Tag Archives: Street Magic: Stories and Tales

Exclusive from Forthcoming Novel

19 Mar

 

New chapter

La Muse Press will publish new work from Mary B. Banks. She is working on two books that are page turners. One is about the Apocalypse; the other one is about a teenage girl living in Harlem. Here is a teaser from one of her manuscripts:

God’s children were under a vicious, ugly, nasty, horrific, gut-wrenching, dirty, deadly, demonic curse that gave them horrendous nightmares. These dreams were so frightening that some of the townspeople hadn’t slept in days. The citizens of Futuria warded off sleep preferring insomnia. Dark half-moons were underneath their bloodshot red eyes. They preferred sleepless nights rather than seeing those diabolical images, horrifying sounds, and God-awful smells.

Those who did not sleep looked like dazed sleepwalkers. Their movements were sluggish and pitiful. They slurred their words and nodded off and then wake up suddenly. For those who did succumb to sleepiness, they tried their best to sleep during the day because the night brought its own evilness and wickedness. Yet, there were those who slept during the night. Legs thrashing, kicking bed sheets off the bed, and fighting the dream’s adversaries.

Want to read some of Mary B. Banks’ work right now?

La Muse Press has you covered. Pick up Street Magic: Stories and Tales. It is is available at Amazon.com and two indie bookshops in Baltimore, MD: Normal’s Bookstore (425 E 31st St) and Expressions (222 N Paca St).

 

Coming to a Town Near You…

7 Aug

La Muse Press has been making a number of appearances this year. The author, Mary B. Banks, has attended the ASALH Author event (Washington, DC) , Word Art Exhibit (Towson, MD), Writers and Words reading series (Baltimore, MD), and even Artscape 2015! Next on the list is the African American Authors Expo which will be held at the Radisson North Baltimore Plaza Hotel (2004 Greenspring Drive, Timonium, MD 21093) on Saturday, August 15th from 10 am to 5 pm. And guess what, the event is free to the public. For more information, visit http://aaaexpo.ning.com.

 Author_Expo_MBB

In other exciting news, Street Magic received an excellent book review. If you haven’t picked up Street Magic yet, check out what The Baltimore Times columnist Phinesse Demps had to say (published on May 1, 2015):

Indie Soul enjoys spotlighting independent authors. Recently, author Mary B. Banks stopped by our office to drop off her book, “Street Magic.” Banks credits her mother and father who always told her that the library was a magical place. We are so glad they did because her unique book is a collection of short stories about characters in and around Baltimore! Banks did a great job of giving her characters life. The stories are very vivid and you can actually picture the scenes, the characters, and the story.

Don’t know if you can trust the review, then pick up a copy! You can email the author Mary B. Banks at simplemary17@msn.com for sales inquiries and to have your book autographed. Or schedule a book reading and/or receive special discounting for bulk sales.

Hot off the Printer!

25 Jan
La Muse Press has printed its second print run of Street Magic: Stories and Tales.

La Muse Press has printed its second print run of Street Magic.

La Muse Press is pleased to announce that Street Magic: Stories and Tales has ran its second print run. As both the publisher and writer, I have decided to reprint Street Magic after three and a half years. I was getting the occasional Amazon.com purchase order, but I didn’t have any books to fulfill the order. Now, there are plenty in stock for you! For 2015, it is my goal to promote Street Magic whether it be scheduling readings, attending book festivals, or reaching out to the media. If you have a book club, I would be happy to arrange a deal for you to buy in bulk at a discounted price. If you are a book reviewer, shoot me an email, and I would be happy to give you a review copy in order for you to pen a review. As a publisher, once you have already published a title and several years go by, it feels like the book is old. However, if no one has ever read or heard of your title, it is new to that person. Take for example, Moby-Dick. The book did not become popular until after Herman Melville’s death. Nevertheless, true literature is timeless. For example, my favorite book of all times is Ann Petry’s The Street, which was published in 1946. So, if you love short story collections that are zany and out of the ordinary, Street Magic is a good read! You can purchase it at Amazon.com or you can contact me directly.

Get Your Read On!

