Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:18 am

tausendsassa wrote:It's a very nice book, I am in the middle of reading it and have to remind myself only to read so much if at a time, so I can enjoy it for as long as possible.

I have just read the section about the various TP merchandise, and I wonder how they managed to do the 3 books so quickly that they still could benefit from the hype of season 1. After all, season 1 incl the pilot probably was shown within 2 months in its original run, and I understand that there was a rerun during the summer of 1990. Not sure how much of the hype carried over to season 2.

Does anyone know when the various authors (Jennifer, Mark, David) actually wrote the books and when they were first published?

I hope that there will be another book, Brad.


The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was published on September 15, a couple weeks before the season two premiere. It was a big hit, making the NY Times bestseller list and receiving an A from Entertainment Weekly (although apparently some bookstores called it pornography and wouldn't carry it); considering the response to the upcoming episode it might be fair to call it the last widely successful piece of Twin Peans.

Diane: Twin Peaks Audiotapes of Agent Cooper was released on October 1, the day after the premiere aired. I don't know how it sold but MacLachlan was nominated for a Grammy for spoken-word performance (some of the recordings were from the show but others were written, by Scott Frost, and recorded specifically for this release). It includes the recordings Cooper makes in the season two premiere.

I don't know how long Frost & MacLachlan spent on the Diane tapes. As for Jennifer Lynch's Diary, according to Twin Peaks: Behind the Scenes, a 1990 companion book (with a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, so maybe this should be taken with a grain of salt): "She wrote the book in four days, delayed by a computer disaster in which the entire document and its later revisions were erased leaving only a rough first draft." Which seems rather jaw-dropping (it's a quick read, but still, 180 pages - including rewrites and rewrites of lost rewrites - in half a week?). The author also claims Lynch spent additional time on research: "I went hunting for 12- to 17-year-olds and I do this a lot with writing. I felt it was incredibly relevant that I not force Laura and I spent a few weeks just trying to find habits that young girls had and envision her in front of me so that I could write for her."

From what I gather (someone more cognizant at the time may have a different impression) the height of the show's hype actually arrived in September 1990, just before the second season began although there had been a ton of coverage in the spring as well (maybe the fall coverage was more consciously orchestrated, while the spring coverage was more natural - at least to the extent media buzz is ever "natural"?). This was when the Lynch cover appeared on Time and the interview in Rolling Stone, when TV Guide ran its cover story with mystery writers predicting the killer, and when it seems the first major pieces of Twin Peaks merchandise were released. Kyle MacLachlan also hosted (the season premiere of?) Saturday Night Live and played Cooper in a skit spoofing Twin Peaks.

However, the season two premiere almost instantly killed the buzz. The ratings plummeted the following week based partly on the show moving to Saturday night (the premiere, on a Sunday, received respectable numbers although nothing approaching the pilot's) but perhaps more damningly the press turned on a dime to grumble about and dismiss the show. This is when the "Who cares about Twin Peaks anymore" articles began to appear; commentators most objected to the premiere's slow opening, final violent flashback with Bob, and especially the sense that Lynch and Frost were "teasing" viewers rather than leading them toward a resolution of the Laura mystery. The supernatural elements also seem to have rubbed many people the wrong way; accusations of "weirdness for weirdness' sake" began to emerge. So the first Twin Peaks books came out right ahead of the point where the tide turned.

The next two, the Cooper autobiography (My Life, My Tapes by Scott Frost again) and the Access Guide to Twin Peaks (apparently written by a guy who wrote Access Guides to real places), are mentioned as future projects in that Behind-the-Scenes book from December '90. According to Amazon they were not published until the show was pretty much done: the bio in early May and the guide in early June, when all that remained to air was the two final episodes, shelved during sweeps and packaged together as a Monday movie-of-the-week in mid-June. So it seems fair to say they missed their intended purpose of shoring up the show's popularity at the end of a rough season. I'm not sure if they were widely reviewed (the series was no longer really considered news, unlike when the Diary was released) or how they sold - if the enthusiasm of remaining Peaks fans was enough to make them profitable. Anyone who was a fan at the time have a take on that?

Anyway, I've been really getting into the spin-off stuff lately. I haven't read the Access Guide yet but have it on hand and will soon. My feeling is that, if I'm making my way through Twin Peaks "in order" I'd pause for both the Diary & the tapes after the premiere (thiugh the Diary came out before, I think the first flashback to Laura's murder makes a good segue, better than Cooper being shot anyway). And I'd prefer to read the autobiography and the guide after the Josie drawer pull episode, as I think both books make a good segue into the more energetic and tightly-wound final episodes (Annie, Windom's Lodge plan, and the Miss Twin Peaks contest all emerge, if I'm not mistaken, in the next couple episode). Reading books about Coop's backstory and a comprehensive sense of the TP community seems perfect at this point, even if they actually came out just before the series climax.
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:34 am

StealThisCorn wrote:I just listened to your interview with the Red Room Podcast about this book Brad, I will definitely be buying this book! One thing I was really curious about, does the book have interviews with anybody like Lenny Von Dohlen that reveal anything more about what Harold's character was intended to be or do? In the series it seems like they have to just scrap his whole plot line really quickly and I always felt like there was supposed to be more there originally.


