Why hello again!
As promised we're back with day two of the far out tour from Premier Author Virtual Tours featuring It Came From the 70's by Connie Corcoran Wilson. Yesterday we took a look behind the cover with a review of the book, today we take a look at the mind behind the work itself with an author interview. Ready to learn more about another fascination author? Here goes. Please join me in welcoming author Connie Corcoran Wilson to the site....take it away!
Connie Corcoran Wilson
(author of 13 books and counting, including It Came From the 70's)
You included a sampling of movies both good and bad so readers got an idea of both the times and your taste....HOWEVER, there were movies you had to leave out for the sake of space. Of those films, which would be your top choice and which would be your bottom? (And why?)
It was, indeed, difficult to include ALL of the movies of the 70s and some choices were dictated by my ability to actually find the old reviews in my carefully preserved scrapbooks . I tried to use only those which had been written, originally, in the 70s, which, to me, is an important distinction and one reason the book is special and distinctive amongst other movie books. It is true, however, that some of those reviews---even if I vividly remembered writing them at the time---could not be relocated. I had to do them over from a "looking back" vantage point ( about 6 fell into this category). I also read through all the many books of reviews I had saved, and those reviews that made me laugh out loud again made the cut. I can't definitively pick a "top" choice and a "bottom" choice, but I definitely agree with the just-posted review at http://www.undermyappletree.com/ that the omission of "Blazing Saddle" (1974) and "Animal House" (1978) were painful, as these were big favorites for both Leslie and me. [ I did, in fact, have a photo of "Animal House" (p. 243) and named it to my Top Ten of the Year, so I felt I had "included" that one.] As for a bottom choice, there was a real stinker of a film called "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" which starred Ben Johnson of "The Last Picture Show" (1971). It was a truly terrible movie. I recall saying something at the time along the lines of "The Quad Cities should become 'The Town that Dreaded the Town That Dreaded Sundown.'"
When did you know that "reviewing" was right for you?
I have been an avid movie fan ever since I can remember. I haven't missed an Academy Awards ceremony since at least age 10, if not before. I grew up across the street from our local theater (the Malek Theater in Independence, Iowa), and my college comrades were (many of them) film students. Post-college, I kept predicting (accurately) the winners of each year's Oscars and won several contests, all of them offering prizes of one sort or another. (One year, it was a year's supply of bread; one year it was a blue plastic black-and-white television set with rabbit years; most years, the prize was either a season pass or a set number of passes to movies.) I also attended the University of Iowa intent on becoming a writer. Marriage and motherhood and the reality of a journalist's pay versus a teacher's salary headed me in a more ordinary direction after college, but I had always wanted to throw my typewriter in the trunk of my car, like Nick Meyer did, head for Hollywood, and "make it" (as Nick Meyer did). That didn't happen. What did happen is that I continued, annually, to win Oscar-predicting contests in the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois. Finally, I decided (after one such win sponsored by a local newspaper) that I might be able to combine my love of writing with my love of film by offering my services as a local film critic to one of the local newspapers. The rest is history, as sketched in the Preface to It Came from the '70s.
Though not an official review, what would be your top and bottom picks of more recent times?
This one (What are the best and worst films of this decade) is a very easy one to answer, since my article entitled "The Best Films of the Decade 2000-2010" has been up on Associated Content/Yahoo (over 90,000 hits) since January 6 of 2010. I'd recommend you check it out. http://www.associatedcontent.com/> Arts & Entertainment It's done in list format (10 films per year and Honorable Mentions). I guarantee you that it's a better list for the discerning movie consumer than Roger Ebert's top film pick of "Synecdoche, New York." Just google Connie Wilson and "The Best Films of the Decade 2000-2010" and see if you agree with my picks, which were #1 on Google (above Ebert's) for quite a long time. [I'd like to see if the article can regain its Number One status (it's #8 now) and YOU can make that happen by googling that article name along with my own (Connie Wilson).] It's a great little guide for recent movies to rent, [and you just might be getting a sneak preview at the next decade I'm thinking of using as the basis for a book similar to "It Came from the '70s." Maybe "Movies of the Millennium"?]
You pay equal attention to actors and actresses that shone as well as sunk. Any personal favorites? You know...like someone that would (or wouldn't) make you see the film because they were in it....
There are so many outstanding actors and actresses from 70s films that could "sell" a film. Names like Pacino and DeNiro instantly come to mind. As for female actresses, it's interesting to notice how short the careers of actresses like Marthe Keller ("Black Sunday," "Marathon Man") or Olivia Newton-John ("Grease") and Genevieve Bujold ("Obsession") were, by comparison to the careers of their male counterparts. It's also interesting to see how Travolta rose, sank and then rose again, thanks to "Pulp Fiction" and Quentin Tarantino. But let's not forget that Diane Keaton is still going strong, many years after "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "Annie Hall." And Julie Christie resurfaced and even got an Oscar nomination for "Away from Her" as Fiona Anderson in 2006 and is still working in 2011.
