Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Comedy

Everyone has their definition of “comedy” because everyone has their own sense of humor and everyone has their own idea of what is “funny” and what isn’t, which could also include satire (which I will deal with later…in my opinion there is more satire than comedy in these three books that make up the trilogy.)

The first example also includes some slapstick…well, that’s my opinion anyway. This example is found in the final chapter of Battle of the Band and comes right before another category I just added to the series, Tragedy.

While creating videos for a new video marketing company in their home town, Walltown, the singer (Erik) and the bassist (Keith) are leaving a pub called the White Horse Pub and heading back to the tour bus so as to get ready to party somewhere else high on a designer drug called skuz. It is evening in early February, 1996. Both were drunk on whiskey, but Erik more so–he was trying to drown his self-pity over his wife’s (Ger) supposed “betrayal” in that she never told him she was bulimic. She was a TV hostess as well as supermodel. Note:  I have heard and read in magazine articles that many supermodels as well as models, to keep their weight down, turn to eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.


Two-and-a-half hours and uncounted whiskey shots later, Keith, himself swaggering drunk, had to support his blood brother as the two swayed back to the bus parked by the alley site.

It was almost eight o’clock when the singer finally told himself he’d drunk enough for the blues to swim away. Now, he needed something to pep himself up so that, maybe, he and his brother rogue could go out and party somewhere else.

Keith had just the something—a hit of skuz. Or two. Or three.

Moments from the van, Erik fell into Keith’s chest. “Am I gonna make it, bro?” He slurred. “I can barely—”

“We almost there, eh? Just a wee bit, eh? Get the hell of me!” The besotted bassist held him up. “Shit! You a ton o’ dead weight.”

Ten more tortuous steps. Slam! Erik’s body hit the back door of the van.

“Hold on to the handles, eh bro? Gonna open the door in front, eh? Then I’ll figure out some damned way to get you in.” Keith rounded the van. “Why the hell I let you drink so much? And now you gonna need a whole packet of skuz to get you right.” He entered the van, cussing at himself. “Nice going, eh Keith?” Nearly tripping over the black bags in the aisle way, he kicked them to the side, yelling, “Move your bloody bag next time, eh Bry? Little—big!—shit screws his back, so he thinks he can leave his bags wherever the hell he feels like. Up yours, Bry!”

Erik banged on the back doors. “Open the goddamned door, Keith! Bloody cold out here!”

“Wait up, bro.” Tripping over the handle of Jack’s ever-present portable amp—“Get the hell off me!”—Keith’s head accidentally slammed into the inside back doors. Cusses galore.

Erik, about to fall down, yelled, “Stop your bloody cussing and let me in, Keith!”

“Hold your goddamned balls, Erik! Bloody door won’t open.”

Wham! Erik crashed backwards into the van as Keith kicked open the back door.

Five minutes and a cavalcade of cussing later, Keith had Erik within, the singer sprawled atop the amp, his own bag as well as Jack’s and Tom’s, nearly out like a dead lightbulb.

“I found it, bro. Skuz. Good for what ails you, eh? Right here in the side pocket o’ me bag. We fix you up.”

The whiskey-soaked singer barely found his thick voice. “I’ll prob’ly need—” His voice trailed off into slumber.

In the second example within Chapter Three of The Prophesied Band is found the women of four of the band members, by then married to these members. Laurie is married to guitarist Jack; Jarris is married to bassist Keith; Ger is married to singer Erik; and Mo is married to keyboardist Bry. Also mentioned is Bry’s synth-building partner, Reg Lewis. Some groupies are also mentioned, Peaches and Artesia. The scene begins (narrated by a pop culture journalist) with the women exiting a heliport atop the hotel and heading to their men’s fancy suite rooms. Meanwhile, a groupie, knowing Ger is coming, tries to get Erik to let her go before Ger shows up but he keeps her there on purpose. When Ger enters the suite a round of ‘verbal judo’ ensues. Later, during a band concert, the four women are off-stage, but close enough to the performing band, and are smoking a joint, discussing what happened when they had arrived at the fancy hotel in New York City that day to be with their men. They are trying to “one up” each other, which was standard operating procedure for this foursome.

Warning: the following is rated R.


And then there were the women:  blonde-bombshell-turned-mommy Laurie Koolig; fiery red-head cosmetics tycoon Jarris Mullock; Ger Manilow, Britain’s top super-model; and wavy red-head Mo McClellan. Since they couldn’t join the tour in Los Angeles, it had to be New York City. As in the luxurious New York Wynworth Hotel, The Club, and The Studio—where, for a fifty-thousand dollar membership and all the skuz you could snort, you could engage in foreplay as you and your date strolled past hundreds of milling wanna-bes and gossip hounds.

Besides, the Richmont Port Authority wouldn’t let a hired helicopter land at Richmont Speedway. It wouldn’t have been in good taste for the one in New York to refuse the same request from four of the world’s most glamorous females, so a whirlybird from a local airport arrived atop the Wynworth one roasting afternoon in mid-June.

Must have been sweltering weather for the girls. They all wore their most alluring sables.

I doubt if Ger’s racks of ice around her neck, waist, and wrists cooled her off. But that’s okay. She needed to be in the Big Apple anyway to do her Diamond Girl video. Rumor had it the world’s top supermodel, back in form after birthing her son Alec, wanted to upstage her rival.

