Monday 15 July 2013

Q & A with Lee Olds

The writer Lee Olds sold 250,000 books in the 1960s and achieved great critical success. After a period in the publishing wilderness his books are now finally being released by Not So Noble Books for a new audience. His first novel ‘Too Much Sun’ came out in June and two of his other novels will be published this summer. “By Kerouac out of Salinger . . . The pioneer of a new post-Beatnik generation.” was how the New York Tribune described ‘Too Much Sun’. He describes himself thus: “Grew up in mansion of rich parents, made honor roll plus athletic plaudits in prep school I detested and was asked to leave at year's end. Went to work, traveled to Alaska, Got B.A. from Cal Berkeley, M.A. in philosophy from SF State. My thesis was on 'time, space, and infinity' and though my adviser said his committee had decided to award me the degree he also claimed if he read it over for six months he doubted he'd understand it. Worked on waterfront in Manhattan as well as San Francisco. Was disinherited along the way. Wintered for many years in Puerto Vallarta. Wrote (and still do) constantly though I have been accused of being too original to be published, too harsh, too fatalistic, etc. well, I’m still here writing and perhaps now getting published.
What drives you to continue writing? Is it like an itch you can't quite scratch? "To disseminate my 'one world philosophy'. one can always find a way to scratch itches." Does anyone in your family get what you do? Do you have any kindred spirits? "No one but no ones' basically left. they didn't while they were, however. I had a dog named 'sparky', a beagle that was pawned off on me by a couple who was moving and one friend, humanstuff, that's still alive, more than enough." As you've got older do more and more people seem attractive to you? "As I've gotten older ... same difference." Do you ever do public readings of your work and do you enjoy meeting your readers? "Basically never and when i did not particularly. chance encounters seem to hold more weight for me." Would you rather have a fight with a duck the size of a horse Or, 10 horses the size of ducks? "Trick question but then any's fight's pretty much fair as long as you're prepared for it." Do you you rate Catcher in the Rye? Is Salinger overrated or does he deserve his fame? "An excellent and original book but after producing essentially no more after fifty years it's a little ridiculous he could make a million dollars a year on it thereafter." How many books have you re-read? a.lots now since basically you find what's of lasting interest in what are called classics. Do you still vote? is there anyone in power that you have much respect for? "I haven't voted since I was twenty-one. certainly, basically the socialist leaders around the world." When you started to write what became Too Much Sun how much did you have planned out in your head? (Did you know what the title would be, did you have ideas for the first 4 chapters?) "All envisioned, all in my head, title and first four chapters just like death and taxes."
TOO MUCH SUN is available on Amazon now:

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