Note from Diane
Firstly, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my passion with you all. I very much appreciate it and I hope that this will help to get my stories enjoyed by readers everywhere.
I am Diane Sager, although I also use the nom de plume of D.S. Sager when I write under my horror/zombie/vampire/occult genre. For all but my toddler years, I have lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area. I reside with Russ, my English husband, three dogs, two cats and a parrot – not necessarily in that order!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have made up stories in my head ever since I was a small child and I wrote sporadically throughout high school and university. I also keep a note pad by my bed and try to capture my crazy dreams. I make notes all the time when I get book ideas.
I always have multiple projects going on and a backlist of book ideas in my head – too many to mention and certainly not enough time to write them all. I need a clone. “Send in the clones !”
If only I could plug the computer into my head and download the stories! WAIT, that’s another story…..LOL
What motivated you to write this particular story?
I’ll admit to being born in the 60’s as long as you keep it between us……….LOL
As a very young child I can remember my parents driving me through the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco whenever we had visitors to my home in the South Bay area. We would look at the “freaks” as my dear old Dad called them. They were the “drop-out” youth sub-culture that flocked there in 1967. I love the 60’s music, clothes, politics and much more. I LIVED 1967 through research and writing for the year or so it took me to write the book..
I “met” some great people – 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.
I have worn a P.O.W bracelet since the beginning of the Iraq war and I vowed to keep it on until all our troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan. It bears the name William H Searfus who was tragically killed in Vietnam in 1967 and on MY birth date, November 25th.
All my published books have a character in them named Searfus as a tribute to this man and all the other brave souls who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. This gentleman has a son living in Southern California named Stanley Searfus. I hope to make contact with him some day and pay my respects. I have tried.
Can you tell us what your book is about?
Well, here’s the official synopsis…….
“All across the nation, there’s a strange vibration……………………..”
Word spread like wildfire across the United States. Young Americans were drawn to a revolutionary underground youth subculture that was developing in an area of San Francisco, California known as Haight/Ashbury.
It was 1967. Youths cast off their conservative social values and “dropped out” to form their own world; one of peace, love and tranquility. It became known as “The Summer of Love”. They sought utopia in a world of political turmoil and a horrific war in Vietnam.
They were known as Hippies. Sexual and social inhibitions were dropped; anti-government protests, music, drugs and free love were the order of the day. In San Francisco, Hells Angels ruled the streets and in Oakland, The Black Panther Party was gaining strength.
Some say if you were there and you remember it, you weren’t there!
KATHERINE RHODES was there. She lived through that crazy, hazy period. But like many of the hippies of her day, she became disillusioned and returned home to eventually marry and have children.
Now sixty-six years of age, she realized that the only time she was truly herself was back in Haight/Ashbury in ‘67. She always felt that her life after Haight was wasted on social values and in a society she knew she didn’t belong.
A freak accident hurls her back through time to 1967 and into her own twenty year old hippie body. Unbelievable? Maybe. But she’s here and she has the opportunity to re-live those times a little more clearly and a lot more experienced.
The first time around her beloved brother was killed in the Vietnam War. This time can she prevent his death? Can she avoid the terrible relationship and doomed marriage she got herself into?
Re-live with KATHERINE (Katie) the world famous 1967 ‘Summer of Love’ and such life changing events as The Human Be-In, Monterey Pop Festival, Life in Haight /Ashbury and the Death of Hippie.
By her side will be lifelong friend MOONBEAM, happy-go-lucky, peace loving FROG and a multitude of personalities along the way. Janis Joplin hits the big time, Huey P Newton leads the Black Panthers, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork are young Monkees and Carlos Santana is set to become one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Did you undertake any research for the book? Any interesting facts or anecdotes you’ d like to share?
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
If your book was made into a film, who are the actors you’d want for the lead roles?
Funny you should ask that question as my husband and I were just playing around with names the other day. We came up with a few that seemed to fit the age and profile.
Sally Field might be the present day Katherine Rhodes but when she goes back to 1967 she is played by Dakota Fanning. We plugged in Susan Sarandon as the older “Moonbeam” and Maisie Williams as the younger. We still need the following and I would love suggestions from your readers…..
