Anne-Marie Klein Interview – Author of Love Reign O’er Me

Ann-Marie Klein – Author of Behind Blue Eyes: Love Reign O’er Me

CONTEST ALERT: We have an autographed copy of Love Reign O’Er Me that will be personalized for the winner – To enter email us here and put “Klein” in the subject line. Winner will be notified November 9th. Check out all our other open contests here

Oct 9 2012 – Set in Toronto in the late 70’s Love Reign O’Er Me brings a nostalgic setting for anyone that grew up in the rocking 70’s (or just wants to get a sense of the feeling of how the times were before smartphones and American Idol). We reviewed the book here and as an added bonus we got to interview it’s author Anne-Marie Klein. Klein’s website gives us the following background:

Anne-Marie Klein was born and raised in Toronto. She loves rock music, and is a devoted fan of The Who. She has blended her love of Pete Townshend’s songs and the Toronto of her teenage years in her debut novel. In addition to writing music and fiction, she has been teaching for over twenty years. She lives in Toronto with her husband, three cats, and a dog.

Here is what Klein had to tell us:

Anne-Marie thank you for your time, let’s get right to our favorite topic – rock music ;-) In the Author’s Note at the back of the book you thank Pete Townsend of The Who for granting you permission to use the lyrics of his song Behind Blue Eyes for your book. How did that happen? 

Klein: I wanted the opening lines of the song Behind Blue Eyes to be in the foreword so that readers would know that the book was based on the song itself. I’ve been a pretty active member of The Who’s fan community for many years and did a little bit of asking around to find out who would be the best person to ask. In the end, that person was Pete Townshend himself, and I emailed his office for permission. He was very gracious and generous about it, which did not surprise me given how open he is with fans.

Has Townsend read your book as far as you are aware? 
Klein: I sent him a copy of each of the two books as soon as they were published, to thank him for his generosity with the lyric permission. He in turn sent me two very lovely handwritten thank-you notes, which I have proudly framed and keep close by when I’m writing. As to whether or not he’s read them, it’s a question I would love to ask him if I manage to meet him when The Who rolls into town on November 23rd for a concert. Stay tuned… 


The story is set in Toronto in the late 70’s. How much of the setting is based on real locations that were part of your youth? 
Klein: A lot of the locations and other details are directly drawn from my teenage experiences growing up in the Toronto of the late 70s. For example, the opening scene in Sam the Record Man’s [Ed. Note – Sam’s was a landmark record mega-store right in the heart of Toronto] downtown store is a tribute to Sam, my way of sharing just how much his record store meant to me. There are all sorts of personal nods to people and places woven into the narrative, about things I either saw or heard, or of people who meant a lot to me at the time. It would be a great little game to find them, because they’re all over the book. It’s really my love letter to Toronto, to The Who and classic rock, and to that great time in the late 70s when I was coming of age. 


What motivated you to put pen on paper (or fingers on keyboard) and write a novel? 
Klein: My initial motivation was that, as a lover of books and of rock music, I was starving to read novels about music, and it just wasn’t out there as a genre. I decided to just get started on writing one, and when the world I invented got too big for one book, it grew into a series. 


Behind Blue Eyes is supposed to be a 4 part story arc – will the story involve all the same base characters and when do you expect each of the subsequent books to be released? 
Klein: The Behind Blue Eyes series is mainly about Ian Harrington, who is the main character throughout, and his band. The books follow them from 1978 to 1994. Love Reign o’er Me (book one) and Love Ain’t for Keeping (book two) have already been published this year, and I am currently working on Let My Love Open the Door, which is the third installment in the series. I hope to get it out there by the end of this year, but I will not release it until it is ready. The last book, as of yet without a firm title, will follow in the late spring, if all goes well. 


Anne-Marie what do you think about a contest for our readers? What you got for them?
Klein: I love contests! I’ve got a signed paperback copy of Love Reign o’er Me for T-Mak World to give away.

Great, thank you so much! Details on how to enter the contest are found at the top of this article.

You have one word to describe the series. GO! 
Klein: Just one? Impossible. The best I can do is two with Toronto Rocks.
Anne-Marie I thank you for the time, and wish you great success with all your future endeavors. Any parting words for our readers?

Klein: Aside from the obvious plea to buy my books, I’d like to urge your readers to keep supporting independent artist, whether they are musicians or writers. There are so many awesome talents out there who need our support to keep creating their work, so help them by buying it when you like it. I’d also like to say, from a more personal point of view, that it’s never too late to pursue a creative dream. I started writing Behind Blue Eyes in 1979, and getting it out to readers in 2012 has worked out well so far. And finally, thank you T-Mak for this opportunity to share a bit of my story with you and your readers.

Don’t forget if you are a fan of The Who we declare their upcoming visit to Toronto’s Air Canada Center  as one of our 6 Toronto’s Upcoming Must See Concerts for 2012.

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