I have a wonderful interview with a great author, Rich Leder about his novel Let There Be Linda. Hope you enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Rich: I’m going with the bio on the back of my books. It hasn’t let me down yet: Rich Leder has been a working writer for more or less three decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark, feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films, and four novels for Laugh Riot Press.
He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three children.
What inspired you to write Let There Be Linda?
Rich: I had a crazy idea in my head about two brothers who summon their mother back from the dead to clean up the mess they’ve made of their lives. I don’t know how that idea got in there, but it kicked around for a few years until it was ready to be a book. As for inspiration, Quentin Tarantino and Monty Python were pushing up the hill the entire time I was writing LINDA, cheering me on, encouraging me to get outside the box. And when those guys are in your ear, it behooves you to listen up.
What is the genre?
Rich: LET THERE BE LINDA is a dark comic thriller in the silliest psychotic sense possible.
What draws you to this genre?
Rich: I have always enjoyed writing crazy-wild stories with way-out-of-bounds characters. And I have always enjoyed writing thrillers. This was an opportunity to smash the two together.
What type of readers would love this book?
Rich: Readers who like dark comedy. Readers who like thrillers. Readers who like wild rides. Readers who like to laugh out loud.
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
Rich: As the characters became more real to me, actual people sitting in my office talking about the story, the plot unfolded in ways I couldn’t have made up on my own. I think, with stories as off the hook as LINDA, the writer keeps chiseling away at the rock until the plot appears. Something like that.
What inspired your protagonist?
Rich: LINDA doesn’t have a traditional protagonist. What inspired me was the idea of putting two screwed up brothers into a story that would screw them up even worse. I believe I succeeded in spades.
“I’m Jenny Stone,” she said in soft voice void of confidence, a voice that in and of itself was trying to be unnoticed. “What do you do, Jenny Stone?” Danny said, putting his hand out.
She shook his hand and said, “I bring dead people back to life.”
How did you get in touch with your inner villain?
Rich: Years and years of practice.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Rich: Writing is not hard for me once I know what to write. Knowing what to write is the challenge. Outlining is hard. Writing is breathing.
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
Rich: Chachi at the pool with Greenburg and his wife was a blast to write. When I was outlining the book and that scene became a puzzle piece, I couldn’t wait until I arrived at that moment in the novel so I could write it. And then it was everything I’d hoped for.
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Rich: I am a full-life writer. Sometimes I write more than other times, but I am always a writer and have been since I was 12 years old. I’ve been married 31 years, so I do my marriage. I have three grown children, so I do fatherhood. I have outside business interests, so I do business. I’m a full-life writer.
Why should people read your books?
Rich: To experience characters they’ll never meet in real life that are so real they’ll think they’ve met them in their real life after all. To laugh out loud. To be thrilled. To be transported to another place. To laugh out loud. Did I mention that one?
What are you currently reading?
Rich: ELMORE LEONARD’S 10 RULES OF WRITING. I read it every day in the hope some of it sinks in. I just finished MIDMEN by Steve Ochs. It was hilarious and brilliant. I’m going to read Stephen King next.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
Rich: Richard Ford, John Irving, Philip Roth, Donald Westlake, John MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks…it’s a long list.
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Rich: The books and screenplays by those guys.
What are your future projects, if any?
Rich: I’m more than halfway through the third book in my funny PI series, MCCALL & COMPANY. This one is called: EMBOOZLEMENT. It will launch in early 2017. After that I have another dark comic thriller in mind. And then another Kate McCall book. And then, and then, and then… Wash, rinse, repeat.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Rich: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really like to hear from readers and other writers. So don’t be shy, let if fly.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Rich: A few thoughts here:
Write what you love. If you don’t love it, no one else will either.
Be as professional living your writing life as you are with the rest of your life.
Don’t beat yourself up. They’re just words strung into sentences. Write more new ones, that’s all.
Where to Buy:
Laugh Riot Press Promotions
Ask a Question, Win a Signed Book! Email Rich any questions you want answered on the Laugh Riot Podcast (Laugh Riot Press Podcasts) for the chance to win a free signed book!
Thank you to Rich Leder for allowing me the chance to interview him. I hope you, my readers, check out his book! -Leticia