When Neil Stevens sat down to write a novel he had two goals: to write something for his grandchildren and to simply have some fun.
From the beginning, it’s clear Stevens had his fun. Described as a “fantasy memoir,” Stevens melds real life experience, fact and fiction in “Eddie’s Top 100.” Loosely based on Stevens’ own life, Eddie is a retired sportswriter who hits the jackpot, winning a $50 million dollar lottery. Rather than go crazy with the money, Eddie pays off some family debt, updates a few things in his home and then decides to leave the money alone for an entire year. During that year, he dedicates himself to creating a list of his top 100 favorite songs. Naturally, hijinks unfold along the way.
For Stevens, much of the novel recounts actual first-hand experience. With each song, he shares how that song came to mean something in his life, whether in concert or through another meaningful experience. And with almost every song is also an anecdote about his life as a sportswriter. Though the book is not specifically based on hockey, the PHWA lifetime member makes many references to the various events he’s covered, from the Olympics, hockey and lacrosse. Beyond his personal experience, Stevens’ also shares research about each band or artist and where they are now.
Stevens noted that music has always been a large interest in his life. When he started to write the book, which is incredibly personal, he felt basing it on music would be an easy way to appeal to anyone.
“The music, I thought, was interesting to put into there,” Stevens said. “There’s so much to do with all those songs; the details involved with all those people. A lot of people don’t know what became of those people or where some of those songs came from and things like that. Once I started doing a few, I started to realize that every one would have a different story.”
Stevens noted that the second Top 100 is on its way. You can find the first ebook here.