A Q and A with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews about my new book Permanent Spring Showers (Book Tour Day 7)

The MonkeesIt’s Day 7 of the book tour! Today is it is an interview with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews. I really liked this interview. There were some great questions around the creation of the novel (inspiration, characters, etc.), but also some fun ones I could really get behind. Like, for example, do I prefer the Beatles or the Monkees. Here is my response:

The first concert I ever saw was The Monkees. That was during their big reunion tour in the 80s and my parents took me. It was a fun show, but Mike Nelson wasn’t there. I remember being disappointed by that. But The Beatles… Okay, they are one of my obsessions. A few years ago I had my brother (a professional photographer out in Los Angeles-http://www.adamemperorsouthardphotography.com/) create a family picture of my wife, kids and me as the Beatles based on the With The Beatles cover. I think you can see it on his site as an example of what he can do. That photo is one of my favorite things in my house. I got to be Lennon in that, which is awesome. Recently, my Playstation 3 died and I had to get a 4, the biggest disappointment for me is I wouldn’t be able to rock out with The Beatles Rockband anymore. That still makes me sad. I could do a mean “Dear Prudence.” Oh, and I saw Paul in concert twice. Man, he puts on a good show.

You can read the rest of this fun interview here.

This has been a really fun tour for me. This is my second interview (my first one was here). I have also written posts on numerous subjects related to the book. You can check out posts on how it feels to write an anti-romance (here), eccentric characters (here), passion and sex in the book (here), the importance of springtime (here), and some advice for new writers (here).Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! Just $1.99, it can’t get cheaper than that! So there is no better time to grab a copy. You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.
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New WKAR Book Review: Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

Current StateRecently on WKAR’s Current State, I reviewed the new novel by Michele Young-Stone. It is called Above Us Only Sky and is filled with Beatles references. Actually, my review is filled with them too.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-michele-young-stones-above-us-only-sky

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.

Hey, did you know Current State has a podcast? If you subscribe, you can download episodes and segments (and you can find me every other Thursday). Here is a link to find it on iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wkar-fm-current-state/id594609653?mt=2

You can find the novel on Amazon.com here. If you want to check out my other book reviews for WKAR’s Current State, you can do so via links on this page. Continue reading

Learning to Share Disneyland

Walt at the ParkSo last night I had a dream where I met Paul McCartney at Disneyland.

I was standing in line at the Peter Pan ride with my family, and he was standing behind me with his family and some big bodyguards. I, of course, realized at once who this was, and when a pause happened in his conversation, I politely excused myself and said thanks. Thanks for everything since his music means so much to me.

Paul was very gracious in return and we lightly talked. He asked about me and I told him about my writing and how I listen to his music a lot when I create and how it is a soundtrack around our house. He seemed to really appreciate that, especially the idea of his music inspiring other artists. I even asked him if the rumor that The Beatles were approached to be in The Jungle Book was true (I don’t remember his reply, but in many ways that is only an urban legend at this point).

It was in this moment of the dream that my wife tapped me on the shoulder and asked who I was speaking to. I turned her around, and casually introduced her to Sir Paul.

…And then my wife fainted in a very dramatic fashion.

She even made a “whoosh!” noise as she collapsed, sounding almost like air escaping a tea kettle.

Now, my wife is not the kind of person to faint for any reason (I would faint before she would faint), and it was that realization that woke me up. So I didn’t get to talk to Sir Paul anymore, or even get on the ride.

All that standing in line for nothing. Continue reading

Where My Head Is At

HeadRandomness from the last few days…

Do both Paul and Ringo dye their hair? They are both in their 70s so the answer is probably yes. My wife also believes Ringo dyes his beard. How does one do that?

Because of the Disney film Tarzan, my kids like to run around in their underwear. I’m still working on my counter-argument to this practice because it is kind of hilarious.

I’ve locked down the Table of Contents for my new nonfiction book Me Stuff. Started with two hundred posts (I’ve done over 520 on this site total), then cut it down to 70. Now I’m ending at 30 or so.

I think Georgia font is pretty friendly. I want a friendly font for Me Stuff, one that says, “Sit down, I have a story to tell.” Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, October 2013

HalloweenEvery year around this time I always wish I had musical talent. Why? Because Halloween is a surefire money opportunity for a creative songwriter.

See, across this country, from kids to adults, people have Halloween parties, but there is no real Halloween music to play. Oh, there is “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and the awful “Monster Mash,” but what is there after that? Dance remixes of famous horror movie themes?… That’s not good enough!

And that is when an enterprising music genius steps in.

You make a CD that is family friendly, has some fun danceable tracks (maybe comes with its own dance move), add enough references to Halloween memories to stir a heartfelt response (think any classic Christmas song, most are built around memories) and you will be cashing a big check once a year for decades to come.

Sadly, I don’t have music talent and the extent of my songwriting skills only brings up corny titles like “I Want My Mummy” and “Do the Frankenstein Shuffle.” That is just embarrassing. It is even more embarrassing because I am literary enough to know Frankenstein is the doctor not the monster.

Sigh.

Here are the five things I am into this month… Continue reading

Movie Review: Good Ol’ Freda

Good Ol' FredaI’m a Beatles nut.

