Monsters Makes its Way to Netflix

It looks like more than Critters is making its return when it comes to 80s horror classics. Monsters has already made its way back via Amazon. The show is available for streaming through Amazon Prime Video.

Monsters Makes its Way to Netflix

“We’ve just learned that the horror TV series Monsters, which ran from 1988 to 1991, is now streaming on Prime!” according to Bloody-Disgusting.

“All 72 episodes, across 3 seasons, can now be streamed at your leisure.”

What’s better than a group of monsters watching tales of other monsters? Well, the dark humor and messages that come from the show every once-in-awhile could help. If you were a fan of this show, you already know it was quite the riot.

It featured a new story every week though the viewers in the show were pretty much the same, a family that was pretty monstrous. Former stars of the show include: John BolgerPamela Dean Kelly, Michael J. Anderson and many more.

Reviving these classics seem like the popular thing to do for many streaming services. It’s really just a matter of time before all of the 80s classics are available for us to stream. We aren’t going to complain about the classics.

Are you excited to see Monsters available for streaming? What was your favorite episode? Let us know in the comments section below. If you’re from the 80s and haven’t heard of the show, it’s probably a good time to check it out.

Incredible Photos of 80s Las Vegas are Simply Captivating

It’s not very often that you come across some incredible images from the 80s that are so clear and pure it captures the moments so thoroughly. That is what Jay Wolke’s photos of 80s Las Vegas do for us when we take a look at them. The photos feature most of the big draws that Vegas had back in the 80s and much of which are pretty much the same in current times.

80s Las Vegas

80s Las Vegas was crowded. It was filled with people who were looking for a good time. It called out to many vices whether it was gambling or catching an adult-rated show. It was and is still a place where anyone who is madly in love with their significant other can skip extravagant weddings and get married and one of the multiple chapels.

The Guardian published a number of Wolke’s photographs with perfectly placed captions. Everything from the clothing that is worn to overall layout of Las Vegas brings us plenty of nostalgia from the decade.

“Thirty years ago, gambling in the US was limited to three destinations: Reno, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City. Jay Wolke photographed the ordinary people who played, lived and worked in the rapidly expanding cities,” according to TheGuardian.

“Wolke’s project has now become both a time capsule and an index of the contemporary – addressing themes that are as meaningful today as they were 30 years ago.”

To see these incredible photos click here.

More 80s-Styled Arcades Are Popping Up: Keg and Coin

Back in the 80s arcades were more of an innocent place where kids could go to have fun without worrying about adults. Now, as adults, some of us want to go right back to those places, though, it wouldn’t hurt to have a brew or two right? Well, as we have reported in recent months, the 80s-styled arcade is making its way back. However, some places like Keg and Coin are giving it a little twist, one that many may enjoy.

More 80s-Styled Arcades Are Popping Up: Keg and Coin

“The upbeat intro music of dozens of arcade cabinets sets the relaxed ambiance of Keg and Coin, an expansion of Beer:30 on King Street,” according to Jacksonville.com.

“Along with Beer:30’s selection of craft beer and soda, the new gameroom offers a mix of original 1980s arcade games, extreme sport racing games of the 1990s, a wall of pinball machines and traditional staples like foosball and skee-ball. Exchange dollar bills for quarters at one of its two change machines, drop a couple of coins into a game and press start.”

This totally sounds like a place an 80s fan can get lost it. Someone who thrived in the 80s but seeks an arcade tailored to an adult that isn’t a Dave and Busters. These arcades are becoming much more popular and at this rate, millennials may start joining in on the fun with the retro gaming and a solid craft beer selection.

“We really tried to touch on the cultural trends of the time,” said Brooks Whalen, one of the co-managing partners of Keg and Coin, according to the report.

“You look around, a lot of the art in here, the games, the T-shirts, it will bring back memories for different people, but coming in here they’ll see something that reminds them of their childhood in a good way.”

80s reminders and influence is still very much all around us, however, these seem much different in the sense that you can throw a quarter into a machine and literally be transported to simpler times. To learn more about Keg and Coin, click here.

80s Show Critters is Making A Comeback

Don’t call it a comeback, call it a reboot. That’s right, the 80s show titled Critters is on it’s way back to TV sets. It’s crazy to think that there is an influx of 80s shows and reboots coming. Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more.

