RARA-AVIS: Introduction

From: kellistanley83 ( kelli@kellistanley.com)
Date: 06 Sep 2007

Dear Blackbirds--

I've been lurking for a bit, introduced to this list a while ago by friend and noir expert truly rarus Brian T. I thought this was a propitious time to introduce myself, since I actually have something to offer for gratis, rather than just a book to sell. :)

Apologies if you've seen similar announcements other places, but what's a debut author to do?

My name is Kelli Stanley. I'm a classical scholar (M.A., Classics) and a noir writer. My first book, Nox Dormienda (A Long Night for Sleeping) debuts in July of next year. I call the style "Roman Noir"--both a pun and an apt description of what I'm trying to do. It is actually hard-boiled (Chandler-inspired, not Goodis-inspired--it's a continuing series, after all), a melding of classic PI flavor and ancient Roman history. I see hard-boiled as the foundation block for later noir, and there are some very dark elements in my books. Plus,
"Roman Noir" works much better than "Hard-Boiled Rome." ;)

The goal is to entice people who don't know Rome from the Rhone to pick it up and hopefully enjoy the ride. But then, it was Chandler who said the definition of good writing was to write what you want and make the reader like it.

Now for the gratis part. I've written a short story, a sort of ode to the Black Maskers, for a publication opportunity on Hardluck Stories, the quarterly noir e-zine (http://www.hardluckstories.com). I'm glad to say the story is now up there in some very fine company. The title is Convivium. The style is a bit lighter than the book and much more terse, as the word limit demanded. The setting is Londinium (London)in 79 AD, four years earlier than the events of Nox Dormienda. I think of it as an hors d'oeuvre to the novel.

One more comment: I saw a mention of Live 365 Radio and classic (or old-time) radio dramas. There are actually a number of sites where you can download some terrific examples of 30 minute writing, particularly in the horror or suspense category. Try Quiet, Please--a classic among classics--on http://www.quietplease.org. Suspense and Molle Mystery Theater offered a number of great shows, many based on Woolrich or other noir writers. If you're interested in more detailed information about the medium, try John Dunning's Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio--an invaluable reference and an entertaining read.

It's nice to be home to roost.


Kelli Stanley
Author of Nox Dormienda (A Long Night for Sleeping)
July, 2008 Five Star Mysteries

Welcome to Roman Noir.

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