I’ve talked a lot about how many of the stupidest book ideas I have received from friends, like the ones about the drug cartel penguins or the story about a vampire who is fat because no vampires are fat (funny story about that one; I actually found a book in the grocery store dollar bin called ‘Fat Vampire’ a couple years after that). It is true that when people find out I’m an author, they either want to interview me on Periscope (we did that the other night; it was fun), they want to read my blurbs in some hilarious accent (that happened too), or they want to pitch me some idea that is ridiculous at best.
But sometimes I get lucky, and meet someone who hides their intelligence from the world. I am both shocked and elated at the intellectual conversations I have over coffee, at vape shops, or via text messages with the people in real life who I pull inspiration from. There is such a stigma placed on my generation—specifically in places like Seattle or Portland—that represents us as these lazy, iced coffee-drinking hipsters who don’t know anything about the world except what is(n’t) cool and what music we should(n’t) be listening to. This is so far from the truth—especially at the coffee shops themselves—that I can’t even. The people of my generation may be ‘delinquents’ to the baby boomers, but the revolutionary quality of the people of our extended generation is underrated, I think. Banksy is a graffiti law-breaker. No he’s not. He’s a street artist through whose hand we are able to see the world the way it really is. Same thing with Shepard Fairey. Absolutely not. Fairey is an activist for freedom of expression through Phenomenology and the simple, yet made complex act of questioning existence. On a grander scale, these two revolutionary human beings are just a small drop in the pot of the intellectuals that our current society hides in the shadows and behind brown-colored doors.
Someone I recently met told me that he loved talking to me because I am so open and engaging and that is so hard to find. This ideal is so unfortunate, to me, because I have been so fortunate with the humans of my universe. The first time I spoke to my business partner on the phone, we spoke of mental illness and how negatively it affects our society. My first experience at an independent coffee shop in Los Angeles at three o’clock in the morning resulted in my extensive research on natural supplements and the human body so that I could attempt to help people feel better about themselves. Yesterday, out of pure boredom, a friend plotted an entire book for me via text message. And let me tell you, it was fucking brilliant.
There are so many people in the world who exude stupidity, lack of common sense, and a desire for knowledge—writers are not exempt from this, trust me on that one—that it is very easy to look around us and be instantly disappointed with the world. But I have been exposed to some of the most intelligent individuals that I believe this world has to offer, and I refuse to believe that is all there is. Like any rare breed, we hide until we know it is safe to come out. But they are out there, changing the world, one OBEY sticker at a time.
An American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.
Visit Allie on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and her website.
TRUTH IN FICTION: Paper Souls by Allie Burke
Los Angeles, CA
Bestselling Author Allie Burke, diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 2011, is announcing the release of Paper Souls, a literary fiction novel that exhibits the reality of psychosis in the surreal style she has come to be known for.
Burke uses Paper Souls to shed light on an illness that is so often shoved under the rug and forgotten, by utilizing her own experiences with the illness and producing a fictional account of one woman’s struggles to appear normal in a world that never seemed normal to her in the first place.
The novel holds nothing back against its raw, emotional backdrop, telling of Emily Colt’s damaging experiences in mental institutions, her attempts to hold on to her failed relationships, and follows her from one city—and country—to the next in her quest to find normalcy. It keeps a close eye on her recovery through holistic healing, and falls backwards, as Emily falls back into psychosis, again, and again.
“Literature is about awareness,” Burke says in an interview. “Writing in any form is about awareness, to keep society aware, and no one seems to be aware of the trials the people with this illness have to navigate. No one seems to be aware of how many schizophrenics commit suicide every year, or care. That’s why I wrote Paper Souls.”
Paper Souls is available in e-book and paperback from Booktrope Editions on Amazon.
“THIS NOVEL IS BEAUTIFULLY DISTURBING. BURKE IS A GENIUS.”
–Melanie Karsak, Author of Chasing the Star Garden
From the author of the bestselling genre-defining Enchanters series, comes a new literary tour de force about Emily, a young woman balancing two worlds between her fingertips: the one that is real to her and the one that is real to everyone else…
The question is: which one will she choose?
Never romanticizing what it means to be a twenty-something schizophrenic in a world broken by normalcy and half-baked fairytales, Allie Burke’s latest novel unites Emily and her world at large spanning from the streets of Russia, to the sheets of her bed, to the idiosyncratic comfort she gets from worlds that don’t exist at all.
Woven with angst and darkness, bursting with heartache, Paper Souls tells of the irreparably damaged and broken, and how they survive.
“BURKE CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF THE HUMAN CONDITION.”
–J.L. Gentry, Author of Syn: Fin
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