She definitely upstaged New York’s most bodacious groupie, fiery red-head Peaches La Crème. Next to Rona, no Fun Girl could enflame Erik Manning’s manhood as the freckled former street-tough with Brooklyn accent to match.

But Ger was his something. The consummate pro at seduction. Her sultry eyes and voice, her Southern-Belle-ish smile played to enthrall the male race. Of expensive means, that is. She allowed no serious competition.

 

Having thrown a tawny-colored mink-and-leather wrap on her left shoulder, Peaches turned to leave the singer’s room.

Wearing a towel around his lower torso, Erik came out of the bathroom with a sigh. “It’s that time already, eh?”

She opened the bedroom door into the suite lounge and noticed the clock on an antique ornate table. “It’s past time, after two.” Turned to him with plaintive blue eyes. “I better get the hell outta here before Ger comes.” Out the door.

He briskly went after her. “Wait a bit, babe. One more hug, eh?”

Ger, and then the others, stepped out of the down elevator onto the Deluxe Suite floor.

Several wet kisses and squeezes. Peaches tried to push him away. “I gotta go, sweet love. She’s gonna walk in—”

“So what?” Grabbed her tightly. “What she gonna do?”

Ger opened the grand suite double doors.

“Well, I don’t—” Peaches, within his caress, turned her head around at the whoosh of the opening doors. Mouth opened.

Her eyes firing lava at the groupie, Ger cocked her head and seethed with stiffening body. That Peaches bitch! You kept her ‘til now on purpose, didn’t you, Erik!

“I’m outta here.” The blushing red-head almost shot out of the lounge, hastily passing Laurie, Jarris, and Mo, who stood at the doorway waiting for a scene.

For effect, the brunette whipped the carpet with her sable. “God, Erik! Didn’t you remember I was coming at two?” Sneer.

But Manning was too manly to be cowed by her play at wrath. He coolly glanced at the clock opposite the door. Two-twenty. Then slowly turned his head back to her with mockery. “Yeh, babe, at two. Just where the hell you been?” Snort. Then he went into his room, leaving the page-boy styled model there to stew in her vain possessiveness.

For her singer was the only man in the world who could put her back in her place. She’d never be above him.

That was why, with her plethora of tasty young lovers, she’d never put any of them ahead of him.

She picked up the sable, looking sidelong back at the girls as they entered the suite. “Sorry about that.”

Jarris looked her in the eyes. “Don’t apologize to us, girl.”

The others went to their men, and Ger went to hers. Humbled, she stood, sable, diamonds and all, in his doorway waiting for a pardon.

Propped on pillows, he lay naked outstretched on his bed. Victorious smile. “So like I’ve waited three months for you, and you just standing there sheepish?” He slapped the bed. “Get that gorgeous ass of yours over here.”

Her will to conquer him returned. On her way to his pulsating fruit, the bed would have come alive for her passion.

 

That night off-stage during the show at a nearby stadium

 

“So, Ger, what happened after you went into his room?” Laurie lit a joint for herself and the rest of this foursome of inseparable women. Long toke. “Did you two argue?” The sexy blonde’s smiling eyes wanted scandalous news that might set even the rafters and blazing speakers above them to listen. “Or did you give in to his lust?”

Cocky cool and jutting her left hip, she toked. “He was putty in my arms, girl. You know he was already naked when I got there. I strutted to his bed licking my diamonds and rubbing them in my twat, you know, and I threw ‘em at his feet. Then my sable at his pecker. Then I stripped, and threw my clothes at his face.” Toked again, then handed the joint to Jarris. “I slinked onto the bed and—you know.” Toothy smile. “So,” laugh, “that’s my story of salacious seduction.” Ger smiled sweetly to Laurie. “So like what’s yours?”

Laurie had to yell now because the music suddenly got a lot louder. “Would you believe he was taking a shower?”

“Oh, yeh?” Jarris interrupted. “Who’d he just lay?”

“How the hell would I know? You think the first thing I did when Jack came out of the shower was to ask him who he just wanked? Not bloody likely, Jar!”

“But you wondered, eh?” Mo asked with a throaty voice and a street tough accent. Toke.

“Yeh, right. But in the meantime, I was preparing myself for the feast, you know.” Took the joint from Mo. “You know that whipped cream I brought?” Laughs.

“Ooooohh!” Mo licked her lips. “And you licked him dry in the passion play.”

“He was limp with exhaustion, girl. Like, after I squirted his pecker and licked it clean, he could barely control himself. He never humped me so bloody hard in his life. Like he hadn’t any in weeks.” Laugh. “Well, hours, anyway.” She looked at Jarris. “Your turn, babe.” Toke.

“When I opened the door that bitch Artesia was biting Keith’s ear, so I grabbed her, dragged her out of his bed and threw her out the door.”

“Shit, Jar!” Mo shouted above the now muted music, causing Mick, the closest on stage, to give her a dirty look.

Mo saw the guitarist glare at her. “Ooops! Sorry, Mick.” Turned her volume down. “Shit, Jar, you serious?”

The skinny red-head laughed. “No. He was playing his VideoGame.”

Sighs of relief all around.

“So I threw off me sable and marched up to him and said as a vixen in heat, ‘You put that stupid game away, Keith Mullock!’ and proceeded to rip off his leather trousers, eh? Then I took a flying leap on top of him that burned the hair off his chest. Before he could even unplug that game, he tossed it to the floor, eh? Then we wrestled each other’s clothes off.”

