Tuesday, March 5, 2019

# Guest Posts # WRITING

The Inspiration Behind Material Things by Larry Spencer #guest #write #materialthings

The Inspiration Behind Material Things

By Larry Spencer

I believe the term goes something like this— “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Real life can be more remarkable than invented tales. Research tells me this old expression was invented by Byron, who used it in Don Juan (1833). I know, a useless fact. Anyway—it certainly relates to me living on the edge in Los Angeles in the nineteen sixties and seventies and being able to witness and tell this story firsthand.

As advertised, this book was conceived and raised from true-life events. This was, I thought, a story I always wanted to tell and a story I thought should be told. It had rattled around in my subconscious for years but I never could gather enough time or courage to tell it without being bias or seemingly outlandish.

See I virtually lived this story.  I am a product of the 60s and 70s. And since we’re confessing inspiration—I just happen to be one of the characters who played an integral part as one of the owners in the Jon’s Drawer clothing store— A venue that is also a central character in the theme and prides itself as being the first to sell bellbottom jeans to the masses in Southern California. Maybe I’m cheating because I didn’t have to go far to come up with exciting, quirky, loveable, despicable people to portray in this cast of head shaking characters. I didn’t have to conjure up love interests because I knew them on a personal level. I didn’t have to make up the intrusion of the FBI and the Mafia because I was met and threatened by them face-to-face, while I nearly peed my pants.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to pass this slice of life on and let people hear for themselves what went on in that pop-culture era in Southern California.  It was fascinating, and when I looked back and while I was jotting down recollections, it was hard to believe I lived it. It was surreal how three semi-normal guys who just wanted to sell jeans were swallowed up in a fervor of sex, drugs and murder.

So I took a break from my twenty-year career as a TV comedy and feature film writer and tried my hand at writing novels. My first was The Tipping Point of Oliver Bass. I was told by reviewers that as a character, Oliver toed a curious line between Holden Caulfield and Philip Marlowe. I must’ve been doing something right, so I decided to dust off the cobwebs in my subconscious and take a crack at Material Things. To use an overworked cliché—the rest is history.

I self-published my first book and swore I’d never do that again because the result was less than an overwhelming success. It sucked actually. But failing to sign with a major publisher, I once again hit the self-publishing trail —but I think I’m taking more of a serious route this time and utilizing, sights, sounds and literary avenues that are offered to me that I didn’t take advantage of the first time.  Fingers crossed. Right?

About the Author

LARRY SPENCER published his first novel, The Tipping Point Of Oliver Bass in the summer of 2017. A story that covered the life of a pathologically arrogant, wealthy young man who sets off on a journey of self-discovery, family tragedy, and sexual conquest in a modern California noir backdrop.   Spencer has been a Writer’s Guild of America member since the late 70s, having written and produced a multitude of highly successful TV shows, which culminated into writing several feature films. He was then encouraged to pen his second book, Material Things, a story based on true events that takes place in the 60s &70s and tackles organized crime, drugs and embezzlement during a time when bellbottom pants ruled the fashion scene.  He lives in Valley Village, California.

Visit his website at www.larryspencerauthor.com.

About the Book:

Author: Larry Spencer
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 367
Genre: Fiction

Larry Spencer’s riveting, interlocking narratives circle the lives of Matthew Street, Jon Lewis and Christopher Styles, in a 1970s California backdrop that takes them from owning and operating a fashionable clothing boutique into the gripping world of an FBI under cover operation, drug trafficking, prostitution and a nefarious criminal element, that brings to light a Mafia contract killer, who’s out to bump off a stoolie in their midst. 
Material Things is based on true events surrounding the store that introduced bellbottom jeans to a hip Southern California crowd and how it became, not only a cottage industry but also an arena fraught with danger and moral strife that put the store and it’s owners under close scrutiny after an alarming number of felonious activities surface.

The climax is anything but conventional as Matthew, Jon and Christopher are confronted with a life threatening reality that they never imagined could happen just by selling bellbottom pants.



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