Friday, 21 October 2016

Q&A with David Lamb, author of On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes

Now available from Woolly Mammoth Books is On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes by author David Lamb.

The author has taken a few moments from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his novel.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

I’ve been addicted to storytelling since the sixth-grade, when I wrote a short story and my teacher let me read it to the class at the end of the day and kids gave me a big applause when I finished.

What was your first book/story published?

A romantic-comedy about a relationship between two college students from different cultures who fall in love at first sight until her mom finds out and has a heart-attack—Do Platoons Go With’ Collard Greens? I went on to produce it as on off-Broadway play which ran for more than ten years and was a blast.

What inspired you to write On Top Of the World?

Believe it or not it, even though On Top Of The World is a romantic –comedy, it was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Specifically, when a sculptor sympathetic to the movement created a sculpture of Jay-Z as Scrooge accusing him of capitalizing on the movement by selling t-shirts that said Occupy. I was fascinated that this guy from public housing in NY had momentarily become the symbol of the 1%. I asked myself, if Scrooge were alive today, what would he look like, my answer a handsome, egotistical music star with talent coming out the wazoo. And the love of his life, other than money, Belle, would no longer be a Victorian lady-in-waiting but beautiful lawyer whose love transforms the shy nerd that school was in college into a star, only to realize too late that she’d help create a top-charting monster. And the story would be a love story unfolding in both their voices and his road to redemption on the night of Hollywood’s biggest event, when he has to take the journey of a lifetime to heal his feelings of not being worthy of love and to become the man she originally fell in love with.

What character in On Top Of The World is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

Well as a playwright, it can be intoxicating to hear the audience cheer, laugh and be moved by your work. For this book I imagined what it would be like if my ego completely lacked any restraint, and if I didn’t listen to my wife’s centering voice, how far off the deep-end might I go. And so the character Scrooge, or as he is named in the book, Scrooje, would be the most like me. Also because even though he has an ego the size of Texas, it’s also as fragile as an egg-yolk. This is the artist’s eternal dilemma how to have the confidence to share your art, but he joy and pain that comes from doing so. In addition, he’s a hopeless romantic who’s madly in love, even though his greed, ego and duplicity drives his love away. I’m a hopeless romantic who desperately does not want to drive his love away.

What is your favorite part in On Top Of The World?

That I was able to successfully write in both the heroine and the hero/villain’s voice. When my editors said that I’d done a great job writing in Belle’s voice that was really, really satisfying.

What was the hardest part to write?

The payoff. How to compellingly create a situation in which the bad boy superstar is humbled and resolves to win back the love of his life in a way that most importantly she, and readers, would be touched by. Thank God I had two fantastic editors, Susan Mary-Malone and Carol Taylor who pushed me to write something funny, romantic and touching.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

College professor.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Yes I do read them. Some I pay attention to, some I don’t but if I feel that it says something I should pay attention to I do. Although my initial reaction is probably always defensive (even when they give it 5 stars and say it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

Laura Weisenberger, Curtis Sittenfeld, Terry McMillan, Marta Acosta. Paulo Coehlo, Paul Beatty, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, David Sedaris, Kimberly Lawson Roby

Do you have any other books/stories in the works?

Yes, I have another re-imaging of a classic, turned into a romantic-comedy, political satire, in the works.

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About the Author: David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb's hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David's grandmother's radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program.

Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they'd think he was cool.

After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens.

Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes.

To learn more about the author, please visit his website at:

You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.

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