Bio: Ian Lowell was born in the Bronx in 1952. As a five-year-old, he began to develop a deep and enduring love of music and his passion for it provides an abundance of material for him to write about in deeply reverential fashion. He grew up in a low income Bronx housing project and frequently incorporates this experience and upbringing into his writing. He has lived in Colorado for many years.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Although I had never been published other than a lengthy op-ed piece that appeared in the Denver Post in 1995 about AIDS and close friend who died from it, I decided to write a book. What made me actually come to this decision was a suggestion from author/journalist and television producer Paul LaRosa that I write a book that that someone had suggested.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I do not have many days I would consider typical. Unlike many authors, my writing can be quite sporadic. I write when I am inspired and can crank out a great deal of work on those days.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Absolutely. Generally, my block is about a certain section or subject. Whenever that happens, I will move on to something else where my writing can be fluid. I will come back to what was problematic at a later date. I frequently do not write in sequential fashion so it’s not a huge issue.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I am 100% panster. I do not really plan ahead and prefer to write as I go along and let the words flow and see where it all takes me. Much of what I write is improvised and can sometimes result in a stream of consciousness end result.
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? Be patient and not try to do everything done all at once. My publishing process was a complicated endeavor due to a voluminous amount of footnotes and a particularly lengthy book. It helped that I had a brilliant formatter as she made the process far easier for me. My advice to aspiring authors is to not be so hard on yourself and expect to produce your very best work from the outset. Even if it’s far from that, do not let it discourage you in the least. Keep writing and as you go on, the work will become far better and more polished. Get people you trust to read your work and provide honest critiques. Never be totally satisfied with your work until you are absolutely certain you cannot improve the quality of it. Play to your strengths and identify and work on your limitations. When you are ready, hire a very competent editor.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Seeing my book in print and knowing there are people who enjoy it and are taking something of value from it.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish.
Three Stars Loved, Three Stars Gone
“I vividly recall standing in the kitchen of our apartment on Phelan Place in the Bronx when I heard the news of the fatal airplane crash on the radio. That fateful and hallowed day came to be known as “The Day the Music Died,” February 3, 1959, when fate so cruelly snuffed out the lives of Buddy Holly age 22, J.P. Richardson, Jr., (“The Big Bopper”), 27, and Richie Valens, 17.
Several months later, a 45-rpm single record was released by Tommy Dee with Carol Kay and the Teen-Aires that was entitled “Three Stars.” The tune was a tribute to our three recently departed stars. My brother Artie bought it and I would play it on his little portable record player, the type that was so common back then. I would play it incessantly and proceed to get lost in my own little world of just the record player, the record and myself. I guess it was not simply the song and its true heartfelt lyrics, even if the tune that so captivated me sounded a tad sappy. I very much missed all three dearly departed stars. One thing I had clearly grasped was that they were so deeply loved by many and that maybe it was not simply because of their music. Perhaps it was in no small part due to the people they were perceived to be by their countless fans or the people they truly were. Although I failed to grasp the full significance of it all at age six, I knew it was clearly a super big deal. On “The Day the Music Died,” the magnificent Platters held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with ‘‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” I had become deeply immersed in so much of the music that was clearly earmarked for teens and adults but not a little kid like me.”
(Excerpt from Chapter Two of Son of Sam Was My Catcher and Other Bronx Tales.)
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? Anyone who lived through the 1960s or wants to know more about the era as well as any music or history buffs. It’s an unusual book and as such, it is written in four different genres. It is a memoir with major historical and musical elements as well as sports.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love to listen to a wide variety of music and watching films.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Begin building a fan base long before an anticipated book release and engage with as many authors and bloggers as you can and be willing to take advice from other authors. If you are by nature an introvert, move beyond your comfort level and be far more outgoing and support other authors and bloggers. Posts or comments on your pages or any others that are likely to engender controversy should be non-existent, particularly, those of a political nature. Be respectful and kind to others and do not bad mouth or criticize other authors and bloggers.
11.How would you describe your writing style? Passionate, intimate, committed and engaging.