“Totally delicious!” Ger giggled. “Like you always say—he’s sooo good in bed. Need to try him sometime.”

“In your dreams, babe.” Snide laugh. “Now, Mo, can you top that?”

“Maybe.” Mo toked again, eyes flashing pride. “At least I got to throw someone outta Bry’s room.”

“Who?”

Stifled a laugh. “Reg Lewis.”

As the girls cackled, the music exploded and the audience roared.

With the other women nearly rolling on the floor with riotous comedy, Mo wiped tears of hard laughter from her eyes. “Yeh, I said, ‘Goodbye, Reg,’ and flung him out the door. His head almost,”—shriek of laughter—“hit the door frame!”

The girls were picking themselves off the floor.

“Bry got off the bed to protest, eh? So I shoved him back onto his bed and ripped his clothes off. Ripped ‘em, eh? Seriously.”

“Good for you, girl.” Laurie said.

“Yeh. When you deal with Bry McClellan, you sometimes have to get rough with him. The rougher, the better. Turns into a real sex machine.” Like he always was before he got me pregnant and we got married.

In the third example, from Chapter Eleven of The Prodigal Band (or chapter 13 of the PDF) the six band members are in a spiritual void–not heaven and not hell–after being “rescued” from a calamity on their private jet headed to a London Airport in order to attend a Directorate meeting. At first separated, the six band members find themselves together again a short time later–but in a realm without time. Spoiler alert: two of the band members had already experienced a similar spiritual void a few years before while their bodies were physically in hospital beds.


“Fancy meeting you here,” Erik smiled.

Keith went up to him. “This is the place, eh bro?”

“Yeh. Same place, but no black holes and no other people. But how’d we get here?” Then the singer dropped his jaw. “Are we—?”

The bassist anticipated the question. “No. We not dead.”

“You sure, bro?”

“We’re on a mission of God, eh? Not a mission to God.”

A glowing light turned on in Manning’s brain. “Well, that explains it, then!” He waved his arms with such joy he wanted to jump on the others with the news. “We’re on a mission of God but now we’re on a mission to God! That way, God can tell us what He wants us to do!”

Jack was nonplused, but turned annoyed. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute!” He stood there, hands on hips in disbelief. “God isn’t some guy you meet on the street! Like you really, really think the Almighty God, Jehovah, Yahweh, whatever, is going to deign to face pipsqueaks like us and put us in a circle around Him and tell us big-time unrepentant sinners what He wants us to do?” He then marched up to the singer. “Are you freaking out of your freaking mind? Who do you think we are? Ezekiel, Daniel, Elijah, Jeremiah, Moses and David?”

“Who?”

Jack slumped, exasperated. “I thought you said you were reading the— Never mind!”

Tom said, “They’re Biblical prophets, right?”

“Not all of ‘em,” Jack answered. “Moses was the guy who took the Jews out of Egypt. David was the guy who slew Goliath with a sling shot. The other guys are big time prophets.”

“Why?” Erik wanted to know.

“Why were they prophets?” Jack had to think fast. “Because according to the Bible, God told them to say things to the Jews like repent from your sins and stuff like that, ‘cos if they didn’t, God would destroy them. And basically, that’s what happened. Most of the Jews— they had twelve tribes, but ten of them were wiped out. They were conquered, then scattered. The other two tribes were taken by the Babylonians, but later they returned. Anyway, God punished ‘em ‘cos they wouldn’t stop sinning. Something like that.”

“Okay, I get the picture!” But the singer got going. “But that brings us back to what we were saying months ago when we were given this mission. Why would God choose us unrepentant sinners to do this mission? Which leads us to why would God bring us here to tell us what—”

Jack flew off the handle. “I didn’t say that, you did! You’re the one who’s saying we got raptured up here!”

Keith’s eyes popped out. “You mean, this is THE rapture?”

“What rapture?” Bry asked.

“You know, THE rapture in those ‘end-times’ novels. That’s when all the Christians get taken up into Heaven—”

Jack shouted for effect. “It’s NOT the rapture! Bloody shit!”

Tom shot back, “No cussing in Heaven.”

There are more comedy scenarios with the three-book-novel trilogy.  And I had a lot of fun writing these scenarios! More snippets to come next week!

The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.

Starting This Week: Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy by Category

I cannot think of a better way to nudge folks into buying any of my books that comprise The Prodigal Band Trilogy than to provide snippets from the books, mostly snippets from the ‘three-books-in-one’ but also from the original printed novels and free PDF.

The categories include: Comedy, Conspiracy, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Occult, Romance, Satire, Spiritual and Suspense. Some of these categories are also fiction genres, but my novels do not conform to one or two particular genres, thus the genre I chose for the Lulu-published The Prodigal Band Trilogy was Adult, General.

When a snippet from the novel is presented I will provide some background information regarding characters, setting, sub-plot, etc.

