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Pedal…Louis Lowy

I call him my pirate, for he has the look , the charm and oh yes the ability to keep me riveted on a story. When I read Die Laughing, it seemed incongruous that such a warm person could write a humorous sci-fi that had me angry, horrified and impatient with the characters in the that particular book. Then I had a surprise when his second book came out. It was completely different from the first but just as compelling. Remember it is said that you are only as good as your last Louis however raised the bar with his second novel even though it was in another genre altogether.

That is what I love about writing and good authors, the ability to write in almost any genre and not be stuck in stereotyping that will ultimately stifle you.
Let’s share some comments about Louis’s book PEDAL
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Pedal tells the story of Joanne Brick, a single, 49-year-old elementary school music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life back through bicycle racing. Pedal explores how Joanne — who lives with her bossy, older sister, and their ailing mother – deals with unemployment, loneliness and loss of self-worth.
Pedal
Pedal is part sports book, part family drama and part romance, but mostly it’s a journey of self-discovery and reawakening. It is based around the theme of daring to change and how ordinary people handle life’s turning points.

Pedal runs 88,000 words (301 pages) and was released in December by Assent Publishing.

I had a chance to have what you might call a small chat with Louis, please let’s read together his answers to my questions.
These are the questions I asked him.

Congratulations on your second outing albeit with another publishing house.

1. Why did you write Pedal? It is not the same as your first Die Laughing.
Because Pedal isn’t the same as Die Laughing is precisely the reason that I wrote it. I wanted to tell a polar opposite story. Die Laughing, which I love, was a big novel. What I mean, is that it had lots of dire exterior forces going on: shape-shifting aliens plundering the earth’s oil, refinery explosions, falling airplanes and live television broadcasts, all leading to the possible extinction of mankind.
With Pedal I wanted to write a quiet story, yet one where the protagonist had as much at stake in her world as there was in Die Laughing. The disrupting forces in Pedal are more personal, though as I said, just as dire for her. My protagonist has to overcome her own self to save her world, which she lost when the one thing that defined her—her career as an elementary school music teacher—was taken away. I also chose a female protagonist because Die Laughing had had a male protagonist. Whew! That turned out to be quite a challenge.

2. Share with us your experience at the last book reading of Pedal.
In one word: incredible. I was fortunate enough to have the wonderful author, John Dufresne introduce me. The audience was larger than I expected, attentive. They reacted to the passages I read in the way that I hoped they would, and then later asked thoughtful questions. For this author, it doesn’t get any better than that. And oh, yeah, they purchased lots of books.
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3. Will you say you are a romantic person?
I would like to think I am, but my wife may dispute that point. I’m not one who wears their heart on their sleeve, that’s for sure, but I do tend to be a bit nostalgic and reflective. As that pertains to my protagonists, though each are different, I do like to embed in them the potential to be romantic. They may or may not reach that state, but the opportunity is there.

4. You seem to have moved away almost completely from sci-fi or am I mistaken?
Though I can see why you think that, the answer is no. My next novel To Dream, is the first of a two book series titled the Anatomy of a Humachine (IFWG Publishing). It’s an epic science fiction drama scheduled for release in mid-2016. I’m very excited about it.

5. From the pictures, Pedal seems to have been a roaring success yes?
The reading was held at the wonderful Books & Books in my home town of South Florida, so I was anticipating a good crowd, but when that greatly exceeded my expectations, I was humbled.

6. I love your theme of loneliness, unemployment and the terrible effects of that on one’s self confidence, Johanne seems to be an archetypal old Miss. Why did you pick such a person?
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picked someone like that because I wanted Joanne to be the type of person who had the most to lose when her life-defining career was taken from her. This may sound cruel, but I wanted her to suffer. To have to struggle like she’s never struggled before. To fight for her life, so to speak. That’s what defines a person. She may or may not succeed, but whatever happens I want her to have given it her best shot. I see her as a wilted flower who—if she can overcome her obstacles—will blossom into the woman she wants to be, but never was.

7. What wins over on a cold winter night, a thrilling sci-fi or a teary sob romantic novel?
A thrilling sci-fi with a touch of teary romance.

8. What has been the response to your second book?
I’m very grateful that people enjoy Pedal and that the Kindle edition is an Amazon Bestseller in Religious & Inspirational Fiction: Women’s Fiction and Inspirational. I worked hard on the story and for it to finally get in the reader’s hands and have them tell you how much they like it is a wonderful feeling.

