© 2016 Melissa Volker

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  • Melissa Volker

Dr. Frankenstein's Exotic Dancing Cosmetic Surgeon


Nip. Tuck. Snip. Stretch. Clip. Gotta do it to look the best you can, right?

Not me, mind you! No, no...working on excerpts for a reading/signing. Just get out the highlighter, some paper clips and the book, right?

Yeah, not so fast.

That's how it started, but that's not how it ended up. There's a whole lot more involved, I discovered! Almost as much as the original writing, but with less inspiration and magic.

It is clinical. Surgical. With an eye toward putting one's best face forward.

I have little difficulty finding passages that are strong, emotional, engaging and representative of the tone of the book. Snippets that allow for an experience of characters, without giving too much away. But then you need them to be self-containing. Oh, and they need a good beginning-middle-end. And not too short. Oh, but not too long. Make sure it's a mix of narrative and conversation as well...

Are you kidding?

So -- yes, a highlighter, and then mental scissors and tape as I cut that out, smoosh that together, leave out that sentence and jump right to the next section. It's a little bit Dr. Frankenstein, a little bit Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon. It's grabbing pieces that might be slightly disconnected and stitching them together, but not create something monstrous, but rather, something that showcases my best in words, rhythm, intent and spirit, as well as presenting the characters in an irresistible, sneak-peak kind of way. I must dangle their most charming and alluring parts but not reveal everything. So I guess there's some exotic dancer in there too.

If that sounds convoluted, imagine how it feels. A little mad scientist. A little surgeon. A little stripper. So don't mind me...I'll just be over here with scalpel, thread, and feather boa. Hopefully, what emerges will surprise you, grab you, touch your heart and spirit, and make you want to get to know Delilah -- and her world -- a whole lot more.


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