Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Interview and Review of Irv's Odyssey: Lost in a Looking Glass by Irving H. Podolsky

Hello CEWTNK!  I am all about trying new books and this one was definitely a new read for me!!  It truly doesn't have a genre, and well I love to give all books geared in this direction a try.  I remember when Steampunk was not accepted as its own and the beginning of the YA era:)  It's always exciting to discover a new type of read.  Before I dive into the book, I wanted to take a moment to Rack up this author...Let's see what he had to say:

Hey Irv! Welcome to our…cozy retreat.
It’s really dark in here.

Ozone-friendly lighting.
Oh…sure. What’s that?

Sounds like, moaning cats.

That? Just our guests. The treatments get a tad intense.
What treatments?

Sit here, Irv.
What’s with all the rope?

Construction. Something to drink before we get started?
I don’t think so. But ear plugs would be nice.

In the bag…over there. Maybe one or two aren’t used.
Uhhh… Thanks.

Okay, let’s begin. For starters, I usually ask authors to tell us about their book. In your case it would be a series.
Yeah. A trilogy covering five years of Irving Podolsky’s twenty-something life, set in the seventies. Irv’s the hero who tells his story in the first person, which makes him the author of a fictitious memoir narrated by a fictitious young man.

But you’re Irving Podolsky.
I know. Confusing. Irv the character, Irv the author. But I loved that geeky name so much, it’s now my nom de plume for everything.

Okay, so I’ll call you Irv.
Exactly! That’s how Moby Dick starts! “Call me Ishmael.” I was gonna start book one that way, “Call me Irving,” but it didn’t have the same ring. So I changed it to, “My name is Irving Podolsky, and I don’t fit in. Anywhere.”

Still don’t.

Sorry. How did the idea for the books come to you?
In the shower. Warm water makes me think.

You into squirting?

Never mind.

Which character, in your opinion, should everyone be in love with?
Well if it’s not Irv, that’s a serious problem, since the entire story is told from his point-of-view. But so far, the feedback and reviews tell me he’s comin’ through. Ya see, he doesn’t want to hurt anybody, or get hurt. And he wants to be loved and love others. And he wants to make a positive difference in the world. So I guess he’s a…Nice Jewish Boy...who ends up directing porn.

A “Nice Jewish Boy” in porn, how did you write that?
Why is everybody dressed in black around here? Somebody die?

Tell us about your writing challenges, Irv. The hardest scene to write.
The hardest scene to write? Humm…

I suppose that would be the part where Irv has a spiritual awakening. I rewrote that four or five times, hoping I’d get across the experience of someone exploding into an expanded awareness and a deep sense of knowing that, ummm… Everything Is, As It Should Be. I expected to carry all my readers into that zone if I built all the bridges leading up to it.

Did you?
Nope. Only a few readers got it. Writing about a “Revelation” was a revelation for me.

How so?
Well, during the polish phase, when I sent out the book for comments, I discovered that my words on the page were only catalysts. They coaxed a reader’s experience, but only as long at the reader believed the scene and added to it with his or her imagination.

Now I knew that, but I didn’t really understand the total process until I pushed the envelope.

Get this. What brings a scene and character to life, is the life of the reader. If an author can get readers inside his hero’s head and flesh out that personality in their own minds, the book’ll work. But the reader’s actually  connecting the dots. That’s the skill of writing lean; getting the reader inside your story to help you with it.

Still, there are some authored experiences that are too much of a leap to build with just words…or pictures…or anything other than what it is.

I found that the epiphany scene became a detached fantasy for those who didn’t have a similar perspective. My description was interesting but not enlightening. They couldn’t relate to the shift-of-consciousness.

But I suppose we can apply that principle to all fiction. The reader’s gotta have at least some personal experience to understand what’s going on. That experience can be emotional, not necessarily physical. Can we feel the rush of a plane crash on the page without having to actually fall from the sky? Of course. It’s the emotional truth we share, not necessarily the physical event.

Interesting. Did you heat up your sex scenes like that?
Irv’s sex scenes, and there are many, weren’t erotic or explicit. Irv wasn’t looking for fire and lust. He wanted personal connections and feelings of belonging. And he also felt morally obligated to share a sexual encounter rather than take it. There are a few scenes where Irv turns down fantastic potential lays because of his moral convictions. The sex scenes described attitudes, not just orgasms.

Are there any of these in your books?  (Hands Irv a box filled with vibrators, blindfolds, ball gags, handcuffs, clothes pins, lotions, rubber masks, etc.)

Oh boy! Party favors!

No Irv, they stay here. Did you write about any of these things?
That one looks familiar, the long plastic thingy with the knob on the end.

A dildo.
Yeah, that’s it. Irv’s first romp with a porn star had one of those in the scene. But it wouldn’t stop buzzing and Irv couldn’t understand why she wanted that and not him.

Maybe it had something to do with the size.

YOU wrote these books?
Yeah, why?

Well you’re…  Forget it.

Will you be writing anymore stories for this series?
With Irv the character? No. The three books resolved his questions. But Irving Podolsky, as my pen name, he’ll be authoring more stories outside the common genres, as is Irv’s Odyssey.

Can you tell us what you’re working on?
You know, actually, I’ve been reluctant to continue my next idea because it’s so out there. I had problems getting people to read this series because it isn’t specifically about fantasy and paranormal, or romance, or Young Adult, or historical drama. And yet it’s all that.

