Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Interview with writer Lee W. Livingston

Writer Lee W. Livingston joins me today and we’re chatting about his memoir In the Rearview Mirror.

Welcome, Lee. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Los Angeles, California, spent my early childhood in New York City and most of my school years in Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated from Claremont Men's College in 1965 with a BA in Literature and finally completed a MFA in Theater Arts from UCLA in 2005. I was a Vice President/Creative Director at Grey Advertising in Los Angeles. From 1980 until the present, I have been running my own commercial film production company in Los Angeles. I presently live in Los Angeles with my wife.

Please tell us about your current release.
It’s a love and adventurous story about a friendship and an America that once was. Open roads and open people only found hitchhiking.

Excerpt from In the Rearview Mirror:
“Dango and I had loaded up my ’56 black-and-red Pontiac Star Chief convertible and headed out for California. What a ride! Top down, radio up and a cold brew here and there when we could see for miles and be sure to spot the Highway Patrol. We alternated driving and pulled off the highway for catnaps. No stopping to spend the night. We were in a hurry because we were 18. Food was beer, coffee, burgers and candy bars. The country flew by in a blur of cornfields, wheat fields and silos, gas stations, overpasses and Burma Shave rhymes. If daisies are your favorite flowers keep pushin’ up those miles per hour!” And boy did we push that powerful Pontiac V-8. The Star Chief barreled down the straight-aways and hugged every curve like a racer. How could it not help but hug the highway with a wheelbase close to six-by-eleven feet and a curb weight of over 3,700 pounds. Daisies were the furthest things from our minds. We had decades to go before we slept.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Ten years as a “Mad Man” in the wild world of Los Angeles Advertising (1970-80).

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was always making up things as a child. Some people might call it lying. In prep school, I was kicked out for something I wrote in the school paper.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m 74 and very lazy, but I still write and create something every day. When working on a book or longer project, I go to a nearby library and write for two hours in the morning. I was able to complete longer projects when I allowed myself to just work two hours a day. When I’m not writing, I read, I walk, watch some of the good new shows on cable and take notes.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write everything longhand. Lots of yellow pads.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Center fielder for the Cleveland Indians.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you’re creative always keep creating. It’ll keep you young. In 1972, I co-created Politicards. Look them up.

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Thanks for joining me today, Lee!

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