Hello... yes, in fact, I talked to Lenny and all the directors he worked with. That chapter would answer your questions, I believe :)

Oh yeah, if anyone is interested, Reflections is now available via kindle at amazon! Its a free read if you have kindle unlimited also.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Oral- ... aks+kindle
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Murray » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:17 am

Thanks for that nice round-up, LostInTheMovies.

I live in the UK and I remember buying the Secret Diary when TP was massive. The Tapes and the Autobiography I remember getting when the show was on the wane. And I think I got the Access Guide after the show had finished.

I also have a pristine copy of the Board Game. Sadly, it's 'pristine' because it's a really bad game and I could never be bothered to play it with anyone. I think I picked that up after the show finished also.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:27 am

Murray wrote:Thanks for that nice round-up, LostInTheMovies.

I live in the UK and I remember buying the Secret Diary when TP was massive. The Tapes and the Autobiography I remember getting when the show was on the wane. And I think I got the Access Guide after the show had finished.

I also have a pristine copy of the Board Game. Sadly, it's 'pristine' because it's a really bad game and I could never be bothered to play it with anyone. I think I picked that up after the show finished also.


Just googled a picture. Wow!

Image

Love that they included the trading cards on the blu-ray too. What a treasure The Entire Mystery has proved.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Murray » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:33 am

I've never seen that board game! It does look great.

This is the official board game I mentioned:

Image
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:38 am

Murray wrote:Thanks for that nice round-up, LostInTheMovies.

I live in the UK and I remember buying the Secret Diary when TP was massive. The Tapes and the Autobiography I remember getting when the show was on the wane. And I think I got the Access Guide after the show had finished.

I also have a pristine copy of the Board Game. Sadly, it's 'pristine' because it's a really bad game and I could never be bothered to play it with anyone. I think I picked that up after the show finished also.


Murray (and any other British readers) what was the reception like in the UK? I mean, I know the show was a hit and phenomenon when it first aired (and that Maddy's murder was hugely controversial and brought a lot of viewer complaints & censorship). But a) how was the response over the course of "series one" (which I've been told combined season one with the first nine episodes of season two - i.e. The entire Laura Palmer investigation) - did ratings & critical response decline at all, or did it remain consistently positive through the entire arc? b) did the U.S. backlash spill over into the UK or did the rise/fall of British popularity occur mostly on its own timetable? I ask because it seems like the show kicked off in Britain right after it had already become passé in America. c) how was "series two" received? Was it still fairly popular/acclaimed in the UK? Was there a sense the show had been unfairly cancelled, or were the Brits as sour on it that point as the Americans?

Also when did "series two" air? The fall of '91, after the show had already been cancelled in the U.S.? What was it like to watch a show, experienced by the whole country as new, after its fate had already been determined?

Also curious to hear from people in other countries as well.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:45 am

Murray wrote:I've never seen that board game! It does look great.

This is the official board game I mentioned:

Image


Wow, that does look much less interesting. Looking closer, the other seems to be homemade by a fan. It was posted by Linus Wesley on deviantart.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby tausendsassa » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:04 am

Thanks, LostInTheMovies, for the summary. 4 days doesn't sound like much to write the Diary, then again Bret Easton Ellis wrote his debut in 1 night, if I remember correctly ;-)

I live in Germany and couldn't watch the show during its inital run. It aired on cable station RTL Plus, and we didn't have cable tv at home. I do remember, however, that another cable station (SAT.1) tried to ruin the mystery and gave away Laura's killer at a very early stage, or even before the pilot was shown.

Also, I think that the episode titles were first introduced in the German dubbed versions. The episode title was shown at the end of the title sequence in a typeset that more-or-less matched the TP original.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Murray » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:08 am

From what I've read (in Brad's book - sorry, this thread has gone rather off-topic - and elsewhere), critical and audience reactions here were much the same as the US. I equate most of the experiences I've read from the US with my own.

I think we were only slightly behind the US in showing the first season, and the gap between seasons one and two was very small here as I think we nearly caught up (contrary to what you heard, TP was broadcast here as Pilot+season one together, a short gap (a few months?) then season two. So TP 'peaked' here not long after it did in the US.

By the time season two was coming to a close I was aware TP had come to an end (that there would be no further series), but I don't think I was aware it had been cancelled - so my reaction to the finale was one of amazed bewilderment. I thought that was how they had conceived the ending. Obviously I later found out it was a deliberate cliffhanger.

