Blog Tour (Author Q&A) – Cooking with Cannibals – Rich Leder

Hello!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Cooking for Cannibals’ by Rich Leder organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. It is also a first for the blog in that I am hosting an Author Q&A and many thanks to Rich Leder for taking the time to answer my questions.

I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.

Book Summary:

Fountain of youth? More like murderous medication!

Carrie Kromer pushes the boundaries of science, not her social life. The brilliant behavioral gerontologist’s idea of a good time is hanging out with her beloved lab rats and taking care of her elderly mother and the other eccentric old folks at the nursing home. So no one is more surprised than Carrie when she steals the lab’s top-secret, experimental medicine for aging in reverse.

Two-time ex-con Johnny Fairfax dreams of culinary greatness. But when his corrupt parole officer tries to drag him from the nursing home kitchen, the suddenly young-again residents spring to his defence and murder the guy—and then request Johnny cook them an evidence devouring

dinner to satisfy their insatiable side-effect appetite.

As their unexpected mutual attraction gets hot, Carrie and Johnny find themselves caught up with the authorities who arrive to investigate the killing. But even more dangerous than the man-eating not-so-senior citizens could be the arrival of death-dealing pharmaceutical hitmen.

Can Carrie and Johnny find true love in all this bloody madness?

Cooking for Cannibals is a dark comic thriller with a heaping helping of romance. If you like

fast-paced plots, unconventional characters, and humor that crosses the line, then you’ll have a feast with Rich Leder’s wild ride.

The Q & A

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

Here’s what my bio says:

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than three decades. His credits include 19 produced movies—television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Longridge Productions, and Left Bank Films—and six novels for Laugh Riot Press.

He’s 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 wedding guru, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the UNCW 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 fabulous children.”

I think that’s a pretty accurate picture of me. Anyone interested in hearing more about my somewhat unorthodox life choices can reach me at rich@richleder.com. I’ll email back. Always. Really.

How did you get started with writing?

I’ve always been a writer. When I was boy playing in dirt with plastic soldiers and Tonka Toy tanks, my army men had backstories. Friends at home. Dogs. Hobbies. Favorite foods. They’d read each other letters from their wives and girlfriends. Who does that when they’re six years old? Writers, that’s who. I wrote skits and directed neighborhood kids in them for other neighborhood kids and their parents. We performed in the garage. The garage door was the curtain. I wrote a play in high school. But when I went to college, where it dawned on me that people were writing the movies I was watching…that was that. I was going to live my life as a writer, and I did, and I still do.

What inspired Cooking for Cannibals?

Like most of my crazed story ideas, I have no real sense of where the inspiration comes from. No true idea why I created cannibalism as the side effect of the Fountain of Youth drug. It’s not like I wake up thinking about cannibalism. It’s not like I know anyone who wakes up thinking about cannibalism. I don’t personally know any cannibals. I don’t know anyone who knows any cannibals. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who knows any cannibals. I imagine I thought it might make for an insane ride. And I was right about that. But like so many other things in my life, I don’t know why. I have a thing for wild dark humor. Maybe that’s it. Not too many things wilder than a Fountain of Youth drug. Not too many things darker than cannibalism. That’s about as out-there as dark humor gets. But in the right context and written with laughing in mind at all times, lots of dark stuff can be funny—just like this.

If you were cooking the ‘evidence devouring dinner’ what would you cook?

I’m a pasta junkie, so a Bolognese sounds about right for me.

What is a typical day of writing look like for you?

Most days, I get up reasonably early and swim laps at the local YMCA. That’s my routine for the last 17 years or so. I suppose that makes me a swimmer. Then I come home and walk two miles. So I’m a walker too. I don’t usually sit down to write until after lunch. I’m not good as a sentient human being if I haven’t exercised. So that’s first. I’m thinking about my plot lines and character arcs all morning, but I’m not writing yet. Just working through that day’s scene in my head and heart. I might record some thoughts on my phone when I’m walking, but mostly I’m thinking it through. Then I do a solid four or five hours of arranging words into sentences that (hopefully) produce the desired emotional reactions I want the reader to feel, which means I have to feel it first. It’s a deep dive into everything that makes my characters living and breathing, three-dimensional people, so I’m usually too whipped to do more than five hours. I can tell the quality of my writing, the depth to which I’m able think and feel words and moments is turning to mush. So I stop. I never beat myself up about it. When I’m done, I’m done. Whatever I finished that day is good news. Nights are spent with my wife, the awesome Lulu. Friends too, when we’re not in the midst of a global plague. Phone calls to our children, dinner, movies, reading, bourbon or tequila. Those are my days and nights in a nutshell.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

Great stories. Great characters. Great dialogue. Wherever I find them. In movies, books, on TV, it doesn’t matter. When the story and the characters suck me in, that’s what has always influenced me. And still does.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

I count myself as fortunate that I don’t need help staying motivated to keep writing. If I’m not writing, I’m not breathing. It’s an inexplicable part of my internal engineering. I’ve always been this way. I love writing stories and characters and dialogue. And more than anything, I love sentences. Writing a rocking sentence is still the best thing. I’m a sucker for fabulous sentence. A sentence junkie. Aren’t all writers? 

Who are your top three favourite authors or books?

So hard to limit my answer to three. I can’t quite do it. So I’ll give you three whose genre I more or less share: Carl Hiaasen, Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, and Tim Dorsey. That’s four. I know. I can count. And here’s three in a genre I flirt with: Donald E. Westlake, John D. MacDonald, and Elmore Leonard. And here’s three I’ll never write as well as but do so very much love to read: Richard Ford, John Irving, Stephen King, Michael Chabon, Tim O’Brien…this last list is really long, so I’ll stop right there.

If you could write for any genre or subject, what would it be?

Turns out I write exactly the genres I want to write: Dark comic thrillers, funny murder mysteries, and romantic comedies. Being funny is the main thing. I’m an entertainer trying to make you laugh along the way by string words into sentences and sentences into stories.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m three quarters of the way through Gottiguard, the fourth and final Kate McCall Crime Caper, a hilarious murder mystery series set in New York City. Kate is a way-off Broadway musical actor who inherits her father’s PI business after he’s found brutally murdered in an insurance company elevator. In each book, she solves her new case while she tracks her father’s killer. She uses the eccentrics in the brownstone she lives in and manages and the melodramatic members of her histrionic acting troupe to help her with her cases—like a crazy kind of Mission Impossible. They’re funny books, yes, but they’re also rocking good mysteries. You won’t know whodunnit until the very end.

About the Author:

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than three decades. His credits include 19 produced movies—television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Longridge Productions, and Left Bank Films—and six novels for Laugh Riot Press.

He’s 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 wedding guru, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the UNCW 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 fabulous children.

Social Media:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour (Author Q&A) – Cooking with Cannibals – Rich Leder

  1. Pingback: December Wrap-up, January TBR and a Peek Beyond

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