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I Made a Little Zine About Fashion & Style & Feminism & Personal Authenticity!

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Before I blogged — even before 2003, when I started NOGOODFORME.com — I did zines. I did “personal zines,” where I wrote about my life, music, fashion, feminism and other gorgeous subjects, and then cut-and-paste them with lots of very French New Wave-inspired graphics into higgledy-piggledy yet earnest little handmade books that I Xeroxed at Kinkos. And the funny thing is that I sold, traded and sent off a ton of them, and got many in return, and made a lot of truly great friends in the process — friends I still have today, for which I’m eternally grateful. Zines are a beautiful part of my past, and I’m so thankful that I participated in a form of media that showed me the power of connection and community, and the pleasures of DIY.

While I love the ease of blogs and electronic media — and I really think the Interwebs is the essential connective tissue for media and communication in the future — there is just something irreplaceable about the physical object that you read, whether it’s books, zines or magazines. Holding something in your hand makes it more beloved to me. I can love a person’s blog or site, but it’s when I truly can live with something — throwing a zine in a bag, settling down with a book and a cup of coffee in a cafe or at my breakfast table — that it becomes beloved to me, something I cherish and treasure in a way that just doesn’t quite exist with virtual media.

Given my feelings, it’s kind of a surprise that it took me so long to make a zine again. (Well, in my defense, I was making movies and writing novels!) I think maybe my last zine was in the early aughts? Like, 2002? I don’t even know! But, well, after I published All Things Glorious and True, I realized that I had more to say on the subject of style icons — I had a few more ladies I was thinking about and wanted to write about. I had gone through the book and added new material, expanding and cleaned up old stuff and wrote commentary on nearly every single piece — but I had left the style icons section pretty as-is. But of course when I got done with the whole shebang, my mind suddenly got re-inspired. I was like, Ugh, what do I do with all this extra thinking and writing? It didn’t fit here; I could do a new book edition, but that was a pain. And then I thought, Kat, just do a zine.

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A Champagne Moment, Because My Book is Out!

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Time to break out the champagne, my beauties: my book is now up for sale at Amazon! Yes, All Things Glorious and True is officially out in the wild, ready to kick up its heels and cause a good-natured ruckus. I’m so stoked, and relieved, and nervous, and proud, and all kinds of other big, beautiful book mama emotions. After the tumult of losing a good chunk of NOGOODFORME to the dark overlords of the Internet, I feel happy knowing it lives on in some form of another.

(By the way, the Kindle edition will up very soon as well! This is all very new to me, but I’ll let you know and update it here as well, but I’m told it will be up by tomorrow for the U.S. and by mid-week for other sales territories.)

ANYWAY! Order it up, dear friends, and if you feel compelled, please review it on Amazon. Reviews are mucho important, especially for indie-published efforts like mine, and I would so appreciate and cherish it. And if you could share via your Facebook, Twitter or other social media playthings you have, I’d so appreciate that as well.

And if you do order it, please save your e-receiptI have a lovely special something-something around my birthday time (June 27) for peeps who buy the book. Keep your eyes peeled!

I’m going to have myself a delicious raspberry lambic and a piece of fancy cake to celebrate tonight! Please have some with me in spirit, and thanks so much again for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me along the way during this sexy little literary adventure.

Coming Soon: My Book “All Things Glorious and True”

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Lately I have been feeling like I have to have all my ducks in a row before I do anything, or have it all polished and perfect, before I talk about it publicly. But then it is paralyzing me from publishing on this blog more. So I’m getting over that, starting…now! Ladies and gentlemen, my book All Things Glorious & True is coming out soon! Here is the book cover:

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I’m very excited! It was so thrilling to get the actual proof copy of my book and hold it in my hands, underscoring how beautiful and happy-inducing physical objects are. I held it in my hand and looked at my shiny, pretty cover, and felt the rather substantial weight like a strange miracle, like, Wow, did I really write all these words that are weighing me here? I put it on my bookshelf, right between novels by Simone de Beauvoir and Susanna Clarke, and felt oddly happy at the thought that now I have something that people can nestle onto their own bookshelves. It’s 300 pages long, set in Bodoni and it looks lovely. It’s just kind of amazing to put something that reflects, even a little, my journey of how pop culture and fashion brought me just a bit closer to adventure, beauty and liberation.

