Lonnie Ostrow has been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. With Poet Of The Wrong Generation, he combines all his unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption — a fable of stardom’s rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s.
Since 2001, Mr. Ostrow has been the publicity/ marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara Bradford. He also serves as an editorial and marketing consultant for a collection of first-time authors through The Editorial Department. Previously he served as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors including Ray Manzarek of The Doors.
From 1995 – 2001, Mr. Ostrow was widely credited with inventing the “living celebrity postal phenomenon.” In all, he worked with more than 40 legendary personalities, creating media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.
My personal motto:
“And when the words from deep inside me don’t garner fair contemplation
I’m the self appointed poet of the wrong generation.”
- A typical work day begins with… a 5am wake-up alarm. I work a full-time job in Manhattan each day. And I have two kids in school who need to be woken up and put on the bus. My wife is out the door by 6am. I’m on a train by 7:30 after the kids are picked up. If I’m lucky, I get in 40 minutes of writing, editing, or correspondence between my shower and organizing the kids. I’m also quite adept at blocking out the noise on the LIRR (train) and getting some writing done during my commute.
- I lose track of time… late at night, especially on the weekends when I don’t have to be up with an early alarm. If I’m locked in on writing, or polishing my work, I can work on through to sunrise without realizing the time. These are precious hours when my kids are asleep and the phone doesn’t ring. If on on-a-roll, there’s no time for clock-watching.
- I have always… been determined to become a published author. Going back to the 4th grade, I was writing short stories at school for extra credit. Mind you, they weren’t my best work, but they helped to offset my struggles in math and science. In college, I worked on the school newspaper. There was no greater thrill than seeing my bi-line next to an article that I had contributed. In subsequent years, I wrote for newspapers, magazines and websites. But all throughout, I’ve always remained determined to see a novel with my name out on the front cover.
- I have never… given up on the idea of seeing my debut novel come to fruition. Poet Of The Wrong Generation is a story that I originally penned back in 2002. It took four months to write and two years to edit. Then came the search for a literary agent. That was a grueling process in which rejection came often. It took two years to land an agent, another year of revision to satisfy her editing requests. And then… quite a few setbacks, both personally and professionally. I put this project on hold numerous times over the past 14 years. But alas, my insistence on never giving up has resulted in sweet publication.
- Home means to me… wherever my wife and kids happen to be. Communities change. Technology is constantly changing. Even professions can change unexpectedly. But having the support and love of your family enables you to endure every storm that life throws at you. Mind you, my wife would be quick to respond that my computer desk here at our house is my home base. That’s usually where she and my kids will find me, typing away, or trying to concentrate on my next project.
- I am inspired by… the endurance of the legendary musical heroes of my youth. I’m blown away at how many of the artists I grew up listening to as a kid are still out on the road, performing at a high level and filling arenas and stadiums. Just this past summer, my wife and I saw first-rate shows by Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, the J. Geils Band and Jeff Lynne’s ELO. These musicians have nothing to prove at this late stage in their careers. And yet they continue to keep themselves in performing shape and defy logic by putting forth energized shows for generations of fans. It’s so heartwarming to witness.
- I would like to meet… As a celebrity publicist and marketing professional for over 20 years, I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet just about all of my boyhood heroes. I got to work with Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, Jackie Chan, Sylvester Stallone, David Copperfield, Elle Macpherson and The Bee Gees. In a few instances, my encounters exceeded expectations. Some celebrity collaborations proved something of a let-down. But there is nothing more refreshing than seeing an all-time legend doing ordinary, everyday things like cooking breakfast, or running a local errand. So often we forget that they are human just like you and me. Seeing them in real-life moments is reassuring.
- My worst character trait… I’m terrible at saying NO. No matter how much work I have facing me, I’m always saying yes to friends, family and neighbors when they ask for favors. Because of my skills in writing, graphic design and video editing, there is always someone asking me to fit them in for a “little project” that often is anything but little. And I always find a way to get it done, even at the expense of the precious few hours of sleep that so often elude me.
- My best character trait… My wife calls it hyper-focus. I’m easily distracted in my day-to-day life. I’m juggling my full-time job, editing and book marketing for authors, graphic design projects, video shoots, social media marketing, and of course my own work. But when I’m nearing a deadline, this intense focus kicks in and I’m virtually unstoppable in getting it completed. I sometimes amaze myself at how it all comes together under such time constraints. Especially given how distracted I can be when I’m not locked in.
- The best advice I was given… “Don’t be afraid to cut some of your best writing if the content isn’t truly necessary.” This was advice came from my esteemed editor, Jeannette De Beauvoir. She attributed this suggestion to William Faulkner who referred to it as “Killing your darlings.” It’s a painful lesson in some ways. Writers often tend to fall in love with a well-written sentence or paragraph. Then comes the editing. And occasionally, a terrifically clever phrase, or idea is redundant in the storytelling. Don’t fight the urge to let it go. No matter how exceptional the lines in question may be, if they are holding up the flow of your storytelling, you need to hit DELETE and move on.
“It’s not that I don’t love you, and my tears are yet to dry. But you can’t go back and forth forever and we’ve already said goodbye.”
Through these words, a young poet unearths his musical soul while severing ties with the woman he loves after her stunning betrayal. Unknowingly, in writing this ballad of liberation, he will soon evolve as one of the fastest rising stars on the pop music landscape.
The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league.
Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny’s affection, but also the only daughter of New York’s most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.
Projecting that her daughter’s boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny – while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of devastation.
Poet of the Wrong Generation tells the symmetrical story of a lovable underdog and his meteoric rise to stardom, his humiliating downfall and his unprecedented attempt to reclaim his place as the unlikely musical spokesman for his generation. At the heart of Poet is a tale of star-crossed lovers and their struggle with unforeseen success and disillusionment, in an attempt to rediscover lasting harmony.
Uniquely integrating a variety of original song compositions, Poet projects the epic clash between true contentment and the fable of stardom’s rewards; a nostalgic journey through the major events of the 1990s, with a cherished cast of characters and a stunningly unpredictable conclusion.
Pre-order link(s): books2read.com/u/bMGpL5