Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Diane Rinella's Scary Modsters...and Creepy Freaks. My stop includes an interview with Diane, a teaser, an excerpt, and a giveaway!
Scary Modsters… and Creepy Freaks by Diane Rinella
Release Date: March 25, 2014
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?
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
You know, I think this is the most difficult question you could ask. When you come right down to it, I’m a girl with a short attention span who makes up stories and puts them on paper. To get more
complex, I’m an open-minded individual who advocates for free speech and equal rights. I also happen to be addicted to old school rock and roll. My true passion is acting. I love making indie films.
Before I wrote my first book I had my own business making high-end wedding cakes. You may have seen some of my work on TV.
Tell us about Scary Modsters. Why are readers going to love it?
Readers of my Forbidden Flower series who loved the soul mate concept will be intrigued by how the three main characters in Scary Modsters relate. (Hint, it’s based on an obscure theory.) I tried to
find another book that uses a similar storyline and couldn’t. Another thing that makes it different is that there is no true alpha male. If there were, Rosalyn wouldn’t give him the time of day. Now, I know the rock star thing has been really popular, but Peter’s experiences and the generation he came from gives him a different perspective on the world. Also, I seem to have hit at the beginning of an emerging trend. Peter was a mod. This spring Rimmel, Target, and Sinful Colors all have Mod campaigns. I could not have planned it better. Truthfully, I just wrote about the things that were close to my heart.
I've been reading about how Ian Somerhalder serves as a muse for you. Can you talk a little about that?
Wow! So you are the person who reads my blog! :) You know, people really misunderstand the role of the muse. A muse isn’t someone you copy; it’s someone who plants seeds in your brain. Most often it seems they have given you a seed for a daisy bush and you get an orange tree. Actors are very vulnerable people. Something in Ian helps me see past his character and into his personal vulnerability. It’s like I can hear his inner monologue (one of the most powerful tools an actor uses.) When I saw The Rules of Attraction and The Tournament his characters gave me a seed of an idea that evolved into Niles from Scary Modsters. Even if you are familiar with all of these you probably won’t notice the connection because Niles developed into someone vastly different. The same thing happened with Donovan in Love’s Forbidden Flower. Ian has given me three more character seeds that are currently sprouting. Add in the fact that he is on a personal quest to change the world, and that I’m doing the Scary Modsters World Improvement blog tour in a few weeks, and you can see his influence has crept into my personal life.
Is there anything in particular that served as inspiration for this book?
There were several. This goes back to the muse part. In The Tournament we see where the lack of emotions can take a person. What about people who have other types of emotional restraints?
Emotions are pesky little creatures that drive us to do strange things. Having too many emotions can be as damaging as having too few.
In Scary Modsters, who was your favorite character to write and why?
I should preface this with saying that Scary Modsters is written from three points of view, which was really challenging. I have to go with Peter. He’s a little on the sarcastic side and a lot of the banter with him and Niles came easily. However, Niles was the toughest. He’s got a unique personality, and I used a lot of alternating between regular and deep point of view with him. (That can be tricky, because doing that can easily make someone sound psychotic.) He also rambles on internally about stuff that is seemingly random but always leads down a very intentional path, sometimes humorously so.
What is your current favorite book and what about it makes you love it so much?
Shell Shocked is the autobiography of Howard Kaylan, one of pop’s musical geniuses. He gives an honest, humorous, and heart breaking account of his experiences in The Turtles and how manager after manager screwed them. Sadly, a lot of artists have nothing to show for their mammoth success. The book makes you look at the music industry though a new set of eyes. Plus, Howard has a great gift for storytelling. It opens with a tale of him being in the White House and doing blow off of Lincoln’s desk. It’s a wild ride!
Speaking of which, you make an interesting comment in the introduction to Scary Modsters about the record industry and the problems artists had. What is the story behind that?
Peter Lane is based on both everyone and no one. While Scary Modsters is purely fictional, I did my homework and used real accounts as a catalyst for Peter’s tribulations. Some of the stories I found were so outrageous that they pushed the bounds of plausibility. One of my betas was shocked to hear the actual stories that fueled Peter’s creation. The fictional Peter may have stolen fruit off of trees so he could eat, but a very similar story happened to one of England’s most revered artists. Some artists were even tricked into signing contracts that made them employees, so they got a modest salary instead of royalties. A chart-topping album meant nothing to them financial because they made the same amount of money if it flopped.
Is there a question you’ve ever wished someone had asked but never been asked?
I’ve seen a lot of readers comment about how they wish they could talk to an author but they are afraid to approach them. Some readers even say they’d like to help us promote. Most authors are pretty approachable. If you truly want to help, interact with us. Follow or friend us on Facebook and engage in conversation. For every 1000 followers only 20-350 tend to see a post. The more
interaction a post has, the more visibility Facebook gives it. Plus, we authors LOVE to talk with you. Some of my biggest fans have become my dearest friends. I have a likeable Facebook page, and I
accept friend requests on my personal page. Come tell me your thoughts on the world.
**I need to learn to be a better Facebook user - so I can chat more with you, Diane!!**
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’m nothing without them. Seriously, what good is a book if no one reads it? Even if someone hates my work, I am grateful that they gave it their time and attention. Readers and bloggers make my career, and I am incredibly grateful for all that they do.
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!
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Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fangirl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.