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Monday, September 23, 2013

Stealing Fire By Bestselling Author Susan Sloate

Please help me welcome author Susan Sloate author of Stealing Fire to the blog. Susan agreed to do a guest post for me, so, Susan, take it away.

     Hello, and thanks, Elaine, for inviting me to visit your blog today!

     As you know, my latest novel, STEALING FIRE, takes place in the world of 1980’s New York and L.A., most particularly the world of Broadway musical theater in the 1980’s. And while I could go on and on about the ‘80s (big hair, lots of formal occasions and great clothes, terrific music and some classic films), I think I’d like to zero in on what was happening to the  Broadway musical at that time.

     If you’re not a fan of musicals—or you just don’t remember the ‘80s (and it can happen to the best of us!)—the ‘80s ushered in a whole new era in musical theater, and its name was… Andrew Lloyd Webber.

     Lloyd Webber is a classically-trained musician and composer who came from a serious musical family. He was the one who broke out into more popular forms, including the musical. Among other shows, he wrote the music for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, CATS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, SUNSET BOULEVARD and more.

     He was very powerful in the ‘80s, with many of his shows debuting in London and then coming to Broadway. And the one thing they all had in common was that they were high-tech, glitzy and very expensive productions (PHANTOM had a fifty-piece orchestra). Naturally that meant that ticket prices gradually began to rise (I remember paying $25 for a ticket to EVITA in 1980), and the quality of the shows was dramatically worse than much less expensive productions just a few years before.

     But Lloyd Webber was a phenomenon—audiences loved the special effects and the brass-heavy musical arrangements, and though STARLIGHT EXPRESS was nothing but a re-telling of THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD, it was done by actors on roller skates whizzing along custom-built ramps full of odd lighting and special lights.

     The hero of my novel, STEALING FIRE, is a Broadway librettist/lyricist who can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Webber. Because of Lloyd Webber, Beau feels out of place in the musical theater, which he has been part of all his adult life. He’d had hits and flops, but his work was strong on story and drama, while Lloyd Webber shows are ninety percent spectacle. With Lloyd Webber now dominating Broadway, Beau feels that though he wants desperately to come back, he may no longer be able to.

     Through a lucky accident, he does get the chance. And that chance comes about primarily because in the story, he meets the woman of his dreams, an unlikely soul mate he first gets to know over the phone lines of a hotel switchboard. And gradually, conversation and shared interests lead to passion.

     Fortunately, finding your soul mate was not solely (no pun intended) an ‘80s phenomenon. It’s still very possible today, and while the big hair and great music of the ‘80s no longer preoccupy us every day, having that one special person walk into your life is something that, if it hasn’t already happened to you, I hope you’re at least dreaming of. Because dreaming of that person is the first step to finding them.

     Good luck!
 Book Blurb:
“How do you recognize your soulmate?
 In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
 Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache ... until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
 STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o'clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
 Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. "I'm sorry," she said finally, when she could control her voice. "Room Service closes at midnight."
 There was a pause. "Oh. What time is it now?"
 She looked at her watch. "Ten after three."
 "Then whom am I speaking to?"
 "I'm the night operator.  This is the main switchboard."
"Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight."
 Well, how about that. "You've got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier."
 "Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?"
 "Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today."
 "Maybe I just love it here."
 "I guess you do. But I hope you're well compensated."
 Trust a man to think of money first. "That’s not my major concern."
 "Glad to hear it."
 Okay, enough's enough.  It's been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. "Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you."
 "Well, better luck with them."
 "Look, if you'd called earlier—"
 "Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it." The phone clicked in her ear.
    She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he'd undermined her—and it bothered her.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel.  FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Susan is giving away a notebook that's perfect for journaling, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at:




Anonymous said...

Elaine -- Thanks so much for hosting me today - it's so good to be here!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Bobbye Hope said...

Thanks for the excerpt . Bobbyehopebooth at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Bobbye Hope!

Unknown said...

Ms. Sloate, I have enjoyed your interview. I have read STEALING FIRE and what a wonderful read it was. You can really write a love story that is quite unforgettable.
This book is a real page turner, hard to put down, plus a real tear jerkier. What more could anyone want in a great romance. Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Mary Lou! It means so much to have readers enjoy my books! Hope you'll keep reading!

Teresa Cypher said...

Great premise! I enjoyed the excerpt! I learned more about ALW tonight than I ever knew. I like the songs from his musicals, but ~gasp~ as far as entertainment during the 1980s? It was a tough decade ;-)

Best wishes for success with this book!

Thanks for hosting, Elaine :-)

Anonymous said...

Teresa -- Thanks for reading it, and so glad you enjoyed it! Hope you'll check out more excerpts from the book on my website and of course that nice long free sample you can get at online booksellers! Enjoy!