ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes, Year 2

Susan Helene Gottfried‘s ShapeShifter:  The Demo Tapes, Year 2 is another volume of outtakes, short stories, and character sketches related to her newly published novel, Trevor’s Song.  The band ShapeShifter is like a wheel with its center, Trevor and Mitchell, and the spokes around that wheel.  Once these guys are on the road, look out because it’s a wild ride.

What readers will enjoy most about this second slim volume is the camaraderie between the characters, the outbursts they have, and the seemingly mundane yet fun conversations they have.  For example, there’s a conversation between Mitchell and Trevor before they make it big as rock stars about why Mitchell should get an earring — sounds like a typical teenage disagreement/peer pressure situation.

“‘No one’s gonna think I’m gay,’ Precious Boy said.  ‘That’s not the problem.’

‘Yeah, and I’m already a fucking rock star.’  Trevor eyed Mitchell, convinced he knew what the guy was about to whine:  It’ll hurt, Trev.

‘Dad,’ Mitchell said instead.  Without whining; in fact, he was pretty damned convinced.  ‘He meant it when he said he’d kick me out of the house if I do it.’

Trevor smirked.  ‘You’re not going to do it.  I am.’

‘Same thing, as far as Dad cares.’

Trevor sighed as loudly as he could.  Was Mitchell really this stupid? ‘That’s why you grew your hair out, asshole.’

‘I thought it was to get girls.’

‘Well, since you’re too lame to make that work, maybe this is the reason.'” (page 24 of ARC)

What writers will enjoy about this inside look at the band and its antics are the introductions Gottfried has included about what inspired her to write particular snippets.  When discussing the short outtake “Hands,” she notes, “Sometimes, fiction is like this.  Something springs out of an unidentified source.  It dares you to set it down on a page or screen, to save it in ink or memory cards.”  (page 71)

Readers will thoroughly enjoy getting to know these characters as they prepare to read Trevor’s Song, and most will want to buy the Demo Tapes 1 and 2 before the novel, especially since they get to learn about the characters’ histories with one another and even before they met.  Well done, Susan Helene Gottfried.

***Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book for review.***

About the Author: (from Amazon.com)

Susan Helene Gottfried is the author of The Demo Tapes: Year 1, The Demo Tapes: Year 2, and Trevor’s Song, three books (and counting) about the fictional band ShapeShifter.

A tone-deaf rocker at heart, Susan worked in retail record stores, in radio stations, as stage crew, and as a promoter while earning two college degrees in creative writing.

Drop in at Susan’s online world: http://westofmars.com and stop by the official author’s blog, The Meet and Greet. Check out the book reviews at Rocks ‘n Reads, and see what other writers are up to around the Internet at Win a Book.


  1. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. There’s a link on my contest page, as well, if anyone wants to make a direct donation ’cause they already have my books (but they make great holiday gifts!). I’ve got some books lined up to raffle off to anyone who donates directly.

  2. You guys know that in November and December, 50% of my royalties (at least) are going to charity, right? Seems like a perfect time to get Trevor’s Song (and I’ll save you five bucks or more if you order a print copy direct from me)…

  3. Now I get to read it! Yippee! I loved part 1 of the Demo Tapes, and you know I can’t wait to read Trevor’s Song. Susan rocks!


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