Cover Reveal: Singularity by Helena Hann-Basquiat and friends!

Singularity 6 x 9 coverThe time has come.

The time is now.

Singularity is the new novel from Helena Hann-Basquiat, with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers and Hannah Sears.

Singularity is the sequel to last year’s JESSICA — a metafictional look into Jessica’s possible pasts.

Singularity is coming August 1, 2015

Singularity is its own novel, and can be enjoyed all on its own, but if you haven’t read JESSICA, GO HERE to read the first chapter or GO HERE to purchase a copy in paperback or e-book.

 

 

To Read Helena Is to Love Helena #Mondayblogs

I first “met” Helena Hann-Basquiat through her guest post on Katie Sullivan’s blog, where she had a hilarious dialogue with a 1300-year-old Druid.  I was stunned by her dry humor which had a thread of worldweariness sewn through it.  That’s depth, my dear Reader.  From there I went to her blog, fell in love, made a few comments, and then was given the honor to read and comment on her then-current work in progress, Three Cigarettes.  Helena has published as Jessica B. Bell, a writer that would scare the pants off Stephen King, as well as one volume of her memoirs (check out my review here) as well as a long list of shorter works.  Helena is the epitome of prolific.

But Helena is a persona, a fictional character.  The genius behind Helena is a Canadian fellow named Ken.  Ken recently “came out” via the Sisterwives blog and revealed himself.  Or as much as he was comfortable sharing.  I still don’t know what his resting heart rate is or if he is lactose-intolerant.  Whether I should know, have a right to know, is a subject of infinite interest.  Indeed, how much can we readers expect authors to share about themselves?  If  you want some answers to that question, check out Ken’s discussion with Katie Cross:  A Question of Entitlement: What Do Authors Owe Readers?

Being that I am a writer too, I would argue that the reader has no entitlement to an author’s actual identity.  Unless that author actually reaches out to the reader, as Ken did with me.  I was given a choice.  I could have continued with Helena firmly ensconed in my mind as a large-breasted, drop-dead gorgeous woman who had lived through a world of hurt and learned to laugh it off.  And who also had a nurturing quality (evidenced by her relationship with her niece Penny) that had been missing in my life while I was growing up.  So it was very tempting to leave things be.  But I am nothing if not curious so I chose to know.

The only thing that really changed when I found out that she was a he was my respect for and awe of Ken’s work shot up about 1000 percent.  And then everything fell into place.  Of course, he chose a woman to be his persona.  Who better to tell stories of great pain and great joy and all that is in-between but a large-breasted, drop-dead gorgeous woman who had lived through a world of hurt and learned to laugh it off.  Helena was/is the perfect persona.  She embodies all that is wonderful about Ken and she gives him a safe place through which to tell sad and painful stories as well as tales of joy and humor.

Now, without further adieu, enjoy the following excerpt from Volume 2 of Memoirs of a Dilettante.  Then go and order the book through Pubslush.

The Disappearance of Amy LeFevre

I didn’t know Amy LeFevre – not really – but I’d seen her around town, riding her bike in her short shorts and Doc Martens, bruises up and down her legs like tattoos fading in the sun. If you really pressed her about the bruises (and so few ever bothered – – I only asked her once out of polite concern) she’d offer self-deprecatory excuses of clumsiness or claim she was anemic.

She wore those Docs so proudly; she’d had to go to the city to get them, and they seemed to be her declaration that she’d gotten out once, and she would get out again. They had steel toes and Amy had gotten in trouble on more than one occasion for using them against boys who just wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Amy had recently shaved her head, and the oh-so-clever boys in school and around the small-minded small town of Arcadia had taken to changing the words to that old Queen song to sing at her “I want to ride my bi-sexual, I want to ride my dyke!”[1] Amy was not a lesbian, not that it mattered to anyone. Closet homosexuality was not the secret that Amy kept, so their taunts didn’t bother her.

Amy’s father ran the hardware store in Arcadia, just as his father had before him, and he was a small, broken man with a broken marriage and a small house living in a small, broken town, and he was absolutely terrified of two small words: Home Depot.

