Monday, June 18, 2007

Little Five Points, Georgia

A few years ago, while visiting my sister, she took me to a weirdly wonderful area of Atlanta called Little Five Points. (That's her on the left, with her arm in the air, as we pose in front of one of the many psychedelic murals that adorn the streets of Little Five Points.) L5P, known as "Little Five" to the locals, is the "Haight Ashbury" of Atlanta - an eclectic center of liberal thought and cultural diversity, a collection of not-quite-typical businesses run and frequented by not-quite-typical people, surrounded by beautiful, gracious old neighborhoods full of Victorian homes.

Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly, I felt right at home. This is an area where free expression is in the air, blending with the scent of sandalwood incense, fresh-brewed coffee and unemptied dumpsters. An area where young people with blue hair and nose rings chat with chubby tourists in socks and sandals; where dreadlocked rastas play steel drums for tips; where happy families and bored teenagers wander in and out of kitschy stores like The Junkman's Daughter (right) and cool bars like the Vortex are packed to the gills on Friday and Saturday nights (the skull below is the entrance to the Vortex).
"Wow," I thought to myself. "What a great setting for a story!" If these walls could talk, and all that. And that's how the idea for Dead Girls Are Easy was born.

The idea was this: What if someone who lived and worked here, a free spirit who believed in "live and let live", found out that some spirits weren't as free as hers? What if a Goth girl who'd always found the dark side of life to be cool and intriguing, suddenly discovered that the dark side really existed? What if she "died" and came back with the ability to see and hear the dead? How would becoming an unwilling "ghoulfriend" to the dead change her, without forcing her to change who she really was?

I guess the big question my main character, Nicki Styx, now has to ask herself is this: In the age-old battle between good and evil, can you do the right thing without assuming the missionary position? :)

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