80s Show Critters is Making A Comeback

“Yes, the cult ’80s horror classic that wasn’t quite as good as Gremlins is getting a TV series remake for streaming network go90,” according to DigitalSpy.

“According to Collider, the live-action series will be called Critters: A New Binge (self-aware – we like it), and will be directed by Zombeavers‘ Jordan Rubin, who will also executive produce and write the series alongside Jon and Al Kaplan.”

Don’t worry we have another piece of news that will probably excite you even more. Remember Gizmo and his crazy friends? The ones that they most likely modeled Furby’s after? If you guessed Gremlins, you’re awesome!

“And if all of this ’80s, ’90s horror comedy talk has got you feeling nostalgic and reaching for your Gremlins VHS, you’ll be pleased to hear that a third film is on its way,” according to the report.

“Just last year writer Chris Columbus revealed that the third movie will return to the darker tone of the original movie, and will be a sequel – not a remake.”

So it looks like 2018 is shaping up to be pretty amazing. Click here for more info on both offerings.

These College Kids Know 80s Music…Well, Some of Them

In one of the latest reaction videos on YouTube, college kids show just how knowledgable they are when it comes to 80s music. Some of these reactions may surprise you. Other reactions may cause you to go nuts.

The Fine Brothers are YouTubers with a channel that specializes in reaction videos. It’s where you take someone who isn’t familiar with a topic and/or time period and immerse them in it. They react to it and boom, that’s a reaction video.

Their latest uploaded was titled, “DO COLLEGE KIDS KNOW 80s MUSIC?” and it happens to be part 9 in the ongoing series. The intro of the video is pretty promising with two college kids singing along to some 80s tracks.

When the introductions began, most of the college kids admitted that they didn’t know much. However, Brittany, one of the reactors, admitted to knowing a lot of 80s music. The first track was Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” One brave kid, Eric, happened to know the artist and the track while most of the other kids just recognized the song.

The second track was Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” and only one of the kids actually knew that Ross was the artist behind the track. Again, many of them noticed the tune. We won’t spoil the rest of the video for you but we can say you’ll probably enjoy it. Check out the “DO COLLEGE KIDS KNOW 80s MUSIC?” video from The Fine Brothers below.

DO COLLEGE KIDS KNOW 80s MUSIC?

More 80s Music Shows to Keep in Mind

While another year is here, it doesn’t mean the impact of the 80s is gone. There are venues that are keeping 80s music shows on their lists and we have one venue in particular that you may want to keep track of.

More 80s Music Shows to Keep in Mind

“Pop and dance music were presented by such bands as Duran Duran, the Eurythmics, and the Cure. Others came and went in record time, like Modern English and Gary Numan. How many out there remember Dexy’s Midnight Runners?” questioned The Sacremento Bee’s Mel Shields.

“The decade has been the brunt of humor since, but the music persists, and a group out of San Francisco has been bringing it back in all its splendor for some years now. They appropriately call themselves Tainted Love after one of their anthems (the song was written in 1964 but a cover of it by Soft Cell in 1981 brought it back to the fore), and they fill the stage with keyboards, outrageous fashions and flowing hair.”

Dexy’s Midnight Runners is actually back and they will be bringing 80s hits with them, according to the report. The band will be playing the Harrah’s Tahoe venue and from what we can tell, some favorites will be among the setlist.

“Hungry Like a Wolf,” “Obsession,” and “Safety Dance” are just some of the songs mentioned in the report and it’s shaping up to be a big treat for an 80s fan. To learn more about this event and more 80s events, click here.

Do You Remember These 80s Horror Novels?

We know, it’s not Halloween but there is something about kicking back with a scary novel that is so bone-chilling. We came across a pretty sweet list of 80s horror novels and decided to share them with our readers. Let’s see if you can recognize any of them.

Do You Remember These 80s Horror Novels?

“Here’s an understatement: the ‘80s were kind to the horror genre. Both on film and on the paperback spinners, horror flourished during the Reagan decade, as exemplified by Stephen King’s prolific output during the period,” writes Steve Foxe of Paste Magazine.