Quid Pro Quo
If I wasn't a writer, I would have been.... an attorney. The reason I am not? I thought it would be really fun to go to law school, and really boring to practice most types of law, with the exception of criminal law, and that seemed to attract a crowd that was seamy and dangerous. I ended up a teacher for 33 years at levels from junior high through adult, so maybe mother knew best when she made me get that teaching credential. It didn't help any that nobody...and I mean nobody...that I knew (including my parents who would have had to pay for it) thought a woman should become a lawyer in 1963. There were only 2 females taking the LSAT in the auditorium of roughly 1,500 students the first time I took it way back then. Now, the tables have turned.
On my nightstand is.... a wind machine to make a white noise to help me with my difficulty sleeping (I usually write by night), copies of many of New York Times' best-selling author Jonathan Maberry's books (he's blurbing my new novel The Color of Evil), a copy of Kincaid, a short story collection, by William F. Nolan (he's introducing The Color of Evil, as he did my short story collection Hellfire & Damnation, and is the iconic mastermind behind "Logan's Run," 85 other novels, and numerous screenplays and television episodes), and Keith Richards' new autobiography Life. (I've seen the Rolling Stones 12 times "live" in concert.)
One of my all time favorite movies is... "The Manchurian Candidate" (the original), partially because it was withdrawn from circulation for so many years after JFK was assassinated. I have so many favorites that it's difficult to pick just one. It's a little like saying which of your children is your "favorite" when you love them all. A recent favorite, although supremely depressing, was "Never Let Me Go" with Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley and Carrie Mulligan. I saw all of the movies (and actors and actresses) who were Oscar- nominated last year and thought it was a shame that "Black Swan's" Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" had to go head-to-head for Best Actress, since those two performances were both so powerful. (This year, I got 18 of 24 categories correct, which earned a small prize.)
My final thoughts are that I have enjoyed writing these responses for you. I hope anyone reading this will go check my list of "The Best Films of 2000-2010" and leave me feedback regarding your views on my views. [Let's make that article NUMERO UNO again! You can do it, Gang! Go for it!]
I also hope that you will all check out my latest book of humorous essays (Bombeck-Meets-Sedaris) on Amazon or Barnes & Noble available as the Kindle title Laughing through Life now and soon to be available in paperback. Keep in mind that Hellfire & Damnation II, a collection of short stories (sequel to Hellfire & Damnation with a trailer which can be seen at http://www.hellfireanddamnationthebook.com/) and The Color of Evil, the first novel in a series, are soon going to be out and available, initially, as E-book titles. There's even one story from "H&D II" up now as a Kindle offering for 99 cents ("The Bureau"). It is 6,500 words and represents the 9th Circle of Hell, the unifying device of both "H&D I" and "H&D II," and is a sneak preview of what's to come in "H&D II."
By Christmas, as a complete departure, there will be an illustrated children's book, The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, an illustrated paperback (pictures by Andrew Weinert) for my 2-year-old twin granddaughters Ava and Elise. Thank you. (*This has been a Public Service Announcement.)
Wow, lots of great information there folks. Thanks for the interview Ms. Wilson! So what do you think guys? Pretty cool, right? Don't worry, it's about to get even cooler because the author is holding a nifty little contest with some fun prizes just waiting to be won. Here's the details...
Connie is giving away cool It Came from the '70s luggage tags to 10 of my lucky readers. In addition, she will send the winners a short story "sneak preview" of her upcoming short story collection, Hellfire & Damnation II, the sequel to Hellfire & Damnation (all available on Kindle right now; short story title "The Bureau.") She welcomes reviews of "The Bureau" on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com, as well as comments or reviews of It Came From the 70's on Amazon.com.
Additionally, if you purchase a copy of It Came from the '70s and post a review for it on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Connie will send you her new novel, about to be released on Kindle, The Color of Evil. The Color of Evil is a thriller about a young boy with paranormal abilities. You can even suggest plot directions to Connie by e-mail for this first-in-a-series novel and, if you wish, Connie will use your name as a character in the novel.
Both The Bureau (6,500 word short story) and The Color of Evil (80,000 word novel, Book One) will be sent to you by e-mail, free of charge, as a Microsoft Word document to read on your computer.
After you have reviewed It Came from the '70s on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Please send Connie a link at EINNOC10@Aol.com, with 'Book Tour Review' in the subject line, to claim your free copy of The Color of Evil.
Now to win one of those luggage tags, just leave a comment on this post about the review or book or your thoughts in general on the subject matter it covers....and be sure to include your email address! TEN lucky readers will be chosen at random to win this novel prize. Contest open to US addresses only. Begins NOW and closes 07/25/11 at midnight CST along with end of the blog tour.
So, what are YOU waiting for?
Snag your entry to win one of these far out tags and gain a chance to win/read another of her published works. Best of luck to everyone and be sure to check out the rest of the tour as it continues through the blogosphere. Next stop, Books, Books the Magical Fruit.
Special thanks to Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for the chance to host on this tour. Be sure to check out their website for more on this tour as well as upcoming events.
Additional thanks to author Connie Corcoran Wilson for obliging my curiosity and supplying answers well worth the read. Take a click over to her site for more on her published works as well as works in progress.
Until next time...happy reading!