Saturday, February 14, 2015

Doug Lamoreux's In My Office!

My Interview with Doug Lamoreux!
Firstly, I want to thank you.  I appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule so I can interview you.  Doug, you know I just adore you and I’m certain my readers will too! 
1.     To begin, how would you describe yourself?
I am a romantic dreamer meaning, basically, that I'm a sad person who laughs a lot.
·        What sort of actor are you?
o I am an instinctive performer much like Spender Tracy, whose one piece of acting advice was "Learn your lines and don't bump into the furniture." I have been told by three separate directors that I can "change characters faster than any actor (they've) ever worked with." I played three characters in 20 minutes in a Wild West Stunt Show, and did a stage comedy (Leaving Iowa) in which I played 12 characters in the same show. I do voice work, accents, radio (including the Left Behind and Left Behind: TheKids shows), film and theater. I have directed quite a bit of theater (though I find directing too nerve wracking; particularly once the show has opened). I have no acting method; acting classes and theory bore the hell out of me.
·        What sort of writer are you?
o I can, and sometimes will, write anything. I was a newspaper sportswriter thirty years ago. I've written short fiction and non-fiction (I am somewhat of an expert on pre-1980's horror films). I've written, co-written, and ghosted a number of screenplays. But, by far, my favorite is long fiction; primarily horror and mystery. I've been fortunate to have five novels published by Creativia and publisher Miika Hannila, three solo horror novels, The Devil'sBed, Dracula's Demeter, and The Melting Dead, one Nod Blake mystery, CorpsesSay the Darndest Things, and an Amazon #1 bestselling thriller Apparition Lake co-written with my brother, outdoor writer and award-winning wildlife photographer, Daniel D. Lamoreux.
2.     Let’s talk about DRACULA’S DEMETER for a moment.  In your own words, can you tell us what this book is about?
It is the tale of Count Dracula's voyage to England hidden in the hold of a sailing ship. Bram Stoker gave the bare bones of this story in Chapter 7 of the classic novel Dracula, the unnamed captain of a Russian schooner takes on board 50 boxes of soil bound from Varna to Whitby. No one on board realizes that inside one of the boxes is the king of vampires. I took those few scant journal entries and created the crew and events aboard the ship, Demeter.
·        What inspired you to write this novel?
o It's an epic, romantic fantasy, with simmering horror beneath. I wrote in detail about the origins of the book for the great folks at Vamped.org. If anyone's interested, that article is here:   http://vamped.org/2014/01/29/old-vampire-sea/
·        Now, I know that DRACULA’S DEMETER is being made into a movie by ThunderBall Films.  How did that amazing opportunity come about?
o It is an amazing opportunity, no doubt. To the best of my understanding, Brian L. Porter (their script writer and a ThunderBall Films producer) read Dracula's Demeter, liked it, saw its epic film potential, and brought it to the attention of ThunderBall CEO-Producer-Founder, Mario Domina.
·        Are you involved with writing the script or will you be performing in the production?  Why or why not?
o I've signed to co-write the film with Brian. As is always the case with projects in development, a lot of elements are still up in the air. Brian is deep in production right now as writer/producer with a ThunderBalltelevision project based upon his series of Jack the Ripper books. It looks like it will be a great show! (And several great films after that.) And I'm very busy trying to finish my next novel.
o As it stands, Brian has written an opening scene for Dracula'sDemeter. Several talented actresses have been cast for prospective roles. I have written a number of sequences that I feel will be amazing when, and if, they make it into the script and onto the screen. But nothing has been finalized and we're certainly a long way from a shooting script.
o As to performing in Dracula's Demeter, there's been no discussion of that.
·        When can we look for the movie to be released?
o It is tentatively scheduled for production in 2017. Movie making is a wonderful business where anything can happen. We'll just have to see. I must say for Mario and Brian to even ask about bringing the book to the screen was thrilling.
  