But once people get into the books, they really like’em. It’s been tough though, getting attention for a coming-of-age story. They’re not popular now.

That must be frustrating.
Sure. But most writers starting out deal with rejections. I have no justification to complain about it. And I’m not. But I do have to consider marketing next time.

So will you tell us about the idea you’re reluctant to write?
Okay. It would be a comedy about the who we are on the inside, as opposed to our appearance or the way people want us to act. It would examine the hurdles transgender folk go through. And I don’t mean vampires.

Not exactly mainstream.
Nope. Here’s the concept.

The spirit of a younger Jewish dude is imprisoned in a college girl’s body, and he falls in love with a middle-aged shiksha trapped in a fifty year-old Rabbi.

A non-Jewish female. An added complication.

Sounds like a fun read. Where can I find you for updates?
Well, there’s my blog, www.IrvingsJourney.com. If I get the nerve to write a wacky but deep transgender comedy, I’ll let everyone know.

Or…if some publisher reading this post says, “Yeah Irv, we’ll give you a shot at that,” I’ll be typing away. Maybe it’ill happen.

Anyway, super thanks for inviting me into your… What IS this place, anyway?

Irv, it’s been a pleasure interviewing you. I’ll walk you to the door.
 Why is that guy naked?

lol...Let me get Irv out of here before he becomes someone's lunch...or appetizer!!!  Let's take a look at the book:

Irving Podolsky is a nice Jewish boy looking for a nice Jewish girl and a job out of college which would, Irv hopes, make the world a better place. But when our hero's food supply dwindles down to a slab of Velveeta and a jar of pickles, our lad takes his only job offer: directing pornographic movies. This leads to a night shift gig in a mental hospital, only to have that be replaced by the lowest rung in food service, which drives Irv so bonkers his mind ejects out of his body to the Other Side. Irv's Odyssey is a humorous quest for love, truth and the meaning of life while lost in alternate life styles, a psychedelic drug culture and the free-love of the seventies. "Lost in a Looking Glass" starts the journey.Irving Podolsky resides in the mind of this writer and within the trilogy, "Irv's Odyssey." As your storyteller, I'd like to share the adventure with your younger YOU, that which seeks fun, romance and a wild ride into the Unknown.

"My plan was to take Lost in a Looking Glass with me so I could read it on our cruise. But I finished it before we even left. What a page turner "
Gregor Wossilus - film critic, content producer and story analyst for the Bavarian Broadcasting Network!!

More about the Author:

Who's Irving H. Podolsky? He’s a young man who hates his name, and he thinks his parents unfairly gave it to him. They didn’t. This author did. You see, outside the trilogy of Irv's Odyssey and also Irving’s blog, there is no Irving H. Podolsky. Irv doesn’t know that though, and it’s best for all that we keep the secret to ourselves.

If you searched this author’s true identity, you'd find him laced through 23 consecutive pages of Google. That’s because he has earned nineteen film nominations and awards, including two Emmys. He is also a member of the Executive Board within his category branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he has worked on every studio lot in Los Angeles in television and feature films.

The author’s personal life? He resides in an old house in a quaint neighborhood in Southern California. He loves vintage drums and antiques. Consequently, he has many. His wife collects and sells them. (Not drums, furniture.) He also enjoys fast sports cars so he owns two. The second is on its way to becoming vintage, which you might apply to this writer. But like Peter Pan, this writer refuses to grow old, and accordingly, Irv won’t either. Irving is perpetually twenty-five. So when the lad needs advice, he asks his alter ego, the creator of his thoughts.

Other than birthing Irv’s soul, this author leaves his character pretty much alone. Irving now has his own friends and Google links. You can contact Irv at IrvsOdyssey.com. Or check out his blog: IrvsOdysseyBlog.com. He will be happy to hear from you and respond as best as he can.

This was a really different read for me.  I think this book shows a perfect transition of a college student going into school with a pocket full of dreams and then meeting the reality of the working world head on.  As a graduate film student, Irv wants to hit the world head on and hopes to make meaningful documentaries about world changing events.  But bills keep piling up and his list of prospects keeps shrinking.  He ends up taking a job directing pornography.  Not quite the job you call home and tell your mom or dad about.  I enjoyed the story.  This book follows Irv throughout a several shots as he is introduced to a completely new lifestyle where he still struggles to fit in.  That is one of Irv's biggest problems.  He feels like he doesn't belong anywhere and always feels out of place.  Throughout the places where his life takes him he always seems to have that theme.  I found the book quite interesting and entertaining, even towards the end.

The heartbreaking part was towards the end.  He gets the opportunity to make the film he was upon a time interested in.  But it comes with some major heartbreaks and glimpses into the lives of unwanted children.  I think this job teaches Irv loads about life, even though it seems to harden him up a bit.

Throughout this book I caught found some of myself.  I remember what it was like wanting to change the world, and then discovering how the world really works.  Irv is definitely a relateable and unusual character.  I enjoyed the plot and the premise, even if it left me feeling sad about the reality check it gives you at the end.  I would definitely read more from this author.  I look forward to more adventures in his world. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks Nikki, SO MUCH for the fun interview and review!

But don’t be sad. Irv’s Odyssey is a trilogy and his story continues towards even stranger weirdness and true love.

I don’t like sad endings either!


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