Stranger Than Fiction:
When art (unexpectedly) imitates life.
In my novel, Death by Social Suicide, the main character Brit has a passion for music. She plays electric guitar like a rock star, the music swimming through her veins making her feel at peace—but only when she’s alone. The fear of others hearing her is numbing. I get that. Although I don’t have a tenth of the amount of talent that Brit has, I do have a phobia of playing guitar or piano in public. It’s not something that people can easily understand. They can’t comprehend why I would own these instruments if I never play them. I do play them, I just play when I’m alone. Maybe one day, with enough confidence, I’ll gather up the courage to allow others to listen, but for now I’m perfectly content with playing for my cats— and boy are they critical! ;)
Brit also has a deep love for the band, Green Day, and who can blame her? The band has played consistently great music for twenty years. I remember getting Dookie on my sixteenth birthday and playing it so often I nearly wore the CD out. Like Brit, I’ve gone to concerts to see the band perform. And like Brit, I sat in the orchestra section of the St. James theatre to watch Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of the band star in American Idiot on Broadway as the character of St. Jimmy. In my book, Brit gets to meet Billie after the show and obtains his autograph. I wasn’t as lucky, and although I got close to him that night, there were just too many fans. So I let Brit have the moment that I never got.. until recently.
While working on revisions of Death by Social Suicide, I discovered that Billie Joe was filming in my old neighborhood. I called my best friend, Elaine who has shared every Green Day moment with me, and we drove down there, expecting to find crowds and screaming fans. What we found was a silent movie set in the middle of production. A kind assistant let us stay, and watch Billie work. We were about fifteen feet away from him and I swear he could hear our hearts thumping against our chest. It was freezing cold outside and starting to rain (It was an outdoor scene) but we were frozen not by the weather but by our luck. With our eyes glued to the musician who had taken us from high school through college and into our thirties, we were beyond nostalgic.
The director called it quits for the night, and the assistant who had been so kind to us, went and whispered something to Billie. We were told to stay in a certain spot, and after about five more minutes, Billie walked over to us and just said, “Hi guys.”
Then… he hugged me. Like a real hug… like out-of-body-experience sort of thing. Then he turned to Elaine and hugged her.
And just like that, he left.
We stood there in shock… It’s been three months since that night and I still get chills whenever I think about it. Now when I look back on that scene with Brit, standing next to Billie getting his autograph, I get this butterfly in my stomach reminding me, Brit got the autograph, and that’s beyond cool. But I got the hug.
So it just goes to show you, each day is filled with possibility. One minute you’re at your laptop working on revisions about a girl who has a crush on a rock star. The next— you’re face-to-face with that rock star.
Death by Social Suicide by Karen AnnePublication date: February 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
The night Brittany Wakefield kissed her best friend, Jaime, she lost everything. Who knew one amazing moment could send him running— spinning a web of deceit and avoidance for two years. Stepping onto campus, she’s ready to win him back, even if it involves pledging a sorority she has no interest in.
Erik Draxton fell hard for Brit the moment she walked into the art room. With vibrant purple hair, music in her veins and a rebellious flair, she’s all he’s ever wanted.
While Jaime shrouds himself in secrets, Brit finds herself longing even more to be a part of his world. Unable to watch the girl of his dreams get tossed to the side, Erik decides to take matters into his own hands. But when Erik crosses a line, Brit feels backed into a corner, and discovering Jaime’s secret leaves her devastated.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Our model was beautiful, and if anyone was wondering if she was a natural red head, she soon put their curiosity to rest when she disrobed, revealing creamy skin, and a neat rug that matched the curtains. I glanced around the room, and watched the other guys who tried hard not to smile as she took her position in the middle of the floor, back arched, nipples to the ceiling. We usually had male models, or strictly older women. This was a rare treat for them.
I glanced at Erik, who didn’t seem phased by the goddess of seduction that twisted before him. He sketched her form, his head down, mouth in a stiff straight line. Usually, he did this thing where he stuck the tip of his tongue out of the corner of his mouth. That was the Erik I was accustomed to. This guy was an impostor. I put my head down and started sketching Aphrodite.
When the professor signaled for the model to take a break and everyone broke apart, I followed Erik into the hallway and watched him disappear into the men’s room. All right, I’ll wait. When the door opened a minute later, I jumped in front of Erik—but it wasn’t Erik. It was my professor, who grabbed at his chest in alarm.
“Sorry, Professor Martin, I uh… thought you were someone else.”
“Not funny, Miss Wakefield,” he grumbled and continued down the hallway. I flattened against the wall and waited. The door opened again, and this time Erik walked out.
“You can’t ignore me forever, we still have like ten more weeks of the semester. That’s twenty classes. You’re really gonna ignore me for twenty classes? And besides, we’re both art majors, chances are we’ll have another class together in the future.” I folded my arms and stepped in front of him so he couldn’t walk past. That’s right, five-foot-five Brit was highly intimidating to six foot Erik.
The corner of his mouth lifted up into a slow smile. “Missed me that much huh?”
“What? No, I—”
“You couldn’t even handle one hour of me ignoring you. I thought you were tougher than that. Looks like playing hard to get is paying off.”
I worried he was serious, but then he cracked a real smile and laughed.
“You need to lighten up, Monster High. I’m over you.”
Huh. Over me. I’m not sure why, but his words stung. Maybe because no one had ever been into me before.
Erik kept talking, “In fact, I decided to join a religious order. Perhaps Hare Krishna. Think I’d look good in orange?”
I laughed and stepped to the side so we could walk back to class together.
“So we’re cool?” I asked, just to be sure.
“I’m cool. You’re cool now, I can’t say how cool you’ll look in those letters.” He flicked at my pledge pin.
“Yeah, but I think I can make them cool.”
“No, you’re not that cool.”
“You’re right, I’m not.” I sighed in relief, happy that we were talking again.
“What about her? Could she talk you out of a religious order” I gestured to our live playboy centerfold.
“Her?” he said, twisting his face. “Not my type.”
“So you’re not into perfect?” I eyed him with suspicion.
“Nah.” He pulled gently on the end of my hair. “I’m into purple.”
I felt my face burn pink in response. Professor Martin clapped his hands, calling for our attention. Everyone obediently returned to their easels, and the model took a new position, her arms draped over her head, her hair falling delicately over one of her perfect size C breasts. I stole a peek at Erik to see his expression at this striking pose, but he wasn’t looking at her. His eyes were fixed on me.
Karen is also known as Kat Daemon, Paranormal Romance writer and lover of all things dark and twisty.
You can find out more about her at This Website