Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Author Interview: Steve Lundin: The Manipulator: How To Be A Celebrity Nobody

Steve Lundin is the Chief Hunter and Gatherer of BIGfrontier, a Chicago media strategy boutique. He is an award winning marketing professional, journalist and pop culture anthropologist. He has written hundreds of feature stories for a diverse assortment of regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, International Watch and Aviation History. As a marketer he has had extensive experience successfully revitalizing consumer and business to business products and services for companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to two guys in a garage.

In 2000 he founded the BIGfrontier event series, a regional marketing/technology thought leadership showcase that has hosted over 70 significant national speakers.

Lundin is formerly trained in Journalism/Cultural Anthropology with graduate work in clinical psychology; his m├ętier has always been research driven measurement of human motivation, tempered with creative gut instinct. He has also worked as an artist, photographer, made television commercials, published a comic strip newspaper and may hold the record for the greatest number of published Mickey Spillane interviews. If he could do it all over again he'd be a PI.

Welcome Lundin! 

Your real name and pen name?

Steve Lundin, ditto. Only the IRS calls me Steven.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Attempting to start and drive my father’s 1962 Porsche 356B at the age of ten. It was a stick and started rolling as soon as I began fiddling. The GI Joe jeep that I trained on didn’t prepare me for a real transmission. Thank God we didn’t have any neighbors across the road.


About your education?

UW Madison – ran for student senate and briefly held the office; worked for both student newspapers as a cartoonist and reporter. Degree in English, emphasis in creative writing. Master’s work in counseling psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. My real education, however, came from reading EC comic books.

What career did you plan during your education days?

I didn’t, so I wound in in advertising, then meandered into journalism and back into marketing when I had to pay the rent.

What languages you can speak and write?

English and Spanish (if I’m Rosetta Stoning)

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

Pets, they know what they want: food and sleep.

What hurts you most in this world?

Rampant acceptance of celebrity nobodies, incompetence, prevaricators and inferior products and work. Oh, and ISIS, Ebola, Ferguson, Fox news, anything related to reality shows or the Kardashians and the biggie: losing lottery numbers.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

Starting a business. I got fired and had no choice.

If you had to live a day of your life as a living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

JFK. You need to ask why?

What is your favorite genre and why?

Satire with an authentic understanding of politics, crime and espionage. Think Wag the Dog. I am drawn to speculative fictions that push the envelope – just slightly – of what is currently happening. Expect absurd human behavior and you won’t be disappointed. Read my book and you’ll see what I mean.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I begin in Jr. High, when I published the school’s first ever paper, the Franklin Final. I got serious when I was 15 and returned from Spain and started working on a book surrounding the experience called Beyond the Womb. One of the chapters was good enough to get me into a graduate level class at the local university and took a class in Melville. The professor gave me an A-. I don’t think he had it in him to give a 15 year old an A when he was giving grad students in the class B’s and C’s. As for the purpose? To open people’s eye’s to a new perspective through the introduction of ideas in an entertaining and fun manner. Kind of like satire.


Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

I have written about 400 feature stories and articles for the following publications:
About Time
Antique Trader
Aviation History
Big Reel
Chicago Magazine
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
Cinefantastique
Connected World
Femme Fatales
International Wristwatch
In Sync
M2M
Power
Talkers
Wristwatch Magazine
More that I don’t remember.
I have regular columns in:
Commpro.biz
Mediapost
I published:
Faux: The Magazine for Phonies
Wunderkind: Chicago’s All Comic Strip newspaper
I edited and illustrated:
When Smart People Work for Dumb Bosses
I wrote:
Rogue – Sci Fi novel – unpublished
Swines of Chicago – Screenplay – for a production company that went under (go figure)
The Manipulator: Currently published

What are your forthcoming writings?

The Manipulator II
How to be a celebrity nobody: a guide to social charlatanism
A pulpy period action novel – character driven – probably another series

What are your future plans?

Paying bills, breathing and enjoying single malts, watching my kids grow up and enjoying more single malts, in that order.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

Writing stories worth reading in a style that makes them readable. Surprising. Offending. Typos.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

100%. But you only have to make up about 25.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

Either that or experience. However the audience can smell inauthenticity.

Your dream destination on Earth?

The bank, with a check for $100,000 or more.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed.

Chicago. Hot places. I tend to avoid the cold. Except for the UK.

What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

They weren’t my home office


Your favorite time of the day?

Anytime I can get away with a nap

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Huh? Are we still in the 70’s?

Your favorite color and why?

Red – it means revolution – change – a call to attention. It is anything but calming.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

Launch – Jeff Walker. History of the CIA – Tim Weiner

Your favorite book and why?

Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. The book can be read on many levels – as a satire or sci fi. The main character provided a particle of inspiration for the main character in The Manipulator. Read both and see.

Your favorite movie and why?

Planet of the Apes – the original with Charlton Heston, screenplay by Rod Serling. It’s a truly character driven black satire that is not as overt as Strangelove but offers just as much social commentary. And Heston has some great lines: “I’m sure there’s something better than man out there,” and “get your hands off me you damned dirty ape!” I think it was my father’s favorite movie as well.

Your favorite celebrity and why?

Dead – Stanley Kubrick. He had a great sense of style, timing and vision. Living – as in who would I want to hang out and drink with? Tom Wolfe.

Your favorite food?

Paella.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Call Centers and curry.

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:

Writer's block was invented by people who drink too much to write or don't have to write for a living 

The last line of your autobiography would be…

And I left the clues to finding a 1962 Corvette convertible somewhere in one of my books; you’ll have to buy them all to put the pieces together.

What made you interested your genre –

My father was the on staff psychoanalyst for BBDO – an ad agency – in the 1960’s, we were a very politically involved family and lived a block away from the Playboy mansion. Put it all together, how could you possibly not see the world as a rolling joke waiting for the right punch line?

Links:
Twitter handle: @bigfrontier

Amazon link: tinyurl.com/phjcv2w 







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