Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Vinyl Warped

Geez, I didn’t realize what a relic I was until I pulled out my old record albums and started playing them.  It’s Urban Outfitter’s fault. I bought a Crossley turntable from them in the hopes that my husband and I would have a blast replaying songs from our youth.  I hoped to recapture the same feelings I experienced whenever those albums were played.  The Rampal record which featured Japanese melodies was one of my favorites and could always put me in a mellow, happily introspective mood.  My Yo Yo Ma was for when I had visitors and wanted some cool background music.
I guess it’s the same thing when you download music you really like to your device, but there was a glorious feeling to hold a newly purchased record in your hand.  To run out of the store knowing that all that music belonged to you now.  We were proud of our record collections.  Having worked at Columbia records, I had an impressive collection, although it was my friend Peter who scoured the company’s music catalog and told me “you’ve got to have this one!”

When I married my husband, he had been a DJ, so his collection was even bigger.  Because he loves to experiment with different types of music, his collection was also better.  We were enamored of our combined record collections.  We treated the vinyl with respect -- keeping fingerprints off and delicately wiping down the dust from each record before we played it.  And then the record album fell by the wayside to make room for the all-encompassing, perfect sound of the CD. 
We sold and gave away a lot of records, but we kept our favorites. 

Now, I thought, with the new turntable I was going to breathe life into those comatose circles of vinyl.  They had been waiting for me to give them their stage once more.  I pulled out the Rampal, carefully set the needle down -- something I hadn’t done for years, and heard that precious crackling which proudly stated, “This is a vinyl record.”
But instead of hearing soothing Japanese melodies I began hearing the soundtrack to a horror flick.  My Rampal had warped.  I quickly put on one of my other favorites, “The Bessie Smith Story, Vol 2.” Ack! Warped again.  Bessie wasn’t Bessie anymore. Even my Yo Yo Ma had fallen prey to time spent in a cardboard coffin.
I immediately fell prey to my own thoughts.  Was I warped now?  Had my youth gone the way of my vinyl records and could never replayed?  It was a depressing thought, to say the least, and I put my hand to my face to make sure I was still a person.

Time takes its toll; that is true.  But I can’t throw my records out. Thumbnail cover photos on a small electronic device don’t hold a candle to feeling the glossy smoothness of a record album cover.  And I can still worship the process of reading the cover’s information, pulling the vinyl from the sleeve, and setting it on the turntable.  The music was not instantaneous.  You had make preparations. It took work, but the reward was hearing the music.  Working to have a reward is a good thing.  Getting what you want instantaneously gives you the false impression that the entire world works that way.  As I mulled over these deep thoughts, I attached my IPhone to the stereo and put on my favorite playlist.  Ah, well…

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deep into Dusk by Laurie Stevens

Deep into Dusk

by Laurie Stevens

Giveaway ends September 22, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TV Interview: Author's Night - Laurie Stevens

Hi Folks,
Karyn Foley interviewed me on Author's Night. It aired on TV and now here's the YouTube video.  It was a lot of fun doing it and I'd love to hear your comments.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Travis Richardson, the talented author of “The Prodigal Detective” has his young protagonist quit school to take up the family business after his father becomes ill. What's the business? A detective agency. Check out Travis's story by clicking on his name! Travis suggested I answer a few questions about my own novel, "The Dark Before Dawn" for “The Next Big Thing.”

What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I'm a big proponent of weeding out the problems in our lives that cause us to be unhappy. I wanted to create a character that was called upon to help others (a homicide detective), who had a mind to solve mysteries (a homicide detective), and yet was burdened by many troubles.  His own psyche needs to be solved.
What genre does your book fall under?
Psychological suspense
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Wow, Michael Fassbender as Gabriel. Not that I wouldn't take Hugh Jackman either! Ryan Gosling would make a wonderful Victor Archwood.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A killer’s identity is locked within the suppressed childhood memory of the detective who hunts him.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was already self-published, although now it is currently represented by an entertainment attorney.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took over a year and then sat on a shelf while I co-wrote and produced a play.  After working on the play with my co-writer and mentor, Ronald Jacobs (I Spy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mod Squad) my writing became much improved. I took the manuscript down from the shelf, blew off the dust, and revamped it. That re-write took a few months.  The second book went much faster. I was finished with it in less than 8 months. (That does not count editing!)
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Silence of the Lambs”
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Children who go through trauma.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? 
Besides the well-researched forensic and psychological aspects -- the novel has garnered interest from Hollywood! Options have been offered!