Below is an example, with the category being Conspiracy. The snippet introduces the characters that make up the fictional rock band the novels are about and also introduces the primary antagonists that conspire to use the band for their evil purposes. As with ‘the powers-that-be’ that many now know belong to secret societies, the evil-doers, in one of their secret meetings, discuss why the band was chosen, and in the process introduce the band characters. From Chapter One of Battle of the Band, from the first part of The Prodigal Band Trilogy.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy, printed and e-book versions, can be purchased here.  The e-book is on E-Pub format and can be read on an E-Reader easily by downloading Calibre E-Book Management

For Kindle Readers, download and install Calibre, download the novel after purchase, put the e-book into the Calibre Library, transfer the E-Pub format into MOBI format, then transfer the e-book to the Kindle device or laptop app. Shortly, The Prodigal Band Trilogy should be available from Amazon for all Kindle Readers.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy is © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde. Rights Reserved. Battle of the Band is © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde. All Rights Reserved. (Original printed version)

***

A small group of exceedingly powerful men sat in red plush chairs surrounding a polished mahogany table. In front of each participant lay grey leather folios that displayed the gold-leaf embossed symbol of the Novordo Club—a pagan cross radiating from a sun-circle encasing an s-like snake. The Demons watched over the assembled luminaries.

“See these men of Our Lord Lucifer?” Silver Demon said. “Their agenda bears our Corionic Cross which The Creator banished from His realm. The red crystals around their necks prove their allegiance to us. Whoever wears or minds those crystals of Our Lord shall heed our cause to own this small planet.”

“Their governments are implementing our political, financial, and social programs targeted by Our Lord for placement. This group of leaders will discuss how they will control the culture of the young of this world.” Gold Demon then whispered as if the men below might hear them. “It is today they will choose our troubadours of the new generation. Of course, we will make sure they choose our boys of the spoken-pact two years ago.”

Some of the men left the oak-paneled room to attend other Novordo Club meetings involving environmental policy. Those involved in deciding who would lead the world’s youth remained. These included Baron Torquay-Lambourgeau, head of the world’s largest banking cartel; a forty-two-year-old record mogul; and two media kingpins, Mr. X and Mr. Y.

“Talent manager Joe Phillips, that is, my wayward son,” the Baron said, “has a five-man band of ill-repute that has the talent-skills, the charisma, and the desire to succeed where all others must fail. More than anything, my son says. More than anything will this group perform to impassion the youth into a frenzy of hero-worship.”

The record mogul asked, “Are you referring to Sound Unltd? They’re not exactly a hot act right now.”

“Who the hell cares?” Mr. X asked. “Isn’t it us who decide who will own popular entertainment? That they aren’t now the top band is all the more reason to go with them. They’re obscure enough so as no one will ever guess our motivation for picking them.”

“They truly have it all,” Mr. Y said. “Their singer-lyricist Erik is, pardon the expression, a godsend. Matchless voice, and even better, his naughty operatics and pyrotechnics on stage drive girls and boys into the lap of devilish fanaticism. He lived in great poverty after his hated father abandoned his family and later died. This one’s in it primarily for the money.

“Their guitarist-composer Jack is already of hero-quality with his screaming guitar style. He led a street gang and demands perfection and unity from the others. He’s in it for the glory. Coincidentally, my agents told me that the guitarist believes he made a pact with Our Lord Lucifer for success. Both the singer and guitarist are handsome rogues with model-gorgeous girlfriends, perfect for the idol image both of them must project.

“Mick, their current bassist, is skinny with a beak for a nose and a long, pretty face surrounded by dark-brown hair ringlets down his back. He was sexually abused by his mother and neglected by his father. He’s in it for the perversion. A cultist who wears our symbol of the old Celtic Crag-Dwellers of the Craggy Mountains of Wales.

“Bryan, their keyboard synthist, is a bulky biker with bushy red hair and associates with bikers. He made his girlfriend pregnant last year and felt obliged to marry her. Reggie Lewis, a top studio musician, is helping him build a keyboard-effects synthesizer. He’s in it for the ride.

“Their drummer Tom lives with clairvoyant Prissy Wyatt and pretends to channel the god Corion for amusement. His father is indentured to the Duke of Effingchester. The young curly blond doesn’t know this. He’s in it to find out.

“Later, a sixth member, a Warwicke’s Ship Works riveter named Keith will rejoin them on bass. A strict follower of the outdated Code. But his dad was a womanizer. Like father, like son. He’s in it for the women.

“When the sextet is formed, they will be unstoppable.”

Both SoftCover and E-Book Versions of The Prodigal Band Trilogy are Now Available for Purchase on Lulu.com and iBookStore!

Both the softcover and e-book version of the Three-Books-in-One The Prodigal Band Trilogy are now available for purchase on Lulu.com and iBookStore, by clicking on my Lulu Spotlight Author Page here.

The E-book is easily downloadable once the purchase is made, and is in the EPUB format which is what Lulu (using the Calibre E-book Management e-Reader tool, a FREE download), Barnes and Nobel Nook, Kobo, iBook, and other readers use. Simply add the e-book your device or e-Reader library.

The e-book is not yet available on Amazon Kindle which uses the MOBI format, but it should be available soon assuming Amazon agrees to distribute the book.

As the printed softcover and e-book becomes available on Amazon and other sites for purchase I will let the reader know.

You Can Now Buy The Prodigal Band Trilogy on Lulu.com! Will Be Available on Other Platforms Soon!

See the “buy now!” button from Lulu near the top of the page.

