“Fuckin’ beauty queens blowing chunks everywhere. I-I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I live in L.A.”

53. Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

It’s taken me forever to write about this book because, and I’m sure this comes as a surprise to longtime listeners, first time callers, that I have much more trouble articulating my thoughts on books I like than on books I do not enjoy. Unless the book in question helps me process something specific. I would be hard pressed to find something that Beauty Queens helped me process, perhaps if I had been younger when I read it, because there are several characters I can see would be useful to younger ladies who hadn’t had the chance to read about anyone like themselves yet.

It has served and does serve one peculiar purpose for me that anyone who has had to pitch their work to an editor will be familiar with – it’s one of my comparables. My currently out books fit squarely between Beauty Queens and Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series. A group of somewhat skilled, definitely smart ladies stuck in an isolated location (in this case an island) and forced to survive mainly on wits, things learned from pop culture, and sarcastic dialogue while impending doom approaches…that’s one of my wheelhouses and one of my favorite things to read. Especially the doom and sarcasm – I know, it’s so shocking to read that I’m into doom and sarcasm, after all this time I’ve spent posing as Pollyanna.

Maybe if you were one of the over 1261 people who I noticed (yeah, googling your first self-published book title a few years in wasn’t a good idea… and of course all the seeds are verified and 100% quality – I’m the only one who uploaded a copy and I worked really hard on that file, it has been double checked to hell and back) already illegally downloaded my book, you’d know me better – and I thought I took a screenshot of the person who reviewed it on a message board as being “impossible to put down because it’s so disgusting and irresistible” or the one who asked if the author was “messing with us” – not specifically – but I just have the one who said I changed their life. Or, you’d just be contributing to my inability to pay for things, like those 1261 people who took money directly from my pocket. I cannot wrap my head around why my book would be of interest to people who illegally download books – it’s barely advertised (just on here!) because I’m still trying to figure out a traditional deal or a letterpress so I can print it myself (buying the online version instead of stealing it would help with that, or, you know, a lack of salary stagnation would too, but really, stealing it from me helps nothing and makes me feel anxious and like I’ll have to die soon John Kennedy Toole-style). If I ever get a letterpress sorted I want to make nine haunted copies – haunted by my personal failure and possibly also ghostly guinea pigs (bonus!).

Anyway, back to Beauty Queens, it’s amazing. It’s probably been stolen way more than 1261 times too. But it made it into print first, and for that, among many other things, I salute Libba Bray, one of my favorite authors. Beauty Queens is a glorious mix of wit, pop culture, and explosions. Who knew there was room for another dark and amusing story about pageant girls trying to survive in a post-Drop Dead Gorgeous world?

I thought about entering Danger Crumples in a pageant once. Based on his last vet experience, in which not only the staff, but also the other patients and their owners were very taken with him, he would beat any and all human contestants.

I thought about entering Danger Crumples in a pageant once. Based on his last vet experience, in which not only the staff, but also the other patients and their owners were very taken with him, he would beat any and all human contestants.

And here is the screenshot I did manage.

And here is the screenshot I did manage. “It is worth to read.” Glad you enjoyed it.

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