I went to hear Katie Arnoldi read from her newly published novel, Point Dume. Point Dume has themes ranging from the death of the surf culture, human trafficking, the Mexican drug cartel, illegal pot farms on public lands, environmental devastation and obsessive love. Katie held the audience captive as she read from a paperback copy of her novel with her black eyeglasses,unusual necklace with some type of large stone, big smile and long blonde hair. She looks like the quintessential California girl.
Katie grew up surfing in Malibu Beach, later studied art history and was a Southern California bodybuilder before publishing her first novel, Chemical Pink, a story of how far people can take obsession. Obsession seems to be a key word when describing Katie’s novels. Katie was fascinated with bodybuilders who dedicated themselves to the sport. In Chemical Pink, she describes with precise detail how the lead character’s voice lowers, dealing with the hirsutism which would become unmanageable, even the clitoris growing penis-like hard. The effects of the steroids are irreversible even when the bodybuilders stop.
Her next novel The Wentworths gives us a story of grotesquely warped power and wealth. Too much wealth creates this overprivileged Southern California family. From the narcissistic, abusive mother to the sexually deviant son to the son who analyzes what’s wrong with the rest of his family. The sister seems to be the only one devoid of problems except her daughter is depressed and her son can’t stop stealing.
You can read more about Point Dume on her website. Her book tour began last night with this Book Soup sponsored evening complete with tequila, chips and red and green salsa. I’ve read Katie loves red wine which she had a a few choices of as well. I can’t drink straight tequila but that’s another story.