Creative Corner Interview with Ladyaslan

Anitra DeLorenzo, better known in the literary world as Ladyaslan, made her writing debut in 2007 with Victorian Days and Punk Rock Nights. This quote from a passage in the book should be enough to grab one's attention: "Red may be bold on lips....but I prefer mine naked, without enhancement, so you know exactly what you are getting.” And there's plenty more where that came from. Her follow-up, Lipstick and Absinthe, is a collection of Gothic poetry, short stories, and horror erotica, which Anitra dubs as "R-rated." Due to the abundant favorable reviews those books received, Anitra was invited to be a contributor to the Jamie Collins horror anthologies In the Midnight Hour and Into The Night - A Poetry Anthology.

Being the avid music fan that she is, Anitra has also written about and reviewed some of the most press-worthy indie metal bands currently on the scene. You can check out her article on the band Conquer As They Come in the most recent issue of Gorgeous Freaks Magazine.

Besides her writings, Anitra's is co-host of the The Asylum Radio Show, whose guests have been from as many branches of the entertainment industry as you'll see here at Idol Features. In fact, readers of this site can look forward to seeing Anitra's contributions here in the very near future.

Also a lady with a charitable heart, Anitra donates fifty percent of the proceeds from her Ladyaslan T-shirt sales to Stand for the Silent, an anti-bullying campaign, and the animal sanctuary Wolf Haven International. All accompanying photos to this interview courtesy of Anitra, herself.

The Basics

CLARA GRACE WALKER: Welcome, Anitra. Thanks for joining me here. What should readers know about you?
LADYASLAN: I have had quite a life in which I have traveled the world, been in love, fell out of love, been cheated on, and left broken-hearted. I'm college educated, in and out of the United States, and above all, life educated. I have been stalked by men and women, and watched my mum pass away before my eyes. I saw that life at its darkest hour can get darker. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel can indeed be a train, but yet in that dark abyss, a stranger's hand can extend and pull you out of the way of harm and show unconditional love and concern. My interests include touching soft skin, the neck, the area right below his ear, conceptual thinking, port wine, and rose flavour.
CLARA: What are the three words that best describe you?
LADYASLAN: Shy, unique, and erotica.
CLARA: Tell us about your work.
LADYASLAN: Lipstick & Absinthe is the follow up to the 2007 book Victorian Days & Punk Rock Nights. Lipstick & Absinthe is collection of Gothic poetry, short stories, and horror erotica prose. This book represents indie writers doing projects their own way and not falling into the cookie cutter batter that seems to be polluting mainstream media in the world today. Lipstick & Absinthe is moody, dark and seductive. Lipstick & Absinthe will be your nightly read and the gift you give to readers in your family and YES, it's rated “R.”
CLARA: Which piece of work are you most proud of?
LADYASLAN: Which piece am I most proud of? I'm not sure I can answer that (laughs). It’s like picking a favourite child. Impossible. Perhaps I can say the interviews and reviews for bands and artists I do. Those please me quite a bit!
CLARA: What other creative endeavors do you enjoy?
LADYASLAN: I basically live in my head sooo I can be a gorgeous painter or a sensual sculptress or a huntress on the prowl for an artistic mate. I enjoy belly dancing and doing TRX workouts and cooking. I LOVE COOKING!
CLARA: Are you a publicity-lover, or publicity shy?
LADYASLAN: Ooooh, very much both. I am more confident behind the keyboard when talking about what I do, but in person, I tend to feel uneasy and blush (laughs), unless I have the full “Ladyaslan” look on as in hair, makeup, and sexy dress. Then, I am just as fine as wine. Usually, I am on the sofa with my yoga pants and tank top. I love music, and I’m always interested in the musical tastes of my friends.
CLARA: Tell me your three favorite songs.
LADYASLAN: Music is my life and my first love there is no way I can just pick three songs, so we shall let my iPod go to shuffle and pick for me: "Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley, "Spine Knife" by Conquer As They Come, "Don’t Change" by INXS, and runner up; "The Man Whole Stole a Leopard" by Duran Duran.
CLARA: What song best describes your life?
LADYASLAN: Perhaps it’s the Eagles' "Life In The Fast Lane," The Doors' "L.A. Women," "Save a Prayer" by Duran Duran, Prince & The Revolution's "The Beautiful Ones," White Zombie's "More Human Than Human," and some of AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock." Let’s mash those up and taa daaa! That would describe my life because my life isn’t one dimensional, so there can’t be just one song. I am sure I could pick many more.

