Hi guys! We have the wonderful Lou Sylvre stopping by today with her upcoming release Falling Snow on Snow, I asked Lou if she would ‘pretty please’ interview one of her characters from Falling Snow on Snow and she agreed and interviewed Beck! So we have a fantastic character interview where we get some fantastic insights into Beck and Oleg and Lou has also brought along a brilliant giveaway. So peeps, check out the post and click that giveaway link <3 ~Pixie~
Falling Snow on Snow
Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.
Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.
Lou Sylvre & Character Interview with Beck Justice!
Hi. I’m Lou Sylvre. As an author, the characters that end up in my books intrigue, confound, and mystify me, so I often end up asking them questions. No, don’t look at me like that! I’m perfectly sane. Anyway, I wanted to know a little more about Beck Justice, from Falling Snow on Snow, and I thought you might, too.
Outside, a steady rain is falling, rinsing away the last vestiges of snow in Seattle except for the sooty piles in parking lots. It’s New Year’s Eve, it’s 5:00 pm and dusk has just passed into dark, and I’m sitting with Beck and Oleg in the small living room of the Seattle condo they’ve just rented—together!
The place is cluttered with half-unpacked boxes, and things taken out but not put away, but upon reflection, I realize these few boxes of things probably represent most of what the two of them own. I’m here to interview Beck for a blog post, but I’m distracted thinking about what would make a good housewarming present for them.
Parcheesi—the cat—looks comfortable in front of the gas heater, and Oleg looks pretty well integrated with his new surroundings. I suppose when you’ve spent a good part of your life homeless, it’s easy to make yourself comfortable in a new place. Someone I know very well once wrote about making a cell in the county jail feel like home. “As soon as you can smell yourself there, voila, it’s home.” I wonder though, if for Beck, part of his ease here isn’t because he can smell Oleg, in a manner of speaking.
Speaking of Oleg, he seems a little less acclimated, but then he’s never been homeless. And he’s never lived this far (maybe ten miles or so?) away from his open-armed family. He’s perched on a stool—the couch is piled with things and I’m in the living room arm chair, which looks an awful lot like the one that was in the Abramov family home when Beck was there for Christmas. Oleg scoots his stool a little closer to the kitchen chair Beck manages to look like he’s lounging in, and sort of leans toward the big man as if subconsciously looking for comfort there. Beck notices, and reaches over and twines his hand with Oleg’s, offering him what, to me, seems to be a secretive smile.
I love watching them together, but I begin to feel a bit like a voyeur, so I decide it’s time to get on with the interview.
Me: Beck, I have a question for you. How old were you when you first started learning guitar?
Beck: Breathes a sigh of relief, apparently okay with answering direct questions. Oh, really young. My real dad—you know, I mean, not John—anyway my father played, and one of the few things I remember about being with him is sitting snuggled against him while he played his electric. Sometimes he’d let me pluck the strings and he’d make them do various effects. I guess he could tell I loved it, because on my sixth birthday he got me a little-kid-sized guitar. I think my sister still has it. I never stopped playing guitar after that.
Me: So you were pretty good by the time you… um, had to leave your home?
I’m a little uncomfortable, not sure how to describe that event in Beck’s life. To put it plainly, his stepfather kicked him out on the streets at fourteen, but I know he’s sort of patching things up with the guy now. Maybe he’d rather I wasn’t so blunt. He doesn’t look fazed though, so I breathe easier as he begins to answer.
Beck: Well, Lou—can I call you Lou? I know Mr. Vasquez…
Me: Hah! Don’t even worry about what Luki does. He calls me Ms. Sylvre more for snark reasons than manners. Lou is fine.
Beck: Oh. Well, okay. Yeah, I was damn good by the time John put me out. When my mom was alive—God, I miss her, sometimes. You know? She was a pretty remarkable woman. Always knew what to say to comfort us kids when we needed it, and she knew how to keep us in line too. Cancer—I hate that word. She should have lived a long time.
Me: I’m sorry you lost her, Beck. Your life would have been different if she hadn’t died. And yeah, cancer is a cruel thing. But I’m glad you had her for a while, because look! You turned out to be this awesome guy! Where would Oleg be without you?
Beck: Laughs, and pats Oleg’s hand. The question is, where would I be without him! Anyway, thanks, Lou. For saying that stuff, and also for putting me in a story so I could meet the man I was always supposed to be with. And so I could stop hating December quite so much.
Me: Well, yes, I guess being the Scrooge is kind of a burden. Nice you don’t have to do that anymore, now that you and Oleg will always have an anniversary to celebrate during the dread month.