9. Any work in progress now?
Oh, yes. I’m always working ahead. I’m polishing up a fantasy story about a dying gambler who is given an opportunity to redeem himself, and a turn of the 19th century horror novel. Though I have an outline, I also have to write Book II of Anatomy of a Humachine. Next, I’ll try my hand at a detective novel – of course that’s a ways down the road.

10. Please share with us the links to your books.
Louis K Lowy books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=louis+k.+lowy
Pedal/Assent Publishing: http://assentpublishing.com/Books.aspx#1052
Die Laughing/IFWG Publishing: http://ifwgpublishing.com/store-item-die-laughing/
In general, check out my website: http://www.louisklowy.com/
Twitter: @louisklowy
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/Louis-on-Facebook
Feel free to contact me. I love to speak with fans.

Thank you for sharing time with us.

Thank you, Biola, for the opportunity to speak with you about my work. It’s been a pleasure.

Grammarly Correct

I have been doing quite a lot of writing lately. I am learning a few things along the way as well. One of my pet dreams has always been to be a darn good writer. My reason is simple really. When I was much younger, I wanted to be a journalist but my dad always said I was too blunt for my own good and he didn’t fancy having to bail me out from getting into constant trouble with angry people who might not like my idea of journalism. I had this irritating habit of just blurting out my observations. Anyway in order not to bore you..did I mention that my husband thinks I tend to ramble? So what was I saying?
Somewhere in my life, I decided to write a story, and I have not been the same since then. Did I tell you that before? Never mind I can tell you that again because actually there is something I am excited about and wanted to share. When the internet came knocking on my door, I opened the door gingerly and started with the social media, but I am not so good about writing about inane things so I searched and joined some literary community.
I met my publisher, and I had my first book published, that really encouraged me and I kept my search on for serious writing community. I am happy I did that because I met quite a lot of writers and had to learn how to write in such a way as to make my readers understand what I was writing about.
A few weeks back one of my dreams came true, I got a seal of excellence from a popular e-magazine. While I felt elated about the seal of achievement I was uneasy about the comments of the owner of the site.. my complete inability to understand where the punctuations ought to be and my awful spellings. Now I have had that problem for as long as I can remember, punctuations. I read to myself as I write and I tend to speak fast so I run my sentences not giving punctuations their right of place.
I always forget to make use of my spell checks and then Nick gets across to me and talks to me about Grammarly.. ergh!
I want to learn because I want to improve my grammar and earn more readers so they don’t have to keep scratching their heads wondering what I am writing about.
I am sharing with you this info from ARAMINK .com on BETTER GRAMMAR FOR BETTER and who knows you might find it useful or may be someone like me who wants to be a good writer.
I get teased a lot for my grammar compulsion. Misplaced apostrophes distract me from the content of written communication, and double negatives instantly downgrade my estimation of the person speaking. I have tried, but these things bother me. It’s no secret: I think grammar is important.
I participate in two critique groups for writers. A new writer came to one of those groups recently. His story featured a dystopian society with teenage protagonists, and something significant was about to happen. Dystopias are popular especially among young adult readers, and his premise was interesting, but reading his submission with an eye critical to style was painful. It took me nearly an hour to agonize my way though his ten double-spaced pages. The biggest problem was not his story. It was his grammar.
He committed the usual subject-verb agreement crimes. He butchered his sentences with improper punctuation. Malapropisms peppered every page. Sentence fragments. Ridiculous imagery completed the ghastly picture he painted with his words. He probably has a good story to tell, but until he learns to tell it in plain – and correct – language, he won’t be telling it to much of an audience.
I suggested that he use a grammar checker. Grammarly’s free online grammar checker is a good one. It’s fun to play with, and it’s educational to boot. Anyone who seriously wants to write well can benefit from a grammar checker.
Plain, understandable language lets us communicate succinctly and clearly. The better people communicate, the more likely they are to get what they want and to understand what others want from them. Skilled communicators are more likely to persuade others. Good, clear language reduces misunderstandings.

You just might pick up some really good hints.
Do let me know what you think and hey let’s warp up the year with some really good sharing shall we?

Writer’s block or Lethargy?

