In the last few years there have been many books about rock stars from the 1980’s up to the present. You went all the way back to the 1960’s. Why did you choose that era?
In the early 1960’s we had just gotten out of the bobby sox and saddle shoes phase and were looking to Jackie O for style tips. Fashions weren’t exactly risky. When our hero, Peter Lane, became popular all of that was changing. Mary Quant, a fashion designer out of London, made revolutionary changes in styles, color combinations, and hemlines that have never left us. The mod look propelled fashion forward and signaled that the world was changing. It was sort of the shot heard around the world.
But why make him a mod? Why not a rocker or a hippie?
A lot of the reason has to do with my fascination with mod culture. There’s a misconception that the scooter-loving mods were rich kids while their rivals, the motorcycle-riding rockers, didn’t have money for fancy clothes. In talking to a lot of 60’s mods I found that wasn’t true at all. The mods were just as working class as the rockers, but their priorities were different. They didn’t believe in wearing something that they considered undesirable when they could to do better.
I have a few hang-ups with modern fashion. It seems like everywhere I go people are wearing clothes that are so short and tight that their skin pops out in an undesirable way. The alternative is that their clothes are so baggy that they are falling off. I have a hard time watching award shows. Some people are given great honors and they show up looking like getting out of bed was an inconvenience. It drives me crazy.
Have you noticed that you seem to hit on the cusp of an emerging trend?
A few weeks ago I was in my corner drugstore and noticed a nail polish display that said, “Go Mod.” All of the colors were shades that you would expect find in dresses circa 1966. About a week later I saw a commercial for Target. As they were flashing through the different spring trends one of them boldly said “60’s mod” and showed a girl in mod make up. Rimmel also has a fantastic mod campaign right now as well. I could not have timed it better.
So I take it the character of Rosalyn is rather personal?
A lot of her really is. She’s more fangirly than I am, but I totally understand her. While our situations are completely different our hearts are the same.
Why do you think we are looking to the 1960s for fashion?
I noticed long ago that every twenty years we revisit an era. The poodle skirts and saddle shoes of the 1950’s came back in the style in the late 1970’s when rockabilly hit. 1960’s fashions became popular again in the 1980’s during the middle of the New Wave revolution. Actually, in the mid-1980’s you couldn’t turn on a music-based TV show (American Bandstand, Solid Gold, Soul Train) and not see a 60’s band reuniting. In the 1990’s stores were flooded with bellbottoms and those big shirts that were all the rage in the 70’s. In the first decade on the current century we saw an 80’s New Wave resurgence. So now we are due for the 90’s to reignite, which puts us at grunge. The problem is that grunge had that very casual look that never went away. So where do we go from there? It seems only natural that we would go look back to the revolution—the 1960’s. Everything old is new again.
So do you think suddenly everybody’s going to wear oversized sunglasses, miniskirts, and well-tailored suits?
A part of me really hopes so! A part of me also fears it because it means I’ll be stylish. I can’t see us going extreme, but I can certainly see an influence creeping in.
You’ve done some pretty controversial work in the past; so much so that there was a warning label on Love’s Forbidden Flower. I don’t see a warning label on Scary Modsters. Is there anything your readers should know about in advance?
No. This is a much more your standard romance, albeit with a twist that readers have sworn up and down they’ve never seen anything close to. I take pride in my stories being unique.
It’s rather hard to talk about that twist without giving away a critical part of the story. Where did you come up with such an idea?
I loved working with the soul mate concept of the Forbidden Flower series. When I was researching soul mates I came across a few other belief systems. One of them gave me the idea for Scary Modsters. I already had the characters of Rosalyn and Peter in mind. The rest sprang forth from there.
Scary Modsters is a very interesting title. Where how did you come up with it?
I don’t know how many people are catching the reference, but it’s a parody of the David Bowie album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). I wanted a title that gave away the rock ‘n roll connection. With Peter Lane being a mod and the fact that there is mob involvement, having a play on words was too easy.
Peter Lane goes through some pretty wild times. Is all that based on anything or anyone?
Peter Lane is both based on everyone and no one. So many musicians went through hell. Stories like Peter’s are all over rock history books. It’s no secret that all the events Peter went though have some type of counterpart in reality; however, the character and events are completely fabricated.