Beck: Right! He pulls Oleg against him and kisses the top of his head. Anyway, I was telling you about my Mom, she always had me involved in music—lessons, recitals, stuff like that—so I could read music very well, sing harmonies, and play a bit on a couple other instruments, too. When I hit the streets, I took my best guitar—an old Alvarez acoustic steel-string. I somehow managed to keep it too, until I went to the hospital with pneumonia. I thought George would take care of it for me, but when I got back on the streets it was history. He said it got stolen, but I think he sold it.
Beck looks pretty despondent, eyes downcast, but when Oleg places his free hand Beck’s forearm and gives it a light rub, he looks up and smiles. I now desperately want to steer the subject away from things like being a street kid, getting pneumonia because you can’t get out of the weather, and low-life ex-boyfriends like George.
Me: But not early music, before you left home?
Beck: No, but enough complex finger picking, classical, new age, what have you, that once I set my ear and my mind to it, the style came easy.
Me: If you had to choose one kind of music to play, would that be it?
Beck: Wags his head indecisively. Ummm… If I had to choose one… I couldn’t do it! If I had to narrow it down to two I’d say early music—everything from the dark ages to renaissance—would be one, and blues would most likely be the other.
Me: Why blues?
Beck: Because blues is like… everything else can be blues, if that makes any sense at all. I mean there are so many styles—Chicago blues, Texas blues, delta blues, and so forth. There’s even blues rags. You can do rock in a blues style, or jazz-blues fusion, whatever. And the blues, to me, come about organically. Everybody recognizes that feeling you get when someone does the blues well. It’s kind of like diving into your troubles to get out from under them. Doesn’t make sense, I know, but…. And, you know. You can make it complicated if you want, but basically you can take three chords and twelve bars and make great music.
Me: So how about a couple examples of great blues, different kinds.
Beck: Okay. Tell you what. Let me get my phone—give me your number. I’ll text you link to a Guitar World blog post with vids of eight different guitar players—a lot of ‘em you usually see playing electric, but they’re all on acoustic in these clips. Different styles, way different sounds. Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, even Jimi Hendrix. And a guy from Portland named Terry Robb.
He sends me the link and puts down his phone and with no further ado says, “And I’ll play some blues for you.” He reaches across me for his guitar which is propped on a stand obviously made for the purpose. With the guitar in hand, he grows thoughtful. Any hint of nervous tension flees his features and his shoulders visibly relax as he listens to the strings and fusses with the tuning.
Oleg leans over to me and whispers. “Isn’t he beautiful?”
I just nod, but frankly, the thought crosses my mind that if he’s as sexy when he’s making love as he is when he’s making music, Oleg is one lucky guy. Beck starts to play in earnest, though I have no idea what he’s playing until he says, “just a 12-bar-blues in E.” Whatever it is, it’s great. He plays on for some while, and then he stops and I see he’s sweating just a little bit. I suppose it’s because he was giving his guitar a hell of a workout, but whatever the reason, I think it makes him look even sexier.
Then he gets to an ending, stands and steps over to the stand to put the instrument down. He looks at Oleg. “You hungry, baby?”
Oleg gives him one of those certified-original smiles and says, “Well, yes. But I could maybe use a nap, if you, uh, know what I mean.”
Beck’s grin goes wide. “Sounds good! Well, sorry Lou, but this is bye for now. Um, you know where the door is.”
He stretches out a hand, inviting Oleg to take it, and when he does, the two of them don’t even give me a glance as they walk toward the bedroom in their cozy little Seattle condo. I pick up my notes, stand with a sigh and turn toward the front door. I’m heading out into the cold rain, and I’m damn jealous of those two young lovers with all their beautiful, sexy heat. I suppose you might think they were rude, sending me off like that without even much of a fare-thee-well. But I can’t blame them. They are each other’s beautiful reward, and it’s only right they should bask in the sunshine of love on a wet Seattle New Year’s Eve.
So that’s the long and the short of the Beck Justice interview. Thanks for lending us some space, Pixie and MM Good Book Reviews, and thanks for reading, everybody. If you haven’t read Falling Snow on Snow, check out the blurb and cover while you’re here. And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway!
Oh, and here’s that link Beck gave me: http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-8-acoustic-blues-masters
Tomorrow, December 17, I’ll have a post up on my blog, at http://www.sylvre.rainbow-gate.com for the Holiday Blog Hop. After that, I’m on tour with Falling Snow on Snow, and you can catch me on future stops at the links below. I’ll have a Falling Snow on Snow playlist, an interview with Oleg, and some other stuff I hope will be fun. Hope to see you!
Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. Apparently an English major, he helps a lot, but Lou refuses to put his name on the byline. (Boudreau invites readers to give their feedback as well!)
When Lou isn’t writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a slew of chihuahua/dachshund puppies. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, gardens, wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world.
Where to find the author: