Our next author from the anthology, LOVE AND OTHER DISTRACTIONS to benefit KNTR is…Doug Molitor!
Doug Molitor is an L.A. native who enjoys traffic, brushfires and earthquakes. He is a TV writer and novelist. His first three books are Memoirs of a Time Traveler, Full Moon Fever: Monster, He Wrote and Full Moon Fever: Pure Silver.
On TV, Doug wrote for comedies (Sledge Hammer!, Lohman & Barkley, You Can’t Take It With You, Police Academy, Rita's World) and sci-fi/fantasy adventure series (Sliders, Mission: Genesis, Adventure Inc., Young Hercules, F/X), plus the western comedy Lucky Luke.
In animation, he has been writer and/or story editor for 190 episodes of such series as The Wizard of Oz, Happily Ever After, X-Men Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, Sinbad, Carmen Sandiego, Sabrina, Beetlejuice and Captain Planet. For the latter, he won two Environmental Media Awards and was nominated for the Humanitas Prize.
His 2008 musical election spoof, with Hillary and Obama singing "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" has reached 2.4 million hits on YouTube.
He is a former Jeopardy Champ, appearing a total of 13 days on two versions of the show. He lost two million bucks on another game show. (Please don't ask, it only depresses him.)
And now…Doug in the hotseat!
R: Meow, welcome Doug. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories. My mom saved one from first grade. It was about an owl. At nine, I started making movies with an old springloaded 8 mm Kodak. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.
R: How did you hear about Kids Need to Read?
Christiana Miller told me, and I loved it. I used to tutor third graders in reading.
R: Tell us about your story in the KNTR anthology, LOVE AND OTHE DISTRACTIONS. What was the inspiration?
“Full Moon Fever” began with a scene in my head I just had to write: a grieving young man meets his dead fiancée on his doorstep. It could’ve been horror, but being me, I wrote it as eerie romantic comedy. From it sprang my series of novellas.
R: Tell us about your infamous YouTube hit, Obama on the Run! How did that come about?
I have always loved political satire and musical parodies, and before the primaries for 2008, a producer asked me to write one with Hillary and Barack singing “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” from Annie Get Your Gun. I jumped at it – when am I going to get another chance to collaborate with Irving Berlin?
R: You’ve written everything from sketch comedy to cartoons. What was the most challenging?
A news show. I never got past unpaid intern. Serious journalism is not for me, I guess.
Least? Cartoons – I just channel my inner kid and they pour out of me. Not challenging at all, just pure fun. I’ve written 190 of them.
R: What writers would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?
Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Larry Gelbart, Stan Freberg, Robert Benchley, H.G. Wells, Preston Sturges, Mark Twain.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
It’s counterintuitive, but voluntary distraction helps. I often write late at night so there will be no phone calls or emails; even the cats and the dog are asleep. And the Internet is my cup of coffee: Taking five minutes’ break to post a joke on Twitter, or shred some troll argument on Facebook, really recharges me.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Driving into a desert sandstorm and narrowly missing a fatal multi-car pile-up...getting out of the storm...and then driving back through it because I’d missed my turn.
R: What is your next project?
Two novellas in the Full Moon Fever series were just published; I’m now writing a sequel to my comic novel Memoirs of a Time Traveler.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I always fly into a story by the seat of my pants, but am obsessive about plotting the end.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
I used to build model train sets. I might go back to it someday, if my eyesight holds up. I also love sand sculpting. And I do impressions (several movie stars show up in my first novel, so readings are fun.)
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Follow DougMolitor@Twitter.com and see links to my books, and Doug’s Dozen (HuffPo columns and FunnyOrDie videos) at www.dougsdozen.com.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers? 1) Give up - because if you’re going be a writer, you will have to ignore that kind of “friendly” advice. Repeatedly.
2) Keep rewriting till you get it right.
3) Then rewrite it again.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Cat, but don’t take that as a cue for a hairball, Rocco
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Steak
Favorite Drink? Zinfandel
Favorite Book? Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler
Favorite TV Series? Breaking Bad
Favorite Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Actor: Oliver Hardy. Just an incredibly funny man.
Favorite Actress: Anne Hathaway
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii – live volcano!
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be __Katie Sandwina, early 20th-century circus performer. You’ve never heard of her, but she’s a character in my next novel and I have a lot of questions I can’t find answers to._
If I had just one wish, it would be_I wish I knew the answer to that. Oh, hey, I know! ...wait, did I just use up my wish??
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be __No one. I’d just feel so bad about whoever wound up in my place, I couldn’t enjoy my new status.__
Meow! Thanks for a great interview, Doug!