I will be posting this same information on the Bookstore page shortly, but I am posting this “buy button” now just for the heck of it! Plus I now have a Lulu Author Spotlight page for more information about this ‘three-novels-in-one’ e-book (printed book to be made available once I check on the look and formatting; Lulu is sending me a copy to check it out). One can purchase off the Spotlight page as well. But for right now I am trying out this button:

 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
 
One more thing: Lulu publishes e-books in the EPub format and the easiest and cheapest way to view their EPubs is to download, for free, the Calibre E-book Management software. It is so simple I didn’t even have to read the manual that comes with the software!

1. Download Calibre according to what your operating system is (see buttons on page).

2. Once you download the software, simply click “Add books” in the top menu and then find the downloaded e-book you (hopefully) have on your computer or device, and then your book is added.

3. Finally, click the “View” button in the menu to view the book (first, click on the book in your book list.)

4. After reading whatever in the book, bookmark where you are in the book to pick it up where you left off. To do this, there is a Table of Contents menu to the left of the book page you are on, and one of the menu items is a blue “bookmark” looking pix. Simply click on that menu item.

For easy page “turning,” there are two purple “arrows” right above the blue bookmark menu item. The arrow facing left is to go back a page, and the arrow facing right is to go forward to the next page. This is a lot easier than trying to scroll, but at the top menu is a button where you can “flow” the book text. I think the arrows are easier, though. One can scroll using the scroll thingee on the right side of the e-book, but it could scroll too quickly.

And remember also, there are no page numbers within e-books.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why (Originally Posted on Blog in 2018 in Five Parts)

For the original blog posts, they are here at the Blog.

Since Lulu.com is now in production mode of my “three-e-books-in-one” The Prodigal Band Trilogy, now is a good time to rehash “the why” I created these books beginning years ago.

Part One

As I have said in previous posts, I began my journey as a writer of fiction around the age of 8 or 9. I was returning home, on Long Island, New York, with my parents and older brother in a car from a visit to my grandparents (mother’s side) who lived in Mount Dora, Florida (about 20 miles from what was then Orlando). It was the summer of 1962; thus, I was 9 at the time. And I just happened to bring some non-lined notebook-sized paper and pencil with me. The paper was folded in half, width-wise, and looked like a “paperback book.”

Glad I brought the paper and pencil, because I was bored. I do not remember what my brother, in the back seat with me, was doing–he was 14 and likely listening to transistor radio up to near his ears (and folks, before the Beatles came along, pop music was very very boring, cutesy-wootsey “love songs” and other meaningless tripe about teenagers falling in love. From the time of the plane crash of Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly in 1958 until the Beatles in 1964, “rock” music, if you could call it that, was IMHO, tripe. Dion and the Belmonts and Del Shannon and perhaps the Four Seasons were about as good as it got, and who the heck was Elvis? But anyway…) I had no idea what my parents were doing other than driving.

This was my first journey into the “deep south.” And the only thing I knew about the “deep south” related to the Civil War and the abominable institution known as slavery back then. There were times along Route 301 or even what was then I-95 when I would see what were called “negro shacks” along the way, plus we all visited some Civil War Confederacy monument somewhere, can’t remember. Now I was a “buff” so to speak of Civil War history. So I decided I was going to make up some story about this kid in the South during the Civil War who, along with his friend, a black kid who had been freed from slavery somehow and lived with the kid and his family, hated the south and slavery! So what he and his friend did was help the Union Army blow up a Confederate “ammunition dump.” And they did. I did not mention the state the kid lived in, or even the kid’s family name, but I called him “Johnny Reb” and the black kid was named Sammy. So, I named a kid who would blow up a Confederate ammo dump Johnny Reb? When my dad actually read the “book” (named “Johnny Reb” and was about 20 pages long in pencil) he brought up this irony! After all, weren’t the Confederates called “Rebels”?

Around that time I also had a diary–didn’t all young girls have diaries then? So, there I was in late 1963 just starting to have any interest in the watered-down “rock and roll” back then. When it rained outside, and in the Northeast US, home of “Nor’easters,” it almost always rained some in the fall and early winter, the public elementary school kept all the students in the gym after lunch, too wet to play outside. I was in sixth grade at the time and, not being popular so-to-speak, no boy wanted to dance with me. So all I did then was listen to whatever 45 RPM record discs were put onto the record player. Not being a ‘A-list’ or even ‘B-list’ (more like ‘D-list!’) that’s all I could do as most of my friends were dancing on the gym floor with boys whom had asked them to dance. Well, I had to try to ‘fit-in’ somehow so, even though I thought the music was boring tripe, I pretended to like it anyway. Thus, in my diary I would make up stuff about myself–in terms of a fiction character I can’t even remember the name–being popular and folks like Chubby Checker or Frankie Valli (spelling?) wanting to ‘dance’ with me (not knowing the actual hidden meaning of ‘dance’ at the time…’dance’ was code for a certain ‘f’ word if you know what I mean!) And of course I made up the boy characters as well. And named them the same names I have used for the original rock band characters in my books! (Note: the band concept came about in the latter 70s, and then I added two more band members, then deleted one of the originals in the 80s only to put him back in during the 90s). The reader is going to have to wait to find out the names of the characters for a bit.

Part Two

Continuing from Part 1, no boy would dance with me in the public school gym on rainy days, so I pretended they would using a fictional diary character, a “new persona” so to speak, just to make myself feel like I was okay and not the ‘D-lister’ I imagined everyone else thought I was. I didn’t even think my neighborhood friends thought I was up to snuff (and I don’t mean “snuff film snuff” either! If this happened to day I’d have been called a “geek” or “emo”). Four of the fictional diary boys later became four of my Prodigal Band fictional characters.