3.     Tell us about your acting career… 
I know you have been a theater actor for over forty years now.  In addition to your stage performances, you have been involved with films
·        What sort of actor are you?
o Do you consider yourself a stage performer or a film actor?
Ø  Both, always.
o Are you a character actor, physical comedian, or don’t you have a particular style you prefer? 
By this, I mean, Johnny Depp is a character actor; he becomes each character, while Nicholas Cage is basically the same guy in each movie.  Both are great actors, but their styles are different.  Going a step further, though Johnny Depp is a character actor, just as Robin Williams was, Robin was also a physical comedian.  His comedy was full-bodied; he literally threw himself into whatever the joke demanded of him.
Ø  Any actor that's any good or has any staying power is a performer that can play whatever the situation calls for. It's necessary because, not only do the venues and mediums change, but so do audience tastes. I am, and always will be, a stage actor.
Ø  I've done broad comedy (stunt shows), stage comedy, thrillers, and musicals (playing Oscar Madison to Li'l Abner). I once played a singing banana.  
Ø  I enjoy television. There you can play more naturally, but the material is usually fairly broad. I love making films, but delicious film making opportunities are few and far between, particularly now that I'm middle aged. I get a lot of offers to play alcoholics wearing wife beaters and dropping the F-bomb every other word. (I turn them down.)
Ø  American films are made with young people for young people. In England, brilliant actors work well into their eighties with no slow down. Here, former stars sell aspirins and hearing aids if they want to "work".
·        How did you first get into acting?  Were you in theatre first or film?
o I got into stage acting in a serious way at the age of fourteen. Four family members, including my father, were killed in an arson house fire. The school drama teacher took me under his wing, became a second father to me. Dan Danielowski taught me everything there was to know about theater, acting, directing. Both Dan and Mark Jansen, a fellow class mate and director, lighting and art director, teach professionally today and run their own theaters. The friendships have lasted a lifetime. I had the great privilege of appearing in a show for Mark just last year. (The Sunshine Boys, I had the Walter Matthau role.)
·        Being an amateur actress myself, having worked in theatre, as well as, on television, I get the different demands of each performance style.  However, not everyone will know how these two disciplines compare.  Can you explain the different demands required for each?
o First, all require the ability to perform. Beyond that, theater requires a strong memory for lines with a lesser reliance on technique. You take the stage and live the performance from beginning to end. Film requires a precise memory for technique and far less reliance on lines. You must be exacting in your movements to hit marks (so you stay in frame and in focus) and key lights (so you look right for the camera.) But film is shot in individual set ups, usually lasting less than two minutes. You need only remember that much dialogue at a time. Theater requires a presence; the back row of a theater seating 400 deserves the same performance as the front row. In film, the camera will come and find the performance in you, if you let it. It's much more intimate, but difficult to put into words.
·        Do you prefer one discipline over the other and if so, why or why not?
o As a performer, I appreciate the intimacy of film acting. I love being on a film set. But it is a very personal thing. I have had friends and family on the set with me and all of them have been absolutely bored to tears. Film brings personal satisfaction. Satisfaction from a public reaction to film is always months and months down the road (if ever). If you need a crowd to like you, then stage acting is the thing.
o On stage, you do a bit, tell a joke, or take a fall and the audience responds immediately. Theater brings instant gratification. But your memory is the only record.
·        How did you move from acting to writing and which came first?
Obviously, I laid this interview out with the assumption that your acting career began prior to your writing career, but is that really true?
o I didn't really move from one to the other. I still do both. They’re two different professions with little in common other than they fulfill the need to get inside strangers, figure out what makes them tick, and present those strangers to others for entertainment purposes.
4.     Tell us about your amazing writing career…
You are an award-winning, Amazon best-selling author.  You have published titles individually, as well as, co-authored the book APPARITION LAKE with your brother, Dan Lamoreux.
·        What awards have you been nominated for and which have you won?