I have had an intense week. Okay who hasn’t? I heard that , but we agreed to have a conversation okay? The problem felt simple., I have heard about writers block. You know sitting in front of the computer and you stare at the keys but nothing happens right? Good. How do you explain having lots of stories running riot in your head and you actually have finished the story in your head….or so you think and then for the life of me I simply open the computer and blimey, I go over to social networking and Lord I am lost. I giggle, smile, even chuckle at some of the posts and then three hours later am tired, sleepy and the characters sadly head for my head, another wasted night the characters mutter to themselves settling in different corners of my brain. We all spend a very restless night. Some of them are angry enough to inflict some level of nightmares on me. Am I addicted? There are days I simply sit by the computer and stare too fuddled to even go the social media sites and then in some unexplained misery, shut down. I sense a problem but for the life of me I am at a loss to explain it to me. Then I have what I privately call writing binges. I simply can’t seem to stop. Poems, jokes, drama, and I simply seem to haunt my social pages then. I find it difficult to get to bed. Those times Numen simply sniffs and goes to a corner not giving me a thought. I know why because inspite of that frenzy, I have not gone back to the sequel about her story.
We have been avoiding each other for days now. I started on the story then asked her a question and she took umbrage. The question was simple and clear.. do gods and goddesses fall in love? She gave me such a long silence that I imagined that she had left and then a long sigh came and she whispered.
“What do humans know of love? Of its awesomeness? Love, the world rotates on that axis and it is the template that determined the world. No, not the weak self- serving version you humans call love. Have a look into creation from the molten fiery depths of the plates of the earth that serve as the shoulders of Atlas to the roar and silence of the depths of the sea that is the belly of Neptune to Sango’s speed swinging in service and obedience to the Will of the Creator”. She paused for breath and I sensed her frustration. She sighed.. “Don’t ask such a silly question my friend. Humans have no real concept of Love, if they did, they would swing in the Natural laws and I would have little reason to be here”.
An amused chuckle escaped me and she smiled in return not one whit fazed by my supercilious amusement. Suddenly I was bored and I felt the dread of my disbelief. I was talking about my disorganized writing regime and was not really interested in in gods and goddesses I mumbled in irritation. Now I will have to sit down and make some sense of this blog, I continued complaining.
How do I solve this peculiarity? Is that what is meant by writer’s block or in my case a plain case of mental laziness. Ouch! At least you could pretend to be reading and be amused at my attempts at writing.
Now I do have a problem, I have been trying to decide if I should shoo Numen out of my head, life and space. She really has not finished her story but I am not so sure because I have a sneaking suspicion that she is going to tell me something that I might find difficult putting it right in words. Fantasies could become blurred you know. It is a longing for escape. I also have a simple confusion. Would I be stretching the magic if I write a sequel to Numen Yeye. In its original manuscript (by long hand, two big notebooks and hundreds of sheaves of loose sheets), Numen Yeye had spanned three parts. Must have been crazy in those days I used to say to myself. I mean who wants to read about sagas? My fingers ached and so did my back from sleepless nights. She sat glued to me then. Come to think of it she has stayed back and close since 1981 when she walked in.
Since Numen Yeye came out, I have noticed that my friends tend to give me strange looks. Like they wonder at me. I take great pains to explain it is a story but my close friend gives me a look that suggests she really does not think so. Kind of convenient that I find the social media a good excuse right?
A friend from the other side of the pond simply dismissed my story as superstitions and stuff and from his Olympian height said he did not care for such stuff. I scratched my head, puzzled. I had read his sci-fi stories and though I did not understand his imagination I had read his book no books and enjoyed the artistry of his words. Why am I puzzled? He did not extend to me a charity that I had hoped. The sharp end of reviewing that every writer dreads, accepts and helplessly hopes that he would not have to face.
You know as a writer, you do hope that your book will be well received. You hope that at the very least friends will see the merits of the effort and make a fair comment. Some of my friends have been generous, I thank them, some have been blistering and I do thank them as well.
My editor said everything.. He said, there can be only two ways people will see your story… those who will like it and those who will not understand where you are at. That gave me lots of comfort. So when a fellow Nigerian said she could not wrap it round her head I smiled. Or the fellow author who said he was going to dump reading the book because he did not care for superstition, I did not bother telling him that we had chatted on social media about the book while I was writing.
I just remembered something.. Have you read the book Numen Yeye? By the way I do reviews too. You know in obedience to the law which states that it is only in giving that one receives lasting values.
Let’s meet again soon and I sincerely hope my lethargy will lift and I can report that I have gone someways with Numen ‘s sequel.
Hasta la vista friends.

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