Irving Podolsky, has kindly agreed to guest post about his inspiration for becoming a writer in honor of his debut series, Irv's Odyssey Saga.
About The Author:
What inspired me to become a writer? Gee, Lucy, you’re prying me out of my cave with my SECRET in tow. I don’t talk about that. I avoid the subject. It’s a credibility buster. But you asked…point blank…so here it comes, my writer’s confession.
I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction, although I create it, and I didn’t grow up with a love of words. In fact I was scared of them, and the ones that didn’t, bored me.
So there, I’ve come out. I said it. I’m not crazy about reading novels! Even my own. And I’m not Irving Podolsky either. (But I’ll get to that later.)
You see, no matter who I am, I’m still dyslectic, and I didn’t realize it until recently. Learning to read was a struggle and reading aloud was torture. By the second grade I associated books with classroom humiliation, getting stabbed with mocking giggles each time I stumbled on a word in the reading circle And what those words meant, well, there had to be easier ways of getting that information. Eyes on the page was too slow, too cumbersome, and what teachers made me read didn’t interest me, even in the third grade. (Okay…there was that one kiddie sci-fi yarn…)
So no, growing up I was not inspired to write anything but friendly letters. Yet I’ve always been inspired to inspire others, and I found alternative ways to do that.
While in high school and through college I sketched and painted. I was an art major and I played music through that same period. I could yap a good tale too. But I didn’t start writing for career reasons until I entered the film business and that endeavor was about selling a screenplay where you could fudge literary talent as long as you understood structure (really well) and threw down snappy dialogue.
My current work in the film industry is not about writing. But everybody in the business has a screenplay and one of mine actually got optioned and packaged with Sissy Spacek. It didn’t reach production though, and since I was making a living in another craft that fulfilled me, I wasn’t that passionate about becoming a working screenwriter. So I dropped that pursuit and for fun, returned to my drum set and played in blues bands.
Then a few years ago, while under the shower (my think tank), I indeed started thinking. I bet I’ve got one more in me. How about one more shot at writing the greatest movie ever made. Humm… But about what?
There’s an old adage: write what you know, and when it comes to constructing characters and their behaviors I relied on my personal experience to capture realistic personalities. So I revisited my early twenties past, remembering my very first jobs out of film school in 1970 and how I stumbled into directing pornographic movies. I was so naive. I had never seen an adult flick let alone direct one. I started growing up really fast the day I first called, “Action.”
Anyway, as I was saying, about four years ago the idea came to me - all those models who were performing in front of the camera, most were my age at the time. What happened to them? What are they doing now? Do they have children, grand children, a “normal” neighborhood life somewhere? Their then-and-now story would be fascinating. So I tried tracking down all the people I knew back then in that bizarre upside-down world. I couldn’t find a single one. Some had already died. Some had changed their names. The rest simply disappeared into the fabric of our diverse society.
That left me with only one person I knew who had been there, done that and had drastically changed. That person was me. But although I traveled a strange and awesome journey for five years before I met my wife, I didn’t want to write my memoir. I wanted to write a screenplay. Consequently, Irving Podolsky was born, a character and author somewhat like me but not me, discovering things based on my life but not exactly my life.
I also didn’t want to write 120 pages if the story sucked. Consequently I decided to scratch out a short outline to see if people liked it. But those first twenty pages swelled into a sixty-five page treatment which resembled a book manuscript, and people read it like a book, and said it should be a book. They seriously connected with me, they wanted more, and I kept writing.
And then…inspiration did in fact start slithering toward me. The more I wrote, the easier it got. I decided to grab feedback from people I didn’t know, hoping for honest reactions and unbiased opinions. Vanity had to be scratched from the equation, mostly because I didn’t want to type all those words if they were crap, and I if they were, I didn’t want to pretend they weren’t.
So my friends gave the story to their friends and here’s what came back: “Who’s this guy, Irving Podolsky? His writing is rough but he reminds me of… (insert famous authors I’ve never read). What happens next? Where’s this going?”
Again, in my shower think tank, I considers a possibility. Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can actually write a real book with thousands of words that wouldn’t embarrass me.
So I mushed on, handing each successive draft to professional writers I knew in the film industry. They became my editors and through the various polishes I learned the rules and found my voice.
