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Funny Books by Rich Leder: Author Interview and Giveaway

Today, I am hosting an interview with Rich Leder as part of the Funny Books book tour hosted by VBT Café. I hope that you enjoy the Q&A as much as I did.

Author Bio: Rich Leder

Screenwriter—Novelist—Publisher

 

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films.

 

He has written four funny novels to be released in 2014: McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication, McCall & Company: Swollen Identity, Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, and Let There Be Linda.

 

He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a commercial real estate agent, an indie film director, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, were 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 college kids.

 

Rich loves to hear from readers and writers. Please don’t be shy.

 

You can write him directly at rich@laughriotpress.com

 

Or you can visit him at www.laughriotpress.com/richleder

 

Author Links

 

 

Book Genre: FUNNY MYSTERY // FUNNY
FICTION

Publisher: LAUGH RIOT PRESS

Release Date: AUGUST 2014

Buy Link(s): Amazon

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN’S COMPLICATION

 

WAY-OFF BROADWAY
ACTRESS. MURDERED PI FATHER. NEW DAY JOB.

 

Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

 

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

 

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

 

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

 

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade?  She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: SWOLLEN IDENTITY

 

BEAUTIFUL BILLIONAIRE SOCIALITE. COLD-BLOODED CORPORATE ASSASSIN. MCCALL & COMPANY BACK IN BUSINESS.

 

Way-off Broadway actress and NYC PI Kate McCall had promised the police and the Assistant DA—her son—that she was all done investigating any damn thing in New York…

 

Meaning beautiful billionaire socialite Brooke Barrington says someone has stolen her identity and the corporate assassin who murdered Kate’s father has shot the eyes out of the CEO of Superior Press…

 

Meaning McCall & Company is back in business…

 

Meaning Kate enlists the help of the eccentric tenants of her brownstone—the House of Emotional Tics—and her melodramatic acting troupe, the Schmidt and Parker Players…

 

Meaning things spiral hilariously and dangerously out of control…

 

Meaning she is confronted by Brooke’s demonic identical twin, Bailey, accosted by international counterfeiters, and arrested for impersonating a hooker.

 

Will Kate stop Bailey from murdering Brooke? Or will she stop Brooke from murdering Bailey? Or will she figure out how to tell one from the other in time to survive the wrath of the Bulgarian mob men hired to protect the counterfeit cash?

 

And will she finally find her father’s killer?

 

She might, but it’s going to be a fast, funny, furious ride.

 

JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH

 

My name is Mark Manilow. I am a Hollywood screenwriter. Here’s my recipe for a cocktail called “Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy.”

 

Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler.

 

Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with a brutal case of writer’s block.

 

Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner.

 

Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated relationship.

 

Blend with the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire, who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie.

 

Toss in the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer’s beguiling granddaughter—my monkey wrench.

 

Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I’ll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench…or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice. 

 

Excerpt:

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN’S COMPLICATION

 

