In this post: Charity Blast Details, Rafflecopter, Interview with Diane Rinella
See my 4 STAR review of Diane's Novel here
Scary Modsters… and Creepy Freaks
A fantastical romance involving a girl, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.
Interview with Diane Rinella: Charity, books and the fate of the world...
What gave you the idea for the Scary Modsters World Improvement Project?
There are three main characters in Scary Modsters. One of them is Peter Lane, a rock star who died in 1968. A few months ago I was talking to some friends of Peter's generation about the turbulent times in which they grew up. Their generation felt destined to change the world for the better. Now it’s almost fifty years later and not much has improved. In some ways things have gotten a lot worse. There is still widespread hunger, homelessness, and this country is involved in a war that people want nothing to do with. Sound familiar? You can also add in that our food is being poisoned and the planet is dying. Mankind has put itself on the brink of extinction. Peter closes eyes in 1968 and reopens them in 2014. He expects to see positive changes. Instead he gets the modern world.
When I look at the magnitude of devastation on this planet I feel hopeless. However, I can be part of change. Every creature, along with the Earth itself, is in this together. Humans and animals need the planet to survive, and now the planet needs us to fix it. I can't turn a blind eye anymore. Since I was going to hit people up to help me promote Scary Modsters I figured I might as well hit them up for a greater purpose.
While preparing for this promotion you have done a lot of research. What's the most shocking thing you've learned?
While in a café I noticed that sitting before me were two paper cups. I wondered what impact they had on the environment. A few clicks on my keyboard later I found that half a pound of CO2 emissions happened because of those cups. The café owner told me they go through at least five hundred paper cups per week. (This café does also use ceramic cups.) That is one hundred and twenty pounds of CO2 emissions per week. If my tiny corner café is pumping that much CO2 into the air just by their paper cup consumption, what kind of damage does the big Starbucks down the road do? I've since made packing a travel mug part of my ritual. A reminder on my phone goes off half an hour before I'm scheduled to leave for the café.
The giveaway includes something for the winner and something for a charity. Tell us briefly about the charities that you selected.
St. Jude has always been close to my heart. The world is cruel enough for adults. It shouldn't be hell when you are a child. St. Jude has saved the lives of countless children whose families could not afford medical treatment. The ISF (Ian Somerhalder Foundation) has started a revolutionary animal grant program. If a homeless animal is jeopardy, shelters or individuals can apply for a grant of up to $2500 so the animal can get the medical attention it needs and get placed in a proper home. Since it seems like everyone has been touched by cancer, The American Cancer Society was a natural choice.
Now that you have reached this new level of awareness, does it stop here or are there bigger things ahead?
I won't say that I'm now on a huge quest to change the world. However, I do believe that we all hold the power to help do so. Changing the world is a team effort. I am now on that team. I thought I was before, but I had no clue the damage I was doing. I really still don't. However, I am now resolved educate myself and to do better. When I find something revolutionary I will certainly pass it on to others via my blog and Facebook page.
Will this generation be the one to save the world?
The scientists are saying no. However, we can certainly be the ones who jumpstart it. It's not that our hearts are in the wrong places, it's that the situation is that bad.
The economy is still in recovery mode. How can I help when I don’t have money or time to spread around?
Look to your trashcan. Is there anything in there that should have gone in the compost? How about things that should have been recycled? It can be that simple. Parents, don't just teach your children about the environment; put their hands in the soil. Have them make compost and grow their own vegetables. They will learn about the cycle of life. Teach them that they are fighting back against the chemical lobbyists who are poisoning their food and killing the bees. Change always starts with a seed, whether it is the seed of a plant or the seed of an idea. All you have to do is plant it.
Did the music of the 1960s inspire this story or vice versa?
Without a doubt, the music inspired the story. Rosalyn and I have a lot in common. While our situations may be different, our tastes are exactly the same. In many ways, Scary Modsters is my way of venting about the struggles I have always faced in being true to myself. I was born in the wrong era, and a lot of people who don’t know me well have a hard time embracing my quirks.
What kind of research and knowledge did you have to acquire to write it?
Peter’s struggles with the music business are epic. I had always known artists were never given the financial respect they deserved. However, once I delved in I realized the situations were far worse than I ever imagined. In the introduction to Scary Modsters I mention how the story is fictional but stories similar to Peter’s can be found in rock history books. If anyone thinks the saga of Peter Lane is over the top, all they need to do is a little web surfing on the managerial talents of Don Arden. For a fun yet heartbreaking read, pick up a copy of Howard Kaylan’s Shell Shocked. His band, The Turtles, was robbed several times over, and Howard is very vocal about it. For a quick and humorous overview, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDeYbealhNU In three minutes you will both laugh and have your brain haze over.
I loved Peter Lane! Who or what inspired his creation?
Thank you! Peter was heavily inspired by the legendary Steve Marriot of The Small Faces and Humble Pie. Steve was talented beyond comprehension, one hell of a spitfire, and wore his heart on his sleeve. In the beginning of Scary Modsters Rosalyn passes her hand over Peter’s autograph and feels energized. I have a thing with feeling energy off of autographs. The one I have from Steve is off of the chart!
How long was the process of writing this book?
I started in September 2013 and it was ready in March 2014, despite the fact that I took nearly two months off. For some reason this book flew out of me.
What's next for you as an author?
That is an excellent question. I actually just shelved a project because it sounded too much like everything else out there. I know a lot of the same-old formulas sell really well, but writing something I feel I have read before makes me uncomfortable. I have four major ideas swimming in my head. I’m not sure which one will win the tug of war.