By day he was congenial, and his customers all loved him and wished him well, and would join in his armchair economics lectures that he would launch into whenever the topic of the big box chains came up, which was nearly always. During business hours it was merely sympathizing and small town solidarity, and the conversations would always just be polite agreement that the winds are changing or some other homily. After hours, Amy’s dad would park himself at the bar, and after a couple of drinks, launch into accusations at fellow townsfolk who he knew, he just knew were doing their shopping at the Home Depot just outside of town and taking food right out of my mouth, goddammit!

This is the man that Amy had to deal with every night, and if Amy wore her shorts so short, well, maybe it was so that her father would have to constantly see the bruises, and maybe, just maybe he’d be ashamed and leave her alone. Or maybe she hoped that the townsfolk would put two and two together and say something, do something – but her cry for help went unanswered, even, I’m ashamed to say, by me. Maybe the reason why she shaved her head was so her father couldn’t grab her hair when she tried to scramble away from him when he came into her room at night stinking of Johnny Walker and the sickly sweet tobacco of those cheap cigars he liked to smoke.

One day, Amy just disappeared.

By the time they discovered her father’s body at the bottom of his basement stairs, Amy was long gone.

They found her bike at the Amtrak station in the next town ten miles away.

They never found Amy.

[1] It’s actually “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.”

———–

If you want to read more, BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia

Available now!  image06 JESSICA image07

The one, the only Helena Hann-Basquiat, everyone's favorite dilettanteThe enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

Last year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell. VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or and http://www.whoisjessica.com Connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat, and keep up with her ever growing body of work at GOODREADS, or visit her AMAZON PAGE

WIP Blog Tour!

Many thanks to Luanne Castle at Writer Site for tagging me to participate in this special blog tour.  It comes at a good time for me because I’ve been wrestling working on my WIP, Clemency, A Novel.  Before you read my post (or after if you prefer), please do read Luanne’s post on her WIP:  http://writersite.org/2015/02/12/read-all-about-it-here-the-work-in-progress-blog-tour-stop/ Luanne is working on a memoir, “excavating” her memory to “create a new story”:

My book is the story of an old family secret that infects the present and creates a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship–and the quest for answers that allows the father and daughter to learn and forgive.

Now, doesn’t whet your appetite for more from Luanne?  Indeed, it does mine.

But before I lose sight of my own purpose in participating, let me proceed with the rules and my contribution to the tour.

The work-in-progress blog tour rules (which we all know are made to be bent or broken):

  1.  Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
  2.  Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress.
  3.  Nominate some other writers to do the same.

Brief description of my novel:

Clemency is a story about Misty Daniels, a young girl (~18) in prison for allegedly killing her live-in boyfriend after he beat her up, causing her to miscarry.  Enter Sarah Mansfield, a newly minted attorney who believes in Misty’s innocence and wants to secure her freedom.  But not everyone believes that Misty is innocent.  Not even Misty.  And there are some people in Misty’s poor small town that want to see her stay in prison.  And they will do anything to make sure that happens.  Even if means someone has to die.

Only in her mid-twenties and alone in an unfamiliar southern city, Sarah finds her life on the line and with few people she can trust.  Her boss and mentor, Lucas Danforth, seems to know more than he lets on and brushes off Sarah’s concern for her and Misty’s safety.  Michael Daniels, Misty’s half-brother and a former Marine, is more interested in hindering Sarah’s investigations than helping her.  And the people of Oyster Point, led by Sheriff Cooley, harbor more than a general mistrust of strangers.  They are all hiding something, and Sarah suspects that what they are hiding is the key to Misty’s freedom. 

Status of my novel:

Still in that primordial stage that is particularly gross and sticky.

Excerpts from the first three chapers:

Prologue

Misty Daniels cradled her small round belly as she collapsed onto the sticky linoleum floor. She huddled against the kitchen wall, her damp brown hair covering her tear-streaked face. Her mouth was frozen in a silent scream of pain, her eyes shut tight against the blood that dripped down from the cut on her forehead.

