Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Oh! You Pretty Things"

Shanna Mahin is a middle-aged, high school dropout with a fierce desire to overcome what her 9th-grade English teacher predicted would be a lifetime of wasted potential. She mourns his passing for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the missed opportunity to point out that she has finally transcended a lifetime of shitty jobs—including dog walker (which was actually kind of great), cook, telemarketer, celebrity personal assistant, theme restaurant waitress, and failed drug dealer, all of which she feels comfortable saying, because the statute of limitations has got to be up by now—to become a bona fide writer. Yep. For money and everything.

Recent fellowships and residencies include the MacDowell Colony, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, PEN Center USA Emerging Voices, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Writers at Work, and the Eda Kriseova Creative Nonfiction Fellowship at the Prague Summer Program, among others.

Mahin applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Oh! You Pretty Things, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I’m lying in bed on Saturday watching The Real Housewives of Orange County, slightly hungover from the bottle of Valpolicella I plowed through the night before, when I feel a reality-TV shame spiral coming on. I mute the TV and call Scout, hoping to ward it off.

She answers on the second ring. “What are you doing?”

“Reading back issues of The New Yorker and giving myself a pedicure.”

“No, seriously.”

“Googling ex-boyfriends and drinking jasmine tea,” I say. “Writing a condolence note to Lisa Rinna about her lips.”

“Wow,” Scout says. “And you going time to call me?”

“I’m about to cross over to the dark side of the moon.”

“I have no idea what that means,” she says. “And I can’t wait for you to tell me. But first, let’s talk about my birthday party.”

Well, shit. I can recite the phone numbers of every landline of all thirteen apartments Donna lived in when I was a kid, and I can’t remember my friend’s birthday? I suck.
This page is a low point for Jess, my protagonist, but it’s pretty in keeping with the voice throughout the book. She’s about to go on a wild ride that will place her smack in the middle of the celebrity culture she yearns for, but at what cost?
Visit Shanna Mahin's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Shanna Mahin & Riley.

Writers Read: Shanna Mahin.

--Marshal Zeringue