Monday, May 5, 2014

How Pat Benatar "Birthed" a Wild Angel: A Guest Post from Shari Copell

Please welcome Shari Copell as she talks about her upcoming book release featuring a tough rocker chick. Here's the story behind the story:

I’m going to blame it all on Pat Benatar, though I’ll admit I wasn’t thinking of her when I wrote Rock’n Tapestries.  I actually used the relationship I had with my husband the first time we dated as a basis for that book.

Rock’n Tapestries is a short novel written in first person.  It takes the form of a journal penned by Chelsea Whitaker about her love affair with Asher Pratt, a Pittsburgh, PA guitar player. She falls unconditionally in love with him during high school, but he makes her crazy with his secrets, his infidelities, and the way he tends to disappear when the going gets tough. When Asher unexpectedly pops into Chelsea’s life a third time, she reluctantly lets him back in, but only after she builds a sturdy wall around her heart. They end up with a friendship she values. Until he disappears again, that is.

Rock’n Tapestries was meant to be a one –time thing. It was just one of those stories that popped into my head, complete with an unconventional happy-ending.

It wasn’t even published yet when I began to think about the little girl who is mentioned in the epilogue of Rock’n Tapestries.  What kind of person would she be?  I knew without doubt she would be a rock guitarist, but what challenges would she face?

And that’s when I thought of Pat Benatar.
From Wiki Commons

I grew up a child of the seventies and early eighties.  We had our share of female rockers— The Runaways, Vixen—but there was no one quite like Pat.  She was tiny with a short haircut my mother always called a pixie, but she roared like a lion when she sang.  She didn’t need to show voluminous cleavage or have long, wavy, feminine hair to get her point across.  You could just tell she was a badass.

Pat published a book in 2011 called “Between a Heart and a Rock Place” (which I highly recommend reading).  She detailed some of the problems she and her husband Neil Giraldo (also her guitarist) faced as a female rocker in a male-dominated world. Her managers tried to push a sexual image for her. They were unhappy when she refused to wear revealing clothing. I was blown away by the fact that they even objected to her becoming pregnant.  When one music executive told her “You don’t think they really come to hear the music, do you, Pat?”, she socked him in the face.

She just wanted them to hear the music.

When I sat down on September 2, 2013 to write Nicks Sorenson’s story in Wild Angel: A Rock’n Tapestries Novel, Pat Benatar’s experiences in the music industry weighed heavy on my mind.  It must’ve been frustrating in the extreme to have that level of talent, but your managers simply tried to sell you as tits-and-ass.  I knew Nicks, as a gifted singer and guitarist, would face those challenges too.

And so, Nicks Sorenson came to life in my head. Now an eighteen-year-old guitar prodigy, she still feels the effects of the bullying she endured for stuttering as a child. Her band Wild Angel plays every Friday night at Tapestries, the bar her parents own in Pittsburgh.

 Nicks loves making music, wants to do it for a living, but she hits a bit of a brick wall when she steps out into the public eye for the first time.  Specifically, a brick wall named Stone Jensen.
She fights back the only way she knows how- with a strong sense of right and wrong and a spine of steel. She proves to the male musicians who question her that she’s just as good—and most likely better—than any of them by playing her Les Paul right in their faces.

Dealing with all that would be frustrating enough, but Nicks suddenly finds the high school principal breathing down her neck, giving her one detention after another for the stupidest reasons. Then she begins to have dreams of a man shrouded in mist.  He say he watches her, that he loves her, but she has no idea who he is.  Her mother has begun to act strangely as well. Nicks suspects she knows who the man is, but, for some reason, Chelsea dodges the issue. 
A perfect storm converges on the Sorenson family as the secrets of the past are dragged into the present, with a little help from beyond the grave.  As a real storm bears down on Pittsburgh, it all comes to a shocking and explosive conclusion.

New Adult romantic suspense with paranormal elements, along with the usual warnings about sexual content and naughty language. There's also a bit of brutality and violence. I promised you all a happy ending after Rock'n Tapestries though, and I never break a promise. :-)

Wild Angel: A Rock'n Tapestries NovelI tried very hard to make both books a stand-alone read, but Wild Angel will have more depth if you read Rock’n Tapestries first.

“Hello, Pittsburgh! You ready to rock?”

Nicks Sorenson, guitarist extraordinaire for the band Wild Angel, has a lot going on during her last year of high school. In fact, she sometimes wonders if someone has painted a bull’s eye on her forehead.

Stone Jensen, lead guitarist for the band Heavy Remedy, shows up everywhere she plays despite the bad blood between them. The high school principal is targeting her with endless detentions for some reason. And she’s starting to wonder if her mother is losing her mind.

Life soon spins into chaos for the Sorenson family. It began when Nicks learned the name of the dead musician who’d willed her his four guitars. Then came the dreams of a man shrouded in mist. She doesn’t recognize him, but he seems to know her.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Nicks goes on an unexpected—and painful—journey into the past.

She’s about to learn what you don’t know can hurt you.

Shari Copell is the pen name of S.L. Jesberger, author of the historical fantasy Àlainnshire series. Email her at sharicopell AT or find her on Facebook.

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