Author bio: Staff writer on three newspapers: the South Bay Daily Breeze, Idyllwild Town Crier, and Riverside Press-Enterprise. Freelanced for publications that include L.A. Times Calendar, View and San Diego Edition, plus L.A. Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Redondo Beach/Palos Verdes Patch and many others. I currently write obituaries for www.ThePrecis.com, a company I started about ten years ago.
Drink – Pom Martinis
Food – Fish Tacos
Vacation – Anywhere
TV show – True Detective
Movie – Pulp Fiction
Animal – My Costa Rican cats
Sport – Reading
Book – Madam Bovary
by K.B. Plum
(AKA: Katharine Blossom Lowrie).
Brief synopsis of your book: Zackary Lancelot Amadeus Bartholomew, a middle-aged, henpecked author suffering from acute writer’s block, is whisked up to Netherland by the luscious Penelope Pan, whose job it is to rescue “the little boy living inside the disillusioned man.” Aside from falling for Penelope, and dealing with Penelope’s maddening, gay-fairy pal, Ralph (he’s three inches tall, wears lip gloss and dispenses Plum Blossom Dust (PBD) from a tiny Tiffany purse), the writer must summon enough creativity to outwit Simon Hook, a sadistic pirate legendary for depriving men of their testicles.
Current book or project you’re working on: Republishing Hasherazade: A Persian Fairy Tale that Spans the Centuries.
What was the inspiration for your novel? I have absolutely no recollection of how it came about. It just wrote itself.
Please share three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) Graphic sex scenes, many of a comic nature, some intended to shock
2) Atrocities toward women and animals take place in the Blood Sun Extravaganza, the Olympics of Sadism/Erotica held annually by Simon Hook, the cutthroat pirate who rules East Netherland.
3) The book satirizes the universal obsession with sex, youth and violence.
Who is the most complex character from your current novel? The novelist. He has to find a way to turn his life around.
Are there any characters in your book that remind you of yourself? The male protagonist.
If you could pick any well known or famous author to review your book who would you pick and why? E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey. I think she would get the joke.
What, who, and when were you first inspired you to write? Way too late. I was 20, living in New York, and depressed about auditioning as an actress/model. So decided I wanted to get behind the camera/story, so to speak. I wanted to write plays/movies. A deeper inspiration was the amazing Irv Letofsky, the late editor of the L.A. Times Calendar section. I worshipped him, especially after he kept me on as a freelancer after a terrible bout of writer’s block.
What genre does your book fall into? A comic erotic fantasy/thriller.
What is the first book you remember reading that affected how you thought or felt about something? Hemmingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Made me believe writing was easier than I thought. I was wrong. Writing, good writing, is always hard.
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Ernest Hemmingway (simplicity)
2) Gustav Flaubert (feminism)
3) Jane Austin (because of Jane Austin)
Have you ever read a book you couldn’t finish reading? Dr. Zhivago, until I got the measles and didn’t have anything else to read.
Do you read a book, while you are writing a book? Depends. For Hasherazade I had to do a ton of research into modern day Iran and ancient Persia.
How many books have you written? Which book is your favourite and why? Just the two: Penelope Pan and Hasherazade.
Is there anything that helps get you in the mood to write? Good writing, someone else’s.
What were three challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Keeping the balance between comedy, story and delicate subject matter.
2) Thinking up new atrocities. Found it super fun.
3) Maintaining the tone.
What lessons have you learned as an aspiring writer? Writing is hard; marketing is worse.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to ‘overcome’? I used to. Reading helps to overcome it.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned, either in the self-publishing or traditional publisher, route? That a traditional publisher can publish a crappy product, one full of errors. That I have to read a galley, or some such first.
How long does it usually take for you to complete a book? Years and years.
Do you have any ideas for your book and Hollywood? Actors, directors, music. I’m pitching Penelope to producers via a treatment.
Which book to movie conversion is your favourite? Gone With the Wind, the first Twilight, and first Hunger Games.
How can people connect with you?
Facebook: On Facebook as Katharine Blossom Lowrie but hardly ever go there.
Goodreads: Review of Penelope on Goodreads UK
Where can readers find your book?