It’s one of my things. Nearby me as I write this is the bootleg complete recordings of The Beatles BBC sessions (9 discs full), on the wall is a collection of rare photographs of The Beatles performing in Detroit, and then there are my instruments for Beatles Rock Band in the corner (doing all of Abbey Road is wonderful). And then there are my shelves and shelves with books on them, and the mountain of DVDs… Oh, and the boxset of their complete CDs. I, of course, have the music.

So whenever a new documentary or book on The Beatles comes out, I know all about it; definitely before some friend on Facebook or Twitter sends me a message saying “Did you know about this?”

“Yes… Yes. I did.” I always reply. Sometimes I pretend to be ignorant, but I never am.

And if one of these books or documentaries reaches a certain level of expertise it will probably join my “resource library.” I like to think of it as an honor. For example, the insightful Geoff Emerick’s book made it; the bad book by Bob Spitz (and it’s pile of errors) did not.

I’ve written on my love of The Beatles a few times on this site (like here and here). They are part of my makeup, what makes me “me.” And, I’m sure, that if a doctor was to check my pulse my beats would be perfectly in sync with the “Na’s” in Hey Jude.

Oh, and I have a Beatles tie. Did I mention The Beatles tie? Continue reading

The Posts of an Anglophile

Guarding the QueenCheerio!

What inspired me to write my editorial this week, “The Happy Anglophile,” is that I am in the process of editing two different books- A Jane Austen Daydream (to be published in April by Madison Street Publishing) and Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare (which I am self-publishing and sharing the experience via posts, like this one where I discuss my great new cover artist). They are both very British books; one putting the spotlight on Miss Austen, the other trying to capture the world and vibe of Sherlock Holmes.

Not bad for a kid from Michigan, eh?

And it doesn’t stop there! I’ve been thinking about writing a post on a controversial belief I have on Shakespeare next week, and I have been debating myself for months on writing on my love of PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams (I should have done the Douglas Adams one nearer his Birthday… damn).

Anyway, looking back over the blog, my anglophile-tendencies have been on display ever since I started writing, from books to movies to television to music. For your reading pleasure this weekend here are links to some of my more popular posts on my favorite second home.

Pip pip!

The Happy Anglophile

Union JackIn my next life, I will be British.

I know this is true right down to the fiber of my being.

I will be sophisticated, I will look good in suits, I will enjoy tea and crumpets, I will understand the point of Cricket, and I will have an accent that will add to my wit, not diminish it in the least.

I grew up with a love of the country and when I got married it was only natural that I married a woman whose family is British. Sadly, my wife doesn’t have the accent (she was the only member of the family born in the states), but she still shows hints of it; she perfectly pronounces all of her words and doesn’t have, what I like to think of as the “Michigan slur” that haunts me and many others in my state. (When I was in grad school in Los Angeles you have no idea how many times I was asked to repeat something because of that slur.)

Shirts with the Union Jack, Beatles’ posters on my walls, this adoration for England stems from music to history to, most importantly, books.

Yes, all cultures have great writers to point to, but when you speak of British writers you enter the land of myths and legends for me. These are my Herculeses, my Paul Bunyans.

From Jane Austen’s little villages to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s shadowy moors to Charles Dickens’ cobblestone and dirty London streets, they each had a hand in creating the image that stuck with me of merry ol’ England.  Every major experience I had growing up as a reader involved a British writer, starting with reading Winnie-the-Pooh with my mom (I remember us both laughing hysterically when Piglet was trying to help Pooh capture a Heffalump) through Roald Dahl and then the fantasy realms of Tolkien and Lewis that took my breath away.

And don’t forget, England gave us Shakespeare. Continue reading

Halloween, In Spirit

I don’t believe in magic.

I also don’t believe in witches, ghosts, wizards, dragons, unicorns, demons, devils, poltergeists, vampires, werewolves and anything else that might go bump in the night.

And, for those curious, I don’t believe in angels either.

None of these things exist (or could exist) in the world I see around me every day. And if any of these things really were real, there is no way it would be a secret to all of us. If there is one great truth about human beings, from the North Pole to the South, it is that we are all lousy at keeping a secret. Remember, even Deep Throat said who he was before he died, and that was a secret kept by only three people!

Frankly, we would all know about Hogwarts.

I wish I could see a ghost.

Why?

Because I would find the experience incredibly satisfying. Continue reading

The Nat King Cole Inside My Head

I am obsessed with The Beatles, I adore Belle and Sebastian, I’ve seen They Might Be Giants five times in concert, and I can’t stop playing the new Fiona Apple CD… but Nat King Cole is the musical comfort food for my soul.

I have read a few biographies about him over the years, and as amazing of a life he had, it’s always hard for me to connect him to his voice. Frankly, his voice is so engrained into my own life, it is hard to think that it once even belonged to someone else, as strangely as that sounds. I don’t feel his struggles against racism in his career and his growth from jazz pianist to just a singer fronting a band in a studio, lost in the business of just singing singles hoping for a hit, when I listen to his music.

I hear my own life in his voice, in his performing, making each recording I adore something akin to a special gift. Continue reading