Friday, 4 January 2013

{Friday Book Spotlight} Memoir of a Gothic Girl by Scott Pixello

Today, we have with us Scott Pixello, author of Memoir of a Gothic Girl, for an author interview and excerpt reveal!

Memoir of a Gothic Girl will be available from mid-January on Kindle. It may come out as a Nook title too- not finalized that yet.

Gothic Girl is about a 13-year-old girl called Celine who decides to reinvent herself as a Goth (partly to find a Robert Pattinson lookalike) but unfortunately knows nothing about Goth culture. This is what happens when she finds out.

Gothic Girl also features an extract from my next book, currently titled Pixello3, (you know, like the Bond films) but which will probably be titled Finders Keepers. Astute readers may see some links with the first two books but less astute ones may realize that it is set on a lighthouse in the 1980s, when everything (cellphones, shoulder-pads, hair) all seemed so much bigger. So not that similar at all really. The covers so far have both had a bit of an indie movie, Juno-like feel to them, which I’ll probably continue with future titles.

Michelle was good enough to feature my first book (Luke, I am YourFather) on a previous author spotlight (October 12th) & even if the cover image came out a bit hazy, you can read a short extract there. I’ve been writing on-and-off for quite a few years (about 15 altogether) and under another name I have had seven books of relatively serious non-fiction published with three different publishers. Anyway, fiction has been gnawing away at me for years and so that’s going to be my priority from now on. You may have realized from my spelling (& possibly sense of humour) that I’m British but much more I cannot reveal.  I could tell you my real name but then I’d have to kill you (and no-one wants that). There are quite a few letters after my name but in my experience, it’s a big mistake to equate education with intelligence.  

Most of my characters are hopeless losers because that’s how I think most of us are made: stumbling through life, misunderstanding most of what happens to us and grabbing what fun we can along the way. Intelligent design? I don’t think so. Publishers (like record companies) don’t like writers/artists that they can’t fit into easy categories or who do not want to produce endless sequels. I think this greatly underestimates the intelligence of most readers who, as far as I can see, can be interested in writing that is both serious and funny and that isn’t necessarily part of a 26-part series. People are more complicated than that. Right, rant over.

Graham Greene once said that “writing is therapy” and I wouldn’t dare put myself in his league but I share his motivation. A phenomenal amount of rubbish passes through my head on a daily (and particularly nightly) basis. Writing is a way to ‘purge’ myself of it. I often dream whole scenes of dialogue, which at the time is fantastically funny and comes complete with original music. Unfortunately by the time I wake up, I can’t remember much of it but what I can often makes its way into the books. When I’m not writing, I play with my kids (I hope they’re mine- they seem to hang around the house a lot) and I watch an unhealthy amount of films and an amount of unhealthy films.

One of the big problems I have is that I love writing (and reading) but I hate the self-promotion/selling part of what being a writer (especially of ebooks) seems to entail. This might seem a bit weird writing this on a blog but I don’t blog or tweet myself, I have no website and there are no pictures of me on the Net- about which I am just fine. I do have a Facebook page (I’m not a total recluse) but for me, the books/words/ideas are the key things, not who produces them.  Like most writers, I long to give up my day-job and write full time but for that I need to generate more sales online- hence my little chat here. I plan to release about 3-4 books a year until I run out of ideas, which could be some time (I’ve got about 10 book manuscripts at various stages of readiness).

I tend to make resolutions I can keep, so in 2013 I hope to eat more, watch more TV and take less exercise. I’d like to think I’m well on the way to achieving all three already.

Probably your family would not want you to run away and join a weird sect but you’re welcome to join my tribe of like-minded readers on Facebook.

The excerpt I’m posting here comes from relatively early on in the book, when Celine is trying to use her Gothic charms to attract herself a half-decent boyfriend.
I should explain to readers outside Britain, St John’s Ambulance is a voluntary organization that helps provide First Aid at major public events, The Wombles is a cool 70s TV show (check it out on Youtube) and each diary entry ends with a thought for the day (shortened to TFTD).

Until next time, Pixellites…

Scott Pixello
Here's a little excerpt if you are interested to read Memoir of a Gothic Girl:

Memoir of a Gothic Girl

Fri. April 7th
There is a French boy in our class with the exchange students. He’s tall, with curly dark hair and is called Paul, which looks ordinary enough when you write it like “Porl” but the way he says it makes all the girls (and some of the boys) visibly quiver. On his first lesson, he stood up and said “Je suis Powel” and I looked at him and thought, “Yes, I think you are.” He wore red trousers, a hat and some sort of scarf (indoors !!!) All of these items are enough for you to be declared mentally-unstable in Britain. Like smoking pipes, knitting and stealing other people’s countries, wearing a hat definitely belongs to a hazily-defined time in the past. Even Before the Internet (BTI). Only certain people can get away with wearing hats: beekeepers, Frank Sinatra and foreign exchange students.

Our French teacher is a rather strange woman called Madame Chausseur, who insists in speaking French to us all the time, however blank our expressions of incomprehension. We all call her “Madame Chaulet (Pronounced “Showlay”) after the womble. She asked me yesterday if I had done my homework, to which I instantly replied, “Au naturelle, mon ami.” I think from her expression, she was impressed.

Anyway, Powel was chatting to some boy next to him. I wasn’t really listening, which partly explains what happened next.

He tipped back on his chair (something our teachers are always moaning about) and said “No, no, I’m choking” and put his hand to his exquisitely-formed face to cover a cough.

Thinking only of my St John’s Ambulance training course, I leapt up, ran round behind him and put both arms round his torso and squeezed. It was called the Heim-something manouevre, They’d taught us to dislodge chicken bones and other things than can kill the unwary.

Powel started to flail his arms and struggle a little, which we’d been told to expect. He started to get red in the face, which we’d been told to expect. And then he threw me backwards and shouted in my face, which we’d not been told to expect.

“What are yew dewing, you mad Eengleesh cow?”

“You said you were choking.”

“Not choking. Choking.”

“That’s what I said.”

“No,” said one of the other boys. “He means joking.”

“Ah.” For a split second, I had a flashback to a particularly nasty French lesson at school when I had to distinguish between tense forms. It didn’t last long but then neither did my ability to remember a word of French.

There was a moment of silence, when it seemed as if the weight of my embarrassment was steadily blowing up like a balloon, which then burst and the class erupted in laughter.

I will not be taking Powel to the next disco. And I don’t think St John’s Ambulance will be wanting my rather over-enthusiastic services for a while either.

“Don’t worry,” I said, creeping back to my seat, trying to calm him down. “It’s an old English greeting.” And then seeing that didn’t work, added “And I’ve got mad cow disease”. That attempt at comedy along with a cross-eyed face, my best impression of a cow, just sent him running from the room in panic. They’d probably had wall-to-wall coverage of piles of smoldering carcasses on French TV at the time.

“Hey,” I called after him. “I’m only choking”.

TFTD: I like to think I bring a certain je ne comprends pas to proceedings. Madame Chaulet seems to agree.

Do keep a look out for the book here!


  1. I haven't heard of Memoir of a Gothic Girl but the excerpt sounds interesting!

    Thank you for sharing it with us, Michelle ♥