Chapter 1

This wasn’t quite what she had expected. The room was dusty with boxes of documents lining the short space of walls against the sloped ceiling. The desk reminded her of the big clunker her father had for the thirty years that he taught English. At the thought of her father, Sarah pulled a framed photo out of her gray Timbuktu messenger bag. She stroked the simple wood frame that bordered the last picture taken of her parents and her, at her graduation from the small private college where her father had taught.

Chapter 2

Sarah sat at the concrete beach table, watching Lucas through tortoise-shell Wayfarer sunglasses that she had found while hiking around Juniper Springs. Lucas read the note again, his lips curled in a slight smile. Someone had typed on the small piece of paper: “Let Misty rot in prison. Or you will go to hell.” Sarah had immediately called Lucas after opening the envelope, and he had gallantly rushed over to Tully House.

Now, time to announce the other participants in this tour.  I am so relieved happy that these wonderful writers have agreed to participate.

orl40223S.K. NICHOLSS’s debut, Red Clay and Roses, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of characters grappling with inequality in the Jim Crow South. It is set in 1950s-60s Georgia, and explores civil rights, interracial relations, and women’s issues. An avid regional crime fiction reader, Nicholls’ next project is a series of crime novels with colorful characters who take you on a fast-paced adventures through Florida.  You can find Nicholls on her blog where she also posts awesome photos of Florida, discusses writing and books, and shares updates on her many writing projects.

 

helena-h-bThe enigmatic HELENA HANN-BASQUIAT dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.
She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.
She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populace or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.
Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.
Earlier this year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.
Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell – VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or and http://www.whoisjessica.com

Connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat

BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia!

 

Katie 33 0935 rs1KATIE SULLIVANWriter, mom, real-food foodie, reckless gardener and wannabe spy, Katie Sullivan is descended of pirates and revolutionaries, and a lover of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. Today, she lives in the American Midwest with her son, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). 

Katie’s first book, Changelings: Into the Mist, a young adult historical fantasy, is available in print and digital from AmazonShe can also be found writing with said character weekly at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

Changelings: Into the Mist is now available! This historical fantasy, filled with pirates, magic and kings, is not to be missed. “It’s a love letter to Ireland.” ~ Helena Hann-Basquiat, Memoirs of a Dilettante.

“Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad” ~ Norm Papernick

 

J. S. COLLYER is a Science Fiction writer from Lancaster, England. Her first novel Zero was releJ S Collyerased by Dagda Publishing Aug 2014 and was listed in Northern Soul’s Magazine Best Reads of 2014. The sequel, Haven, is due out Oct 2015.

Zero is available in paperback or for Kindle through Amazon: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B00MRACF86

Find out more about her and her other titles and upcoming booksignings through any of her websites:
jcollyer.wordpress.com
facebook.com/jscollyer
twitter.com/@jexshinigami

MEMOIRS OF A DILETTANTE VOLUME TWO – COVER REVEAL!

My favorite dilettante has a new volume of “memoirs” coming soon.  Who cares if her stories are fact or fiction?  They are always decisively entertaining.

Helena Cover Boa 4Cover art by Hastywords

COMING SPRING 2015 — official date TBA

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two is the second collection of reminiscences, following Helena Hann-Basquiat, a self-proclaimed dilettante who will try anything just to say that she has, and her twenty-something niece, who she has dubbed the Countess Penelope of Arcadia.

Speaking of Arcadia, this volume delves into Helena’s childhood, as she revisits what she calls the Arcadia of the mind — that place that keeps us trapped and holds us back from our potential. Some of her most personal stories are included here, interspersed with hilarious stories of misadventure. It’s not a novel, really, and it’s not a memoir, by the strictest definition. But most of what follows, as they say, is true. Sort of. Almost. From a certain point of view.

Discover Helena’s tales for the first time or all over again, with new notes and annotations for the culturally impaired — or for those who just need to know what the hell was going through her mind at the time!