But in late December, 1963, before school was let out for Christmas vacation, I noticed a magazine picture on a shelf along the blackboard wall headed out the door. On the picture were four young men dressed in dark-colored suits and long-ish hair…back in those days boys or men generally had either crew cuts or short hair not below the neck line. These four men had much longer hair than I was used to seeing! The name or title above the men was written as “The Beatles.” Well, that was it, no other mention by any other student that I’d heard. And I had no idea who put this picture on the shelf, or why. The teacher was in her 50s–certainly she wouldn’t have put it there!

Then Christmas came and wouldn’t you know it but my older brother got two Beatles albums as a gift! (Did he put the picture there? Likely not, he was already in High School. But clearly he’d heard of the Beatles or else why would he request Beatles albums, LPs back then, for Christmas?) So he let me listen to both; one was Introducing the Beatles featuring ‘And I Love Her’ and several others I can’t remember, and the other was Meet the Beatles featuring ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and “She Loves You.’  Well, that Meet the Beatles LP just blew me away, especially ‘She Love You’ (Yeh, yeh, yeh…) Now THAT was rock and roll! So, I became an instant Beatles fan, and nearly went crazy when I watched them on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964. And then went even more nearly crazy when I saw the movie, A Hard Day’s Night, that summer in a nearby movie theater.

But it wasn’t just the Beatles. By summer, 1964, the so-called ‘British Invasion’ was in full swing and pretty much took over the airwaves from American acts by then. After the Beatles came, in spring, the Dave Clark Five (who I actually got to see live in early 1965), and other Liverpool groups like the Searchers and Gerry and the Pacemakers; then in summer, the Rolling Stones and the Animals; then in fall, Herman’s Hermits and the Kinks. Then in 1965, the Hollies and the Yardbirds (both of which would lead to even greater things with Crosby, Stills and Nash and Cream and Led Zeppelin).

Note about the Animals: ‘House of the Rising Sun’ originally by Bob Dylan was one of my fave songs back then, and, when I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show, he interviewed them after they performed and what got me was that while I could understand what the Beatles were saying (they of course are from Liverpool and speak ‘Scouse’), I could barely understand what any of the Animals were saying! They were from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had a very strange accent! And, in a later post, I will explain how I became fascinated with this strange accent, called ‘Geordie’.

But as for my fictional diary characters, since I didn’t know squat about how rock and roll bands did things and couldn’t play guitar then anyway, I didn’t yet have them form some fictional band–they became a gang. American, of course. Didn’t know squat about England–yet.

Part Three

Continued from Part 2, I said my ‘boy diary’ characters became a gang, but not a drug gang or a violent gang. Just a close knit group of boys, and all these teen boys had girlfriends. Remember, this was fantasy stuff in my fake persona diary that I kept, basically, because I loved writing and writing about a persona that was very popular among boys literally kept me sane (even if it seems as though making up fantasy personas seems insane! I will say this: I am sure any friends I had did think I was a bit on the weird side because I was such a non-conformist. And love of rock music was almost the only way I knew I could fit in with ‘the crowd’).

But, as rock music went psychedelic beginning with the 1967 ‘summer of love’ in San Fran’s Haight-Ashbury district, hippie central, and the release of the landmark Beatles’ album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—you know, the one with Aleister Crowley on the cover—I suddenly found myself absorbed in this music and decided I wanted to learn guitar. For Christmas in 1967 I got an acoustic guitar and a chord chart and a lesson book. Then in 1968 I got lessons from a teen around my age (16) who had his band, a neighbor. It turned out I could play an electric guitar much better than an acoustic one—the frets were narrower and the strings were closer together, a benefit to one with shorter fingers and a wee bit spastic in the ring finger who had trouble with chords that required outstretched fingers such as B, B flat, A flat, etc. So that I got good enough to play in this band as well as sing. Well, this got my ‘boy diary’ characters out of ‘just a gang mode’ and into ‘gang and rock musician mode.’ While the band I played with some broke up shortly, at least I got a taste of what being in a rock band was all about. By 1969, I had my fantasy boy rock band made up, and I wrote ‘stories’ about how they made records and toured and stuff.

And then came 1970 when a boy—he was pimply as all get up and curly blond hair and not exactly ‘A-list’ either—asked me out on dates, and even the senior prom. I turned down the prom offer, but at least I got to ‘make out’ so-to-speak. By then, I was ‘B-list,’ and working at an afternoon job at a local supermarket. Near graduation time from high school my best friend showed me an ad in the New York Times about a ‘university lecture program’ for students interested in European affairs from a British point of view at Sussex University near Brighton, which is on the English Channel and a seaside resort of sorts, with the added bonus of ‘living’ with a local family, as part of what was called ‘Inter-Teach.’ My folks knew I was somewhat an ‘Anglophile’ (thanks to Brit rock bands mostly along with a fascination for British accents…heck even American accents are fascinating to a degree), so they decided to put up the money for me to partake in this program as a graduation gift.

