Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Almost Graceland"

Steve Carlson has been a working actor and screenwriter for more than thirty years. In his varied career, he has been a series regular on General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and Showtime’s A New Day in Eden. He has also guest-starred in hundreds of hours of television and starred or costarred in ten feature films. He has written feature films, television episodes, and books on working in acting.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his debut novel Almost Graceland, and reported the following:
Well, how can any author, when hearing about the page 69 test, not, at least, take a look and see what page 69 reveals in their novel? Mine actually made me laugh when I turned to it.

Elvis Presley was born a twin, but his twin was still-born. My book looks at what could have happened had he lived. My main character, Ray Johnston, was having a pretty rough go at life. The only unique thing about him was that hardly a day would go by without someone saying how much he looked like Elvis. He got pretty tired of it.

About this time in the book, the possibility that there may be a very plausible reason for those Elvis ‘look-alike’ looks are just starting to come to light. His life at the moment, however, was still in the toilet.

The name of my book is Almost Graceland and the first moment in the book that spawned the name … is on page 69. Here it is:

Early afternoon that same day, Ray was straightening up his trailer when he saw Sheree drive up in front. He went out to meet her. “Hey, babe. What’s up?” he asked, not used to seeing her there in the middle of the day.

“Just have a little surprise.” She kissed him ‘hello’ and led him to
the trunk of her car. “I got excited and couldn’t wait.”

She opened her trunk and motioned for Ray to look in. He did … then
looked back to Sheree questioningly.

“I got them at a garage sale yesterday,” she said proudly lifting out
one of a pair of two foot tall porcelain lions with one paw raised. “Aren’t they neat?”

“Well, yeah … but why?” Ray wondered.

“Why? For many reasons,” Sheree began, admiring the lions. “The
lion is the king of beasts and since you are my very own personal king, you should have them. Also, as you’ve told me many times, this is your castle. Your very own personal Graceland… almost. “And this…” she said, indicating the dirt road leading to the trailer, “This is the very fashionable drive over your ‘grounds’ to your castle. Elvis has lions at his Graceland, you should have them for yours. Actually, they should be on top of the pillars by your gates, but since they haven’t quite gotten built yet, I’ll just put them by the turn-off.”

“Aren’t they going to look a little strange out there?”

“They might look a little silly which is exactly what you need, my friend, a little whimsy.”


“Yeah, every time you look at them you’ll think of having fun.

… and it goes on from there. The two men do meet and the uneasy relationship that grows from that is interesting, many highs, many lows. Dealing with the most famous man on the planet did present its challenges.
Learn more about the novel and author at Steve Carlson's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue