Hey friends! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Existing Creatures, Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena and I am bringing you a guest post. Enjoy!
Existing Creatures, Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena
Published by: Clink Street Publishing
Release date: 20/07/2021
Where to find: Amazon
Summary: Underneath the earth, John Crane’s bones are cracking and his flesh is burning. His memories are at present as alive as his body, a body, preparing itself for metamorphosis and freedom. In the black box of Jack Vain’s mind, his belongings explode, his past life is an illusion, and ultimately, is a tower destructed by his unfulfilled desires. The recurring nightmare, the hand on Dr. Brooke Ashley’s thigh, is now a warning sign against danger, an appropriation that leads her instinct into the right directions. The djinn that Hassan Maroun met, is the little and magical voice that makes him wonder if the current events can be clearly and scientifically explained.
The creature from John and Jack’s dreams and fantasies, is the master of their evolution. Will the two childhood friends be able to accept their transformation in order to make the investigation advance?
Interesting Things about my main Protagonists
Like in Becoming Insane, which is the book one of this series, while the plot advances in the parts presenting the two protagonists, Jack Vain and John Crane’s memories regress. Chapters about their past regress from their twenties to their late teen years.
1) Jack Vain’s and John Crane’s relationship with others: While in the first book the main theme(s) revolved around Jack Vain and John Crane’s relationship with themselves, reality and the present moment, book two’s main theme is about their relationship with others. Their family, parents, siblings, wife, children, boyfriend etc.
Example: The character’s grandparents are introduced in book two, we then understand that some of their issues (OCD, being anxious etc) may have their roots in family history. We also discover what are the relationship between their parents and grandparents. We also read more about Martha, Jack Vain’s wife.
2) Muscle, Flesh and Wounds: While reading again book two I realized that one of the important themes is about wounds, and that physical wounds are present a lot, being an allegory to the characters emotional wounds. Cuts, bruises, and rashes are present, and even secondary characters suffer from them.
3) Intimacy: Intimacy in my main characters’ lives is explored in different ways. The intimacy of a family shown through the houses, apartments, domestic organization, family dinners and talks etc. This one is neutral, as it can either be the refuge of the main characters, or the structure can be subject of violation. But there’s also the kind of intimacy that only concerns one person in their life that they desire. This is the intimacy desired by the main characters towards their partners. Jack Vain towards his wife in the beginning of his relationship with her, and John Crane with his first serious relationship with his boyfriend. The intimacy here is healthy, they want and need to be close to their partners emotionally and not just physically.
4) Duality: The theme of duality is present in book one and in book two also. However, as book one focuses on the main characters (their imaginations, their needs and their breakdown) the duality found here emanates from their partners.
Example 1: Martha (Jack Vain’s wife), may be the only character in Becoming Insane that has full control of her body and mind while still being able to express her emotions. The reason for that is that she was a professional ballet dancer, and knows not only how to treat her body, but thanks to the discipline she learned (no matter how strict it may have been) has the capacity to reunite body, mind, and soul. I used to do ballet dancing when I was a kid and still do it today, that’s why I decided to make Martha a ballet dancer.
Example 2: John Crane’s partner, or rather first serious boyfriend is the opposite of Martha. The chapter “Laughing Dragons” explores that relationship that begins with John Crane’s admiration for the man who is a pianist and that composes his own music. But contrary to Martha, who has been trained to always practice and to never take success as a finality, he does not compose because of his passion for music, he does it to be recognized and deeply desires admiration from others. The effort given in this art is superficial and is not researched enough for his compositions to be original. When John Crane is given an opportunity to share his writings, his boyfriend takes that as a competitive strategy, and so the relationship falls into betrayal.
Martha represents a state of wellbeing that Jack Vain strives to obtain, while John Crane’s boyfriend represents pretention and narcissism in art, which John Crane fears and of course avoids.
Existing Creatures, Living Dragons, even though it is the continuation of Becoming Insane and has its plot advance, is ultimately about Jack Vain and John Crane’s metamorphosis. It is a painful one, which is presented through physical pain sometimes, but it only redirects us to their emotional pain. Book two is about transformation and its process, until finally, the two main characters are freed from their past, and its associated pain and regret.
I was born on the 2nd of August 1990 in Geneva, Switzerland, and still live there until today. I haven’t even changed neighborhood! I still like it very much and the fact that I live near the red-light district makes it even more interesting. I had many little jobs since the age of fourteen, shoe shops, hairdressers, pharmacy, boutiques. Then from the age of sixteen until eighteen I became an apprentice as an administrative assistant, working at the company three times a week and going to commercial school twice a week. I then found a job at eighteen as an administrative assistant in a trust company then got promoted as a legal assistant for its corporate department. I went to night school to study law, and gathered some other professional certificates/diplomas during that time. At 23, I quit everything as I realized that the only reason why I did all this was because I needed to be financially stable enough to write and create. Something I unfortunately didn’t have the time to do while working and studying. And also rest and sleep a lot!