“Unfortunately, King is one of the few authors whose output survived the ensuing horror bust, as the genre shrank back into its niche status and specialty publishers shuttered, leaving some publishing rights in limbo for years. That’s why King’s name is absent from the list below, along with horror perennials like Clive Barker and Dean Koontz. ”

Foxe then provides a pretty epic list that kicks off with Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons and continues with Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell. That’s not all, the list features William Peter Blatty’s Legion, Michael Talbot’s Night Things, and the Susan Hill classic titled, The Woman in Black, which would later on become the base of a chilling film starring Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe.

To check out the complete list, click here. Do you remember any of these classics? If not, what are some of your personal favorite 80s horror novels? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Breakfast Club Hits Blu-ray This Week

We never ever grow tired of reporting anything that has to do with The Breakfast Club. In case none of you out there already own the film on another platform, it is hitting Blu-ray this week. To celebrate the moment, an incredible piece was penned by the Los Angeles Times, dissecting and sharing the wonders it holds.

The Breakfast Club Hits Blu-ray This Week

“‘Clueless,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ ‘Election,’ ‘Metropolitan’ and ‘Rushmore’ are all more aesthetically distinctive and sociologically precise teen movies, but ‘The Breakfast Club’ comes by its iconic status honestly. It’s the most significant teen movie that feels like it was made by a teenager,” said Akiva Gottlieb in her piece.

“‘The Breakfast Club’ sidestepped all the clichés of the teensploitation movie — no homecoming dance, no keg party, no nudity, no football game. Sandwiched between Hughes’ equally beloved directorial efforts ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ ‘The Breakfast Club’ presented as something weightier: a sincere group-therapy drama, with delinquents turned into soul-searchers by virtue of their daylong confinement and a dearth of distractions.”

This couldn’t be a more accurate description of one of the most beloved 80s films to release. The teen angst was so strong, watching it now would invoke feelings you may have felt when you were a teen.

It’s absolutely insane to think that the film was released in 1985 and is now found on another digital platform. It just goes to show that time may go by but classics are never forgotten. To read more from Gottlieb’s piece, click here.

A Closer Look At ‘Last Christmas’ By Wham!

Tough listening to “Last Christmas” this season, huh?  Every time I heard the Wham! classic, I couldn’t help but recall the terrible fact that George Michael passed away on December 25, 2016.  So, last Christmas– well, Christmas 2016– was indeed George’s last Christmas.

A Closer Look At ‘Last Christmas’ By Wham!

Perhaps the one-year anniversary of George Michael’s death was the reason why I looked a little more deeply into the lyrics “Last Christmas” this season.  Now, you might be thinking, “Just how deeply can you look at this song? Is there really THAT much to it?” And that’s where you’re wrong. Indeed, like a glass of eggnog that has been secretly spiked, this song has an unexpected kick to it.

But before I get to the hard-core analysis, I just want to point out something curious I noticed about the song’s core metaphor. If you recall, the chorus says, “Last Christmas I gave you my heart/ But the very next day you gave it away.”  Now, I get how you can figuratively give your heart to someone. (I’m thinking Lloyd Dobler’s “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen” lament from Say Anything… )

But can that someone to whom you gave your heart proceed to “give away” that same heart? I mean, that person can give your heart BACK to you. Or that person can maybe THROW your heart away.  But GIVE it away? To whom? And what are the implications of this? Are you now obligated to date this other person?

Things get a little stickier in a later verse, when the narrator says “I wrapped it up and sent it/ with a note saying ‘I love you.’” What, exactly, is the antecedent of “it”?  The only noun that makes any sense is “heart,” from the chorus. So, in other words, he didn’t just “give” his heart to his beloved; he wrapped it up, put a note on it, and sent it in the mail. I know it’s a metaphor, but… man, he’s venturing into gruesome figurative territory. Like “Evil Queen asking for Snow White’s heart to prove the huntsman killed her” levels of gruesome.

But I digress.  What I really would like to do is look at what’s going inside the conflicted head of the song’s narrator. Truly, in “Last Christmas,” George Michael skillfully crafted a disturbing portrait of a pained, slightly masochistic jilted lover. Let’s take a look, starting with the Chorus.

