Posts Tagged ‘Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley’

Self-taught artist, writer and musician, Carol Es is known primarily for creating personal narratives within a wide spectrum of media. A native Los Angelina, she often uses past experience as fuel for her subject matter.  Writing on art, her articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Whitehot Magazine, and Coagula Art Journal; her prose published with small presses — Bottle of Smoke Press, Islands Fold, and Chance Press among them. Additionally, she makes handmade Artist’s books which have been acquired for such collections as the Getty and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Carol is a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner, and a Wynn Newhouse Award for her art. She’s also earned grants from Asylum Arts and the National Arts and Disability Center/California Arts Council for writing. In 2019, she won the Bruce Geller Memorial Prize (WORD Grant) from the American Jewish University.

Website: www.ShrapnelInTheSanFernandoValley.com

Blog: www.esart.com/blog

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/esart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolesart


Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is a guided tour through a Tilt-A-Whirl life that takes so many turns that you may find yourself looking up from the pages and wondering how the hell one person managed to fit them all into 40-odd years. And many of them are odd years indeed. From a rootless, abusive childhood and mental illness through serious and successful careers in music and art, much of which were achieved while being involved in a notoriously destructive mind-control cult. Carol Es presents her story straight up. No padding, no parachute, no dancing around the hard stuff. Through the darkness, she somehow finds a glimmer of light by looking the big bad wolf straight in the eye, and it is liberating. When you dare to deal with truth, you are free. Free to find the humor that is just underneath everything and the joy that comes with taking the bumpy ride.

Illustrated with original sketches throughout, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley is not just another survivor’s tale, it’s a creative perspective through moments of vulnerability where the most raw and intimate revelations are laid bare. As an artist and a woman finding self-worth, it’s truly a courageous, relatable story that will keep you engaged to the very end.




Barnes & Noble



Would you call yourself a born writer?

Not really. But I was born to try to write.

What was your inspiration for Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley?

I had a horrific, yet an absurd and darkly humorous life with significant injustices and felt they needed to be heard.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Mental illness, dark comedy, dysfunctional relationships, surrealism, and art.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

About nine years in total.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Very much. Obsessed really. While working on the book, a typical day was waking up around 4:30 am and stopping at 6 or 7 to have dinner.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Focusing on my true feelings in my past when I’d been disassociating to get through traumatic experiences.

What do you love most about being an author?

Being able to express myself visually in words.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

It was a long process of lots of rejections and finally starting my own indy. Then, lots of learning along the way. Yes, I’m happy with my decision because now it’s all within my control.

Where can we find you on the web?

esart.com, or




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