Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!
This Saturday Night we welcome Stefani Deoul. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.
Stefani, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?
My name is Stefani Deoul. I am an author, a television producer and a really off-key singer with a never-ending fantasy that I will wake up one day and find not only do I sing perfectly on key, but I have been “discovered’. Should that happen, please feel free to come on tour with me.
And since you just read the above, I would think the answer to your second question is a “gimme”. I love seventies music….Stef and the Pips…coming to you ‘Live! From My Shower!”
When did you feel like this is it, I’m an author whose words are going to be read by, and have an impact on, others?
I’m not sure, honestly. Because of my television career, I know the choices I make have impact. When I wrote On A LARP, those conversations as I “met” Sid and discovered her life and her friends were all part of my imagining. I often say Sid is who I aspire to be, which means she doesn’t need to be perfect, just more aware.
What do you want your readers to take with them after having read your books?
I’m going with the old Rule of Three for this one. First would be, “Sid is cool. I would so hang with her.” Second would be, “dang. This author can write.” Third would be, “When’s the next book coming out?”
What does the future look like for you, Stefani? Future projects, releases etc.?
On a LARP is the first book of the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures. My most immediate project – finishing the second book! My next most immediate – laying out and writing the third.
If one (or several) of your characters got invited to a 70s-themed party, what would they wear and what song and/or person would bring them to the dance floor?
This is so up my alley (considering my big set piece is a steampunk larp) I decided to let Sidonie “Sid” Rubin answer for me:
I can’t believe Imani got me to come to this…and worse, in costume. I flash back to the five us in the lunchroom with Imani pleading, “But it’s a fundraiser!”
Which I will concede is for a good cause.
But a seventies party…really?
However, once we agreed, there would be no turning back.
Imani is going as Bo Derek “done right” as she likes to point out. “Bo’s braids were a cultural appropriation, which I will rock and reclaim.” And yes, she will. She looks freaking amazing. Imani is the 10. Jimmy will be her escort, Curtis Mayfield, complete with glasses, hat and (faux) fur. Vikram and Ari will be Mr. and Ms. Saturday Night Fever. And it’s kind of mind-blowing how much Vik, when duded up, actually looks like Travolta.
And then there’s me. I did, of course, think “Velma”, but was instantly rejected as redundant, not in the spirit, and a cop out – which did sting just a bit. So you see the problem. Even though, as Imani pointed out, I am the one who likes LARPing, leading you to think it’s right up my alley, it’s not. Cosplaying and role playing create worlds. They are not the same thing as hitting up a dance in a potentially easy-to-go-incredibly-wrong-and-never-live-the-moment-down costume.
But I did agree to seek a solution by meeting Imani and Ari at the thrift store. So here I am. At the thrift store, willing my dragging feet forward.
The ring signals my arrival and there they are, waiting. Ari starts right in, pulling up a blouse and saying, “how about this one?” Now that’s one easy no. Rest assured, there will be no peasant shirts for me. Next. Imani’s turn. And as Imani holds up a mini-shift and skirt set and I am about to die, I realize she is so messing with me.
I glare. She laughs.
“Oh my god, Sid. Sometimes I wish you could just see your face!”
I am not going to blush. I am not going to give her reason to laugh harder.
“I would so not do that to you. I’ve got it figured out, we’re going to go with a cross between a black ribbon tie shirt Bianca Jagger wore and Debbie Harry’s hair. It’ll kind of feel like you should have been on that album cover.” And with that, Imani hands me a pile of clothes and points to the dressing room. Before I can close the curtain, I hear Ari call after me.
“And by the way, Sid?”
I turn around, pausing.
“I did some research. Rod Stewart’s, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, came out in 1979. We will be dancing. As in you and me. As in, if you want my body and you think I’m sexy…”
And as Ari hums, she stares me up and down while my mouth hangs open. Before it all gets any more provocative, Imani mercifully pulls the curtain closed, leaving me alone to change with only the sound of them laughing maniacally echoing in my ears.
You can easily look back at the 70s and see how the times have changed. If you look at the book community and publishing world today, what changes would you like to see for the future?
I would like to see small press books have better access. Even with today’s promise of diversity, the truth is many small presses have been out there delivering on that promise for decades. They struggle for reviews, shelves – even opportunities to reach social influencers and booktubers. Access would allow many more voices to have an opportunity to rise.
Stefani, can you recommend two already published diverse books you’ve read and loved and one you can’t wait to read?
I just read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and it is with pleasure I can say, “read it.” In a world a universe away, and yet with oddly shared heft, Night by Elie Wiesel is one of those books I can never bring myself to give away, so I have carried my copy with me from place to place and while I can’t say, “it’s a fun read”, I can say, “it’s a must read.”
And the book I am super excited about reading is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I don’t know how I missed this book, but I did. And my goal is to rectify by reading asap and then give myself ten lashes with a wet noodle for allowing brilliance to elude my nightstand.
Lastly, to end this interview, do you have a favorite 70s song to recommend your readers?
I tried to answer this and my first pass had a two-hour play list. So I’m going to say there are two artists – Bruce Springsteen and ABBA – who capture different emotions of the seventies for me. And then there is Gloria Gaynor’s, I Will Survive, which demands and deserves to be singled out and recognized. I love the Jackson Five’s I’ll Be There, Roberta Flack’s First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Dolly Parton’s Jolene, The Kink’s Lola, Gladys Knight and the Pip’s Midnight Train to Georgia. And I could go on and on…so much brilliance in so many genres. But I will refrain and leave you with one last song, Bill Withers’ Lovely Day (although his Lean On Me is pretty remarkable too!).
Thank you so much, Stefani, for answering my questions. I hope you readers enjoyed this interview, I know I did! Eager to find out more about Stefani Deoul? All information about her and her books can be found on her website. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads and buy her books on Amazon.
About The Author
Stefani Deoul is an award-winning author and television producer. On A LARP is the first book in her new, critically acclaimed, young adult mystery series, A Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventure.
Stefani’s debut novel, The Carousel, won numerous awards and her writing has been featured in many publications, including, Curve magazine, Outdoor Delaware and a host of contemporary blogs.
As a television producer her resume includes TV series such as Haven for the SyFy Network, The Dead Zone and Brave New Girl, Dresden Files and Missing.
Along with producing five seasons of Haven, Stefani finally succumbed to the allure of acting, “starring” as the off-camera, and uncredited, radio dispatcher, Laverne. When not traipsing around the world filming, she calls Sarasota, Florida home. Stefani would love you to visit her website at stefanideoul.com and to connect with her on Facebook Twitter and Goodreads.
On A LARP is available at retail and online booksellers or please ask your local library to get it for you.
Since I promised a very 70s music-themed interview series, I have one last surprise, a favorite 70s song of mine (and there will be a new one every week yay). Now let’s get those dance moves on, here’s Daddy Cool by Boney M.
Do you want to listen to all of the songs from my Saturday Night Author Fever interview series?
To make things easier I have created a Spotify playlist that features all of the songs mentioned in my Saturday Night Author Fever posts. You can check out the playlist below or go here. Every time a new interview is published new songs will be added to it.
Thank you so much for tuning in this Saturday, what did you think of the interview and the music? Let me know in the comments below or on my Twitter!