80s Fun with the Charming Elliot Grace

If you haven't heard, Elliot Grace is on tour all month long talking about his newly released novel, South of Charm.

"Many will relate to the book's themes of faith and loyalty, and Danny's frustration that no matter how good he is at baseball, it won't help him save his family."   -Akron Beacon Journal

I've got the book and it's next in line on my to-be-read list, but every review I read makes me more anxious to get to it.   It promises to be a modern classic. Also, it's set in the 1980s!  So, for Elliot's stop at my place guess what I asked him about...

Thirteen tour stops in all, headed in four directions and across the border into foreign lands, and from the onset, I knew without a doubt that you'd be the one to ask me about my chosen setting for "South of Charm."  (Which of course explains my enthusiasm for being here :)

In order to pen an emotional drama, something capable of coaxing tears during one chapter, while causing one's belly to bounce with joy upon the turn of a page, a writer must take comfort in two very important elements...one's home life surrounding the keyboard, and the setting of their story.  My goal was to arm the novel with the heart of a lion, but in order to do that, the setting and time frame had to resonate from a place that meant something to me, during a time when magic remained just out of reach.

Like yourself, Nicki, I grew up during the booming eighties. Ten years' worth of aerosol hair spray and leg warmers.  Of microwave ovens the size of compact cars, and hair bands strutting about in spandex.  It was the age of break dancing along city streets, and staying up on Friday nights to watch The Dukes of Hazzard.  And anything bearing rotary dials was frowned upon, as the age of push-buttons and digital displays packed the shelves at the local Big Wheel.

The eighties were about being cool.  Growing up as fast as possible while saving every last penny for that candy-apple Iroc-Z28 parked at the local dealership.  MTV still played music back then, and everywhere you looked, some poor soul was desperately trying to master the art of the moonwalk.

It took less than the amount of time needed to primp one's mullet for me to decide on the eighties for the setting of "South of Charm."  As my teenage son often reminds me, "You gotta get with the times, Dad!"

Perhaps someday...but not just yet ;)

Hehehe.  Thanks for stopping by, Elliot!
Check him out at his blog, Goodreads, Wooster, Amazon


Anne Gallagher said...

This interview was like a walk through the 80's all over again. I'm smirking now. The mullet, Madonna wanna-be's, yeah, remember when MTV played music?

Great post. Thanks so much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL - back when MTV actually played music videos. Isn't that the truth?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ithinnk I still remember the 80's. Lots of hair metal!

Sarah Pearson said...

Oh yes, the eighties. My go-to decade when I need some fun memories :-)

DL Hammons said...

The eighties is when I got married and began my journey in the full-time work force. Definitely some eye opening expereinces.

Love the interview! :)

Carrie said...

Love the eighties. I'll have to add this book to my list. It sounds like a good book

LOLA said...

I don't remember the 80s. Had my son in 80 and my daughter in 86. I remember poopy diapers and always being tired.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've heard some great things about his book. Good luck, Elliot. :D

Biff Tanner said...

O the 80s, I miss the old days.

Christine Danek said...

Ah the 80s. Let's not forget about the neon and lace. Love this Elliot.
Thanks for hosting Nicki.

Elliot Grace said...

Anne, for the record, I humbly admit to perming my mullet on occasion, (but only the back half, of course ;)

L.Diane Wolfe, used to stay up for hours on end, watching endless videos. Now its endless reality shows.

Alex, I still have a box full of hair band cassettes in the attic. Everything from Europe to the Scorpions. Rockin' tunes, dude!

Sarah, I love retelling those fond memories to my kids, (who no doubt consider me an ancient relic:)

DL, thanks for your thoughts! You've got me by a few years, for I was the rebellious teen back then. Cut off T-shirt and a mullet that reached for my backside ;)

Carrie, thanks so much, hope you enjoy it ;)

Lola, just finished up that decade with my kids...I can not only relate, but am still recovering. Thanks for your thoughts!

Stina, thanks so much!

Biff, those were the days. To go back for just one more evening... ;)

Christine...Neon! How could I have forgotten about all the neon?! Thanks for the reminder, how cool!

Nicki, this was a blast! Such fond memories, which is why I make your blog a regular stop of mine. Thanks so much for the opportunity ;)


Michael Di Gesu said...

Ah, the 80's ...

One of the best times of my life. NYC, Europe, tons of hair gel and endless hours in front of the camera, with hot lights and mega fans blowing. This always seemed odd to me since my hair NEVER moved.

I guess the closes needed to be moving....

EL, with each post a new facet is revealed.


Always fun to look back at our youth.

Anonymous said...

The best decade!

Michael Offutt said...

My college roommate used so much hairspray that it covered everything in the room with residue. That was at the very end of the eighties. What a peacock he was.

Written Words said...


Written Words said...

SOrry, didn't mean that - I was testing out the commenting section.
Gotta say, I liked this post. This is the first time I've read anyone who said the 80s, or mullets, were cool.
I also think that it was better when MTV played music videos.

Donna Hole said...

I graduated from high school in 1980; and set out to see the world as a married "woman". Not sure all those memories are good ones, but there sure were interesting.

My women's fiction trilogy encompasses the 80's. Ah, the writing problems I had now that we are in such an electronic age. I sure miss MTV and CMT for the videos.


Susan Oloier said...

Loved, loved the interview! I had many of flashback while reading it! I'll have to check out the book.