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Monday, 16 February 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - Summer of Haight '67 by Diane Sager



Summer of Haight '67
by Diane Sager
Genre: Historical / Supernatural Fiction

Book Description:
KATHERINE RHODES has a tragic accident which sends her back in time. She wakes up as the 20 year old hippie she was back in 1967 in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. This was the period known globally as the “Summer of Love”. It’s all here, Hippies, Hells Angels, Black Panthers and the abhorrent war in Vietnam. “KATIE gets the chance to re-live this era with her friends FROG and MOONBEAM. This time she knows what to expect and tries to change things……….. Can she?

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
The first full length novel I wrote was a vampire story back in 1999/2000. As a child growing up in the late 60’s I was one of a million kids who rushed home every day after school to watch a show on TV called Dark Shadows. It was a daytime gothic soap opera which ran from 1966 to 1971. The vampire in the series was Barnabas Collins played by the late great Jonathan Frid. Vintage black and white television at its best!

This got me intrigued by vampires and I guess this is where I got the inspiration to write “Shadows of a Vampire”. I never seriously tried to get it published as I was a very busy high school teacher of emotionally disturbed and high risk youth at the time. It sat in a box for many years….vampires? / box?  well, you get my drift……….LOL

Since I’ve now been successful in publishing my later works, I have re-written it and it’s with my editor as we speak. I hope to have that published by the summer.

2. Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a horror writer at heart…….oh dear, another vampire pun…..sorry.  Anyway, my style has been in the genre of zombies, vampires, witchcraft, ghosts and stuff….. I have developed a fascination for all things macabre. I studied serial killers, world religions, especially Wicca and the Tarot. However, my latest book, albeit a little supernatural, is none of the above. Summer of Haight ’67 is fiction based around actual events in history.

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?
To be honest, we struggled a bit with the title. It had to indicate a period in time and the so called Summer of Love became known around the world. My husband suddenly said “Summer of Haight ‘67” and it clicked. 67 gave it a time period and we get the vision of the Summer of Love on HAIGHT Street. This gives us the Love and Hate/Haight thing. We love it……..plus my editor LOVES it too.

As I mentioned, I am a horror writer too and if you say Summer of Haight without reading the words it twangs just a little of the macabre. Go a bit deeper and there is some hatred in the story as Katie goes back in time and confronts the man she married in her former life that turned out to be a disaster. She can fix that!!

4. How much of the book is realistic?
Summer of Haight ‘67 is a fiction novel but I wanted the setting for my story to be 100% authentic. I immersed myself in the 60’s hippie culture and spent hours and hours on research. The book is factually correct. I listened to music from the late 60’s constantly, particularly the psychedelic era. I even bought a record player (remember those?) I got my old LP’s out and bought even more from eBay…….. Grateful Dead, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, The Charlatans, Country Joe and the Fish,  to name but a few. There are Hells Angels, Black Panthers, political unrest and a horrific war in Vietnam. I wrote and researched constantly during the 15 months it took me to complete it. I wore hippie clothes and I even found myself saying 60’s words. I stopped at the drug scene though. It’s just not my bag!

I also have some first-hand experience to back up my research. As a very little girl my parents drove me through the Haight district to look at the “freaks” as my Dad called them. I saw them dance around adorned with flowers and beads, obviously high as a kite but I didn’t know that at the time!

I “met” some great people during the writing of the book – Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Micky Dolenz, even Charles Manson made an appearance! I mingled with the Hells Angels, the Black Panthers and the Diggers to name a few. This is a fictitious story based around real life events of sex, drugs and psychedelic music. My main character Katie has a horrific accident in 2014 and it hurls her back into her 20 year old hippie body – but with the memory of a 66 year old. It’s a trip, man!

There is the gruesome war in Vietnam and the political unrest and protesting that came with it.  I learned a lot and my hope is that my readers will too.

5. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
In my zombie/horror genre there are two modern day authors that I really admire. I have read their books and I loved them. Here in the United States there is a lady in Austin, Texas named Rhiannon Frater. Her “As the World Dies” trilogy is awesome. Over in the UK, where my husband is from, I really admire David Moody and his “Autumn” series.

I have two books from my own zombie trilogy published. EVIL VEIN - Dark Beginnings and EVIL VEIN – Divide and Multiply. The third one is still in my head but it will make the full set by the fall of this year……..  I promise.

Anyway, If I can be as successful and Rhiannon and David, I will be VERY happy.

6. What are your current projects?
I decided I wanted to write an anthology of horror short stories. So far I have 4 out of 5 written and are being edited right now.  I’m working on the 5th book but so far I don’t have a title. Gods willing, I will have these published within a couple of months. Again, this will be as my alter ego, D.S. Sager.

My re-written vampire novel.

7. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
There’s a saying, “If you can remember the 60’s you weren’t really there” I think it was quoted by Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. I learned a LOT from all my research into this era. It was like a 15 month long history lesson. If I have accomplished anything with this book it’s that I take my readers back to the real deal so they WILL remember it.

8. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life?
What a great question. I mentioned the massive amount of research earlier but the psychological question intrigues me. I guess I really was affected by it all in some way. When you live and breathe 1967 as I did for 15 months it had to rub off on me. I played late 60’s music all the time. It reminded me of the protests and the horrific war in Vietnam. Because I live so close to San Francisco, my husband and I made trips to the area very frequently. We saw the actual homes where the famous stars of the era lived. I bought records and hippie clothes on Haight Street and so I looked the part. I caught myself using 60’s words and phrases. I still do and it’s been published since September of 2014.  I guess I’m just a crazy writer; just ask my straight talking Yorkshire Husband.


About the Author
Author Diane Sager was raised and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her awesome husband Russ, three dogs, two cats and an African grey parrot named Storm. She holds a fascination for all things macabre and has developed a deep knowledge of serial killers, vampires, zombies, the Tarot, world religions, witchcraft, horror and the occult.

However, her latest indie release, SUMMER OF HAIGHT ‘67 is none of the above albeit a little supernatural……..This story is nestled between her zombie series “EVIL VEIN” published by Permuted Press and penned under her “apocalyptic” name of D.S.Sager.

A former high school teacher of emotionally disturbed and high-risk youth, Diane is now dedicated to full time writing.

Contact her at celticdi@gmail.com, @celticdi on Twitter, www.evilvein.com, Author – Diane Sager on Facebook.



***GIVEAWAY***

$15 Amazon / B&N Gift Card.


Blog Tour Organised by:

8 comments:

  1. I liked the author interview.

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  2. The interview! I always enjoy getting to know a little more about the authors :)

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  3. I can hardly wait to read this book. I remember those days.

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  4. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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  6. Great post! I liked the interview best! Looking forward to checking this book out.

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