(Incidentally, in the following discussion, I am going gender neutral as far as the narrator’s former and current lover. Although George Michael died an openly gay man, at this point in his career, he was still writing songs about women. So I’m going the “him/ her” route…)

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

This nicely sets up the story of the song: on the previous Christmas, our narrator was in love with someone, but this person dumped him on December 26th. So, now a year has passed, and our narrator is in love with someone new. So far, so good. (Incidentally, how COLD can you be to dump someone the DAY AFTER Christmas? I mean, wait until, like, December 28th– just enough time after Christmas so the holidays aren’t ruined, but enough time to get over it before New Year’s Eve.)

Now onto the verses, where things get a little more complicated…

Once bitten and twice shy
I keep my distance
But you still catch my eye
Tell me, baby
Do you recognize me?
Well, it’s been a year
It doesn’t surprise me

Thickens, the plot does  The verse begins with our hapless narrator, fearing he’ll get hurt again, wanting to keep his distance from his ex. But then he immediately concedes he is still drawn to him/ her (“You still catch my eye…”), while acknowledging he would not be at all shocked if his ex did not “recognize” him. (Not recognize you?  How long were the two of you a couple?)

So, Mr. Hopeless Romantic Narrator, let me get this straight: your ex-lover not only dumped you the day AFTER Christmas but also may not even RECOGNIZE you if he/ she saw you on the street– and you still have feelings for this person?  What’s wrong you? Move on. Cut your losses. Why heap heartache on yourself?

The narrator’s masochism only gets more pronounced in the next verse…

(Merry Christmas!) I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying, “I love you, ” I meant it
Now, I know what a fool I’ve been
But if you kissed me now
I know you’d fool me again

The narrator is so conflicted: he knows he was a fool for loving someone who was so callous with his heart… but he also knows that if he/ she would take him back, he’d fall back into his old habits. To wit, I say… Get some self-esteem!  Why are you still so available for this person?

And what about this “someone special” the narrator talked about in the chorus, the one he planned to give his heart to this Christmas?  Consider the next series of lyrics…

A crowded room, friends with tired eyes
I’m hiding from you, and your soul of ice
My God, I thought you were someone to rely on
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart
A man undercover but you tore me apart
Now, I’ve found a real love you’ll never fool me again

These lyrics have some curious elements (Why do the friends have “tired eyes”?  Why was the narrator “undercover”?), but basically, it seems the narrator is at a social gathering that his ex is also attending. And after thinking about what initially brought them together (he was just a “shoulder to cry on”), he ultimately tells himself that’s all in the past and that he’s found a “real love” in someone else.

I don’t buy it. Not for a Whammo-second.

Just go back over the lyrics: the “Now I’ve found a real love” line is the ONLY other time, other than the chorus, that he even mentions this new person.  The majority of the song is about the EX-lover; the “you” of the song, after all, is not his new mate, but the ex with the “soul of ice.”  Just how “real” can this “real love” be– just how “special” can this “someone special” be–  when you’re so obviously hung up on your old flame?

George Michael was clearly a man of intense feeling. As one of my students pointed out, the name of his group ended in an exclamation point. Talk about intense! But I think his lingering passion for his former flame– despite his claims to the contrary– was going to be his undoing.

So, if I were the narrator’s buddy (maybe one of the friends with the “tired eyes”), I’d advise him NOT to give his heart away this Christmas– even if he thinks he’s giving it to someone “special.”  Why does he constantly need to find validation in someone else?  Instead, I’d advise him to spend this Christmas with someone truly “special”– namely himself.

Happy 2018!

Can 80s-Styled Arcades Make A Nationwide Comeback?

How many of us find ourselves looking to play an Atari or an Nintendo NES game at an 80s-styled arcade after watching kids these days enjoy their own systems? Taking a kid to Chuck E Cheese or even going to an establishment like Dave and Busters really brings back some serious memories. Though, the games that are housed at these arcades aren’t the classics we loved.

Can 80s-Styled Arcades Make A Nationwide Comeback?

It would seem very difficult to find an arcade that carries the same amount of nostalgia as the 80s games did. That being said, with the rate at which the Super NES and NES Classic consoles sold in stores worldwide, it’s safe to say that it could be a viable option. We think 80s-styled arcades are not only easy to bring back, but it would also be a super popular option.

Like the arcade we reported on last week, we too feel that it could be a great place for generations to bridge a gap and find the same joys older generations had. Even if it means adding some of the 80s titles to already existed arcades, it could make all the difference.

