Monday, October 10, 2022

NBTM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Rock Gods and Messy Monsters by Diane Hatz @dianehatz @GoddessFish

Rock Gods & Messy Monsters

by Diane Hatz

GENRE: Satire, Humor, Absurdist, Contemporary Fiction


Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is one woman's search for herself among the blood-soaked walls, dangling body parts, and alien-hatched explosions inside Acht Records.

It’s the 1990s. Alex arrives to work at Acht, her improbable blonde hair streaked stress magenta and anger black. Her first duty is to wipe blood off her boss’s walls, to clean up his blood vessel explosion. It goes downhill from there.

On the surface, Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is a story about life inside an entertainment company. A cast of comedic characters exemplifies the inner workings of Acht, where power and greed mask incompetence.

A series of escapades involve Alex, a hard-working, lower-level employee desperately trying to get promoted. When she does, she realizes her dream is a nightmare. Corporate executives are busy working with aliens to manufacture a half-human, half-robot superstar. At the same time, one of the doubly-named Senior Senior Executive Presidents attempts to overthrow the Deity in charge.

Underneath and between the lines of exploding body parts and brain extractions, Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is a cautionary tale. It reminds us that our dreams can be illusions, and learning who we really are takes courage and a commitment to self-love.

For more information - Rock Gods & Messy Monsters

Purchase Rock Gods & Messy Monsters on Amazon


When the crowd had been taken to that final point where sight and sound and all other senses are so overwhelmed they overload and prepare to shut down, the music stopped. Everyone teetered off balance as the room was hurled into darkness. Weena swooned and fell to the ground, her weight creating a tremor that nearly felled the clonebot. The spotlights came on and slowly focused on the Y1K. Through the silence came a beat, softly at first, but growing louder and louder, the sound of a bass drum. Through the heartbeat of the sound came a guitar, three chord simplicity, bringing rhythm to the beat. Heads bobbed unconsciously as a bass guitar and drums joined in, creating the simple rhythms and infectious sounds of early rock and roll.

Without warning, the clonebot's head jerked upright and his eyes bolted open, staring directly at Weena sitting on the floor. She fainted backward, her mouth agape and close to falling off. The man machine slowly began to clench and unclench his tightened fists, twist and turn his stiffened wrists. The music grew louder with each movement the Y1K made. He raised his hands toward his face and looked down at them, his expression blank and uncomprehending. He turned his head right, then left, stretching, focusing, learning how to use his muscles and move his limbs.

The lights intensified and directed their rays solely on him while the music reached an earsplitting level. The clonebot blinked, then involuntarily raised his arms over his head, his fists clenched and interlocked as he assumed the essential Roger Daltrey rock stance. The music built and built until the robot forcefully lowered his arms and opened his mouth, his diaphragm exploding.

"Mama," squeaked the next international mega super rock star.

Interview with Diane Hatz

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

I moved to New York City in 1990 to work in the music industry while I wrote books. I'd decided that working in publishing wasn't a wise idea because I wanted to publish books. Growing up, I also loved rock and alternative music, so I figured I could work at a record company while writing. What I didn't plan on was the insanity that surrounded my job and my time in music. My dreams of a rock-and-roll life turned out to be a big delusion. Rock Gods & Messy Monsters became a way for me to survive the insanity that I faced every day - and it kept me focused on what I wanted to do, which was to write.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I originally wrote Rock Gods & Messy Monsters in the late 1990s and self-published the work in 2008 as Rock Gods of Acht. I didn't have any goals then - I just wanted to publish it so I could hold a copy in my hand and prove that I wrote a book. Okay, I also fantasized about being picked for Oprah's book club, as every writer did back then.

Fast forward thirteen years. A friend reconnected last spring to say she'd just finished the novel. After she closed the cover, she quit the office job she found uncreative and stifling. She convinced me to republish and market it correctly.

Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is about the search for self. It's also a cautionary tale that reminds us that our dreams can turn out to be delusions - and that we're the only ones who can do something about it. We have to walk out the door if we don't like what's happening.

One friend quit her job. Another friend who recently read the book felt so inspired she bought a desk and is setting up an office. She's determined to start her writing career. As a writer, I couldn't ask for anything more.

I've influenced two people and inspired them to trust in themselves and pursue their dreams. I can only hope that I'll be able to inspire a few more who read the book.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of the writing process was all the rejection I endured when I finished the novel and began looking for an agent and publisher. Some of the unprofessional form rejections crushed me. After a dozen or so, I stopped trying to find a publisher. And I didn't write for a long time.

I'm only now getting back into fiction writing and am happy to say I've just finished the first draft of my next novel.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I loved those moments when I got lost in writing. My characters would take over and direct the story, to the point that I sometimes felt like an observer of my work. The words would come out like a symphony. It's hard to explain what happened, but it's the best high I've ever experienced.

Were there alternate endings you considered?

I never considered an ending. I let the book and the characters show me where the story was going, so they ended it for me. Ironically, I followed in the main character's footsteps less than two years ago.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

I didn't research the novel as much as I lived it, so this is hard to answer. The characters are a mashup of people I worked with that I've fictionalized. But I can't share stories that might identify anyone in particular. I worked with an eccentric bunch of characters - me being one of them. And if you take out the surrealism and absurdist elements, many of the scenes happened in real life.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy anything like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Hence, a combination of satire, humor, and sci-fi is probably my favorite genre. I've found it incredibly hard to enjoy books since my master's degree. I look at the writing style, tone, techniques, etc., instead of simply enjoying it. I recently committed to reading again, so I'm doing my best to let go and enjoy getting lost in a book. I'll never be the voracious reader I was when I was young, but I want to get back to enjoying at least a couple of books a month.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Diane Hatz worked at major and indie record companies, managed a band, and freelanced as a music publicist. She is co-founder of The Relay, a fanzine on The Who, which is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She’s attended thousands of concerts.

Diane has a Masters in Creative Writing and is currently focused on writing fiction. Her book Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is currently available from most online retailers. Her substack Next Draft with Diane Hatz” is a newsletter for creatives looking inward. And some writing stuff.

During her sometimes-surreal career, Diane founded the nonprofit Change Food, worked to shut down factory farms, organized & spoke at major TED/TEDx events, and executive produced The Meatrix, a Webby Award winner. She has studied with many spiritual teachers, including The Dalai Lama.

In late 2020, after 30 years living in downtown Manhattan and the East Village, Diane moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. When not at her computer creating, you can find her hiking, road tripping, or breathing in all the beauty the Southwest has to offer.

Connect with Diane Hatz

Facebook Author page ~ Instagram ~ Ko-fi (for donations)

Website ~ LinkedIn ~ Pinterest ~ TikTok ~ Twitter ~ YouTube



$20 Amazon/BN GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting!

Sherry said...

Sounds like a really good book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing info about Rock Gods!!

Marcy Meyer said...

Love the cover. Looks great.

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know a little about you, Diane, I also enjoyed the excerpt and Rock Gods and Monsters sounds like a fascinating read and the cover is very eye-catching!

Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fabulous weekend!