“Your father’s dead, Miss McCall. Got himself murdered.”
I thought I might hear that sentence one day, but I was even less ready for it than I imagined I would be. I blinked a few times, then walked to one of the toilets, sat down, and gestured at his cigarettes. “I’ll take one of those now.” Some bad news is simply too big to process right away.
He gave me a Camel, lit it, and moved back to the sink. “I work for Mel Shavelson, your father’s attorney. I’m the bearer of bad news. That’s my job.”
He talked about how my father got himself murdered—something about sticking his nose someplace it had no business being,  something else about the police finding him late last night (actually, at three o’clock on Friday morning) tied to a chair in an elevator in an
office building, two big fat bullet holes where his eyes used to be—but I wasn’t listening.
Instead, I was thinking about the final curtain of the last performance of Bye Bye Birdie. My father had given me flowers, handing them to me on the stage while the audience applauded. They were roses from a Korean market and smelled like ginger.
“Shavelson’s going to read the will, and you’re supposed to be there,” Barnes said. He put his cigarette out in the sink, tossed the butt in the trash, and crossed to the toilet, where I sat watching the Camel burn down to my fingers. (I don’t smoke). He handed me Mel Shavelson’s
business card and said, “Date and time’s on the back. Monday morning, ten thirty.”
I took the card, still smelling the ginger roses, grief growing inside me, building, building, getting ready to bust through the wall of
shock that had been constructed in the same second the fire hydrant had delivered the bad news, which, as he said, was his job.
“I knew your old man,” Barnes said. “He was a hell of a PI.” And then he left.
There had been a voicemail for me from a Detective Harriman earlier in the day, but it was just a general “Please call me as soon as possible” sort of message. I had been busy, and usually the police only contacted me to verify something or other about Jimmy getting into
trouble on the job. Jimmy always worked that kind of thing out for himself and had told me, “Never cozy up to the cops unless you’re
impersonating one.” I deleted Harriman’s message and didn’t call him back. Maybe that’s what he was going to tell me, that Jimmy had been murdered. Anyway, now Barnes had told me.
I dropped the Camel in the toilet, looked at the card, and wept like a seventh-grade girl.

 

 

Schedule

September 7 – Introduction at VBT Café Blog
September 8 – Spotlight at Debbie Jeans
September 10 – Spotlight at Words, Words, Words
September 12 – Guest Blogging at PubSlush
September 15 – Interviewed at A. Literary Mafia
September 17 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
September 19 – Interviewed at Bikers With Books
September 22 – Review & Guest Blog at Lilac Reviews
September 24 – Reviewed at KimberkyandCompany
September 26 – 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine
September 29 – Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
October 1 – Review & Interview at My Life, Love, & Passions
October 3 – Guest Blogging at The Avid Reader
October 6 – Interviewed at YAH Did Radio 6:30pm EST
October 8 – Spotlight at Black Coffee, Brown Cow
October 10 – Spotlight at A Cup Of Tea & A Big Book
October 13 – Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK
October 15 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions
October 17 – Review & Interview at AG Lang Writes
October 20 – Spotlight at Dalene’s Book Reviews
October 22 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books
October 24 – Reviewed at BK Walker Books

 

Author Interview

What came first for JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH, the characters or the story itself?

JUGGLER is the reasonably accurate story of my life as a screenwriter in LA.  Some of it is exactly true, some of it is inexactly true, but all of it is preposterously true enough.  So sometimes the characters came first, and sometimes the story came first, but most of the time these things smashed together at the same moment.    

 

What about your MCCALL & COMPANY characters surprised you while writing?

How important each one of them told me they were.  Of course, Kate McCall is the star of the show, and she was very clear about that from the get-go.  Both she and I expected her tenants in the House of Emotional Tics and her off-off-off-off Broadway acting company, the Schmidt and Parker Players, to understand that fact and behave accordingly.  But not a one of them did.  In every instance, they were so vibrant and real and living actual, dysfunctionally functional New York City lives, that they refused to be contained.  The result, for me, was hilarious.  It’s all Kate can do to hold her own, solve her case, and find her father’s killer.

 

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your books?

Plenty.  JUGGLER screenwriter Mark Manilow is not me, but he’s not far off either.  And clearly I’m not a 45-year-old woman, so I’m not exactly Kate McCall.  But Kate’s tough, and she’s fearless, and she’s funny, and she’s romantic, and she’s a fighter, and I like to think I’m kind of like that on my good days.  I didn’t say I was like that; I said I like to think I am.  Which means I think there’s a lot me in Kate and some of her in me.  I could do way worse.  I like Kate a lot.   I think writers often stumble upon a conscious spark of essence in some aspect of their being that appeals to them in a universal way, meaning they think if this aspect is so strong and identifiable in them, then it must be so in others as well.  And these kinds of things filter into their characters because they have to, because that’s what makes their characters three-dimensional people that writers and readers recognize as real.  It’s what makes books resonate for weeks and months and longer after you put them down.  It’s not so much the story as it is the characters that are living it.   Anyway, that’s what happens to me.

