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 ?
Hi Brooke, thanks for giving me this opportunity to share my latest baby with you. It means a LOT to me and I hope my readers enjoy it as much as I did researching and writing it. I should tell you that the book is BIG. I wrote it as I saw it and it turned out to be huge. Even my editor wanted it cut into two books but when she edited it, she had to concede that it had to be told as one story. So we have a 7 x 10 paperback with about 400 pages. Of course, if you read it as an e-book then it’s no big deal.
I normally write in the horror/zombie/vampire genre (as D.S. Sager) but I’ve had this book burning inside me for years. I love the 60’s even though I was a very small child in 1967. I love the music and the hippie clothes. This is my favorite work so far, but I have dozens of great stories in my head. I just have to get them on paper! iF I could just plug a USB into my head and download the stories……WAIT ! That’s another potential story…LOL
Summer of Haight ’67 is all fiction but I wanted the setting 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 the 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 baby!
I also have some first-hand experience to back up my research. As a very small child 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!
Janis Joplin is in my book a lot, so HEADS UP Janis fans. You HAVE to read this. I watched as much video footage of her and her band as I could find. There is some awesome footage on YouTube of her singing at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. My husband and I even visited the fairgrounds in Monterey to get the feel for the place. I read every book I could find on Janis and even Peter Coyote’s “Sleeping Where I Fall” based on the same period in time. Peter helped found “The Diggers” who fed the homeless hordes of hippie drop-outs in San Francisco in 1967.
I’m also lucky enough to still live less than an hour away from San Francisco, so my husband and I would go there and see where Janis Joplin or Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead lived. We drank in the Dogpatch saloon near the Hells Angels HQ. On another occasion my daughter and I rode the bus from the top of Haight Street to the Hells Angels house, all in the cause of authenticity. KATIE and her friends FROG and MOONBEAM travel this route in my book to attend a Hells Angels party.
I wanted to take my readers back nearly 50 years and be sure it was authentic, especially those readers that are too young to have been there. Even the weather is accurate in the book – I checked.
There’s a saying, “if you can remember the 60’s you weren’t really there” It was allegedly quoted by Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. I take my readers back to the real deal so they WILL remember it.
Soooooooooo, it was fun to research, fun to write and so far it’s fun seeing people enjoy it and tell me about it. Reviews are also greatly appreciated. THANKS for reading.
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?
About the Author
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.