The program began in mid-July, 1970 and my friend (who had just turned 16 and I was nearly 18) and I and three college students and one HS freshman (we almost never saw…he was there solely for the education) lived in houses of program patrons in a Brighton suburb and attended daily lectures at the university given by three professors, one of whom was Welsh. In addition to  lectures we all did the following: saw a Shakespeare play in his home-town of Stratford-on-Avon, got coffee at Oxford University, saw several museums in London including one honoring one of my fave authors, Charles Dickens, some folk music festival near Guilford in Surrey, and various trips to pubs (without the freshman…while my friend and I weren’t quite 18 yet and thus weren’t old enough to consume alcohol, no one noticed that and for the first time in my life I drank warm beer. My friend and I also made a special trip to the northern London Hackney district so she could see her aunt, her mother’s sister, and her cousin for the first time (they lived in a tower block…at the time, Hackney seemed okay; now, it is supposedly an ‘Asian’ (read Muslim) district and there were riots there several years ago!). And various car trips with the family I stayed with.

We were supposed to leave England around the 25th of August, but my friend and I and two college students stayed an extra week or so. To attend the second Isle of Wight Rock Festival, Britain’s Woodstock (the other two on this trip returned without us) we learned about when we met some young men at some youth hostel or something. And no way was I going to miss a chance to see the Who, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others. (Note: the final day, Sunday, featured Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, but we had to leave during that day, or else we never would have been able to return to the States in time—it took days for everyone to leave Woodstock in August, 1969, and this was on an island!)

The festival was wonderful and interesting, but that really wasn’t the best part of this extra-week stay. The best part was a trip by van (driven by a male college student who quickly learned how to drive on the left side of the road in the right side of a vehicle!) into and around Wales, including the Cambrian Mountain area (spending a night at a bed and breakfast in said mountain area), then onto Bristol and Bath—named for ancient Roman hot baths—then onto Stonehenge, then onto South Hampton (or was it Portsmouth?) for the night to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight the following morning. So we spent the night ‘camping’ by the van, but before I went to sleep in the front seat of the van I had a very interesting conversation with three men in their twenties that spoke with that very strange accent I mentioned in my last post.

Part Four

The four of us—my friend and I and two college students—parked the van we rented in the overnight parking lot next to the ferry dock for the Isle of Wight to head for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival the following morning. Next to our van was another van, and next to us in front of that van were three men likely in their twenties that really only I spoke with, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of the three, I could only really understand one of them; the other two had much thicker Geordie accents. No matter, the accent was fascinating (and, in fact, most English accents are somewhat fascinating). According to this Northeast England website,   this accent/dialect is derived from the Angles (not the Saxons) and is related to Celtic tribes that border Scotland. (In fact, all northern England accents/dialects derive from the Angles instead of the Saxons). Nor was this dialect affected by the Viking invasions and subsequent Danelaw kingdoms that were later conquered by the Normans. In fact, from the time of Robert the Bruce’s successful take-back of most of Northumria (above the Tyne, at the site of Hadrian’s Wall above the city of Wallsend) until England took it back in the 1740s, that area was part of Scotland. If you hear the Geordie accent, it almost sounds Scottish.

A couple of things to note this accent/dialect: one, instead of “ow” or “ou,” they say “oo,” and instead of the long A sound, it sounds like the long E sound, a sharper long I sound and long O sound, the short “a” sounds like “aaa” or “ah,” and the short u sounds (as with other northern accents) like a cross between “u” and “oo” (for instance, take the “u” in “push”, but not quite the “oop” for “up.” And other different sounds. And more, such as the expression “to hell with it,” they’d say “to hell wi’t.”

And that, folks, is why my band fictional characters are from this area. The accent.

And the history as well. I mentioned Hadrian’s Wall before. Then, in the latter 700s (as seen on the History Channel TV series “Vikings”) Norsemen raiders from mainly Norway sailed, among other places, up the Tyne River and nearly took over the Kingdom of Northumbria. Later the area was Christianized and today there is a famous monastery in the city of Jarrow, also made famous by the “Jarrow March” of striking coal miners and ship-yard workers in 1926. Across from Newcastle is the city of Gateshead that features an angelic-like or winged-bird-like statue, near the entrance point to the world’s first suspension bridge. The point about the ‘angelic statue’ plays a role in my novels. One has likely heard the term “coals to Newcastle,” and of course this river is a major shipping artery for more than just coal. In fact, and I didn’t even know this until after my first novel was published, there is a direct shipping lane from the city of Stavanger, Norway, to Newcastle. This also plays a role in my novels.

So I kept all this in mind when I seriously started writing the Prodigal Band Trilogy.

Part Five

Now is Part 5, discussing the various changes I made over the next twenty or so years from 1970 until the final version of the first novel in the series, Battle of the Band, was published, that set the stage for the next two books, including the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band.

In the early 1970s I had planned to write the story of a 60s band, but that made no sense since no prime plot was set, and why write a story about a 60s band when the 60s were over with and in the mid-70s the music genre was changing? And, oh yeah, the mainline pop music at the time was a genre I hated—Disco! And then in 1975 another rocker I had no regard for, Peter Frampton—remember him?—was suddenly foisted on us rock fans at the same time the early 70s wunderkind, Led Zeppelin, was stagnating? Just as with today and my feeling that rock is dying or died with Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell resting in peace, I felt that by the latter 70s rock was dying as well. What was around was milquetoast at best (with a few exceptions like the Eagles and one or two others). Thank God for punk—the Ramones, the Cars, the Police and others. As I said, a 60s or a 70s band made no sense to me, and again, what was the over-riding plot?