Find out more at Diane's Official Website
In this post: Book Details, Giveaway, Extract, My Review
Scary Modsters... and Creepy Freaks
A fantastical romance involving a girl, the music that fuels her, and her Ouija board.
Rosalyn possesses a sunny personality that is laced with quirks. Although she seeks acceptance in a world where she lives out of time, what she gets is ridiculed for her eclectic wardrobe and unconventional music collection.
One fateful night, Rosalyn bewitches Niles, a stylish man whose offbeat character perfectly complements her own. Unfortunately, he possesses a critical flaw that means relationship suicide for him and pretty much anyone.
While under the influence of insomnia-impaired judgment, Rosalyn summons Rock ‘n Roll deity Peter Lane back from the dead. Not only does he spin her hormones into a frenzy, Peter is also the precarious puzzle piece that brings sense into her world. When Niles learns that he can overcome his life-long challenge by helping Peter avenge his death, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart?
A brunette, a raven-haired beauty, and a girl looking like a peacock all walk into a bar. No, it's not a joke; it's my not-so-mundane life that generally feels like the setup for a wisecrack.
No matter how many times my friends and I claim we are going to do something new, every Friday night we find our tushes planted at Mulligan's. However, today our weekly Friday night venture truly seemed out of the cards since my friends were originally too tired from their workweeks to consider anything short of collapsing. When you are in your early thirties and single you should be embracing life, not rotting on a sofa. Thus when my friends bailed I detoured into Warped Records which is both a second home and how I envision my little corner of Heaven. Some would call the smell of old album covers a dank stench, but to me it's a musky perfume that seeps into my pores and comforts me with the knowledge that no matter what fails me I always have my sanctuary.
Among the bins of paradise and the blaring Siouxsie the perfect gem captured my gaze and held it for ransom. Before me was a pair of eyes so unlike any other that they were nearly indescribable.
Piercing? No. That implies they shot through my skin and reached my heart; however, these somehow reached my soul. Captivating? Again that was misleading. While they did hold my attention they also kept me at bay. Perhaps haunting? Yes, they did indeed haunt me. They also seemed to follow me to wherever I stood. A true description was so elusive that the color wasn't easily defined. They were deep blue, yet also flannel grey with a hint of green. In a certain light they seemed black with specks of gold.
All of these emotions and colors were brought forth by just one picture—a picture on an album that had been slipped into plastic and unceremoniously tacked to the wall, yet somehow it jumped out at me and begged for worship.
“Who are those guys?” I asked Shane, the store's clerk. Shane's tight black pants, white Split Enz T-shirt, black suspenders, and short, curly brown hair made him look like a skinny, nineteen eighties teenager in a forty-something-year-olds body. His hot pink English Beat button sold the outfit. In an odd way our obsessions make us kindred spirits. It may be like we are third cousins, twice removed, but kindred nonetheless.
“Not a clue.” Shane absent-mindedly tapped a pencil on a note pad while his hazel eyes sat on a ragged copy of Rolling Stone that was decades out of date. “How is it you don't know? You're the super genius that no one can stump.” He sighed, conceding to the call of duty. “I suppose you want me to halt my important work and show it to you.”
“If it's not too much of a bother to pull yourself away from that fascinating article on INXS that is so old it will soon disintegrate, then yes, please. I would appreciate your struggle of removing the tack for a lady.”
With the flick of his wrist, Shane sent the magazine spinning across the counter. “Geez, you practically live here so I thought you would be more at home yanking the thing off yourself.”
“Glad to see that chivalry is alive and well at Warped Records.”
The album was presented with a bow. “Milady, as per your request.” Shane's smugness made me grin. “Anyway, it arrived with some other records from a recent estate sale. Rob seemed to know who they were.”
My eyes honed in on the price tag. “Six dollars? That's a lot for a potentially crappy band no one has heard of.”
Shane's view floated from the magazine to the notepad. “Yep. Six bucks is what this says. I hung it next to the two hundred dollar, Jagger-signed, Goat's Head Soup to be funny.”
Four men, who were partially obscured by a golden overlay of paisleys and swirls, stared back at me. Their clothes were colorful, slightly Edwardian, and accented with fur. It was all very fashionable for the nineteen sixty-eight copyright printed on the back of the cover that held no liner notes. Three of the men felt so insignificant that they were but mere blurs. All I noticed was the cute one with the sandy blonde hair and magnetic eyes whose signature started with the letter P.
My fingers glided over the autograph whose ink felt as if it were luxurious azure velvet. It also gave off an energy that put a beat in my head. What really caught my attention was a spot of what appeared to be dried blood. When I touched it, a fuzz reminiscent of the thrill I get when hearing a vintage guitar effects pedal vibrated through. I had to have that album!
If Bridget Jones had a ghost lover from the sixties, this is kind of how that story would go!
If you love chick lit but you're bored with the same-old, same-old in contemporary publishing, read this book. You will probably give it five stars by the time you've journeyed through the twists and turns of Rosalyn's life. I don't even like romance books (I picked this up purely because of the 1960s music featured heavily in its story) and I still enjoyed the love triangle at its heart. It's also mercifully not smutty, but sweet and entertaining.
This is an exceedingly well-written book with well-rounded characters who you can get to know (and love) from the moment they step onto the page. It doesn't matter what you know (and what you don't) about the 1960s, you can still read this book, learn about and enjoy that culture as it clashes regularly with events in the modern day. The paranormal edge and musical interludes in the tale give Scary Modsters a unique flavour that's all of it's own, I can think of no other book like it which is truly a fabulous thing.