We may have caught up on some episodes from season two when it was put on hiatus in the US. That hiatus didn't happen here - there was no break in season two for us.

As to its reaction here, it was enormous. And it still is.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:44 am

Murray wrote:From what I've read (in Brad's book - sorry, this thread has gone rather off-topic - and elsewhere), critical and audience reactions here were much the same as the US. I equate most of the experiences I've read from the US with my own.

I think we were only slightly behind the US in showing the first season, and the gap between seasons one and two was very small here as I think we nearly caught up (contrary to what you heard, TP was broadcast here as Pilot+season one together, a short gap (a few months?) then season two. So TP 'peaked' here not long after it did in the US.

By the time season two was coming to a close I was aware TP had come to an end (that there would be no further series), but I don't think I was aware it had been cancelled - so my reaction to the finale was one of amazed bewilderment. I thought that was how they had conceived the ending. Obviously I later found out it was a deliberate cliffhanger.

We may have caught up on some episodes from season two when it was put on hiatus in the US. That hiatus didn't happen here - there was no break in season two for us.

As to its reaction here, it was enormous. And it still is.


Interesting, thanks for the info. I wonder if the plan was for Season 3 to air simultaneously?
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby dl_fan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:33 pm

Brad D wrote:Oh yeah, if anyone is interested, Reflections is now available via kindle at amazon! Its a free read if you have kindle unlimited also.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Oral- ... aks+kindle


Brad, is there any chance of Reflections being available for Nook? (If there's not going to be a Nook version, then I'll go ahead and buy the paperback version.)
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:08 am

dl_fan wrote:
Brad D wrote:Oh yeah, if anyone is interested, Reflections is now available via kindle at amazon! Its a free read if you have kindle unlimited also.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Oral- ... aks+kindle


Brad, is there any chance of Reflections being available for Nook? (If there's not going to be a Nook version, then I'll go ahead and buy the paperback version.)


I would like to at some point, but there's no plans for now.
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Brad D » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:13 am

oh, and sorry for another plug, BUT, if you bought the paperback version via amazon, you can get the kindle version for $2.99!
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby harmolodic » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:50 am

Brad--as a former English professor and a current publisher, I just want to say--your book is superb. I think I read somewhere that you self-published; if that's the case, it's one of the best self-published titles I've ever seen. Not only is the writing quality excellent, but the editing, design, layout, binding, and printing are top-notch. A true landmark in the publishing history of Twin Peaks scholarship.

And now that I know I can get the Kindle edition as well, I'll be double dipping!
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Re: Interview with Brad Dukes, author of Reflections

Postby Ross » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:57 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:From what I gather (someone more cognizant at the time may have a different impression) the height of the show's hype actually arrived in September 1990, just before the second season began although there had been a ton of coverage in the spring as well (maybe the fall coverage was more consciously orchestrated, while the spring coverage was more natural - at least to the extent media buzz is ever "natural"?). This was when the Lynch cover appeared on Time and the interview in Rolling Stone, when TV Guide ran its cover story with mystery writers predicting the killer, and when it seems the first major pieces of Twin Peaks merchandise were released. Kyle MacLachlan also hosted (the season premiere of?) Saturday Night Live and played Cooper in a skit spoofing Twin Peaks.

However, the season two premiere almost instantly killed the buzz. The ratings plummeted the following week based partly on the show moving to Saturday night (the premiere, on a Sunday, received respectable numbers although nothing approaching the pilot's) but perhaps more damningly the press turned on a dime to grumble about and dismiss the show. This is when the "Who cares about Twin Peaks anymore" articles began to appear; commentators most objected to the premiere's slow opening, final violent flashback with Bob, and especially the sense that Lynch and Frost were "teasing" viewers rather than leading them toward a resolution of the Laura mystery. The supernatural elements also seem to have rubbed many people the wrong way; accusations of "weirdness for weirdness' sake" began to emerge.

This is pretty much a dead on summation of how things went at the time. Although I'd add that the turn against the show actually had its roots in the final moments of the first season finale. And even the still-frame second season "Next On" segments were extra fuel for people complaining about "teasing and resolving/showing nothing". Once people thought answers weren't on the way, they stopped caring.

However, there were still a couple of supporters in the media for the first half of season two. Entertainment Weekly and Matt Roush of USA Today were both very enthusiastic.

The most interesting thing about all of it is that the turn against the show by many critics and viewers is not where, or because of what people would think today. Most of the arguments today are that the series resolved the killer too soon, and this coupled with Lynch's absence, killed the show. And while perhaps arguments about actual quality can be made based on these today, they are not what actually happened back then. In fact, much of the backlash started with the two LYNCH DIRECTED episodes that stated season two.
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