"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Sunday, 2 August 2015

"LA Punk Rocker", Brenda Perlin, is back...around the Cauldron!

Brenda Perlin is as big a friend of The Wizard''s Cauldron as there is. This will be the third time we've met around the magic bucket and as far as I am concerned, she can visit whenever she likes.

Author of the popular Shattered Reality trilogy, prodigious reviewer, massive indie supporter and, lately, reader for hundreds of US authors, Brenda's workload is a heavy one. Her reading list fills with trepidation and she actually reads the books in detail, which, in a social network environment where skimming a book is more of a survival strategy than a choice, is something to be applauded.

Recently, Brenda compiled a terrific little anthology about her life as a punk on the streets in Los Angeles in the early eighties. It's called LA Punk Rocker and I picked up the Wizphone to talk to her about it. Here's what she had to say.

New readers can find Brenda's previous interviews here on the Wizard's Cauldron where she talks about her well known "faction" Shattered Reality" trilogy and her anti-bullying story, Ty The Bull.

Brenda "Homewrecker" Perlin: 29 October 2012

Brenda Perlin revisits the Cauldron with Ty The Bull

Tell new Wizardwatchers a bit about yourself, Brenda?

Okay, where to start? I was raised in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley making me an original Valley girl, for sure. Or fo sho. I am currently living very near the Housewives of Orange County who I get to see around town from time to time without their makeup and fancy clothes. 

I was a housewife (not a famous one) when I moved here but it seems the relocation didn’t do well with my relationship and my marital status changed. We divorced and that was when all my fun began.

Probably the best of Brenda's
Trilogy - the blackest of humour, an easy read and, in parts,
laugh out loud funny

I only came on the Indie scene after this big breakup. When we were getting married I started writing a journal about my not so great experiences with the wedding business, little did I know then that this would turn into a massive trilogy over the grueling demise of our fifteen year marriage. Things were not quiet as glamorous in the OC as some would think.  

Ha! I'd be one of those, Bren. #realhousewivesofOC

I knew you would be ha ha. Life is now better than it has been in years. I have a thoughtful boyfriend. We travel and enjoy life in between all this “social” media stuff.

Is it sunny today? Can you send some over here – it’s lobbing it down. 

Well, it’s looking pretty nice. Perfect day for a swim in the pool. Not too hot just yet. Some days are better spent at the beach but sunscreen is a must for this pasty white girl. 

Why LAPunkRocker?

If it wasn’t for you, clearly there would be no L.A. Punk Rocker. You pushed the concept on me. 

I only suggested it!

Really? it was a bit more than that! The thought of writing this story bored the life out of me. Having to go back after all these years? I mean, I lived it. I survived it. It was sometimes a nightmare and sometimes the best days of my life. So when I really considered the idea, I was like (once a valley girl always a valley girl) I can totally do this. For years I have wanted to do something with my old photos, the ones I took while out in the Hollywood scene, so I came to the conclusion that this could work! 

Buy L.A. Punk Rocker on Amazon. com

$1.99 Kindle
$6.99 Paperback

Amazon UK  - 
£1.28 Kindle
£4.48 Paperback

Also: Barnes & Noble

The book is full of photos. I really liked that aspect of it.

Me too! I play on Pinterest, if any of your readers are interested.


I am sure they will be. How did you locate the other writers? What do your friends think of the book? Accurate?

I had already been in contact with many friends from that time period since I joined Facebook (love it and hate it) so it was easy to find people to ask. What was not so easy was getting them to follow through with a story. I understand they might not feel they could write but I dare to differ. 

"Most of us have it in us to tell a good story if it is coming from a place of sincerity." 

I am not a fiction writer but if I am being honest, no walls or disguises, then people will be interested. It’s the action of revealing the truth in a way that is real that should lure the reader in.

So far the response has been good. Haven’t heard anything bad up until this point but I am sure it is not for everyone. Some people might be a bit more hardcore and appreciate more f**ks in the book (especially since the subject is punk) but I didn’t feel L.A. Punk Rocker needed that to make it compelling or authentic. I’m pretty darn pleased how it came out.

Originally I would have liked it to be a little less of me and more of others (hence the reason I have on the cover Presented by Brenda Perlin) but it works. 

Had I not been lacking in content you wouldn’t have written One Night in Richmond Park, the last of two stories based on the life of the King Rocker himself, Billy Idol

Linked from Pinterest

And that to me would be a real shame. That story is magic. Magic on paper. 

Thank you, Bren - you are always very kind to me. So, what sort of bands played LA around that time?

There was so much new music going around. Bands that were practically unknown when we first saw them like U2, The Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, The Clash, X, The Damned, Black Flag, Social Distortion, Siouxsie and the Banchees, The GoGo’s, Bad Religion, and the list goes on. 

Local bands and many from abroad. Loved the British sound! Was a big fan of everything UK. 

