Friday, August 15, 2014

Ilona Fridel reflects on the summer of '67 in her new romance, IRIS RAINBOW

For anyone who remembers what it meant to be young in the troubled sixties, Ilona Fridl has written a book just for you. 

 Thank you, Judy, for hosting me today.

1. If you had to classify yourself as an “era”, which one would it be?(e.g. WWI, II, Depression, 50s, etc.)
            Being a teenager in the 60s, that revolutionary era left an impression on me. So much happening   at one time. I guess you could say it was the best of times, it was the worst of times to paraphrase Dickens.

2. Do your books reflect that era?

Iris Rainbow is the first book I've set in the 60s. I must confess, I did a lot less research on it, because I lived through that era.

3. How much research is required for your books? Is it mostly from primary or secondary sources?
            Most of it, I do online. In some cases, I have non-fiction books that are a source for me. I always check my facts in a couple of places.

4. Do any of the stories/conversations you heard growing up figure in your books?

            Yes. Especially in this one. Many of the characters are composites of people I knew or heard about in that time and place. I tried to keep the language true to the period, but understandable to the modern reader.

5. Do you have a favorite writing that reflects your theme(s)?

            The theme for Iris Rainbow and the inspiration came from the song, “Your Wildest Dreams”, by The Moody Blues. I remember seeing the video of it and thought it would make a great story.

6. Do you have a long list of “to writes”? Can you give us a hint?

            Right now, I'm working on a western set in 1883 Tombstone, Arizona. I've had thoughts on doing a Civil War story, but I haven't formulated it yet.

7. Tell us about your latest book, Iris Rainbow.

            Rebellious teen Teri Darden comes of age in the Summer of Love, 1967, falling hard for Tim Olson, who plays bass guitar in a soon-to-be-famous rock band called Virgin Ram. When the band goes on a lengthy tour, Tim and Teri not only lose touch with each other but the lies of his spiteful ex-girlfriend push Teri into the dark side of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in the San Francisco of the 1960s. As his year-long tour comes to a close, Tim realizes how much he has missed Teri, but his efforts to find her again are futile. He goes from one bad marriage to another yet is always searching for Teri, until they meet again thirty years later. Neither could quite forget the other, but can they rekindle what was lost?


       The four friends squeezed onto the dance floor to get a good view. Bud Tyler, the owner, walked on stage. David chuckled. “That guy really looks out of place in his own club, with that dark gray suit and his hair in an out-of-style pompadour.” Bud looked at the anxious crowd through his black horn-rimmed glasses.
       Ken put his arm around Evie. “He may be out of date, but he sure knows how to find talent.”
      “We are pleased to have with us this evening,” Bud said with a flourish, “a new group from Encino that has caused a stir around the area. We will have them here once a month at the Scene, and I hope you will welcome them. Here is John Simon on drums.” Coming out to cheers, John settled on the stool behind the drum set, waving to the crowd. “On the keyboard, Roy Gardner.” The cheering continued as Roy stood behind the electric keyboard, bowing. “On the bass guitar, Tim Olson.” Tim came out, picked up his bass, and smiled at the audience, while Teri felt her heart skip. What a dreamboat! “And lead guitar and singer, the most popular, Luke Knoll.”
When Luke came out into the spotlight with his guitar, the girls in the club went crazy. Evie’s eyes grew large. “Wow! He is every inch a rock star. See how tight his clothes are? He just oozes sex.”
      Bud yelled out, “Let’s hear an Alhambra welcome for Virgin Ram!” Everyone went wild as the group launched into “Shout.”
    When the band took a break, Teri and Evie went into the restroom. When she heard the heavy green door shut with a thump, Teri grabbed Evie’s hand. “Did you see him?” Teri fanned herself.
     Evie grinned. “You mean Luke? Isn’t he fabulous? She leaned toward the large mirror behind the white porcelain sinks to check her make-up, then smoothed out her shoulder-length brown hair.
     “No, I meant Tim, the bass guitarist. The one with the smile that just melts me.” Both jumped as three more girls came in.
     Pulling out a folded piece of paper from her purse, Evie waved it under Teri’s nose. “I found these fliers about the group on a table in the front lobby, and it says here that a fan club is forming. This will be the first one we’ve joined for a local group.”
     “I’m with you.” Going into the small lobby, Teri took one of the fliers off the table and put it in her purse.
     Their boyfriends were waiting for them on the dance floor, and David grabbed Teri’s arm. “We have time for one more set before we have to go.”
      Teri pointed to the stage. “They’re coming back!” Almost breathless, she watched the group ready their instruments.
      The next set started with a slow tune. David and Teri danced, and she discreetly maneuvered toward the stage, getting a good look at Tim. He had dark thick hair that was a little past the nape of his neck and a handsome face with very striking green eyes. She judged his height at about six feet, and he looked well built. He wore the same outfit as the rest of the group: a red shirt with white collar and cuffs, open to his mid-chest, and silver herringbone hip-huggers with a white belt. Black boots completed the uniform. Tim looked very―was sexy the right word?
      All of a sudden, she heard, “Teri―TERI! Are you listening to me? The music stopped.”
      She stared at David and felt her face go warm. “I―I’m sorry, David. I was daydreaming. What did you say?”
      Watching her, he sighed, then laughed, and repeated, “I said, let’s go sit with Ken and Evie for a couple of numbers.”
      Teri followed him to one of the tables on the side of the dance floor. Evie giggled as she dug her elbow into Teri’s side. “Your next crush?”
      Teri stuck her tongue out. “Shut up!” she hissed, but her face burned again. She absentmindedly traced the wood grain in the old table with her fingernail.
      During every dance after that, Teri snuck peeks at Tim over David’s shoulder. She couldn't remember ever being this flustered before. A couple of times, Tim looked like he was watching her and smiling.

                             A Wild Rose Press release. 
          Available in print and also for Kindle from Amazon

Out now!-Iris Rainbow
Released-Prime Catch
Out now - Dangerous Times boxed series through
Silver Screen Heroes, Golden North, Bronze Skies

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