It’s the experience that these games and arcades brought that is worth revisiting. Playing at home is cool but playing with the arcade atmosphere around you is a whole other feeling. It’s competition and enjoyment in one. Everyone wants to have the high score.

After all, the 80s fads keep piling up, especially in the entertainment industry. 80s-gaming became a “fad” for the new generation with the release of the aforementioned consoles while all fads seem to have an expiration date, stores can stock enough of these consoles. The demand is there and we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t absolutely love to visit and 80s arcade and play our favorite titles.

Would you support 80s-styled arcades if they were to make a comeback? Do you think your kids or this generation would be able to appreciate it? Let us know in the comments sections below.

Pasadena is Home to an 80s Gamer’s Heaven

We absolutely love to hear about amazing places in the world where an 80s fan can roam free and feel as if they are in the decade again. While strolling through the web we came across a report which highlighted a very awesome retro arcade in Pasadena, California.

Pasadena is Home to an 80s Gamer’s Heaven

“As soon as you walk into the Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena, California, you’re transported back in time,” writes CNET‘s Mariel Myers.

“Even before laying hands on a joystick, the simultaneous sounds from 50 classic games — PacMan eating dots, Qbert jumping on squares, Mario dodging barrels — hit you and bring the 1980s back to life in all its noisy, neon glory.”

That description alone sounds like an 80s gamer’s heaven. This isn’t like a Dave and Busters. It’s a full blown collection of 80s arcade games and so much more. At Neon Retro Arcade, Myers states players are shoulder to shoulder enjoying these classic games, just like the old days.

“When Mark and Mia Guenther first opened Neon Retro Arcade about three years ago, people told them they were crazy. But the couple had already seen proof the games can bridge generations,” according to the report.

“We knew that there was a large appetite out there to play these classics. It was really a way for us to preserve them as well. We really felt like … there wasn’t a whole lot of effort being made to make sure that they kind of stayed alive.”

It’s just amazing to think about different generations sharing something in common and at times bonding over it. To hear more about Mark and Mia Guenther’s journey to opening Neon Retro Arcade, click here.

‘Pose’ : Another 80s Inspired Show on the Way

As the year draws to a close, there is very little going on in the 80s flashback world. However, you’ll be delighted to know that FX is hinting at a new show titled Pose and it’s got some serious 80s influence.

‘Pose’ : Another 80s Inspired Show on the Way

For one, Pose is set in 80s New York City, according to a recent report and one of the co-creators happens to be Ryan Murphy, the man who brought us American Horror Story.

“The FX channel says it’s ordered a scripted dance musical series starring Evan Peters, Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek,” according to Star Tribune.

Peters has been a mainstay on the American Horror Story cast for multiple seasons. He recently had a major role in the Cult-inspired season. Van Der Beek should be recognized by his days on the hit TV show, Dawson’s Creek, as well as the film Varsity Blues. Mara is an established actress who has appeared in multiple films and shows including House of Cards.

“FX said Wednesday that the series, titled ‘Pose,’ will include what it called an unprecedented number of LGBTQ and transgender actors in ongoing roles.”

There is no telling what 80s fans and viewers as a whole will be able to expect from the show. However, the report states that Murphy described it as a “universal quest for identity, family and respect.”

We’re expecting plenty of drama from this description. Production has not yet begun but there is an ambitious release of the summer of 2018. Stay tuned for more details as the show nears.

80s in the Sand Festival is Perfect for 80s Fans

We’ve just caught note of an 80s festival that is just perfect for 80s fans. If you do want to attend the 80s in the Sand festival, you’ll have to be doing a little traveling. For die-hard 80s fans, that may not be an issue.

80s in the Sand Festival is Perfect for 80s Fans

2017 marked the inaugural year of the festival which was held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Reports are claiming that this year’s festival was a big hit and there is even confirmation of next year’s festival and a lineup that features some pretty awesome acts.

“Among the acts confirmed to date: Bret Michaels, Taylor Dayne, ABC, John Waite, Berlin, The Outfield, Sebastian Bach, The Romantics, The English Beat, Jody Watley, Midnight Star, Honeymoon Suite, When in Rome UK and John Parr,” according to TampaBay.