The idea of people buying my book is equally thrilling. A tiny bit scary, because a lot of the new material and commentary I added is much more open than I ever was on at NOGOODFORME.com, but still wonderful to contemplate. Getting this out has really brought out my inner perfectionist, but at this point, I just need to move on and get it out.

It will be available on Amazon.com as well as Amazon’s international outposts for all the lovely Europeans, Canadians and other far-flung readers. It will also come to Kindle as well, and I hope to make it available to other booksellers as well.

Just for fun, here is my micro-site for the book: allthingsgloriousandtrue.katasharya.com. It has a description, table of contents and a FAQ; it’s a bit rough at the moment, but it is super-pretty, especially on an iPhone or iPad. I can answer any questions here as well!

Anyway, keep your eye out in this space — I plan on running some giveaways and promotions once the book is launched. Yayness!

A bit of my novel

Happy Leap Day! How nice to get an extra day in the year. I’m using mine to be utterly corny and take a leap — here are a few paragraphs from my novel.

I was too dumbstruck by the skaters to notice who they were right away. But, squinting more closely at the bigger, broader skater, I saw Viv was right. “It is Jim Dietz!” I whispered back, surprised. Jim Dietz had been the equivalent of a heavy metal power ballad at our school, semi-famous for his maroon Camaro and a lethal combination of bad temper and good looks. Viv had a crush on him when we were freshmen. But he got suspended pulling a knife on a kid in the cafeteria two years ago, and then was sent to his dad’s house in Wisconsin. No one had heard of or from him since. And now he’d come back, and become a skater. He had gotten much bigger and grown his hair out, but it was him.

“He’s amazing,” Viv noted, admiration in her voice as we watched him. She was right: he had incredible strength and power. Jim attacked every movement with a forward intensity, as if he wanted to smash himself into something and take glee in the rubble, like a human hurricane on concrete. He had a heft that belied the fearsome speed he got on the board, able to explode into astonishing flips and spins in mid-air.

Then there was the other skater, the one no one knew at all. He was less flamboyant in style, but once you started watching him, you couldn’t help but stare. Next to Jim’s massive bulk, he was taller and lankier, with dark hair and pale skin. A network of tattoos covered him, snaking all over his sinewy arms and shoulders. He had a different skating style from Jim, imbuing everything with a kind of offhand grace and intricacy. The way he moved wasn’t exactly feline, but it had an animal-like, instinctive quality. He could do half-cabs like they were nothing, one after the other. He could do all kinds of flips and grinds, dashed off like an afterthought. He could soar up into the air with ease, getting incredible air off the simplest of railings. He nailed the hardest skate tricks ever, the most complex combinations, and he did it like it was the easiest thing in the world.

I watched them for a bit, admiring the show like everyone else. But feeling my own board clutched against my chest, I remembered what I had set out to do tonight — and realized that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. Nothing anyone did tonight would compare. It was this bittersweet feeling: seeing the most beautiful skating of my life, and realizing how janky my own efforts would seem in comparison to it.

I tugged at Viv’s arm, motioning for us to go. “Aren’t you going to go up?” she whispered, looking confused. I could tell she didn’t want to go.

I only shook my head. “Let’s go.” I took one last look at the two skaters, soaring high in the air in a way I could never hope to touch, and then turned and made my way back to the edge of the park where I belonged.

It is called, at the moment, LOVE AND CONCRETE, and it tells the story of Lily, a skateboarder who falls in love with a mysterious, gifted skater she meets on the scene. But he’s a werewolf, and of course, hijinks ensue. Okay, not hijinks! I jest — it’s a paranormal romance, for God’s sake! But there is illicit swimming in ponds, moshing with skinheads, animal sacrifices, skinned elbows and a secret lurking in the woods. If you’ve ever been giddy with a crush-turned-true-love, you know what my book feels like. If you’ve ever cowered in fear in the middle of the woods at night as you overhear the crunch of breaking bone and flesh against metal — well, you also know what my book feels like, too.

I also started a Tumblr for my book, collecting all the images I’ve been squirreling away since I started the novel. And I must say, it is super, super-hot, with loads of gorgeous wolf pics, skater pics, and the occasional snapshot of alt-rock heroines. Visit it: xoloveandconcrete.tumbr.com. I also started two Pinterest boards, one of just skaters, one of everything else. You can also check out my dream home Pinterest board while you’re there. Or the one of my wardrobe. Those are kind of dorky, but well, there you go!


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