Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Interview with David Lamb, author of 'On Top of the World'


David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb's hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David's grandmother's radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they'd think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

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About the Book:

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens' classic tale that perfectly combines
humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.  This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you've come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music's biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.   They never imagined being music's most powerful couple, but that's exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she's created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje's ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it's been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they'll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don't often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?   Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year's Best Fiction.

Purchase Information:

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Believe it or not it, even though On Top Of The World is a romantic –comedy, it was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Specifically, when a sculptor sympathetic to the movement created a sculpture of Jay-Z as Scrooge accusing him of capitalizing on the movement by selling t-shirts that said ‘Occupy’. I was fascinated that this guy from public housing in NY had momentarily become the symbol of the 1%. I asked myself, if Scrooge were alive today, what would he look like, my answer a handsome, egotistical music star with talent coming out the wazoo. And the love of his life, other than money, Belle, would no longer be a Victorian lady-in-waiting but beautiful lawyer whose love transforms the shy nerd that Scrooje was in college into a star, only to realize too late that she’d help create a top-charting monster. And the story would be a love story unfolding in both their voices and his road to redemption on the night of Hollywood’s biggest event, when he has to take the journey of a lifetime to heal his feelings of not being worthy of love and to become the man she originally fell in love with.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

One of the hardest parts was my own internal insistence not to write a scene until I had it completely resolved in my head rather than writing it down as it came to me and letting it transform on the page. I’ve learned to let the story come out when it comes and worry about revising it later. One of the things that made the trip easier was learning to edit on the computer than on page and then having to edit my notes that made it much easier. But I’ve gone back to editing on paper and it’s making it harder so I need to follow my own advice :)

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’m self-published. I self-produce my plays so it seemed like a natural step though it is a lot of work.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on another re-imagination that will take a classic and spin it into a modern satirical romantic-comedy that comments on our society today.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Over the years as audiences left my play Platanos Y Collard Greens (which is also a romantic comedy) they would tell me over and over. I didn’t know I could laugh so hard and learn so much!  And On Top Of The World is the same it is downright hilarious and very romantic. But it also has a lot to say about race, class and the vacuous obsession of Americans with celebrities. 

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

To believe that they are worthy of love. To know that love is worth it. That the decisions we make determine the course of our lives.  That laughter is one of the best medicines.  

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?


In everything I write I hope to make readers laughers, make them think more deeply about the world and inspire them to believe in the power of love.