The Glamorous, Dangerous Romance Section

CLARA: You are offered, free for one year, the use of either a customized, fully staffed jet, say a Bombardier Learjet 40XR, or a fully-staffed luxury yacht, perhaps a 150-foot vessel built by Palmer Johnson. Which do you choose?
LADYASLAN: Oh, it’s the Palmer Johnson PJ210 Lady M. I have been on a Learjet going to Vegas. Yes, I know, very cliché. Was not my choice, I just tagged along, not like I was turning down the invite (laughs).
CLARA: Where are we going?
LADYASLAN: Ahhh now here is the fun. We cruise on over to the Black Sea and stop off in Romania and hit Transylvania and the Carpathian mountain range. Then off to Sirnea in Brașov County, where we take in the sights and tastes of the country for a few weeks then back on the yacht and chug on down to Italy. I say two weeks in Rome and two weeks in Firenzi, to relive my first trip to my motherland. Of course, we are stopping in Siena, home of Chianti and then off to Pisa. I know a GREAT sandwich shop around the Leaning Tower. Then we hop back on “zeee yacht” and end our shenanigans in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, Bora Bora. Hell, maybe stop off in Tahiti for shits and giggles, since we are in the area.
CLARA: Who are we bringing with us?
LADYASLAN: (Laughs) Let the trouble begin. My friends. There are about 15 of us (laughs) and to keep the "Baby Bats" on their toes, I shall leave them nameless, though  for one, I am organizing a “man-napping.” So, this yacht idea may come in very handy (laughs).
CLARA: I love to shop! And guess what? An eccentric billionaire has offered us his charge card for a day of shopping with one caveat: We can only go to one store. Where are we going?
LADYASLAN: Shinsegae in Centum City, Busan, South Korea
CLARA: What do we buy there?
LADYASLAN: Shinsegae is officially the largest department store in the whole world. In addition to floor upon floor of designer brands, visitors will also find a spa, roof garden, and 60-tee golf range. Located in the heart of Busan, where tradition meets modernity, the Main Store is a luxurious premium shopping venue. The Main Store consists of the "main building," which is a premium and the very first department store of Korea, and the "new building," is an urban style department store. They even have fresh food to purchase. You picked a smart person to shop with (evil wink).
CLARA: Which of the following soap operas most resembles your life: All My Children, Grey’s Anatomy, Dynasty or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
LADYASLAN: Actually none of them (laughs). My life is more like a humorous suspenseful mini-series
CLARA: Which celebrity would you most like to star with in a romantic movie?
LADYASLAN: Norman Reedus and we will need to warm up A LOT and I am a perfectionist soooo we may need many, many, many takes ...but don’t worry, I am up for it. I won’t let you down!
CLARA: The setting for this movie is a private island. Where is it located?
LADYASLAN: Well, we are off to the UK to shoot at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. Not so much a private island, as the UK is HUGE, but more of an area of historic houses, gardens, mills, coastlines, forests, farmlands, moorlands, islands, castles, nature reserves, villages ...and pubs. Fountains Abbey is mentioned in my unpublished poem "Paradise on Earth," written in 2003.
CLARA: What do we find there?
In 2013 with George Romero
LADYASLAN: Coastlines and countryside, gardens and parks. Some of Britain's most iconic and historic monuments. Stone circles, Cornish tin mines, and even the Cerne Abbas Giant. Seems we find a great deal there!
CLARA: Now comes the danger. This lovers paradise has an unforeseen danger. What is it?
LADYASLAN: A poltergeist and a cursed fog rolls in over the moors. Good thing one of the lovers is a witch and the other is a vampire. I hope they survive (evil smirk).
CLARA: Naturally, this danger imperils the love of your life. How do you save him?
LADYASLAN: Luckily my great gran was part of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and I have her book of shadows. Well, more like pieces of paper in a shoe box. I cast a spell and trust me, it’s a humdinger.
CLARA: If you were given a million dollars to donate to the charity of your choice, which one would you choose?
LADYASLAN: Half of my royalties from my book and t-shirt sales go to Stand For The Silent (anti-bully campaign) and Wolf Haven International (wolf preserve). Those are the two. I would half-and-half the million dollars.
CLARA: If you could have your portrait painted by anyone, living or dead, which artist would you choose?
LADYASLAN: Monica Warhol. For obvious reasons, I just absolutely love her!
CLARA: What was the last concert you attended and did you enjoy it?
LADYASLAN: Skinny Puppy and Oh My God, YES I did enjoy it!! Waited a good 30 years to see them! Prior to seeing Skinny Puppy, I met Ogre at a horror convention in Orlando in 2013. What a great guy with amazing musical tastes!

