A Few Quick Questions With…Rich Leder


Laugh Riot Press’ Calvin Shomaker suggested some questions for me, and for the most part, they were like what I had planned on asking (maybe his were a bit easier to translate into a sales pitch). Doesn’t really matter who came up with the questions, I just like to give credit where it’s due — Leder’s answers are the thing you want to pay attention to.

Why did you make the transition from screenwriting to novel writing?
After 25 years of telling stories in the strictly regimented format of screenwriting, I had the strong desire to work a deeper, wider canvas. In a script, the writer can only access the thoughts of the characters with action or dialogue. In a novel, the writer can explore the mind and heart and soul of the characters at his/her leisure—discuss the characters’ actual thoughts and feelings. Budget is a non-issue with a novel but a big concern with a movie. Sheer number of characters can be problematic in a script but not in a book (so long as the characters are meaningfully created). Number of locations, page count, and other considerations a movie must make are non-existent in the world of a novel.

I wanted to experience writing without regimentation.

Describe Let There Be Linda in two words. Try Two Sentences.
I can do six words: black comic thriller of the year. And I can do five words: silly, bloody, violent, hilarious fun. And I can do five words again: Monty Python meets Quentin Tarantino. And, finally, I can do two words: wild ride.
Where did Let There Be Linda come from? Who and what were the inspirations?
Left field? Shadows in the wood? Breeze in the meadow? Dark side of the moon? I have no real idea where LINDA came from. It was, I suppose, that indescribable moment of creative human magic. But I know who inspired the spirit of the thing: Monty Python and Quentin Tarantino.
What type of readers would love this book?
Readers who like dark comedy. Readers who like thrillers. Readers who like wild rides. Readers who like to laugh out loud.
Are you done writing films? If so, what does the future hold for Rich Leder and Laugh Riot Press?
It feels like I’m done writing screenplays on spec. If I’m hired to write, then I’ll write one. But if I’m just going to sit down and write a story, I’m going to write a novel from this point in my life onward. That’s what it feels like.
Why should people read your books?
To experience characters they’ll never meet in real life that are so real they’ll think they’ve met them in their real life after all. To laugh out loud. To be thrilled. To be transported to another place. To laugh out loud. Did I mention that one?
What do you want readers to know about you before they start reading you?
I love to write, and I love to make readers laugh. I love to tell fantastic stories—hilarious mysteries and dark comic thrillers—and I care enough about my characters to make them real people readers will fall for.
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