“80s in the Sand is scheduled for Nov. 3-10, 2018, at the Breathless Resort in Punta Cana (the all-inclusive tourism capital of the Dominican Republic). The event includes concerts by the pool during the day with headliners playing nightly shows inside the resort. Other events including meet-and-greets, trivia challenges, pool parties, door decorating contests, costume contests and more.”

It’s definitely an interesting event for those who are dedicated to the 80s and want to enjoy a little 80s music and trivia while on their vacation. If you do happen to check it out next year, let us know how you enjoyed it. If you attended this year’s inaugural event, let us know in the comments section below.

The 80s Perm is Revisited in A Vogue Tribute

Does it really get anymore 80s than a perm? There are arguments we know, however, there is no denying the fact that the 80s perm was a staple of the decade and a go-to for many. In a recent article, Vogue revisited the 80s perm that was rocked by stars in films such as Flashdance.

The 80s Perm is Revisited in A Vogue Tribute

“In the opening minutes of Permanent, a new comedy hitting screens big and small this Friday, a collection of hair-themed references—banana clips, Sun-In, Charlie’s Angels—grounds the plot squarely in the rear-view mirror,” according to Vogue.

“1982, to be precise. Thirteen-year-old Aurelie (played by a winsome Kira McLean) is the gangly new kid in town facing a swarm of mean girls, and all she wants are the Farrah Fawcett wings of her dreams. So comes the fateful pitch: ‘Mom, can I get a permanent?'”

Sounds like the makings of a pretty awesome film if you ask us. So, in honor of all of the great 80s heroines who chose to rock the look for their films, Vogue put together a slideshow that would make any 80s fan proud.

“Sarah Jessica Parker tries on curls and a crop top for a TV dance contest in Girls Just Want to Have Fun, while Jennifer Grey’s mophead is made to rumba in Dirty Dancing,” according to the article.

“Early Julia Roberts, with that lioness mane, steals hearts in Mystic Pizza; Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon—equally brilliant, equally wild-haired—weave a different sort of spell in The Witches of Eastwick.”

The publication also has a neat slideshow included in their feature. If you want to check it out, simply click here.

LT80s Writer Mark Dursin and His Wife Sheri Talk Labors of an Epic Punk

We love when the 80s and creativity combine for something extra special. That’s just what LT80s writer Mark Dursin and his wife, Sheri has brought us with the co-authored book titled, “Labors of an Epic Punk.”

Mark and Sheri have been working on the novel for about 8 years and he says it was truly a labor of love. So, what exactly is “Labors of an Epic Punk” all about? Well, check out the synopsis:

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom’s scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he’s truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epic Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.

If you can’t tell where the 80s influence came from, check out my conversation with Mark and Sheri. Together, they tell us where he idea from the story came from and even talk a little 80s culture.

LT80s Writer Mark Dursin and His Wife Talk Labors of an Epic Punk

Where did the idea for this story come from?

Sheri:  It was actually a trip to the bathroom that inspired this whole project!

Mark: Sheri was in a Rainforest Cafe one day, and as she was heading to the restroom, she saw a funky sculpture of Atlas holding up the world.  And that got her thinking about all the great tales from mythology.

Sheri: Later that night Mark and I took turns sharing our favorite stories and the light bulb moment happened. We realized we could write our own story based on characters from Greek mythology.

Mark:  The original premise was a lot more gimmicky.  We envisioned a bunch of mythological heroes as teenagers at the same high school.  Sort of a Muppet Babies kind of thing.  We didn’t go too far with that, but I remember Jason was going to be one of the teens and the math teacher was going to be Pythagoras.  And while we were throwing out possible names of kids who could go to this school,  I mentioned Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. I was familiar with his story because I had taught The Odyssey for years.

Sheri: And I thought Telemachus was such a great character to re-imagine because Homer didn’t introduce him until he was a young man. What was he like as a teenager? What motivated him, haunted him, and brought him to the point where he first appears in The Odyssey?

Why Greek mythology?

Mark:  I’m a high school English teacher, so I’ve taught The Odyssey to ninth graders for years. But here’s the thing: students love mythology…but they hate the mythology we ask them to read.  I am constantly mystified at how profoundly my students dislike The Odyssey. They love mythology, but they can’t get behind texts like The Odyssey.  They think it’s too boring, too irrelevant, too… old.  And we want our book to fill that void—between teens’ inherent interest in mythology and the inaccessibility of the original sources.

