The story of how K.J. Morgan came to be a guest here today is quite amusing. I won an e-book giveaway of The Burn on Goodreads and uploaded that puppy onto my Kindle along with over a dozen submissions for Allegory e-zine. The Burn happened to land in the middle of the submission pile – I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this – you can well imagine my delight as I began to read this brilliant – and I mean stellar brilliant, like a super nova brilliant – submission to our e-zine.

When I discovered it WASN’T a submission, I was a little bummed. This sucker was already in print. Dang, I would have loved to be the e-zine that discovered this gem.

Needless to say, I gave it a five star review and shot a note off to Ms. Morgan asking if she would be willing to write a little something for Manic Monday. I was thrilled when she accepted.

So without further delay, I give you K.J. Morgan!

Counterculture Fiction; the Art of Burning Man

What is it about Burning Man? A gathering of over 50,000 in the Black Rock Desert, dressed in sequins, leather, paint, dust, nothing…seeking something, seeking anything. It happens for art’s sake, or for the sake of a rave, of freedom, of exhibition. There are art cars and art camps, DJs, alcohol, drugs, sex, politics, drama and mayhem. But, most of the time, it’s about a group of friends on a road trip, someone breaking up, someone cheating, someone realizing who they are, someone letting go…a neon-laced journey of wonders that culminates in a flaming effigy sacrificed to youth, glory and a shattered, humanized image of the American dream.

Trivial? Surely. Idiotic? Definitely. But also more, always more. There is a supernatural quality to a pale stretch of desert, a burning sky at sunset, shadows cast against a neon glow. At Burning Man, this is especially true. Your demons rise to the surface, called forth by the very air of temptation, of reckless abandon. And your ghosts. The people you’ve left behind. The people you’ve wronged. The people you’ve loved. They whisper from warbled mirrors and hookah smoke, from faces that remind you of one night, one moment, that surprising murmur, that last kiss.

When I set out to write a Burning Man paranormal romance, I wanted to incorporate that particular feeling, the sense that the Black Rock Desert serves a kind of supernatural purpose, as a crossroads of sorts. The story, The Burn, threads together a little BM philosophy and scenery with a touch of pure horror, and a peppering of hot romance. It’s a dark adventure through a modern day garden of delights, where not everyone is human.

Ironically, that’s a far easier premise than trying to explain the real event, the bizarre merging of surreal and mundane, the crystallization of imagery and meaning. In 2004, I said goodbye to a marriage while on the playa. In 2005, a camp member and friend passed away during the event, leaving me with nightmares that have lasted to this day. In all honestly, I’ve sat the last few years out. Will I go again? As long as I can still fit in the feathered bikini, and paint glitter on my face, the answer is ‘yes’. What will I find there? A demon or two, I expect. But then, as an author, you can’t run from those, can you?

Thanks for joining us today and don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Burn here at Amazon!

Friday I’m dishing it up with author Gerald Rice – swing in and say hi if you get the chance!

Until then, 

Ciao.

JET

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