when the band you are adapting, gives you a shout-out on stage...
So it was officially announced last week that work has begun on my next novel (my 4th). It's a supernatural crime-noir thriller (think Dick Tracy meets Jacob's Ladder meets American Psycho). But, as a rock fiction author, there is obviously some music attached to this next disasterpiece. It's a novelization of Dog Fashion Disco's concept album, "Adultery."
That album takes the listener on a chaotic, jarring, and almost hypnotic spin through one detective's obsession with catching a killer. A killer who specializes in cleaning the streets of prostitutes ... after he's had his way with them first, of course.
At the beginning of the month, I drove from North Carolina to Baltimore to attend the CD release party of Dog Fashion Disco's album, "Erotic Massage" (this album has nothing to do with my novel, but it was the reason why they were playing a show). This concert was only 1 of 3 shows the band is playing in all of 2017. The other 2 are in Cleveland, and I can't get out there for them, so Baltimore it is!
I had VIP treatment at the club; all the VIPs were allowed inside 2 hours before doors opened to watch soundcheck and hang out with the band etc. Since Jasan (the guitarist) and Todd (the singer) had green-lighted the book to be written a few months ago, we hadn't really discussed it further. Mostly because I was outlining and still trying to figure out how I wanted to approach turning the album into a novel, from a creative standpoint.
I was able to discuss my outline, what I have written so far, and my plans for what's to come with Jasan, and he was very receptive and seemed genuinely excited to read what I'm coming up with so far. But it was during the show where the greatest endorsement from the band came.
In between 2 songs, Todd asked the crowd if they knew there was a novel being written for "Adultery." Many attendees clapped and cheered, acknowledging that they were aware. Then Todd told the crowd that the author was here in the audience, called my name, asked where I was, and I was hoisted into the air by other people around me as I tried to wave to the crowd.
The whole moment took maybe 15 seconds. But its the little breadcrumbs that are dropped during the journey of adapting an album into a novel, that can really make everything click. I don't know what else could top, as a rock fiction author, than having the band I am adapting, themselves, endorse and give a shout-out to me, on stage, in front of a few hundred people. It shows their faith in turning over what might be their most fan-loved album to me, to try to turn its sung story into some form of cohesive narrative.
I have had some really cool experiences since becoming a published author 10 years ago in 2007. Some of them are directly related to being a rock fiction author, where members of bands have reached out to me, and I've connected and networked with some "celebrities" because of my novels and stories being adapted from pieces of music. But having Dog Fashion Disco take time to highlight me on stage, at a show that was all about them and their accomplishment of making it to their 20 year anniversary and celebrating a new release, definitely is high on the list of "magical moments" for me as a rock fiction author.