Helena is going to be running a crowdfunding/pre-order campaign at Pubslush, a community focused solely on indie writers, and has set up a profile there to launch Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two.

For more information, and to follow the progress, Become a Fan at http://HelenaHB.pubslush.com

If you just can’t wait and you want a taste of Helena’s writing, follow her blog: http://helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com/

If you just can’t get enough Helena, or you want updates on further goings on, release dates and miscellaneous mayhem, follow Helena on Twitter @hhbasquiat

helena-h-b

What you need to know (aka Helena’s biography):

The enigmatic Helena Hann-Basquiat dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.

She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.

She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populous or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.

Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.

In 2014, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, several e-books which now make up Volume Two, as well as a multimedia collaborative piece of meta-fictional horror entitled JESSICA.

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One is available HERE in e-book for Kindle or HERE in paperback.

Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell.

Find more of her writing at http://www.helenahb.com or http://whoisjessica.com or connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat.

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program…

From one of the most prolific writers I’ve had the honor to read since coming back online. If you’re a lover of horror fiction, not the usual vampire and werewolf kitsch but the otherworldly, creepy, paranormal kind of horror that evokes H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, and Rod Serling, you will love the fiction of Jessica B. Bell. Read on for how you can help the “creepy f**ker” keep writing 😉

dilettante factory

As brevity is the soul of wit, I shall be brief – Shakespeare “Hamlet” Act II, Scene II

This week is a very big week for your favourite dilettante and that creepy fucker, Jessica B. Bell.

You may have been reading all about JESSICA, a collaborative project directly involving seven writers, and augmented by seven artists last week. All week long, that story continues, culminating in what will be a full length publication (with more than 50 pages of additional material) but more on that later.

Also this week, for those who have been following, CHUK, Jessica B. Bell’s serial novel, concludes, with the last two posts being Wednesday and Friday. What began on August 1st, 2013 comes to an end, and I thank you all so much for reading.

So, what’s next for me, and what’s next for Jessica?

Well, I won’t say too much. Me, I’ve finished Memoirs…

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Close, So Very Close …

 

 

Jessica Promo 4

 

Only Helena Hann-Basquiat

(and a few select others)

knows for sure …

I Bet You Think You Know …

Jessica Promo 2

Ha ha ha ha …

think again …

Jessica Promo 3

All will be revealed starting Friday, October 24, 2014.

(At least, I hope so because I don’t have a clue what the hell is going to happen on that day.  I just hope I’ll be in a safe place … )

Something Scary Is Headed This Way

Jessica Promo 6

Jessica Promo 5

Jessica Promo 1

A Different Kind of Book Review: Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One by Helena Hann-Basquiat

IMG_0013_3

Mary picked up the soft cover book from her pillow where it had been resting since Lucy left it there.  She opened the book so she could see the front and back cover, the red, black, and white colors making her eyes dance.  Red was her favorite color.  Black used to be the color of her hair.  And it had been long and wavy, much as she imagined Helena’s hair to be.  An index card floated down from the book and onto Mary’s lap.  It was a note from Lucy:  “Just call me Penny dammit!”  Mary laughed at the inside joke. Both she and Lucy were regular readers of Helena’s blog and knew the story behind “Penny dammit.”
(more…)

Honourary Dilettante Contest Update – Reviews, etc…

Still time for a fun contest! Check out the reviews for Helena’s Memoirs and stories!

dilettante factory

Hello all,

Just a quick reminder that if you’ve written reviews, drop me an email helenahannbasquiat@gmail.com with the links.

Yes, I’ve read them, and thank you so very much! But I’m terribly unorganized, so if you could just drop me an email with your reviews and/or pictures (still waiting for the video!) then I can tuck them away in a folder and keep everything together.

SEE MORE ABOUT THE CONTEST HERE

Still lots of time to write reviews, take pictures, etc….

Here’s what people are saying about Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One:

Helena’s writing is both captivating and hilarious. The antics of the dilettante and the Countess kept me entertained throughout the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys breathing and knows how to read. Anyone else simply won’t be able to find joy in it.”

Helena took me in immediately. I could…

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