26 Dec

If you are an emerging writer, it is essential that you book readings. What is a reading you ask? A reading is an event that usually lasts for at least thirty minutes to an hour where the author reads excerpts from his or her book. Most readings are held at bookstores, colleges, and libraries. A great resource to find out about potential reading venues can be found online at Literary Places on Poets & Writers.

Speaking about reading? Fiction writer Mary B. Banks participated in the 2012 Emerging Voices Project at the University of Baltimore last June. She read four stories from her debut short story collection, Street Magic: Stories and Tales, which included “Elvis,” “The Baltimoreans: A Case Study,” “Number Blues,” and “Lost and Found.” Check out the reading below!

A Mini-Interview with the Author of Street Magic

4 May

Mary B. Banks holding her book, Street Magic: Stories and Tales.

La Muse Press caught up with Mary B. Banks, author of Street Magic: Stories and Tales (2011). The 26-year-old, who is also the co-owner of La Muse Press, answered the following questions about her gritty debut collection, which is now available at Atomic Books for $12.

1. What inspired you to write Street Magic

When I wrote Street Magic, I didn’t write the stories with the idea that they would eventually become a short story collection. They were stories I wrote while attending the University of Baltimore to earn a MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts.   

2. How would you describe your writing?

I like to write stories that have an aural quality to them. I want the characters to speak directly to the reader without having the distance that a third-person narration usually brings. Sometimes my writing can be humorous, other times it can be sad. For example, “Lost and Found” is about two inner-city girls who find a discarded baby in the trash, and one of the girls, Janie, views the discarded baby as “one of those expensive babies that I wish I had.” There is “Number Blues” which is set in Chicago’s South Side during the 50s and the protagonist, Angela Thompson, is a domestic worker who yearns for her illegal number to hit. Then there is “Love Dust” that is about a young girl, the daughter of Pastor Crawford, who casts love spells on her next door neighbor, Leroy.  

3. How did you choose the stories in Street Magic?

I chose the stories that spoke to me the most, the ones that had a strong emotional overtone. I also chose stories that had magical, surreal elements in them. My classmates and professors at UB also were pivotal in helping to shape the collection. When I turned in my first draft of the collection for workshop, my classmates gave me useful feedback on which stories didn’t quite fit and others that they wanted to see included. For example, I had a story entitled, “Country Boys,” about two escapees from the mental ward which didn’t really fit with the other stories. “Lost and Found” and “Number Blues” were added to the collection with the suggestion of my classmates.

4. What advice would you give emerging writers?

Write, write, and write. Join a writing workshop. Read as much as possible. I also recommend that emerging writers began to create an online presence such as blogging and use social media to network. Stay up-to-date on what is happening in publishing.

For more information about Mary B. Banks, visit her website, The Writing Zone, and follow her on Twitter (mbanks6).

A New Release–Street Magic: Stories and Tales

25 Apr

$12 paperback

La Muse Press has just published its debut book, Street Magic: Stories and Tales (2011). It is a collection of nine stories that are gritty and unusual. Here is the table of contents to whet your appetite:

Testimony: Eve re-tells her version of the events that took place in the Garden of Eden. 

The Watchers: A deceased grandmother narrates her grandson’s tragic love triangle.

The Baltimoreans: A Case Study: A fabricated historical account of segregation in Baltimore.

Elvis: An African-American prophet who hears a voice that foreshadows his death.

Lost and Found: Two African-American girls discover a white baby in the trashcan.

Number Blues: In order to escape Chicago’s Southside, a young woman yearns for her number to hit.

Love Dust: A church girl, who is obsessed with her new neighbor, casts love spells.

Crazy Witchy: Two narratives about an outcast in a small Southern town.

The Inhabitants of a Peculiar Community: A Qualitative Report, July 9, 1975: An adolescent girl chronicles the outrageous behavior of the “characters” in her neighborhood.

Mary B. Banks, the author of Street Magic: Stories and Tales, will read a selection from her book during the MFA student reading held at the University of Baltimore, Student Center, 5th Floor on Friday May 6th at 7:30 pm located on 21 West Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201. She will sell the paperback books for $12 at the event. If you are unable to attend, but would like to order a book, click here.