Rock Gods and Messy Monsters


Rock Gods & Messy Monsters

by Diane Hatz

GENRE:   satire, humor, absurdist, contemporary fiction

Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is one woman's search for herself among the blood-soaked walls, dangling body parts, and alien-hatched explosions inside Acht Records.

It’s the 1990s. Alex arrives to work at Acht, her improbable blonde hair streaked stress magenta and anger black. Her first duty is to wipe blood off her boss’s walls, to clean up his blood vessel explosion. It goes downhill from there.

On the surface, Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is a story about life inside an entertainment company. A cast of comedic characters exemplifies the inner workings of Acht, where power and greed mask incompetence.

A series of escapades involve Alex, a hard-working, lower-level employee desperately trying to get promoted. When she does, she realizes her dream is a nightmare. Corporate executives are busy working with aliens to manufacture a half-human, half-robot superstar. At the same time, one of the doubly-named Senior Senior Executive Presidents attempts to overthrow the Deity in charge.

Underneath and between the lines of exploding body parts and brain extractions, Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is a cautionary tale. It reminds us that our dreams can be illusions, and learning who we really are takes courage and a commitment to self-love.

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When the crowd had been taken to that final point where sight and sound and all other senses are so overwhelmed they overload and prepare to shut down, the music stopped. Everyone teetered off balance as the room was hurled into darkness. Weena swooned and fell to the ground, her weight creating a tremor that nearly felled the clonebot. The spotlights came on and slowly focused on the Y1K. Through the silence came a beat, softly at first, but growing louder and louder, the sound of a bass drum. Through the heartbeat of the sound came a guitar, three chord simplicity, bringing rhythm to the beat. Heads bobbed unconsciously as a bass guitar and drums joined in, creating the simple rhythms and infectious sounds of early rock and roll.

Without warning, the clonebot's head jerked upright and his eyes bolted open, staring directly at Weena sitting on the floor. She fainted backward, her mouth agape and close to falling off. The man machine slowly began to clench and unclench his tightened fists, twist and turn his stiffened wrists. The music grew louder with each movement the Y1K made. He raised his hands toward his face and looked down at them, his expression blank and uncomprehending. He turned his head right, then left, stretching, focusing, learning how to use his muscles and move his limbs.


The lights intensified and directed their rays solely on him while the music reached an earsplitting level. The clonebot blinked, then involuntarily raised his arms over his head, his fists clenched and interlocked as he assumed the essential Roger Daltrey rock stance. The music built and built until the robot forcefully lowered his arms and opened his mouth, his diaphragm exploding.


"Mama," squeaked the next international mega super rock star.

About the Author:

Diane Hatz worked at major and indie record companies, managed a band, and freelanced as a music publicist. She is co-founder of The Relay, a fanzine on The Who, which is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She’s attended thousands of concerts.


Diane has a Masters in Creative Writing and is currently focused on writing fiction. Her book Rock Gods & Messy Monsters is currently available from most online retailers.  Her substack Next Draft with Diane Hatz” is a newsletter for creatives looking inward. And some writing stuff.  


During her sometimes-surreal career, Diane founded the nonprofit Change Food, worked to shut down factory farms, organized & spoke at major TED/TEDx events, and executive produced The Meatrix, a Webby Award winner. She has studied with many spiritual teachers, including The Dalai Lama.

In late 2020, after 30 years living in downtown Manhattan and the East Village, Diane moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. When not at her computer creating, you can find her hiking, road tripping, or breathing in all the beauty the Southwest has to offer.


Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The most enjoyable part of writing Rock Gods & Messy Monsters were those moments I got lost in writing the book. The characters would take over and lead me through the story. There were times I would say “no, no” out loud as they directed the narrative in a way I hadn’t been planning. It’s surreal and so amazing to experience.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I’ve got my next two books planned. The first will be a guide to indie publishing and promotion. I’ve learned so much, and I made so many mistakes as I tried to figure out the best way to publish and market Rock Gods. My hope is that I’ll be able to help a few others avoid the pitfalls (and tears!) I experienced along the way.

I’ve finished the first draft for my next fiction book also, so I’m in rewrites. I’ve had to put it aside for a bit to focus on Rock Gods & Messy Monsters, but it will hopefully be another humorous, absurdist satire. This time my focus is a little more general - I’m looking at an outward, material life of grasping and wanting more, more more, and the inner search for self and connection with one’s Higher Self. All this is being shown through an adventure story of fallen spirits and a woman who’s lost everything and is finding her way back to herself.  

I say ‘hopefully’ because I never know how a story will end. I won’t know my writing voice until I’m a few rewrites in, and if the characters take the book in another direction, I’ll go with them. 

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

I’ve stopped looking into the future and trying to plan things. The most I know I want to do are the two books I mention above, and I hope to get traveling again now that covid seems to be settling a bit. Otherwise, it’s one day, one hour, one breath at a time. Living in the present is a beautiful way to live.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing not long after I learned to write - I have a journal from about age eight or nine. I wrote and published a fanzine on the rock band The Who in the 1980s, and started writing fiction in graduate school in London in the latter part of the 1980s. 

Rock Gods & Messy Monsters was first self-published in 2008 as Rock Gods of Acht. I put the book online and had such low self esteem around my writing that I never promoted it. A friend recently read it and contacted me to let me know she quit her job right after finishing the book. Through her encouragement, I’m republishing the work now and marketing it the way it should have been marketed years ago. 

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I’m writing an article or two a month about the symbolism and meaning within Rock Gods & Messy Monsters. If anyone is interested in learning more about the deeper meaning within the novel, they can sign up for my newsletter Next Draft with Diane Hatz at


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Diane Hatz will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. Thanks for including me on your blog!

  2. I didn't know absurdist was a genre lol. I am lovin this cover!

  3. I'm actually finding the cover a bit of a worry. Absurdist is new to me too.

  4. Thank you for sharing your Q&A, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Rock Gods & Messy Monsters, it sounds like an entertaining read

  5. I really like the cover and think the book looks good.

  6. Looking like an awesome and creative book.

  7. I enjoyed reading the Q&A and I enjoyed reading the excerpt, Rock Gods and Monsters sounds like a great book to read!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular day!

  8. I am not at all certain this genre is for me--somehow the idea of the first thing I had to do in a new job was to wipe down the walls for blood just might make me think twice about the job! Although having worked both emergency room and labor & delivery, maybe I wouldn't--plenty of blood involved sometimes in both of those!

  9. I love the cover. It’s very unique.


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