Once past the learning curve writing became exciting, even…inspirational, and that first book turned into the trilogy, Irv’s Odyssey. Then came my blog and a weekly column at Curiosityquills.com and guest posts like this one. Another novel is on the way.
Words are now my friends. But I still read mostly non-fiction. I crave information, from everywhere, about everything. And it all feeds into my writing.
Lucy…Crimson, thank you for liberating me…and the author Irving Podolsky!
Lost in a Looking Glass (Book 1):
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Irving Podolsky is a nice Jewish boy looking for a nice Jewish girl and a job out of college which would, Irv hopes, make the world a better place. But when our hero's food supply dwindles down to a slab of Velveeta and a jar of pickles, our lad takes his only job offer: directing pornographic movies. This leads to a night shift gig in a mental hospital, only to have that be replaced by the lowest rung in food service, which drives Irv so bonkers his mind ejects out of his body to the Other Side. Irv's Odyssey is a humorous quest for love, truth and the meaning of life while lost in alternate life styles, a psychedelic drug culture and the free-love of the seventies. "Lost in a Looking Glass" starts the journey.Irving Podolsky resides in the mind of this writer and within the trilogy, "Irv's Odyssey." As your storyteller, I'd like to share the adventure with your younger YOU, that which seeks fun, romance and a wild ride into the Unknown.
"My plan was to take Lost in a Looking Glass with me so I could read it on our cruise. But I finished it before we even left. What a page turner "
Gregor Wossilus - film critic, content producer and story analyst for the Bavarian Broadcasting Network
Find Irv's Odyssey: Lost in a Looking Glass Online:
To the Light and Beyond (Book 2):
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Irv's still employed at the mental hospital, a place where all the people who don't "fit in" get jobs behind locked doors. It's a crazy circus and Irv's life is far from settling down. A free-loading porn stud and con man moves into our lad's apartment, and the jerk won't leave It gets worse. Irv discovers the place where humanity hides it's most shameful secret. And it's not in the Buckhead Steak 'n Brew where Irv becomes a salad boy/dishwasher. And it's not at the Cloisters Restaurant where Irv get pushed into bussing tables while tripping on acid. And it's not in Europe where he meets three people who change his life in ways he only read about in Sc-Fi novels and mystical books. Actually that "shameful secret" is no secret at all, yet only Irv wants to know it. Will our friend ever find his way back to Normal? Not yet.Irving Podolsky resides in the mind of this writer and within the trilogy, "Irv's Odyssey." As your storyteller, I'd like to share the adventure with your younger YOU, that which seeks fun, romance and a wild ride into the Unknown.
"It's forceful, funny, and has the ring of truth. I looked forward to gettingback to it each night, and that's a great sign that the book is ALIVE."
- Daniel Asa Rose - NEA Literary Fellow, Book Reviewer, Travel Columnist and Author of his latest book, the acclaimed memoir "Larry's Kidney"
Find Irv's Odyssey: To the Light and Beyond Online:
Seeking the Way Home (Book 3):
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Food service and Irving Podolsky are NOT friends. Still, Irv rises to the level of waiter in the Fairmont Hotel. What about his budding film career, making the world a better place and finding a nice Jewish chick? Well, instead, Irv meets an exotic older girl from Germany. Could she be the one, Irv's forever, but not-Jewish-at-all soul mate? Ben suggests she is. Ben is a drawling spirit voice channeled through a Puerto Rican pothead. And Ben knows all about Irv's recent nocturnal fly-outs: those uncontrollable out-of-body trips that bring him to the Other Side where he encounters creepy crawlers in attack mode and goes back and forth in time and into his own future. These bizarre events are not dreams or fantasies. They are real. For as Irv finds out, magic and miracles do exist. And so does true love, if he can just convince his parents, it's okay to marry a shiksa.Irving Podolskyresides in the mind of this writer and within the trilogy, "Irv's Odyssey." As your storyteller, I'd like to share the adventure with your younger YOU, that which seeks fun, romance and a wild ride into the Unknown.
"I have just finished your third book and I am crying. So moving, so good. I have been living in this story since I started it, and right now, I want to be quiet and just enjoy what I have been given."
- Leslie Talbott, Ph.D.-- Educator, Psychologist and Academic Author
Find Irv's Odyssey: Seeking the Way Home Online:
Happy reading until next time!