And, oh yeah, I was in my mid-20s and had to support myself and figure out my life, right? That meant working full time, and then later, attending college, which I thought would help me figure out just what I was going to do with my life. So, from 1972 or so until about 1981 I stopped writing (except for college term and research papers).

In 1981, I graduated from a state university in New York. I had been accepted for a master’s degree/PhD at the New School for Social Research in the midst of New York City, a very expensive college, with the goal of getting a PhD in Psychology. Well, President Reagan screwed that one up by signing into law a provision whereby graduate students could no longer apply for Pell Grants or other grants, which was how I was planning to pay for college (and then there was the issue of getting room and board in New York City besides). I was NOT going to force my parents to pay for all this; they had just retired and moved to snowbird central, the Tampa-St. Pete area of Florida (where my mother’s folks lived). So, thanks to Mr. President, I had to put off my college plans, so I moved in with my parents in a nice retirement HOA home in a very nice subdivision with swimming pool, golf course, etc. But in 1982 I was hoping to head back to New School after having worked at several jobs. In the meantime, I began working on the band story again for a month or two. Then, in early fall, an event happened that would put the story off for years—I met my future husband, who lived in far west Texas, a beekeeper and lifeguard near the Oasis of far west Texas, mostly mountain and desert country. We married in a small Catholic church in a town of 600 people, then a couple of years later bought property in a local POA, then built a house there. In the meantime, I returned to college, Sul Ross State U, and got a teaching certificate in secondary math and English, then taught math in local high schools. In 1993 after having two kids, I got a Master’s Degree in Counseling, but never got a counseling job—my Spanish wasn’t good enough! (Note: I lived within a hundred miles of Mexico…).

So there I was…being a wife and mother and beginning to home school my kids and such in the middle of nowhere in the mountains in the early 90s and was no longer teaching (getting the Counseling degree in the meantime, then teaching a year in El Paso since we badly needed the income for various reasons I’m not going to get into here…but might be explained later in a non-fiction book I plan to write about an event that really happened in my neck of the woods in the mid-90s). One night in the early 90s—I can’t remember the year, but it was in the middle of autumn—I prayed and prayed for Divine intervention because I was feeling as if I must get these characters out of my head if I was to be a proper mother/teacher/wife, as if these characters haunted me. And that is why over the next couple of years the stories I had in my head became my first book, written on someone else’s Mac computer and then finalized on my own Mac computer in early 1996. Because of praying for Divine intervention, this book morphed into the spiritual genre.

Of course, that was the plan all along.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy E-book to be Uploaded to Lulu.com Tomorrow or Monday

All I have to do now is the “Afterword” or something at the end of the book to explain how this book and the three trilogy original books came about. By Monday the latest, the e-book The Prodigal Band Trilogy–the three-books-in-one e-book that should be available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo (now including WalMart), Barnes and Noble Nook, Lulu and other platforms in a few months, after all the formatting by Lulu’s “team” and cover art is done, and I, the author, gives my okay.

When the e-book is being distributed on various platforms, I will likely reduce the price of both printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, but shipping, between four and five dollars, will remain the same.

The FREE PDF The Prodigal Band will remain available for download for Free here.

Above is another possible piece of cover art, based on a photo I took in 2009 at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. As much as I like Pexels.com, someone I know is now sued by a photographer for “copyright infringement” for using a “free stock photo” from Pexels! Not blaming Pexels here, but apparently that photo he or she posted there was removed by the photographer later so the bogus “suit” could go through. So from here on in, if I need cover art, I’ll just do it myself. And Getty images charges too damned much for the rights to a license over a photo! If Lulu wants to change the cover art that’s up to them.

Forthcoming: The Prodigal Band Trilogy-Combined E-book for Sale! And Happy New Year to All Downloaders of My FREE PDF “The Prodigal Band”!

Just checked the stats for the first time in 2019. More downloads of my FREE PDF E-book “The Prodigal Band” than I expected! Thanks for downloading this book! Happy New Year to you all!

But here is why I have no posted since around Christmas when I had been posting articles about my books and the characters: Since late December, I have been working on formatting ALL of the three Prodigal Band Trilogy books, printed and PDF, into ONE E-BOOK, mainly for the sake of those folks I know who simply cannot read the FREE book on their E-Readers (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, etc…folks, it won’t even work on the free Caliber e-reader that Lulu recommends!), and also for those who would rather pay for the two printed books by credit card–I am NOT taking credit card payments, period, because of privacy issues and also hackers…in the last five years our credit card account has been hacked numerous times! All a hacker would have to do is hack into my (possible) PayPal account to screw up a customer–or PayPal could–as has been done to other free speech advocates, for I am a free speech advocate–simply close my (possible) PayPal account, for no reason other than “it’s personal”… So I figure, since I am re-typing the two printed books into Microsoft Word format (that is, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band), why not re-format the PDF The Prodigal Band as well? All I have to do is re-format the most important parts and “tell” over parts I am not including (the revisions will mean the book section will be about half the size of the original PDF). By the end of January, I will submit the “three books in one” The Prodigal Band Trilogy to Lulu Publishing, the will finish the formatting and whatever else needs to be done, and then distribute the e-book to various e-book sellers (Lulu, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo (that is, WalMart and others), etc. and I will link to the sites on my Book Store.

When the project is completed, I will let everyone know! Thanks for your support! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!