Lawrence Parlier


From The Hawkins Publishing website

Posted by [email protected] on November 29, 2013 at 8:05 PM


Metal & Mayhem- The World of Sierra Court Blues-Lawrence Parlier-Guest Blogger & Author


   Sierra Court Blues is a novel set in the early 1990’s about a group of young adults at odds with society and completely out of control. They had filthy mouths and did too many drugs. They used sex as an escape and, at times, a weapon. They were musicians and artists that reveled in the hedonism of the metal lifestyle. They were rebels, outsiders who were not on the fast track to college or destined for wealth. Although, they were savagely intelligent, restless, and desperate to find a way to give their lives meaning. They had no illusions about what the world wanted from them. They were intimately aware of the drudgery of their blue collar future and at that confounded age, could not bear the thought of submitting to it. So, they went wild.
   While the novel is a fictional account, the sentiment was very real, with the characters drawn from my own group of friends and acquaintances. After my manuscript was accepted for publication, my editor noted that the characters appeared to be living the lives of people in their 30’s, that they seemed too advanced for their age. “That,” I replied, “is exactly the point.”
Like my own peers, the characters portrayed in Sierra Court Blues grew up too fast. Ours was a generation of latchkey kids who came home from school to empty homes as the necessities of Reaganomics drew both parents into the workforce.
In that peculiar void of absentee parenting, we grew to rely more on ourselves and, by turn, became more involved with each other. We developed deep bonds and created our own secret world that few parents had the time or energy to investigate. We found solace in each other’s arms and escape in the decadence of metal. We partied like rock stars before the ink was dry on our high school I.D. cards. We were burdened by responsibilities we did not ask for and burned out on a world in which we had little say. To say that we were jaded would be a serious understatement.
   We just wanted to have fun; everything else was tedium.
   Of course, the repercussions of this unbidden freedom quickly came home to roost. Teen pregnancy skyrocketed in the late 80’s to an all-time high in 1991. Drug and alcohol abuse statistics placed the age of the average user in their late teens. Nancy Reagan may have been telling us to “just say no”, but not everyone was listening or willing to tell anyone the truth about it.
   So as the 90’s dawned, the group portrayed in Sierra Court Blues came to age playing way above their heads. They were thoughtful and sensitive, but also obsessed with their own lifestyle and desires. The main character, Bo, struggles with his gamble of choosing his band over his toxic marriage and growing family. He cannot divorce himself from the idea of stardom. For him, fame is the answer to all of his problems. He wanted it so badly he eschews anything that threatens his search, blinding him to his best friends own growing obsession. The harder they push toward achieving their goals, the more they lose track of reality.
   Somehow, reality has a way of striking back when you least expect it. The best lessons taught by the Universe are the ones you never see coming and sometimes, those lessons come at much too high of a price. Those lessons are reserved for the ones that are hardest to teach.

    Just ask Bo.







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