Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
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 Bradford. I also serves as an editorial and marketing consultant for a collection of first-time authors through The Editorial Department. Previously I served 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, creating media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.
I am excited to share my novel, Poet of The Wrong Generation debuted on November 10 2016. With Poet Of The Wrong Generation, I attempt to combine 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.
I’ve been a fan of classic rock and folk music for as long as my memory stretches. So the concept of me writing a novel with a rock star protagonist should come to the surprise of no-one who knows me. I was also a novice songwriter back in my teenage years into my early 20s. So in fact, the words I scribbled in spiral notebooks 25 years ago were stashed away for decades, only to become an integral part of creating this novel when I came up with a storyline and the characters. I often wondered: what might life have been like had I actually pursued a musical career back in the 1990s? I suppose that some of this book is how that far fetched fantasy might have played out. Another notable aspect is my years of working with celebrities. As a kid, I had such reverence for the life of rock stars, athletes and other entertainers. Then I started to work closely with some of the biggest names in entertainment and quickly discovered that fame and glitz of the celebrity life is mostly a facade. These cherished individuals all have the same everyday wants, needs and problems as the rest of us.
Tell us about your books.
Poet of the Wrong Generation – Book Description
“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, LonnieOstrow.com.
How did you go about getting published?
The story behind this novel is nearly as interesting as the one inside the pages. It’s been a 14 year odyssey in bringing this book to publication. I’ve dealt with a move to a new community, a near catastrophic hard-drive crash, the joy of landing a literary agent, and the frustration of having to walk away over differing opinions. All throughout this journey, the one constant that kept me moving forward was the wonderful feedback I received from my early readers and editors who were so moved by this rock and roll love story. And now, at long last, I am greatly looking forward to the reviews from the many who will be taking this fictional journey with me back to 1991. To a time when a young songwriter burst onto the music scene with a throwback ballad of heartbreak that made him an overnight star, while indelibly altering the life of its composer… and the young woman who inspired it.
I was fortunate to find an independent publisher in Harmony River Press who agreed to take a chance on me.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I have a full time job working for a world-famous author, so I mostly get my writing in during my train commute or late at night, be it weeknight or weekends. I lose track of time… late at night, especially on the weekends when I don’t have to be up with an early alarm. If I’m locked in on writing, or polishing my work, I can work on through to sunrise without realizing the time. These are precious hours when my kids are asleep and the phone doesn’t ring. If on on-a-roll, there’s no time for clock-watching.
I definitely create a sketch of all my characters before I start writing the novel. I need to know who they are, where they are from and what makes them tick. Although sometimes I feel the need to create new characters as the story takes on a life of its own.
As for the story outline, I have a general sense of the beginning, middle and end, but I leave room for flexibility to alter the storyline when inspiration comes calling.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I assist other first time novelist with their novels. I provide marketing, editing and consulting services to help them bring their publications to market successfully. I also enjoy going to concerts with my family, particularly artists who were successful in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
It is important for authors not to skimp on designs of their books covers and to choose a professional designer to effectively convey the message in their books. It should include some story telling element from the novel in the cover design, if at all possible.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Being an Indie author means being a writer and a marketing director simultaneously. The best advice is to explore every option available to you in promotion of your book and partake in is as many as possible. Leave yourself enough time to develop your website, your social media channels and your promotional materials and your video book trailer. Leave yourself at least 10 months to plan and organize everything. Then put on your armor (since there where be many rejections) and go to battle.
What’s your favorite book?
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
What are you reading now?
Conversations With Tom Petty by Paul Zollo
What’s your next book project?
I started a second novel a handful of years ago. It’s about halfway written. Once the marketing campaign calms down for Poet, I plan to revisit this story and see it to completion. I’m keeping the title under my vest, but I’ll share that this is another unique story about fame and disillusionment from an entirely different perspective.