Frog – Katie and Moonbeam’s friend – a hippie guy in his early 20’s
Dylan – The Hells Angel
Mark Rhodes – Dastardly husband of present day Katie and suitor in her 1960’s years (need two guys here)
Would you be able to provide us with a short preview/ extract?
Feeling dizzy, she shut her eyes and rubbed her temples for several minutes, running through the accident in her mind. She remembered going down the embankment and hitting the tree. She knew she had been in an ambulance and she remembered a slew of doctors surrounding her. Yet here she was sitting on a couch…somewhere familiar, a place she knew but couldn’t recall.
A brown chenille bedspread covered the couch. There was a basic wooden coffee table, several antique lamps, one in the corner and another on an old table by a beveled window. The hardwood floor of the room was covered by an imitation Persian carpet.
The walls and even the ceilings were filled with posters; old bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Yardbirds, and even the Monkees. Some were drug related, promoting marijuana, mushrooms and LSD. Others were political, protesting the Vietnam War, even including a caricature of Lyndon B. Johnson dressed as John Wayne.
On the ceiling directly above her was a poster of Clint Eastwood draped in a poncho, cigar resting on his lip. A pose from For a Few Dollars More. She knew the film well. Beside it were several blacklight posters, psychedelic peace symbols, a hookah smoking caterpillar, and an assortment of twirling colorful designs.
The television, an old tube model from yesteryear, was in a wooden cabinet covered by stickers: STP; two local radio stations, KLIV and KFRC; Champion spark plugs; bare feet and peace symbols of various colors. Beside that was a flower painted guitar case that leaned against the wall. Everything in the room was familiar. She knew this house. She had been here many, many times, so why couldn’t she remember whose house she was in?
What else can we expect from you? (Future publications, appearances etc).
I always have multiple projects going on in my head. My current project is a horror anthology which I haven’t named yet. I have four short stories written and I’m working on the 5th.
I also have a Vampire novel being edited right now. It’s a re-write from my first full novel I wrote in 2000. I never got that one published and it sat in a box for years……..Vampires? Box ? Sorry about that …….Anyway, it’s better than before and I hope my readers enjoy it.
The rest of this year will see the final volume in my EVIL VEIN trilogy and I plan to have Katie and some of her friends from SUMMER OF HAIGHT ‘67 stick around in the past…….. but I can’t say too much about that yet.
Where can readers go to find out more about you?
I am Diane Sager and D.S. Sager on Goodreads
I am Diane Sager – Author on Facebook
I am @celticdi on Twitter
www.evilvein.com is still being built so please enter with caution…………….
SUMMER OF HAIGHT :
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 ?
Katherine Rhodes drove through the mountain range too fast. The rain was brutal and made visibility nearly impossible. She knew she was endangering herself, especially in this weather, but she didn’t care. If she crashed, so be it. In her present life there wasn’t much to live for. She’d turned sixty-six years old last week and her life was a farce.
She had two grown children, both too busy in their own lives to bother with her. Her husband Mark had cheated on her numerous times during their thirty-eight year marriage. She had gotten used to the infidelity, but recently he’d actually run off with one of his “flings”.
Katherine thought the novelty would wear off and he’d be back. It wasn’t the first time Mark had taken off with one of his girlfriends, but he always came crawling back. It had taken her totally by surprise when she was served with divorce papers that morning.
According to a mutual friend, Mark was starting a new family and “they”, meaning him and Tiffany, wanted to be married before she gave birth. A baby! The man was sixty-seven years old and the mother-to-be was twenty-six. She was younger than both of his adult children for God’s sake.
When Katherine was presented with the divorce papers she was numbed. She had never really been happy with her marriage, of course, but she was secure. Mark had his life, his work clientele, his friends, his private vacations, and his work related trips to Mexico. She had her own friends, her hobbies, and an occasional trip to an exotic location. She knew that Mark had his girlfriends, but she had lived with his indiscretions. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine he would divorce her.