A Book That Brings Back Memories

Michael Nohe Author Interview

The Dead Superstars Bar follows two friends that open up a bar that only plays music from dead artists from the 60s; they didn’t expect those artists to show up. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Interestingly, the answer to that question can be found in the book when Harvey and Conor talk about how the idea for a Dead Superstar Bar developed.  Let’s just say that the process involved friends, chess, cold beer, and late nights listening to 60’s music. Details can be found in Chapter 2!

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the story’s theme?

Most of the research was done on the internet, with a surprising amount done watching YouTube videos.  If research can be fun, spending hours watching interviews with 60s musicians, and bands from the 60s perform on YouTube fits the bill.  While it is The Dead Superstar Bar, I wanted to also highlight some of the musicians out of the spotlight, the non-Superstars, in particular, studio bands like the Wrecking Crew and the Funk Brothers, among others.  These unsung artists contributed mightily to the music we still enjoy today, so getting their names back in front of people was important.  Other themes in the book, such as the importance of second, third, or even fourth chances in life, God’s commitment to humanity, the importance of music, lifelong friendships, and meaning in life (not the meaning of life), etc., weren’t dependent on research.  Hopefully, this is a book that brings back memories to many people and leaves everyone with a smile on their faces.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

There’s quite a bit from my own life in the story.  My wife has said that I’m Harvey Dowd, but in truth, while there are similarities, Harvey is a much nicer guy than me!  First off, like Harvey Dowd, I love the movie, Harvey.  I hope readers go back and watch the film and listen carefully whenever Jimmy Stewart speaks.  Some of the simple lines in the film say more than entire movies.

Life in Baltimore, Catholic school, retirement in Sarasota, time spent in the investment business, enjoying 60s music,  an incredible wife and family, and the pseudo-philosophy in the book all also define me.  But there are many differences as well, which I won’t enumerate.  However, if there was a Dead Superstar Bar movie, in a perfect world, Jimmy Stewart would be Harvey Dowd, and Conor would be played by Jason Alexander.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

My wife and I occasionally walk at a semi-abandoned mall in Sarasota.  The movie theater, a Costco, and a handful (one hand) of stores remain open.  The rest of the mall is a ghost town with signs of deterioration everywhere, eerie sounds in the corridors, creepy shadows, etc.  Somehow, I found this inspiring.  So, after a lighthearted, philosophical, feel-good book, i.e., The Dead Superstar Bar, I’ve begun writing a horror novel, Deadfall Mall.  The premise—thirteen people trapped overnight on Halloween in a mall that is set to close in a few days.  I have a beginning, an end, and a lot of writing to do to fill in the middle.  The story has nine victims (not a spoiler, as readers will know this very early), a dollop of humor, no hardcore violence, some twists, and a little moral underpinning.  Does it have any connection to The Dead Superstar Bar?  There will be music, but no dead musicians and both books have Dead in the title.  Also, it will be a stand-alone novel.   So, there’s actually very little in common with TDSB. 

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

When Harvey Dowd, along with the help of his life-long friend Conor, opened The Dead Superstar Bar in downtown Sarasota, they weren’t prepared for what was to come. The pair envisioned a local bar with a house band playing 60’s music, but only music released by deceased 60’s stars. They didn’t foresee those stars returning to perform nightly at his bar. It turns out that heaven does have a hell of a band. Dead musicians performing live at a bar in Florida, God’s Waiting Room, what could go wrong? The Dead Superstar Bar is a humorous upbeat look back at the 60s; its music, its craziness, and the musicians who made it unforgettable.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 16, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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