Monday Mortals: Hal Eisenberg


Today I have Hal Eisenberg with me. Hal is the author of Overnight Sensation.

Hey Hal! Where did you first come up with the idea for this story?
I started writing Overnight Sensation about seven years ago. I’ve always been fascinated by one-hit-wonder groups. You know, those bands or solo artists that top the charts with a mega hit and then completely disappear for whatever reason. In addition, I’ve always been a huge fan of the ‘70s rock era and have played in bands for years, so the idea for Jonah’s dad sort of evolved from those experiences. As to Jonah’s dad’s career debacle, this idea actually sprung from a real life experience of someone close to me who played in bands as well. Some of the other ideas came from the world’s seemingly endless fascination with fame and in particular, sudden fame from shows like American Idol and The Voice, as well as instant YouTube created stars. I wondered, what would happen if that sudden fame wasn’t really deserved? What would you do if you suddenly became famous for talents that weren’t really yours? Would you try to hold on to that fame? Or, would you come clean and admit that you didn’t deserve it?

Since your book is about music, what are some your favorite bands/musicians? 
First, there’s the classic bands and artists like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan, America, The Raspberries (some of the greatest pop rock ever created, Google them), Todd Rundgren, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, Elton John, oh my gosh - the list goes on forever. Then there’s my current faves like John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Neon Trees, Mayer Hawthorne, Linkin Park, Muse, Katy Perry, Cold Play (they’re in the book!), etc.

Do you have any other stories in the works? What can you tell us about them? 
Yes I do! And this time, the protagonist is girl :) Here’s the premise:
After 17 year-old Casey discovers her grandfather murdered at his landscape business, she begins uncovering clues leading to his killers,
as well as the fact that he wasn’t her real grandfather, and how a box of old love letters, a ‘60s rock star, and a cache of stolen Russian diamonds may all be involved. The tentative title: Number One, With a Bullet. You knew there had to be rock and roll involved in some way…

Do you have any recommendations for people who want to become writers? Write what you know. Write about what excites you. You’re going to be tempted to write what is popular. Don’t do it. If you’re into paranormal romance, or steampunk, then write about it. But if you’re not, and your heart’s not into it, don’t even try because there are far too many writers out there who are passionate about those genres and do an excellent job. My second piece of advice is don’t give up no matter what. If you’re in the middle of writing your first novel and you start to feel it’s total crap, keep writing because the next day, you’ll be inspired and the words you wrote the day before will suddenly seem brilliant. Or, if after you’ve finished your novel and some reviewer trashes it, just smile, keep writing that second novel, and concentrate on all the good reviews you get. Remember – not everyone is going to like your book. Let me repeat that. Everyone is not going to like your book. Even authors like J. K. Rowling have learned this. You absolutely can’t please everyone, but then again, you’re not writing for everyone. You’re writing because you love to write and the reviewers that “get” your book and appreciate your passion and style will reflect that in their reviews.

The song that is the focal point of the story, "Every Little Bit Hurts", is not only a real song, but also part of a contest. Tell us about it! 
When I began writing the book, I had this song in my head and yes, it’s a real song entitled, Every Little Bit Hurts, written and recorded by some friends of mine in a band called the Raves. I’ve always thought it should have been a hit, so, I decided to take matters in my own hands and make it the song Jonah’s dad’s band records in their basement that creates all the buzz. For the contest on my website, I’m inviting teen bands or solo acts to record their own take on the song, and download it to the site. Anyone who does this is going to receive a signed copy of the book along with some great swag like guitar pics and book marks and in addition, I’m working on some other cool prizes to give away. It’s a fun to promote the book as well as way for upcoming teen bands to showcase their talent. I’ll also be having local teen bands perform at some of my book signings around the country. You don't need any fancy equipment, just your talent and computer or cell phone will work! In fact, I recently had a submission from a band that is posted on my site as well as on goodreads at:

You’ll also find the book trailer there. Thanks for reading this and a HUGE thank you to Suzy for this interview!

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