Howard Reiss an especially gifted storyteller with a knack for creating fully developed characters and original storylines. He recently published his 6th novel, The Texture of Love. The Old Drive-In, Howard Reiss’ fifth novel, is a nostalgic reflection on what could have been. As our Author of the Day, Reiss tells us more about this book and what it took to write it.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Old Drive-In is about.
It’s about dealing with unresolved issues in your past – in this case with a parent and a high school sweetheart. It’s about dealing with issues in your present life as well and how events sometimes push you forward in a new direction and help you make decisions and take steps you never thought you were capable of.
Tell us more about Mitch. What makes him tick?
Mitch is unhappy in his profession, unsatisfied with his marriage and haunted by some things he did and didn’t do in the past.
What inspired you to write a story filled with nostalgia and "what could have beens"?
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the past is not inert and unchanging. There are always things to learn about it that can change the way we see the past and our own lives in the present.
Your characters feel real - people could really connect to them. How did you pull this off?
By borrowing liberally from people I know and letting them develop on their own.
The book contains a couple of twists. Did you plan them out before you started writing?
Not really, I have some general idea of what may happen, but often the characters and events change that.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I write songs for everyone’s birthday and my anniversary.
In which ways have your life changed since publishing your very first novel?
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
More a set amount of time – 4 to 5 hours.
What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?
I love to read anything . . . even comic books when I was younger. I generally like books about time and prospective, such as Ada by Nabokov.
Did you work against a deadline for this book? How hard was it to stick to it?
No. I write, I rewrite and I keep rewriting until I feel I’m done.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?
Mitch’s reaction to the new characters in his life and the discovery of what he didn’t know about his past.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Follow your heart more when it comes to what you want to do.
What are you working on right now?
A book about a woman who finds her high school sweetheart on Facebook right before their 50th reunion.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’m on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I’m happy to respond to queries on my website (howardreiss.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/howardreissauthor), Twitter (@horore) and Goodreads.