Author: Laura DeLuca
Publisher: Pagan Writer’s Press
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Buy Here: Amazon|Barnes & Noble
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.
Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.
Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.
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What are the differences/similarities between your High School setting in Phantom and your actual High School experience? Did you draw some from your High School experiences for this book?
It’s been almost twenty years since I was in high school, yet strangely enough, it still influences me a lot in my writing. Not only because I write young adult books, but because this is such an important time in life. A time when you begin to learn who you really are. I actually attended a Catholic high school, complete with blue cardigans and plaid skirts that came down to our knees. Aside from that, my school was very much like the high school in Phantom. Located at the Jersey Shore, my school was filled with boys that would have matched Tom’s physical description. Blue eyed, blonde haired surfers were a dime a dozen, and I dated my fair share of them, including one who was the star of all the drama club productions. He was my first love, and he was the inspiration for the character of Tom. But lucky for him, there was no handsome Goth around to give him competition.
The drama club is also something I had firsthand experience with, though my situation was the opposite of my heroine, Rebecca’s. I mention that she was hiding in the orchestra with her “mediocre violin ability” for the first three years of school. Then she comes out of the closet with her amazing singing voice. Well, I was in the orchestra and that was where I belonged. I could listen to a song once and play it completely by ear. So I was a savant violinist, where Rebecca had the miracle voice. I still play occasionally, but due to carpal tunnel, my fingers aren’t as dexterous as they once were.
I might not have been part of the actual cast, but even watching from the orchestra pit gave me a good understanding of how the stage works. I could sing along with all the songs, I knew all the lines, and I watched the rehearsals progress from awful to amazing in the course of just a few weeks as lines were learned, scenery was brought in, and finally dress rehearsals began. Most of my descriptions of rehearsals in Phantom were pulled from these distant memories. We never performed The Phantom of The Opera, but it was being a part of these high school performances that started off my love of the stage. I still go back with my own children every year to see by old alma mater perform their annual stage production. Of course I also make it a point to drop off a copy of each of my books to my favorite teachers. It might be twenty years later, but my high school and its drama club, will always hold a special place in my heart.
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