Welcome! Ready to ride?
You know it, brother!
GR: Tell us about your latest release...
This month, I self-pubbed three funny novels: McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication and McCall & Company: Swollen Identity and Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench on Laugh Riot Press, the social media marketing and self-publishing company I created to promote and market my books and the books of other funny indie authors.
McCall & Company is a PI series set in New York City. The first two books are funny, yes, but they’re also rocking mysteries—most everyone that’s read them has had no idea whodunit until the very end. Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench is a standalone novel about a LA screenwriter at the end of his personal and professional ropes who comes to terms with the three women in his life (the juggler, the porn star, and the monkey wrench) while he adapts the phone book into a movie. It’s a romantic Hollywood sex comedy and is more or less the story of my improbable life as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Some of it is exactly true, some of it is inexactly true, but all of it is true enough.
GR: What inspired you to start your writing journey?
I’ve been a working professional writer for 25 years. But I’ve been writing for far longer than that. I wrote a variety comedy show—a Laugh-In clone—that my friends and I performed in my garage for the neighborhood kids and parents when I was nine years old. My army men had backstories, nicknames, families at home. I don’t know what inspired me to be this way. My mother says I haven’t changed a bit since birth. That last sentence makes my wife roll her eyes.
GR: Who have been some authors that have inspired you along the way?
Oh man, Richard Ford, John Irving, Phillip Roth, Donald Westlake, Carl Hiaasen, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Sophie Littlefield, John D. MacDonald, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Sinclair Lewis, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury. That’s a start...
GR: What is one piece of marketing advice you can give to new authors?
Get out there and stay out there. It doesn’t matter where, just somewhere in the digital sphere, somewhere in the global village of readers. It’s a matter of time before folks find you. Yes, I know, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy.
I started Laugh Riot Press because I’m terrible at social media marketing and yet I know how important it is to have a consistent, wide-reaching, year-round online presence. LRP is everywhere readers are every week of the year. That’s the kind of exposure I wanted but knew I couldn’t do myself.
GR: If we went on the ride of our life, where is one place you'd like to be sure to stop along the way?
Mount Rushmore. I want to see the presidents carved into the cliff. I’ve never been there.
GR: Would you be afraid to ride on the back of my bike?
Come on, Burt. Are you kidding? Where are we going and when do we leave?
GR: What can we expect from you in the future? Any new projects?
I’m almost done with another standalone. It’s called Let There Be Linda. It’s a dark comedy that tells the story of two estranged brothers living in the San Fernando Valley who bring their dead mother back to life so she can clean up the mess they’ve made of things. As you might imagine, that can’t be a good idea. Quentin Tarantino meets Monty Python.
Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I wish you the best of success and to always leave your hair blowing in the wind!
You’re welcome, Burt. Thanks for hosting me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
September 7 - Introduction at VBT Café Blog
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