Monday, 2 January 2017

Poet of the Wrong Generation by Lonnie Ostrow

My name is Lonnie Ostrow. I have been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. Since 2001, I have been the publicity/marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara T. Bradford. I also serve as an editorial and marketing consultant for a collection of first-time authors through The Editorial Department. Previously I worked as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors including Ray Manzarek of The Doors. From 1995 - 2001, I was widely credited with inventing the "living celebrity postal phenomenon." In all, I have worked with more than 40 legendary personalities from Bob Dylan to the Bee Gees, Sylvester Stallone to Jackie Chan, creating high-profile media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.

I am excited to share that I have my first book coming out on November 10 2016 called Poet Of The Wrong Generation. With Poet of the Wrong Generation I am hoping to have combined all my unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption -- a fable of stardom's rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s.

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About the Book

“It’s not that I don’t love you, and my tears are yet to dry.
But you can’t go back and forth forever and we’ve already said goodbye.”

Through these words, a young poet unearths his musical soul while severing ties with the woman he loves after her stunning betrayal. Unknowingly, in writing this ballad of liberation, he will soon evolve as one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music landscape.

The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league.

Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny’s affection, but also the only daughter of New York’s most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.

Projecting that her daughter’s boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny - while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of despair.

Poet of the Wrong Generation tells the symmetrical story of a lovable underdog and his meteoric rise to stardom, his humiliating downfall and his unprecedented attempt to reclaim his place as the unlikely musical spokesman for his generation. At the heart of Poet is a tale of star-crossed lovers and their struggle with unforeseen success and disillusionment, in an attempt to rediscover lasting harmony.

Uniquely integrating a variety of original song compositions, Poet projects the epic clash between true contentment and the fable of stardom’s rewards; a nostalgic journey through the major events of the 1990s, with a cherished cast of characters and a stunningly unpredictable conclusion.

Audio soundtrack of the original music from Poet Of The Wrong Generation can be heard on the author website,

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

As a kid in grade school, I often struggled with math and science. But when it came to writing, I always excelled. I loved the art of storytelling and found a way to write a series of short stories for my 4th grade English teacher, which earned me some extra credit in her class. In college, I wrote articles for the student newspaper. Seeing my byline next to my articles got me addicted to the idea of generating further written exposure. In the years that followed, I wrote articles of local newspapers, magazines and later for websites. The enjoyment I get from the feedback motivated me to take it to the next level and complete my first novel.

Do you have a "day job"? If so, what do you do?

Presently, and for the past 14 years, I've worked as the in-house marketing director for the iconic bestselling novelist, Barbara T. Bradford. I do everything from research for her novels to managing her office and her vast fan-base via her websites and social media platforms. I also have a freelance job as a marketing/editing consultant for a wide array of first time authors through an agency called The Editorial Department based in Tuscon, AZ.

What genres do you write?

Technically speaking, my debut novel should be classified as "musical fiction." It has been hailed as "the ultimate rock and roll love story." However, because it is a contemporary love story (set in the 1990s), it can be listed under "contemporary romance," or simply as "mainstream fiction."

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it and what attracts you to it?

I've always loved novels that incorporate elements of history and popular culture. Although I wouldn't classify my debut novel as an experiment, I do think of it as a genre that has been infrequently visited in fiction. You can count on one hand the number of popular novels that feature a pop star, songwriter as a protagonist.

What inspires you to write?

My younger daughter, Casey, has been encouraging me since she was a small child to create a book with my name on the front cover. That alone is some serious inspiration. I'm inspired by a desire to tell stories from my imagination that move people and elicit a wide array of emotions. I'm inspired by music from my youth that I look to keep relevant in fiction. I'm inspired by news and events from today, as well as those from the past that have now become my nostalgia. Most of all, I'm inspired by family and friends who are endlessly on my case to use my writing talents for something exceptional.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

Nick Hornby and Carl Hiaasen are my two favorite contemporary authors. I love how these master storytellers blend elements of pop culture into their fiction. Mr. Hiaasen even wrote a novel called, Basket Case, about a fictional pop song that factors into the overall mystery. Of classic literature, I've always been partial to The Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. I just love Mr. Wilde's play on words in his dialog, along with his injection of sarcasm and humor.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Nicholas Sparks would be a good choice. As a male author writing fiction that primarily appeals to women, I suspect that there is a lot I could learn from him and his formula of success.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

I finished writing Poet Of The Wrong Generation in November of 2002. Having a completed first-draft manuscript convinced me that I could perhaps become an author. However, it wasn't until I received the advance reading copies back in August of this year with my name on the front that I considered myself a full-fledged author.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My family has been remarkably patient and supportive during my 14 year journey from the writing of my novel to publication. They all knew that I had a great story to tell. My wife and our two daughters have often reminded me not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of seeing my work in print.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

A literary agent who I pitched for representation back in 2006 told me that he loved my book, but hated the ending. He stated that he would only represent me if I changed the conclusion to something that resembled happily ever after. I was determined to leave the ending exactly as I'd written it, even if it angered my readers. So I stuck with my original ending and lost out on that particular agent. Over the years, dozens of readers of my manuscript offered similar feedback about the abrupt nature of the final scene. It took a dozen years (and a lot of soul-searching), but I finally re-wrote the ending to something that could be perceived as potentially more optimistic. It seems to go over exceptionally well with my early readers, while not undermining what I had in mind for the original ending.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

My editor, Jeannette de Beauvior, is herself a successful novelist. She encouraged me to lose my hesitation to cut paragraphs from the story that were beautifully written, but not necessary in the overall story arch. The process of cutting some of these paragraphs, and even a few scenes felt painful while I performed this task. In the end, however, I have a much tighter book to show for it.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I love mentoring other writers. I've been doing this for the past dozen years. Because of my position with such a renowned author, I've regularly been approached by first-timers seeking my advice, opinions and editorial/marketing know-how. It is an incredible joy to see inexperienced writers whip their early manuscript drafts into polished books. And even better is to help these writers to build a fan base for themselves through marketing fundamentals.

What is your writing process?

When I wrote my novel, I did most of the work late at night and on the weekends. My day-job can be demanding, which prevents me from working on my own fiction during business hours. But I do use my train commute to edit my work. My goal for each writing session was to complete at least ten pages. Because I knew the story so well ahead of writing it, I had no trouble pouring out the story. And by writing late at night, my distractions were minimized.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

My novel is purely fictional. But I loosely based my protagonist on someone who I used to be back in my college days. I was a novice songwriter in the late 80s and early 90s. I was prolific at composing lyrics and melodies, but never did anything with them. A decade later, I dusted off a few of my song notebooks during a move and wondered for a moment what life might have been like if I had pursued a career in music. This was a significant part of the inspiration behind the story.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

A few of my characters are composites of friends and former acquaintances. The Larry Jacobs character is loosely based on the legendary NY radio host, Cousin Brucie. Howard Greffen, the musical mentor to my protagonist is inspired by three different people who I've crossed paths with over the years.

How do you market/promote your work? Have you found something that works really well for you?

Social media and blogging are a huge part of my marketing strategy. I've written a series of blog articles that loosely tie into my book, while also giving it a gentle plug at the end. I'm also a big believer in targeted Facebook advertising.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Dream big, but think level-headed. Everyone who gets a great story idea suddenly has visions of bestseller lists and grandeur. The reality is that getting there requires immense determination and a bit of good fortune along the way. Only those driven to overcome the many setbacks along the way are going to come close to succeeding in their goals.

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