What was the best gig you ever saw? And where?
Seeing U2 at the Us festival was life-changing to us little girls, and really thrilling was traveling all the way to San Francisco to see the Damned, because we met them on the street and talked to them during the day while they were just hanging around. 

There was something special about seeing live music outside of our own turf. Still, there was never anything as mesmerizing as seeing Billy Idol who had been one of my idols’ since the early days of MTV when music videos were first being made. I can still remember the goose bumps I got watching that video for the first time.

When I saw Billy Idol it was at a small venue, The Roxy in Hollywood. I was so close that I could see the sweat dripping off his face. When he started doing his thing I could have died. It was like seeing God himself. Seriously, it was just that exciting.

The Roxy, West Hollywood. The first story in LAPunkRocker focuses
on the night Billy Idol played here for the first time in 1982/83

Do you ever go to live music now? What was the last gig you saw?

Far and few between, but I do love the feeling I get seeing music being played live. In this decade I might have gone to only a handful of shows. Them being Creed and 3 Doors Down. Those are my favorites though I don’t think we will be seeing anymore Creed these days, sadly. Being a rock star can cause some bumps in the road. 

Oh yes, Ryan Silverman doing Phantom of the Opera. Does that count????? Haha. If you are in the New York area you need to look him up. He has an amazing voice. (shameless plug for my pal Ryan… who happens to be awesome) 


What did you think when Billy Idol tweeted to you? Did you jump around the house and scream?

Actually, I can’t remember my reaction at all because I was numb at the time but I knew I looked off enough that my boyfriend thought something terribly wrong had happened and was prepared to jet me off to ICU. Hahahahaha. It was a hysterical sight. 

We had just returned from dinner when I was glossing over my tweets. I saw a comment with Billy Idol’s Twitter handle but didn’t think much of it at first. Had to read it and then digest it. I am a bit on the slow side. 

Then, finally it registered. It was from the man himself. I was in total shock. I mean it wasn’t that he just re-tweeted my tweet but he left a message about L.A. Punk Rocker. It was after that realization set in that I began to talk really really fast and I felt my whole body go numb. 

Minutes later I was  jumping up and down like a silly school girl. I was in total disbelief. Thinking back to that, I am really grateful to him. He doesn’t usually respond to other Tweets, I have since studied his profile (stalker girl) and for that I am so thankful to him for saying exactly what he did. It was a great plug for L.A. Punk Rocker and a fantastic way to get the momentum going. I was over the moon, ecstatic. 

What’s next for the marketing

It is looking like we are getting a book signing at Book Soup which is the one place in the Hollywood area that I wished to be invited to sign books. 

I have been a fan of the shop from the early days. It’s been there since before I was running around on the streets of Hollywood.

What’s been your favourite a) TV show c) restaurant of this year so far?

I love and adore everything Anthony Bordain does. The Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure programs No Reservations and The Layover are great. Not just about food but travel, life and culture. Also, Parts Unknown on CNN, his latest.

My guilty pleasure is Shahs of Sunset which is a reality television series that follows a group of Iranian American friends living in Beverly Hills. 

I love that there is no holding back and they are not as UGLY as the housewives can be. I mean, they fight and they get drop down nasty but it feels more real and I am always laughing through most of the show which is a real treat. Almost as good as chocolate. 

And as you love your hints and tips, give Indies one tip to improve their prose.

Hahahahahahahahaah. You must be kidding me! I think you already know my answer to this question! Repetitive words have got to STOP. I just noticed it in Shattered Reality but it never even registered before. The next thing I am doing is going back in. 

It reads silly to me saying PRETTY MUCH 15 times or using the word REALLY 513 times. I mean, really????? Most editors don’t look for stuff like this or repetitive phrases. 

If I read something like “pumped through her veins” or something with "deafening" more than once in a book I roll my eyes. 

It’s not necessary, in my opinion. I can see how authors get habits and change them throughout the writing of a book. You might see CERTAINLY for a while then it goes away and then you see A LOT for a while. 

We pick up habits subconsciously and it shows up on the page. It’s become my mission though there are not enough hours in the day to read everyone’s books. Even the best authors I know need to look out for this.

Points noted! Where can Wizardwatchers connect with you and your books? 

Here is my Amazon Author Page. 

http://amzn.to/1px1MZM and my website is http://www.brendaperlin.com

If you want to meet me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brenda.perlin

So. What next for Brenda Perlin?

Maybe spend a little less time playing on the computer and more time living life. Traveling to places I have never been. Hope to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long time and appreciate whatever health I have. After my big health scare in 007 (let’s go for the James Bond theme) I know not to take the basics for granted. You just never know and today I have to say is a very very good day. 

Brenda, you're always welcome on the Cauldron. You know we all love you over here - s0 if you're planning on travelling, don't forget to pack a Parka, a brolly and some thick socks and bring some OC sunshine over here one day.

Oh, fo sho, #mrword. And thanks for having me around the Cauldron!

