Super excited to be posting my first author interview! Meet Rick Lenz and his latest novel Impersonators Anonymous (published just last year)! He’s chatted to me all about his novels, himself and writing advice for any budding authors out there.
1) Hi Rick, welcome to my blog! Would you mind introducing your book?
Happy to, Hannah!
The main character is 26-year-old Emily Bennett, an aspiring movie producer. She becomes obsessed with completing “Showdown,” a long lost movie starring John Wayne and James Dean, which she’d heard rumor of from character actor Richard Boone (Have Gun, Will travel). The two-thirds completed film will require the use of emerging computer technology and doubles who are almost dead ringers for Wayne and Dean. She stumbles into a love triangle with her impersonators, but doesn’t know who they really are because she suffers from face blindness, a brain disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. The three characters emerge from their pasts, gifted but damaged. Young and ignorant, they haven’t yet learned they have power over their own lives. Their vengeful ghosts inhabit there ever a decision, every passion and every dream. As the movie is completed, these flawed characters (and others) find themselves in the titular showdown of their lives when their interwoven back stories come together in a stormy climax that reveals their hidden animosities, demons, and loves.
2) And now what are three unusual facts about yourself?
1. Before I started working regularly as an actor, I worked as a set designer, stage director, an acting teacher, hotel night clerk, MC at the New York World Fair, Parks Department employee, clothing salesman, truck driver, factory worker, file clerk, public school substitute teacher, and I spent one day dressed up as Mr. Peanut in a supermarket in the Bronx. In show business, I’ve made my living not only as an actor, but also as a singer, dancer, musician, television writer and playwright.
2. I met my wife on a blind date. It was her first. She was very nervous. She had a couple of glasses of Dubonnet to deal with that. When I arrived at her door, she looked at me and said, “Not bad.” We got married two years later.
3. When I was twenty, I slid down a glacier in Norway. I miscalculated my trajectory. I’d gone too wide and could see that I was going to be speeding into a large patch of jagged rocks sticking out of the glacier. I knew I was a dead man. But by the time I reached the rocks, the glacier was so steep that I was airborne and the flew over them. When I landed, I was past the rocks, the glacier leveled out towards the bottom, and I was spared.
3) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I had been successful with my first novel, The Alexandrite, in which Marilyn Monroe was a character. Since I worked as an actor with John Wayne and Richard Boone, and I had heard a rumor about a lost film that starred John Wayne and James Dean, I was fascinated and began researching both Wayne and Dean. I got hooked on the story, and had to write the novel.
4) Who is your favourite author? (No cheating and saying yourself!)
Living: Haruki Murakami. Deceased: Shakespeare and Mark Twain.
5) If you had to be stranded on a dessert island with one of your characters, which one would you pick?
I would pick Emily from Impersonators Anonymous because she is partly based on my wife, Linda, and any desert island would be paradise if she was there.
6) What was the trickiest part of the writing process for you? When did you start on you novel?
My process has changed over the years. I started making notes for this book 20 years ago. My next one (not titled or published yet) took me only a year. The one I’m writing now should be finished by next fall.
7) Which is your favourite line in your novel?
“Being dead is no more educational than being a movie star.” — John Wayne in Impersonators Anonymous.
8) What is a piece of advice you’d give to a budding author out there?
Read, read, read. And remember that not everything you write is sacred. If it’s not what you want it to be, throw it away and do it better.
Let’s Compare Notes
So there you have it! My first interview- hope it went ok!! Have you ever read Impersonators Anonymous? Do you want to be an author yourself? Would love to hear your opinion in the comments!
3 thoughts on “An Interview with Author Rick Lenz”
Great interview! Fun questions and humorous answers! I haven’t read IA, but this post makes me want to.
Ah thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!