What was it like to embark on a project like this with your spouse?

Sheri:  Really rewarding. We had both held these long dormant dreams of writing a book but could never seem to get anywhere on our own. Coming together to write shook off the paralysis and helped us keep moving forward with writing, revising, and eventually publishing. There were times I wanted to give up and times that Mark wanted to quit. But we kept each other going through those times. I’d be lying if I said we never argued about the book, but we tried to look at that as a healthy display of passion for the finished product.

Mark: When I first started telling people about our project, a friend who is a writer herself remarked, “I don’t know how you can write a book with another person.” Well, after this experience, I don’t know how you could write a book any other way.  Sheri and I motivated each other. In my lifetime, I’ve probably come up with seven or eight novels—in my head. Some I’ve actually started, but I never got beyond page ten. This manuscript is the only sustained piece of writing I ever actually finished—and it’s absolutely because Sheri and I did it together.

How has the 80s influenced the story that is told in the book?

Sheri: 80s high school movies are the gold standard of high school movies!! We tried to represent all the very best tropes of those films: teenage pranks, jocks vs. nerds, the high school dance, evil school principals, and young love.

Mark: We’re pitching our book as Clash of the Titans meets The Breakfast Club.  At its core, it’s the story of five high school kids from different backgrounds who come together. Sure, it takes place 3,000 years ago, and we have monsters and mythical flutes and underground labyrinths…but we have teenage characters, with regular teenage problems. And we hope that familiarity will resonate with our teen readers.

Mark, why is the 80s such an important decade to you? Why is it so easy for you to write so passionately about it on LT80s?

Mark:  I write about music for LT80s, because the 1980s is when I “discovered” music, basically.  So 80s music will always be MY music. But I also objectively believe that music from the 80s is truly the best music ever created—and I defy anyone to tell me otherwise!  But seriously…the 1980s is when I “came of age,” if you will. I was a teenager in the 80s, and no one feels more passionately about things—not just music, but books, friendships, relationships—than teenagers. And that kind of passion is what we hope to tap into with our book.

Walk us through the indie publishing process and the difficulties you had along the way.

Sheri:  This is a really exciting time to be in the world of independent publishing. So many talented authors, who would have had no way of getting their work out there, now have a chance. Traditional publishing is a tough, competitive, often discouraging business. With the explosion of independent publishing, great writers with great stories to tell are going their own way and making their books available.

Mark: The pitfalls? There’s so much information out there! It’s hard to know what resources are the most helpful.  We used a combination of Arielle Eckstut’s wonderful book on self-publishing, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, and the help of New Book Authors (at newbookauthors.com), a great author services company that helped us navigate some of the more technical aspects of the process.

Will this book be a part of a series?

Mark: I feel this book comes to a satisfying conclusion, but not every conflict is neatly wrapped up.  There’s more to say about these characters.  And hopefully, the next installment won’t take eight years for us to write!

Sheri:  Yes, definitely!  We’ve already begun work on a sequel featuring our five main characters in more adventures. There are some unanswered questions in the first book and some hints about where we might go with Book Two. Visit our website at epicpunk.com for the latest news!

What sort of reactions are you hoping for from readers?

Sheri:  This seems sort of obvious, but we want them to love the story! To really care about the characters and what happens to them.  We want them to be inspired and to come away feeling like there are many kinds of heroes out there and many ways to define heroism.

Mark:  We believe our book has something for everyone—adventure, romance, humor, and as much heart as we can stand.  And we think that even readers who aren’t necessarily fans of fantasy or mythology can enjoy it.  The way we always saw it, the fantastical elements in the book work metaphorically; we wanted to show that, for a teenage boy, asking a girl to dance could be just as scary as facing monster like the Minotaur.

Any last words for our readers?

Mark:  Just that we want to thank in advance anyone who takes a chance on us or simply passes on information about our book to someone they know.  You really are helping us achieve our dream.

Sheri: Let us know how you like the book! Leave a review on Amazon. Contact us through our website at https://epicpunk.com or our  Facebook page @LaborsofanEpicPunk. We’d love to hear from you!