucking Hell is a collection of poetry and essays that chronicle the splendor, torture, and confusion I experienced as a lesbian falling in love with various straight women. Since I “came out” at the age of 18, I have only fallen in love three times -- each time with a self-identified “straight woman.” The poetry contained in each chapter -- of which there are only three -- pertains to the girl after whom it is named: “Sonia,” “Adelaide,” and “Lucetta.” Bloody Fucking Hell takes an in-depth look at these intimate, rather distinct, relationships and explores where feminine identity, classifications of love, and roles in friendship blur in soul splitting ways. Although the poetry was written during different periods of my life, I am working to properly compile, edit, and polish the pieces so they may fit the structure of the book in an effortless way. I find myself continuously searching through countless journals, old and new, to properly choose the best pieces for the collection. I will also include some reflective essays and personal drawings in the book, specifically in the “Adelaide” chapter, and possibly a poem Adelaide wrote to me. My First Narrative Feature Film: It’s a full-length fiction titled Dear Dios based off the characters in The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing Repulsive. Dear Dios is a drama with dark comedic undertones, which chronicles the tribulations of 22-year old Cuban-American Lesbian Dolores Amorosa Marti. While hitting rock bottom in the gay hipster club scene, struggling photojournalist (Marti) turns bottom-of-the-barrel temp for an LA celebrity tabloid rag. I have a completed script, which I’m devising a business plan for and preparing to pitch to potential producers. I plan on directing and editing the project.
You’re sort-of broke right? Which means you made this book on very little $$$. Who are some of the core people that helped you bring The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing Repulsive to life?
I feel wildly blessed to form a part of the artistic family I do. We’re basically a group of spiritually & creatively aligned artists with little to no dinero who are constantly helping each other manifest and complete projects. My two main squeezes on this, my debut book which I self-published, are as follows:
1) Brit Lauren Manor: We attended the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts’ Theatre Program together. I’ve known her since I was 14 years old. She’s one of the most gifted, well rounded, & generous artists I have ever known. She served as the book’s editor. She’s actually the main editor of mostly all my writings, and is working as the editor of my second book Bloody Fucking Hell. In addition to being an editing superhero, she’s also a stellar actress & singer.
Check out some Brit Lauren tunes at her official music page(http://www.myspace.com/britlaurenmusic )
2) DJ Warlock (Danny): Oh my 6 foot 5’ teddy bear!!! He’s an industrial music deejay and documentary filmmaker, which I met back when I was a crazy 19-year old malt-liquor chugging, club-hopping loca. One of the most brilliant minds & kind spirits I’ve ever known, Danny helped me design the front & back cover of my book, put together my website, and fix all the technical glitches i.e. monstrosities that popped up along the way. He’s the executive producer and director of the documentary I co-produced Synthnation, which I mentioned above. I could go on & on, but I’ll briefly name just two more greats: Leo Cesareo who created the cover art, and Linda Marie Alvarez who worked tirelessly to format that entire book (inside & out) so that it was ready for publication.
What populations do you most like to write about in your books & films?
I love assembling works of literature and film (both documentary and fiction) that reflect the varied experiences of underrepresented, atypical, and eccentric human communities. The common thread running through all of my projects tend to spotlight GLBTQ characters, and people of color (Latino, African-American, Gypsy, etc).
What are some quotes you turn to for inspiration, guidance, and relief when FEAR tries to strangle you, and force you to sabotage your life?
“May we be fearless...from known and unknown...May all the directions be our allies.” - Atharva Veda "In those sombre forests of his striving his own soul rose before him, and he saw himself, - darkly as through a veil...He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another." - W.E.B. Du Bois "I have not always been right, but I have always been sincere." - W.E.B. Du Bois “Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard. Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” – A League of Their Own "The Universe gives you 3 answers: 'Yes,' 'Not Yet,' & 'Not this, I have something better for you.' " - Unknown "I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it." - Jonathan Winters
What are your favorite feelings?
1) Humility 2) Gratitude 3) Compassion 4) Fearlessness 5) Peace
I feel like chugging a 40 oz. bottle of Poetry. Can I read an excerpt from your next book Bloody Fucking Hell?
Please do! Here’s an excerpt called Killer Of Sheep which is posted on my blog. Thanks for reading & enjoy!