Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Dead Rockstar + Author Interview

Title: Dead Rockstar

Author: Lillah Lawson

Narrator: Danielle Joy Foley

Length: 13 hours 2 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Apr. 28, 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stormy Spooner is at her wits’ end. Careening towards bitter after a nasty divorce, she sometimes wonders what her life is becoming.

After unearthing a cryptic set of lines from a dusty album cover, Stormy tries the impossible: to resurrect Phillip Deville, enigmatic former frontman of the Bloomer Demons. Stormy’s love for her favorite dead rockstar knows no bounds…but it was all supposed to be a joke.

When she answers a knock on her door the next day and finds herself face to face with the dark-haired rock god of her every teenage fantasy, her entire world is turned upside down.

Turns out, she’s awakened more than just Philip, and Stormy will have to do battle against a cast of strange characters to keep herself and her new undead boyfriend safe.

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Q&A with Author Lillah Lawson
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Yes! One of the joys of the writing process, especially of being published, is daydreaming about all the different formats in which your book will appear. I’ve been looking forward to the audiobook version of Dead Rockstar since I first started writing. It was exciting to imagine how certain scenes – especially the funny ones, or the ones in which Phillip is being the ultimate rockstar, would translate to an audio format. I hope the Danielle (the narrator) had as much fun reading it as I did writing it!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • As many Dead Rockstar fans know by now, the character of Phillip Deville was loosely based on a few different real-life frontmen, the biggest one (literally and figuratively) being Peter Steele of Type O Negative. There’s also a little Axl Rose and David Bowie in there.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I just write about what interests me. One thing I do that might be slightly unique is that I straddle genres. I don’t “stay in my lane”, only writing one type of literature. I write all kinds: historical fiction, literary, horror, fantasy, and everything in between. I love to incorporate real-life experiences and things that peak my interest. I think that’s how I avoid burnout – I’m just genuinely excited to tackle the subject matter every day.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Sometimes, yes! Most of the time I reach for a physical book, but I’m also a bit of a speed-reader. It’s a problem. So sometimes I’ll go for the audiobook to force myself to slow down and actually enjoy the book as an immersive experience.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I absolutely would. One of my preferred genres is historical fiction, so I have many different eras I’d love to travel to. I’d like to visit the late-1960s, and the early 1930s (both of which I’ve written about), as well as “The Year Without a Summer”, 1816. That time period fascinates me!
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • I’ve thought about this a lot. First instinct says to cast Henry Cavill in his full Witcher glory (just with black hair) as Phillip, but that’s a bit on the nose. I also like the idea of Gwilym Lee (who played Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody and is hilarious on The Great) as Phillip. For Guthrie, I always imagined Iggy Pop. For Lydia, maybe Frances Conroy or my FAVORITE actress, Catherine O’Hara. As for Stormy, my MC, it just changes all the time. Half the time I picture her as me.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I really dislike judgemental attitudes towards literature in general. That goes for folks who sniff at romance as a genre, or who refuse to read a self-published novel, or say that audiobooks aren’t “real reading”. I’ve seen that attitude towards Kindle/Nook books, too. It’s just gatekeeping, and it has no purpose. It’s also a very elitist and dare I say, ableist attitude to have.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I think writing a series is a bit harder, because it requires more plotting and outlines, which is not my strong suit! Pacing is a must!
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food – Nachos or Lasagna. It’s a tie.
    • Song – Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie
    • Book – The Great Gatsby (go ahead and judge)
    • Television show – Six Feet Under
    • Movie – It’s a Wonderful Life
    • Band – Queens of the Stone Age
    • Sports team – New Zealand All Blacks
    • City – Savannah
  • What’s next for you?
    • I have a historical fiction novel, So Long, Bobby, coming out this Fall from City Limits Press. It’s a tale of political upheaval, grunge, heartbreak and mother-daughter relationships that takes place in the late 1960s through the mid-1990s.
    • For fans of Dead Rockstar, you’ll be happy to know that the sequel, The Wolfden, will be out February 15, 2022 by Parliament House Press! So you’ll get your Phillip Deville fix very soon!

Having written professionally for many years, Lillah Lawson enjoys crossing lines when it comes to literary genres. Having dabbled in horror, southern gothic, fantasy and historical fiction, she loves to write outside the lines, using different genres to explore the common threads between people.

Her debut novel, Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree, was published by Regal House Publishing in 2019. Her second novel, the first in a dark fantasy trilogy, Dead Rockstar, was published by Parliament House Press in 2020. Her short story The Lady and the Tall Man was published in the horror anthology Shiver: A Cold Weather Anthology, edited by Nico Bell, in February 2021. Her novel So Long, Bobby, was published by City Limits Press in August 2021.

In addition to writing, Lillah’s passions include cycling, playing bass, baking, genealogy, and travel. She is a voracious reader and music lover. Most of Lillah’s work takes place in her home state of Georgia, where she finds the culture, history and spirit to fuel her literary fire. She currently lives just outside of Athens, Georgia with her husband, son and three furry friends.

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Narrator Bio

Danielle Joy Foley has her BFA in theatre arts and postgraduate studies in Meisner technique at Playhouse West (LA) as well as Linklater Progression with The Phoenix Theatre (PA). She has performed for Stage, Film, Internet TV and Audiobooks. Danielle loves to be a part of telling stories and is endlessly fascinated by the human condition. She considers herself to be a conduit for the writer’s words to pass through to be heard, seen, felt by the audience. Danielle also has a masters degree in Dance/movement therapy and is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader! She lives in the greater Philadelphia area with her family and enjoys painting, dancing, dabbling in poetry and being an alpaca enthusiast.

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