Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interview - Wright for America by Robin Lamont

We've survived another election year. Seems like it's not that easy. There's so many emotions flying around, so many strong opinions. I rant conspiracy theories about how we look like we get to vote, but do we really?!  *phfffftpt*  I am not a politician, nor do I want to be. However... I do respect an author writing a fictional piece to throw humor and mystery at such an explosive topic. What's even better is, my grandma was one of these political right wing radio hosts. Lol. (Don't hate me!) My personal opinion? It's all gone too far. It's time to do what we can to make a difference with the influence we have. As for all those election winners... we're holding you accountable to do the same!! 


Wright for America
Wright for Americaby Robin Lamont
Paperback, 252 pages
Published September 14th 2012 by Grayling Press


Premise:

Millions already know Robin Lamont as the voice behind the hit song ‘Day by Day’ from the Broadway show and motion picture Godspell.  Lamont was not only an original cast member, she was one of the creators of the show. Her voice was a beacon for a new generation of theatergoers, and fans continue to follow her.

Lamont is that rare person who has always set her own agenda for personal achievement. After a successful career in theater, she cleverly put her fine-tuned acting skills to work as a private investigator. Lamont’s work in facilitating anti-counterfeiting programs inspired her to attend law school. She graduated cum laude, and practiced as an Assistant District Attorney for eight years.

Life has come full circle and Lamont is back to her first love – writing. Her unusual career path and experiences now inspire her fiction. Lamont’s first novel, If Thy Right Hand, was named “Best of 2011” bySuspense Magazine and won the Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Wright for America, which will be published in October 2012, is a biting political satire and a fiercely funny detective story.  It is about the power and abuses of talk radio. The plot features an actress who moonlights as an undercover privateinvestigator. When the rantings of a right-wing talk show host inspire a hate crime that critically injures her brother, she decides to fight back using her troupe of actor friends. What follows is akin to a Shakespearean farce, complete with false identities and hidden agendas. The book is a rollicking entertaining read and offers a dose of social consciousness.

To research and make the writing realistic, Lamont listened to hours of right wing radio, intently following and researching the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Glenn Beck. In the end, she created the ultimate voice of right wing radio, a primetime huckster whose slurs and wild accusations fired at the liberal left convince fans that he is the picture of patriotism.  The novel inspires questions such as: When does spin become outright lying? And, how does hate-filled name calling in public damage our country and our democracy?

Wright for America is sure to stimulate conversation about the media and its role in American politics.

Please welcome Robin Lamont to Colorimetry with me. It's time to let in some humor!!


What inspired you to write this story?

After the 2008 election, I became aware of a right-wing backlash targeting Barack Obama and nearly anyone who was considered liberal or progressive.  There were stories of people stocking up on assault weapons and ammunition, fearing Obama would “take away” the guns in America, as well as tales of extremist militias storing grain and canned goods in the event of a government takeover.  I wondered about the source of this paranoia, and my husband tossed off casually, “Oh, just listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, Hannity, Savage, Levin.  They’re all on prime time radio and TV.”  

So listened – and listened.  And what I heard astounded me.  All of a sudden, we didn’t have a President in the White House, we had a socialist tyrant.  Juvenile name calling of democratic politicians or legislators was rampant, fact twisting commonplace.  And all the while, the radio shows had sponsors, and the hosts were making millions and hawking merchandise bearing their images and slogans on their websites.  I began to think that much of the bombast was designed as entertainment, yet millions of listeners were taking the “ideology” to heart.

Out of this, I imagined what might happen if certain listeners were propelled by these powerful right wing voices to take action, and the seeds for Wright for America were sown. 

What is your favorite scene?

I’m partial to the scene at the tea party gala that takes place at a fancy hotel in New York City.  There’s a lot going on, and the setting (to me) with all the red, white and blue decorations has a kind of cinematic tension.  Maren and her actor friends all take on roles to try and fit in to the conservative celebration while they are setting up the radio host to take a gigantic fall.  I imagined this scene as a kind of amalgamation of Tootsie and Mission Impossible.  Although here, unlike the professionals in Mission Impossible, the actors get so carried away with their own roles, that they are always on the verge of blowing it.  

Something personal about me?

I have a strong interest in animal welfare and have become an ethical vegan.  I’ve found that the more I’m willing to open my eyes, the more I see how we mistreat animals and the suffering they endure.  I volunteer occasionally for a terrific organization called Compassion Over Killing and try to spread the word when I can.  I am currently working on a suspense series that features an animal welfare investigator.  


About the Author:


Robin Lamont:

Born in Boston and raised in Brooklyn, I attended Carnegie-Mellon’s specialized drama program where I performed in and helped conceive the musical Godspell.  I stayed with the show from its original Off Broadway run and went on to re-create my role in the film by Columbia Pictures. To my surprise and delight, my recording of “Day by Day” from the cast album became a hit on the Billboard charts, and the film version of the song still draws viewers from around the world.     
Later, I joined the Broadway cast of Grease, playing Sandy.  And then I appeared in the Broadway production of Working, in which I sang James Taylor’s heart wrenching song “Millwork.”
Since most actors need day jobs, I signed on with a small private investigations firm that hired actors to work undercover jobs to ferret out counterfeiters. Our boss at the time called it the “ultimate street theater.” My newest book, Wright for America,draws from the troupe of colorful characters with whom I worked as well as the unorthodox methods we often used to nab the counterfeiters.  And while the undercover work occasionally brought me in contact with some real criminals, the zany situations far outnumbered the dangerous ones. During my later years as a private investigator, I went to law school at night, and after  graduation became an Assistant DA in Westchester County, NY.  My work there with the Special Prosecutions Unit inspired my first novel If Thy Right Hand.  
The journey from actress to lawyer to novelist has offered me a wealth of experiences and a chance to meet extraordinary people along the way. To bring all of the stories, the varied landscapes and emotions together in my writing is deeply rewarding, and I welcome the chance to share that with my readers.
I live in Westchester with my wonderful husband and two almost-grown kids who are in the process of creating their own journeys.


PS: For fun, see Robin Lamont singing ‘Day by Day’ in the movie Godspell! Go to:

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4 comments:

  1. Hi Laura,

    Really enjoyed doing the interview and will be a follower of your great blog. Thanks! Robin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds great! I'm tremendously concerned about "When does spin become outright lying? And, how does hate-filled name calling in public damage our country and our democracy" so I'm adding this one to my WishList :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE satire as well...one of my favorite classroom assignments is Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal...students are always so outraged by Swift's proposals and then feel really silly once they realize how easily duped they can be when they don't pay attention and critically analyze what they're reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! What a great classroom assignment!!

      I like the sharp wit behind the whole thing - producing and countering. But I like your concern, too. Hate-filled stuff hurts everyone.

      Delete

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