Monday, August 3, 2015

Author Interview: Harry Longstreet, Author of Falling Birds

   Harry Longstreet retired after twenty-five years as a writer, producer and director of filmed entertainment, primarily for television.  For the past ten years he has pursued ‘humanist realism’ photography…  still pushing film through a camera but one frame at a time instead of 24 frames a second.
   He has received two Writers Guild of America nominations for script writing, as well as a Humanitas Nomination and a Genesis Award for an after-school special he co-wrote and directed.  Aside from one-man shows, his award winning photography has appeared in over two-hundred National and International Juried Exhibitions.
   “Falling Birds” is his first published work.  “Blood in the Water”, the second in the GYB series is a work in progress. He lives on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Falling birds is described as follows:“Falling Birds”, is the first in a series featuring “GYB” [Got Your Back] an agency specializing in protection and investigative services. The three principals of the Los Angeles firm; (Tracy-ex-military, Jake ex-mobster, Dave ex-cop washout) and their bizarre contract confederate, Grodsky, an infamous paparazzo. The agency works to protect a ‘Jeans Queen’ designer from a psychopathic stalker. At the same time, Jake is the subject of a contract hit ordered by a dying mob boss he is responsible for putting in prison and Grodsky searches for the killer of a film star he once loved.
Who are your influences?
Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block, Robert Parker, Donald Westlake [Richard Stark] Ross Thomas, William Murray, John D. MacDonald

 When did you begin writing?
As a teenager but I realized how imitative my work was and gave it up. Later, in my thirties I became involved in writing again as a corporate PR executive and later the transition to fiction wasn’t too difficult. I was a writer-producer-director (mostly TV) for twenty-five years. Episodes and movies for television got five kids through college.

 How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
Everything we see, hear, read goes into a conscious and subconscious collective. You draw on it and travel both old and new roads looking for story first… the rest will follow (hopefully). Not easy to be fresh but always trying.

 Do you work from an outline?
Not yet… I’m still stealing the notions and plots from all those showbiz years that worked, didn’t work or got rejected.

Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
All the ones that still make me laugh no matter how many times I read them… but the ones with the gourmand pair of contract killers was fun to write and read.

 Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
Have fun and don’t be afraid to take chances or offend.

Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
As noted…25 years in the TV vineyard and one feature destroyed by four subsequent re-writes. Welcome to Hollywood.

Do you have any interesting writing-related anecdotes to share?
Too many and I don’t want to get sued… but I’ll share one without names. Pitching to a “show runner” in an interview to come aboard as a producer… offered a slew of story ideas. Loves two of them, would we (wife partner) write that episode?  Reminded him we are interviewing for the producing opening. OK, he’ll think it over.  Next day a good friend is telling us she also interviewed for a script assignment on that same show and she got the gig! Great we say what did you pitch. She didn’t, they gave her a two element story. Yep, the same two we had pitched the day before. She was a good friend and we let it go… took a different show. Welcome to Hollywood.

You can find Harry on Facebook. You can also check out his IMDB page, and his photography. And his book is is available on Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Harry,
    We are very happy to read about your new success! The book, and as a GYB series, will be something to look forward to and enjoy. We also read with great interest your interview, as we learned more about you, the man behind the wife, behind the fabulous TV episodes.
    Sheila and Skip Clapkin