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Monday, August 11, 2008

TAKE TEN: Our Conversation with Author Sam Love

Author Sam Love came to the attention of Conversations in early 2008 and has kept our attention every since. The 61 year old native of Aliceville, Alabama has taken his love of the 60s and brought readers an enjoyable, unforgettable tale in the book ELECTRIC HONEY.
(Conversations Reviewed this book for the Clarion Ledger newspaper in July 2008. Read the review here: http://www.rankinledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080712/LIFE/807120311/1003)
Though written years ago, the message and social issues it addresses are beneficial for every generation as you will see in this interview.
• Sam, Thank you for taking out the time to talk with Conversations. Before we get into your book ELECTRIC HONEY, I want to talk about your desire to write. Where did it come from? Is it something you always knew you wanted to do?
Thank you for the work you do promoting books. I've often wondered why I have a desire to write. Something inside me keeps pushing me. I am a mix of Scott and Irish and they have a great tradition of story telling. I have a feeling it is one of those genetic problems medical science can't cure.

• I am always curious as to what authors enjoy reading and how much it coincides with the time period they write about. What about you? If I was to visit you at home, what would I find on your bookshelves?
I have always enjoyed the off beat. I loved "Gods in Alabama" for example or any of the books by Carl Hiaasen and Jodi Picoult. I just finished "The Diamond Cutter" about a Buddhist monk who goes to work in the diamond district in New York. I am also reading books now about the psychology of the workplace as research for another writing project.
• ELECTRIC HONEY takes us through several generations, however, the main story takes place in the sixties. What was it about that time that drew you to it?
I lived through the sixties and some of my friends didn't. I also feel we are living in a culture where memory is disappearing. We are overloaded with noise and information and our brains are forced to shed anything they don't need to function. I reference this in the Disclaimer in the front of "Electric Honey": "Much of this story relied upon my memory of Mississippi in the 1960's and since memory is disappearing from our culture, the story has all the accuracy of a fairy tale." I have thought about making a bumper sticker that says, "Remember Memory".

I do think the sixties was a period that many people want to forget. Parents are not proud of some of the things they did. The conservatives have also attacked some of the alternative values young people explored during that time. The peace, women's, and civil rights movements all opened up a Pandora's box of questions about a white male dominated, materialistic and militaristic society. It led to clashes in the culture that are still happening. I heard a debate last night on TV about the role of alpha males in corporations. Much of this discussion I first heard 40 years ago. I even have a section in "Electric Honey" that describes a meeting where the women break off into a "consciousness raising" session on "sister power". They discuss the role of women in the meeting and return to the main group with a list of demands. As they start listing their demands, some Neanderthals drive by in a pickup and fire a shotgun blast into the meeting. As odd as this seems today, it happened and I was there when the building got shot up in Mississippi. For years too many people voted with their shot guns in the state.
 
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Author Sam Love and his interview about ELECTRIC HONEY will be featured during the entire month of September 2008 as part of Conversations alliance with http://www.books2mention.com.

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