The Personal Touch

With Norman Reedus' 2013 photo book, The
Sun's Coming Up... Like A Big Bald Head
.
Anitra's a huge fan of his.
CLARA: Tell us about your spiritual journey. What brought you to your Wiccan practices?
LADYASLAN: Well my Gran on my mum’s side practiced and after going to Sunday School and Catholic Church and having the nuns hit me ALL the time, I said I had enough. I knew in my heart there are many paths to spirituality and Pagan ways just made more sense. Wiccan is a good adjective in contrast to saying “I’m a witch,” but all my friends figured that out since day one (laughs). I never had any issues and I don’t speak ill of any church or religion as long as you and the group you are with are good people and want to help humanity become human. In Italy in 2001, Pope John Paul II blessed me it was cool!
CLARA: What do you find most appealing about the horror genre?
LADYASLAN: Well now …specifically the genre from the 50s to mid-90s. I've watched some early-2000 horror films, which were pretty good, but the United States is remaking toooo many movies, whilst in a locked vault in some phat producer's storage unit, sit thousands of scripts hidden away. Ooh the things we could do with those, huh?! But most appealing is really anything with zombies and vampires. That has been my “comfort food,” since I really have no idea what comfort food is. I have “comfort movies.” I love really good handmade special effects and make up and I can appreciate the CG of say, the Harry Potter franchise. Plus, I need tight directing and actors capable to act off one another, not actors trying outdo the other. Lastly the SCORE. Oh my, nothing like some creepy Goblin music in the background.
CLARA: I see that you’re originally from Pittsburgh. Did you spend any time exploring the caves in southwestern Pennsylvania as you were growing up?
LADYASLAN: I was born in Pittsburgh and I lived on a farm with Amish neighbours. George Romero shot the original Dawn of the Dead in my backyard, or shall I say field. The opening scenes and when the rednecks shoot the car and it blows up. Then for some filming at Monroeville Mall, I was present and the local “bikers” were real bikers from my parents pub, which was called "Up Your Glass." Bands indie to established to beatniks and spoken word was on their venue and then some at that pub. Those bikers riding through the mall, perhaps three, were hired extras. Everyone else was the real thing in long or short shots. I would visit my gran on my mum’s side, in Pittsburgh every other weekend or almost, and we would go to Evans City Cemetery and walk around and yes, my gran would stumble walk and say “They are coming to get you Anitra.” I’d have this nervous giggle and haul ass running away from her (laughs). Plus, my gran lived down the street or a street over from the Warhol’s, but no, I never explored the caves.
CLARA: As a child, what was your favorite ghost story?
LADYASLAN: Hmmm ….it wasn’t a ghost story. It was the made-up stories my gran would tell me before bed about the vampire that lived across the street in the power plant that watched over me at night. I miss my gran. She passed 15 July 1985.
CLARA: What is your favorite way to dress up for Halloween?
LADYASLAN: Let’s see, as a lil lass I was always a witch then went to vampire teens. Of course, I was Star from The Lost Boys, and thanks to JK Rowling and Bellatrix LeStrange, I can pull her off in my adult years (laughs) like I know how to adult (laughs). Anyway, the LeStrange character gave me new RESPECT for corsets. Sweet geebus, what level of hell and minion came up with that torture device??
CLARA: If you had to spend the night with a vampire or a werewolf, which would you choose?
LADYASLAN: Well, I have a thing for fangs and biting (laughs), so vampire, hands down. However, I am not racist. I would entertain a werewolf. They are fluffy!
CLARA: What do you think would happen?
LADYASLAN: Well in my first book, Victorian Days and Punk Rock Nights, I have a short story called "Gothix." Much inspiration went into that short, so I’d say “read the book” to find out what happens to me and my sexy blonde vampire (laughs). A little bit of trivia: Julian Sands inspired that piece in my first book, as well.
CLARA: The heroine of my upcoming book, "Whispers," is a ghost hunter. Would you spend a night ghost hunting with her?
LADYASLAN: Oh, hell yes. I would have to bring my handsome & talented friend Patrick Scheel. I mean a girl needs a guy to hold on to …right?!
CLARA: Have you ever had any paranormal experiences? If so, what were they?
LADYASLAN: I wrote "Pennsylvania Haunting" in Lipstick & Absinthe and that prose is a take on what I thought I saw in the field behind my childhood home one dusky evening and I am convinced I saw the Moth Man in my window looking at me in 1979. Then, some days later, Three Mile Island exploded. Something to think about!

Reach Out & Touch Someone

Scream Queen icon Linnea Quigley showing off her
Ladyaslan t-shirt at the 2013 Spooky Empire Horror
Con. These t-shirts can be obtained from Anitra by
contacting her through her Facebook page.
CLARA: Where can readers get more information on you?
CLARA: Where can readers purchase your work?
LADYASLAN: I have an author page on Amazon just look up Ladyaslan and my Official Webpage has a purchase link. Barnes & Noble online, just take my ISBN # and order from any book store.
CLARA: Any other links readers might find useful?
LADYASLAN: Yes, I have some amazing and talented friends. PLEASE check out what they have to offer, too! Conquer As They Come (Rock/Metal band), Scheel (Guitarist), Kim Acrylic (poet), and Gorgeous Freaks Magazine.
CLARA: Thank you so much for joining me, Anitra! Best Wishes on all your future endeavors!



Ladyaslan's writings and poetry at Amazon:

            


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