o I put awards and contest wins in the same category. In fact, winning a contest as a writer is better than winning an award because in a contest, you get something in the end. And that's what professional writing is all about (according to Stephen King). You write, they give you a check, you pay the light bill = success.
o My first success as a writer was a contest win and publication in an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Today, it would be called flash fiction, but back in the 80's, it was just a short story. I got a check for twenty-five dollars! My flash fiction story, The Gardener, also netted a nifty win at 99fiction.net. When you're eating a sandwich bought with writing money it just tastes better. 
o With awards, you just get an award (and the bitter congratulations of fellow artists that did not win). For the remainder of your career you'll need to dust off both the award and the fellow artists. LOL! Besides, I'm usually the bridesmaid as far as awards go. I have been nominated for a Rondo Hatton Award and a Pushcart Prize. My second solo novel, Dracula'sDemeter, was nominated for Best Vampire Fiction of 2012 by the Lord Ruthven Assembly. I contributed to two Rondo nominated non-fiction books on horror films, Horror 101 and Hidden Horrors. The latter won the Rondo for Book of the Year in 2014 (congrats, editor Aaron 'DR. AC' Christensen).
o A screenplay I co-wrote with a great British writer, Ian DavidNoakes (author of the thriller novel, Hourglass Heights) called, Dark Heart, was a Quarter-finalist in the American Screenwriting Competition. I was the first-ever winner of The Horror Society 'Igor Award' for fiction. And Apparition Lake just finished among the Top 10 nominees for the Predators & Editors poll for Best Horror Novel of 2014.
·        Do you prefer to write solo or with a co-author?  Why or why not and what are the differences?
o Truthfully, you end up writing solo whether you're collaborating or not. You discuss the project with your co-author, you make plot and character decisions with them, you argue about moments you feel passionate about, and you give and take constantly. But the writing you still do alone.
o The big difference: when I write solo, nobody sees the work until I'm ready to show it. Collaborating means you have to turn your raw work over to someone who will not only be critical, but has the power to change the words. Collaboration requires absolute trust, not just in the writing, but in the character and motivations of your co-author.
o Working with my brother Dan on Apparition Lake was a breeze, an absolute walk in the National Park, because I don't just trust him with my words, I trust him with my life. When we decided to bring that book back to life in a new edition from Creativia, we agreed on a goal, and met it. It helped that he is an extremely talented writer!
·        Did working with your brother make is easier or harder, in your opinion, to co-author a novel?  What challenges did you face and were they more or less manageable since you were related?  Will you be collaborating again in the future?
o As stated above, it was clearly easier. I didn't have to get to know him, I knew him already. I didn't have to wonder what he was thinking, he told me in no uncertain terms. The worst thing about collaborating with someone you don't know well is wondering what they are thinking, feeling the need to walk on egg shells, trying not to rub the other the wrong way. It is a BS way to write because writing is about exposing yourself! Dan is well aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
o We will be collaborating again. I'm certain the dark side of nature has more to show Glenn Merrill and Johnny Two Ravens and there will be a sequel or, if not a direct sequel, a companion adventure to Apparition Lake.
5.     What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Coming soon, a new horror novel, and after, a new Nod Blake mystery (with lots of murders, twists, and laughs), and later in the year the already mentioned follow-up to Apparition Lake.
·        What is your current WIP?
o A novel that I believe will really thrill my horror readers. It's called 'When The Tik Tik Sings'. It's based on an interview I did with a fellow from the Philippines over 30 years ago.
o He claimed to have witnessed an incident that, from his telling it, has brewed and haunted me ever since. And, finally, the time was right to develop that 'moment' of horror into a sequence of events in the lives of a group of characters that readers will absolutely be able to relate to.
o After all these years, it's coming to life on paper. I don't want to give any details. Just let me recommend, When The Tik Tik Sings, coming soon.
·        Will you be doing more films and if so, will they be based on any of your other novels?
o Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of me?

Thanks again, Doug!  I love chatting with you and I’m so pleased to have the chance to share you with my audience!  I pray you all the best, my friend! 

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