Tuesday Toot is an invite-only series of short posts where writers, editors, booksellers and other creatives have been asked to share thier stuff and toot their own horn. It’s hard to be seen in the digital morass and hopefully this semi-regular segment will help some of the quality stuff out there to get noticed. It should all be stuff that readers of The Word will find edifying.

Today, it’s Kyla Ward.

Who is Kyla?

Kyla Ward is a Sydney-based creative who works in many modes. Her latest release is The Land of Bad Dreams, a collection of dark and fantastic poetry. Her novel Prismatic (co-authored as Edwina Grey) won an Aurealis Award for Best Horror. Her short fiction has appeared in Ticonderoga Online, Shadowed Realms, Borderlands, Gothic.net and in the Macabre anthology, amongst others. Her work on RPGs including Buffy the Vampire Slayer saw her appear as a guest at the inaugural Gencon Australia. Her short film, ‘Bad Reception’, screened at the 3rd international Vampire Film Festival and she is a member of the Theatre of Blood repertory company, which has also produced her work. In addition, she programmed the horror stream for the 2010 Worldcon. A practicing occultist, she likes raptors, swordplay and the Hellfire Club.To see some very strange things, try http://www.tabula-rasa.info

What are you tooting about?

LoBD“The Land of Bad Dreams” is my new collection of dark poetry from P’rea Press. Described as “a rich, eccentric miscellany of dark music, skilfully crafted and strangely wrought.” by Ann. K. Schwader and “Nocturnal, toothy, grisly and witty … a carnival of life’s cruel and grotesque side,” by K. J. Bishop, this handsome volume represents three decades of work and many of my obsessions. Expect warriors, magicians and torturers, vampiric beauties and indescribable monsters – and that’s just in the videos! What waits between the pages is stranger and more sinister by far. “Virgins and Martyrs”, “The Torturer’s Confession” and the urban gothic epic, “The Feast of Mistrust”, will show you how far you may travel in your sleep, and just how bad a dream can be, while still remaining a dream.

After spending over two thousand years as the premier form for expressing anything, poetry these days is somewhat underrated. Between nursery rhymes on one hand and English classes on the other, many people seem to think it has no real place in the world. Which is ridiculous – if you aren’t blinded by the addition of a couple of guitars and a scowling singer, poetry today is ubiquitous! Poe himself said, “Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry.” So from a certain perspective, this isn’t just my latest book, it’s my first album!

That’s why I went and shot video clips. Inviting six Sydney performance groups – including Venus Vamp, the Surgical Sideshow and the Swordplay School of Theatrical Fencing – to interpret poems from the collection, I filmed the lot with three cameras and a live, to say nervous audience. The results, magnificently put together by Jon Blum, are free to view on the book’s web page. I tell you, it’s an education!

[NB – Kyla just informed me right before posting that this collection has made the Stoker Recommended Reading list. Congrats to Kyla for that great achievement! – Alan]