 

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.

I write funny books with smart/crazy/crafted stories and eccentric, hilarious characters.  I’m a fast, fun, and easy read.  So I’m writing for readers who want to jump off the speeding train of their lives for a few minutes and get lost in a world of lunatics maneuvering through stories that charge causally forward and make them laugh out loud.   My life is so full and insane sometimes that all I want to do is sit on my screened porch and disappear in a book that transports me—heart and soul and sense of humor—to somewhere, anywhere else.  Just give me a few minutes; that’s all I ask.   I’m not special, so I think lots of readers feel the same way.

 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

All at the same time, I founded Laugh Riot Press, a genre-specific social media marketing and self-publishing company, and self-pubbed—though LRP—my three funny books.  So just surviving that journey has been pretty dang rewarding.   I think my path is a little different than most self-published authors, or even most traditionally published authors.  I was a screenwriter in LA for twenty years.  My screenplays were produced into movies eighteen times.  I imagine for many indie authors simply having their work out in the world at large is a big deal and rewarding as hell.  It should be.  What an amazing accomplishment!  Congratulations to you all!  I have experienced that feeling many times in my life on a global scale.  I feel it this time too, but not the same way as when my first film aired on CBS.  That was all adrenaline-fueled excitement.  Self-pubbing has given me a deeper sense of self-fulfillment—and the adrenaline-fueled excitement.  Who am I kidding?  I’m stoked.   Okay, so the question was “most rewarding experience.”  Easy.  Readers telling me they laughed out loud.

 

If someone were to write a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?

AN UNEXPECTED LIFE.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be Walt Frazier.  And then I wanted to be Bruce Springsteen.  I had no idea I would be a professional screenwriter and then novelist and then publisher.  Zero idea.  It still amazes me.  This is what my bio says:   Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films.   He has written four funny novels to be released in 2014: McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication; McCall & Company: Swollen Identity; Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench; and Let There Be Linda.   He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a PTA board member, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, 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 college kids.   Maybe the title should be AN IMPROBABLE LIFE.  I never saw any of it coming.  How could I have done so many disparate things and not imploded?  Maybe I did implode.  It’s improbable for a person to live that life.  You would never plan it that way, would you?   NOTE: IF YOU’RE RUNNING MY BIO SEPARATELY, INSTEAD OF … This is what my bio says:   RUN THIS: If you look at what my bio says, then maybe the title should be AN IMPROBABLE LIFE.  I never saw any of it coming.  How could I have done so many disparate things and not imploded?  Maybe I did implode.  It’s improbable for a person to live that life.  You would never plan it that way, would you?

 

What book do you love that doesn’t get a lot of hype?

TRUST ME ON THIS by Donald Westlake.  Smart, hilarious, and smart.  Westlake was a giant and is one of my heroes.  He wrote the Dortmunder books, of course, and dozens of others under a six-pack of pseudonyms.  But Sara Josyln, his smart, brave, fearless, and funny star of TRUST ME ON THIS, was inspirational for me.  I think Kate McCall is someone Westlake would have liked.  At least I hope so.

 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I know more or less everything there is to know about wedding planning.

 

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3 responses to “Funny Books by Rich Leder: Author Interview and Giveaway

  1. Thanks for hosting me today. Total pleasure to be part of A. Literary Mafia. You do a great job introducing authors and books to the global digital village of readers. Keep it coming. Again, many thanks.

    Rich

  2. Thanks for hosting our indie author Rich Leder! Here are some links so can follow him and/or LRP and find his books online:
    Rich Leder on Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/richleder
    Rich Leder on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Rich-Leder/e/B00N66JNN0
    LRP on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/laughriotpress
    Laugh Riot Press Blog – http://www.laughriotpress.com/blog

  3. dino0726 ⋅

    Hi there – Thanks for hosting and for the author interview!
    D. Coto (fictionzeal.com) – Pit Crew

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