Summer of Haight ’67
by Diane Sager
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?
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 black light 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?
Today it is my pleasure to be interviewing Diane Sager, author of Summer of Haight ’67.
Hi Diane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? What were you like at school?
I was generally a very good student; my grades were very important to me. Through Jr high and most of high school I was on the honor roll. I say “most” of high school . . . in my senior year my friends became more important . . . you know, things distracted me . . . LOL
Were you good at English?
Reading it for sure! Writing it? Not so. English was something I HAD to take. I love history and art and if someone had told me that writing is like art, I would have taken it far more seriously. As I got older I realized that writing is painting with words, creating a picture so vivid that you can see it in your head. Let’s just say my writing matured with age, like a good cheese.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I just want people to enjoy my work. I’d like to be well known like Anne Rice with a loyal group of fans but I’m just getting started.
Which writers inspire you?
Edgar Allen Poe is one of my favorites of yesteryear but I love Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches. For good old horror I enjoy Dean Koontz and Robin Cook wrote some awesome medical thrillers.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Sixty-six year old KATHERINE RHODES getting into a tragic accident that hurls her back in time to 1967. She wakes up back in her 20 year old hippie body in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. As many of you know, 1967 in the Haight/Ashbury became known around the world as “The Summer of Love”. She gets to re-live this era of hippies, free love, drugs, music, politics and protests with a wealth of knowledge and the opportunity to right some wrongs. I can’t say more here without giving away some of the story!
What are you working on at the minute?
Apart from the zillion ideas I have buzzing inside 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 fifth.
I also have a vampire novel being edited right now. It’s a re-write from the first full-length 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 blow the whistle on that just yet.
Which actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Strangely enough, we have just been kicking this around. Since we have an older KATIE in the present day and a 20 year old hippie KATIE back in 1967, we penciled in Sally Field as the elder and Dakota Fanning as the younger . . . Oh, for it to be a movie one day!!
Where do your ideas come from?
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
I keep a pad by my bed and try to capture my crazy dreams. I make notes all the time when I get book ideas.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Talk about writing by the seat of my pants! LOL
I never start with an outline. In fact, I don’t usually have any written notes until I get several chapters into it. So far, I have never known how my stories will end – but I know when I get there.
When I start to write a new book, I see a movie playing in my head (I’m nuts, I know) and I write what I see. I mostly know what the next section will be about, but I can change my mind on a whim if a better idea strikes me.
I really do want to be more organized, honestly I DO, and I try. I have a notebook that I keep notes in as I move through a story. I keep names and places and I have been known to draw maps! If I don’t force myself to do this I can spend ages going back.
Who designed your book cover?
I started out with a drawing of how I wanted it to look and then we were introduced to the most amazing artist Philip A Rogers. I gave him a sketch and some ideas and he created what you see here. We absolutely love it and it captures everything I wanted about 1967.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I WANT a trailer but I don’t really know how to go about that yet. It’s my next project!
How do you relax?
I have a wonderful husband, three dogs, two cats and a parrot – in that order! We watch TV a lot, perhaps too much. We both have Harley Davidson motorcycles so when the weather gets better we intend to ride more. We enjoy the company of our friends, going out for dinner and finding fine beers.
What is your favorite quote?
I’m stuck on this one right now. . .
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Edgar Allan Poe
What is your favorite movie?
SUMMER OF HAIGHT ’67 is my latest and so far my favorite book. I also use D.S. Sager as my nom de plume when I write horror. So, I have to say “Night of the Living Dead” but “Titanic” takes some beating.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Facebook: Diane Sager – Author
Goodreads: Diane Sager
Web: www.evilvein.com – still under construction
Any final words?
I was a high school teacher of emotionally disturbed and high risk youth before I turned to full time writing about 5 years ago. I write my horror stories as D.S. Sager while this book and my other non-horror works will be as Diane Sager.
I have worn a POW 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 son living in Southern California named Stanley Searfus. I hope to make contact with him some day and pay my respects. I have tried.
THANK YOU so much for including me in your busy schedule. I hope you read the SUMMER OF HAIGHT ‘67 and enjoy it as much as I did researching it and living it for 15 months.
Author Diane Sager was raised and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her awesome husband Russ, three dogs, two cats and an African grey parrot named Storm. She holds a fascination for all things macabre and has developed a deep knowledge of serial killers, vampires, zombies, the Tarot, world religions, witchcraft, horror and the occult.
However, her latest indie release, SUMMER OF HAIGHT ‘67 is none of the above albeit a little supernatural . . . This story is nestled between her zombie series “EVIL VEIN” published by Permuted Press and penned under her “apocalyptic” name of D.S.Sager
A former high school teacher of emotionally disturbed and high-risk youth, Diane is now dedicated to full time writing.
Diane will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.