Thanks for this interview, Bruce. Congratulations on your new book! Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
Writing I BURIED PAUL was an enjoyable experience in that I had the Beatles as a backdrop. As a lifelong fan, it was a great joy to have their music play a part in my fiction. Getting the book published was a bit tricky, in that there were many who shied away from a rock ‘n roll novel.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
I play tennis at least three times a week, I love to travel. Hiking is fun for me. Now, that the movies, theater, and concerts are back, I’ll be taking more advantage of them.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
The novel is a humorous glimpse into the world of Beatles tribute bands, which, as far as I know, has never been done in fiction. It’s also meditation on what it takes to make a living as a musician in today’s landscape, which has changed drastically now that people are used to getting things for free.
Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
OKLAHOMA - 1989
Milestones are seldom what they’re cracked up to be, unless you’re a charmed preppie who inherits the Hallmark gene. My first time kissing a girl turned out to be a mercy stunt, engineered by some douchey linebacker on the junior varsity. The most memorable thing about getting my driver’s license was that I had no car, and my parents’ station wagon was never available. When I put on the cap and gown for high school graduation, it felt like I was going to a Halloween party, dressed as a fraud.
As I went on to achieve my own versions of milestones, none of them would adhere to society's definitions or timetable. Instead, they appeared out of the blue like stealth jack-in-the-boxes. How was I to know that the fourth kiss from my third girlfriend would be the portal to life-changing sex? Or that on my first solo plane trip at eighteen, I’d be moved to First Class and treated like a VIP, despite having accomplished nothing? Or that shortly after the plane touched down, I would never again look at the world the same way.
It’s not that I’m against the element of surprise. I’m just convinced it would be a lot less stressful to be the Hallmark guy.
Rarely has anyone so relished the opportunity to visit Bixby, Oklahoma in August, where the average temperature hovers around ninety-one degrees with seventy-five percent humidity. But I hadn’t come for the sod-growing convention or to attend prayer breakfasts at Oral Roberts University. My mission was to spend a week with my big brother, Eddie Kozlowski, lead guitarist for the popular, small-venue cover band, Traction. Fourteen years my senior, Eddie had invited me to join him on a leg of his Midwest tour, and after shameless begging on my part, Mom and Dad agreed to let me go.
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Father’s Day for sure – because lots of Dads have played in rock bands and worship the Beatles. And I’d create a section for Paul McCartney’s birthday, which is June 18th. Happy 80th, Paul!
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
Having come from TV and written for many series, I’ve always seen novels as a great opportunity to write something new every time. But I never say never.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
When I was young, I was drawn to the creativity of writing, much the way someone else might have a flair for drawing. My focus was on doing something that worked – whether that meant making people laugh or touching them in a deeper way.
What’s next for you?
I am finishing up another novel, and pitching an animated series for television.