Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winners (three winners) via rafflecopter during the tour.
If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to play your main characters?
Great question. I would want Selena Gomez to be Lauren because Selena has this wonderful innocence to her and I’d want Jonathan to be played by Dev Patel or Diego Luna. Diego and Dev have a kindness to them but an undercurrent of intensity. That’s how I see Jonathan and that’s what attracts Lauren to him. I’d love PINK to play the secondary character who befriends Lauren. She’d be AMAZING.
How do you come up with the titles of your books?
It’s weird. It’s almost like the titles come to me when I first start coming up with the concepts and story arc. I typically know the titles pretty quickly into writing them.
What does your writing space look like?
A mess. I write everywhere. In my living room. In bed. In my office. On a train. On a plane. In the airport. At the deli. At the coffee shop. I write whenever and wherever I can. You should see me trying to knock out pages while I’m smooshed between two people in Coach on an airplane. Oh so fun.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I’m a foodie. I love yoga and running and museums. And movies! Don’t forget movies. I’m super lucky in that I live in Los Angeles so I get to go to movies that then have the stars or director or producers or the writer attend a question and answer afterwards. Very fun.
What is your favourite color?
Red. Duh. Huge ego. Right … over … here.
What is your favourite pleasure food?
So when we say “pleasure food” what do we really mean? J On weekends, it’s bacon and pancakes with fresh fruit (I need to pretend I’m a little healthy). I love pasta. I adore a great steak. My husband and I frequent Big Man Bakes bakery in Downtown Los Angeles. They have some of THE BEST cupcakes in the area, bar none.
What is your favourite season?
Autumn. I love the scents, the colors, the playfulness of the time. I love the slight chill in the area. I love that it’s a season that’s really a transitional season between Summer and Winter. It’s the glue that keeps the other seasons together.
What is your favourite television show?
Admittedly, we cut the cord a long, long time ago. That said, we binged on Luke Cage and are desperately waiting for more.
What is your favourite movie?
I can only pick one? Not possible. FIGHT CLUB. PRINCESS BRIDE. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Who is your favourite actor?
Robert Redford is by far a genius. Crushes on Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Mark Ruffalo.
What is your favourite song?
ROAR by Katie Perry
What is your favourite comfort clothing attire?
How funny … I’m wearing them now – a slightly fitted T-shirt with sweatpants that could pass for semi formal pants. Seriously. I throw on a cardigan and I’m good to go.
What books might we find on your bedside table?
The Book Thief, The Westing Game, Powerhouse, the Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Powerhouse. Yeah, I read a wide variety of works.
Describe yourself in three words. Fiery. Smartass. Enigmatic.
Lauren has a dead end job as a waitress at the Oaklyn Diner. She becomes ecstatic when the diner is chosen to be the focal point of an upcoming movie, *Jersey Diner,* starring Jonathan Pearce. When filming ends she moves to California to start a new life with him. Lauren quickly discovers that all that she thought was real and true are in question.
“Before me the television hummed. The remote felt heavy and big in my hands. With the next channel came my favorite interview show. The host, Lawrence Corran, spoke with Jonathan. I couldn’t believe it. They played a rerun of my favorite episode.
The two men were on a stage with a black backdrop. On a table next to them stood glasses filled with water. Lawrence, a small man with a receding hairline, thick horn-rimmed glasses, a goatee, and a rounded jaw, sat across from Jonathan. Jonathan lounged in his high backed chair. If someone else sat in the chair, it would have been overpowering, but he looked confident, relaxed. Mama used to call him a young Sean Connery. His thin black sweater provided a hint of the muscles underneath it. A grey suit jacket hung from his shoulders. The creases in his black suit pants followed the bend of his knees. I wanted to reach in and touch those creases. He glowed with each move and every word. He crossed his legs and formed a pyramid with his fingers.
“Wasn’t that screen test for the next day?”
Jonathan looked embarrassed by the question. “Yes. They said they could use someone with my looks and then sent me home.”
I moved closer to the screen.
“How long after that test did you get your first part?”
“Now. See students? Don’t get discouraged if they don’t call you back immediately. Even Jonathan Pearce waited to get his first part.” Lawrence flipped to the next note card.
“I was an extra in a military movie called, The Edge of Life.”
My lips moved in time with his.
“I had one line. I said, ‘Sir, yes sir.’” His eyes crinkled with a touch of a smile. I had heard this story a dozen times.
“Again, students. Not only did he have to wait six months but he also had a very small role.”
“After that my next role wasn’t for another year. I took night classes and got a job as a construction worker.”
“That’s how you stayed trim.”
“I wanted to spend my money on classes so I needed a job that would maintain my physique.” Jonathan turned, looked at me and leaned in. “Lauren. Lauren? How are you doing?”
I looked around the living room. I felt self-conscious in my clothes. I tied the knot in my robe tighter and pointed to myself as if another Lauren sat next to me.
“Yes. I wondered if you needed anything?” he said.
I hesitated for a moment. My throat dried up as I tried to respond. “I-I-I’m fine.”
Jonathan rested back in his chair, tension eased from his shoulders. “Good. I’m glad to hear it. I’ll be in town soon. We can get together for coffee.”
Did Jonathan Pearce ask me out on a date? “I’m sorry? I mean. Sure. That. Would. Be. Great.
” I reached my hand out to touch the screen. To see if I could be there with him and test if this was real. My fingertips reached the screen’s edge. The static electrified them, covered them in a fuzzy haze that spread up my wrist and traveled down my arm. It prepared me to become one with the images before me. Ready me to become one with Jonathan.
I prepared to break through the barrier of static, glass, and electricity, when Jonathan said, “Lauren, you better get to bed.”
He nudged my shoulder. “I gotta go now. Don’t forget. Coffee.” He winked. “Lauren. Lauren?”
His voice changed to emulate my father’s tone. Now that’s a gross thought. Someone shook my shoulder a little more. A fog broke free from my mind. It forced me to wake up. The television shone before me, my father clicking off the static filled screen.
“You should head to bed now.”
Lisa is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery.
She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. (www.pennwriters.com). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award.
Lisa presented at a TEDx in Seattle on The Power of Connecting. And presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) on the “You Sent Us What?” panel.
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey The Redness migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously encourage and engage in little sparks of anarchy.
The book is on sale for $0.99.