Before I leave I want to thank you for your two fab stories in L.A. Punk Rocker, King Rocker and One Night in Richmond Park. Also to the other wonderful contributors, Cindy Jimenez Mora who wrote A Night with Ceasar, Deborah Hernandez-Runions for Errol Flynn’s Estate and Steven E. Metz for sharing his lessons learned being a punk Rocker in Punk Band Mad Society.

Any time, #LAPunkQueen :-D Thanks for inviting me.

Brenda's RHOOC photo - fo sho!

Amazon Author page

Website for Blossoming Press



Facebook Pages

Blossoming Press

Alex the Mutt

Ty the Bull

Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles


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Review of Shattered Reality Trilogy

Beautifully produced paperbacks - ideal, inexpensive gifts


  1. Fabulous interview; wishing you much success, Brenda :-)

    1. Thank you Mary Ann. You are a fabulous supporter!

  2. Thank you #mrword for that fabulous Q & A. Always a blast to see what you come up with. Other than this top photo of me (hahahahahahah) I am loving it. Always a fuss muffin.

    You are far too talented to be hanging out with a gal like me but we did a pretty good job with L.A. Punk Rocker. If only you were here in Hollywood in the 80's. How fun that would have been. Might have considered getting you backstage with us. ;-)

    1. Thank you for the photo swap. I am a pain in the arse!!!!!

  3. Fabulous interview guys! I liked the first photo Brenda - haha! This is such a good book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and a review will be following obviously asa... I'm so pleased it's going well and getting the book signing is great news for you :-)

    1. Thank you Georgia. Maybe the photo of me is sweeter than I am used to. Not at all punk. Haha. You are lovely!

  4. Great interview! I hate to admit, but Punk was foreign to me...I was getting over the forced Country music I was raised on, so I went Hard Rock all the way. On another note...
    Your insights and and scrutiny for editing detail are present in my own work! Thanks to you, my edit encompassed all of your suggestions. I can never thank you enough. YOU ROCK (PUNK) GIRL!!

    1. Aweeee. Thank you Taylor. Think I was a bit out of hand pointing out "suggestions" to everyone and their books. Haha. Couldn't help myself but My Prison Without Bars is an amazing books. Pretty stunning, in my opinion.

  5. GREAT interview, with so much energy and humor from you both! If I didn't already have the book (and am looking forward to finally getting to it!), I'd have to go out and buy it, you made it sound so compelling! Congrats, Brenda, for a great launch of your new project. Given your indefatigable support of indie authors you appreciate -- something VERY appreciated by this one -- you deserve all good things to come your way. A collaboration between you and the mighty Wizard should surely bring that result about!

    1. Thank you Lorraine. Mark involved with this project (and Mary Ann) made it shine. Loved sharing my freinds stories and their experiences. I realy wanted more stories but punks (not all but some) can be flakes. That is the hard part of doing an anthology. You have to depend on other people and I am too type A peronality to be left to sit and wait. A challenge, for sure!

  6. Fantastic interview, I'm really looking forward to reading LA Punk Rocker. I'm currently enjoying Burnt Promises which is whetting my appetite to read more about the LA punk scene :D

    1. Thank you Miss Lindley. You are so kind. So far Burnt Promises is my favorite though I am finding all the repetative words are too distracting to me. Going through the lot now. Wouldn't be good to keep all that stuff in. Can't believe how many times I use WOULD. Maybe all this reading has made me a better writer, after the fact. It's been a real education and it feels so good to be able to grow from it. Enjoy your books. Especially your feisty Georgie books. Great characters.

    2. You're scaring me now B because I've just finished editing my latest one to the point I feel cross eyed. It's funny though how, as you say in the interview, each new piece of writing seems to feature a different word or phrase obsession. My current one seems to be 'nodding' which is a bit cringeworthy :D Loving Burnt Promises by the way.

    3. I have just been going through that removal of repetitive words thing (thanks to B!) but I'm not entirely convinced that I've not just changed them all for another set of repetitive words - haha!! Haven't tried 'nodding' for a while though...might just go and fit that in somewhere ;-)

    4. What are we like, G - we'll still be here when we're 95 going around in circles with those pesky words :D

  7. It's funny what you learn about yourself when you go back and read your old books. Find is an amazing feature but it is scary what we manage to get caught on. Mark has a few of his own. Hahahahah! Naw, just being a brat but I am shocked how many I found in mine. Never noticed them before!!! OMG!!!!

  8. Brenda, I so admire your diligence when you read and review. What you've told me about my own writing has been invaluable for seeing my crutch words and over-used phrases. I really was blind to some of these issues until you told me.

    I'm looking forward to all of your books, and I had the chance to read one of your old interviews here. The history of your story fascinated me, and I can't wait to find out how it plays out in your books.

    So wish I could attend your book signing too. One day, when I'm in your neck of the woods, we must connect!


  9. Great interview and fascinating answers.
    So much I didn't know about you. Hope you get to travel and live away from the computer - I keep meaning to do that (and stop repeating words, too).
    (apologies for leaving the comment in the contact form greenwizard! ;-)


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