Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GUEST POST: Favorite character and Favorite scene by Shelly Lowenkopf

Publisher: White Whisker Books (June 6, 2014)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-9836329-8-6
Tour Date: May/June, 2014
Available in: Print and ebook, 186 Pages
Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out Late at Night brings a number of Shelly Lowenkopf’s previously published short stories together in a single volume. All the stories revolve around life in Santa Barbara, the oceanside city north of Los Angeles, where people go after they’ve burned out in San Francisco and L.A. Yet there’s no safe haven anywhere. Interwoven into Santa Barbara’s picturesque setting, the people in these twelve stories reveal what their hearts and souls encounter in relationships. Their misreadings, mistakes, and misadventures bare what happens to people who love another.
About Shelly LowenKopf:
Shelly Lowenkopf taught in the University of Southern California’s
Master of Professional Writing Program for 34 years, has taught at the annual Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference since 1980, and has been guest lecturer in many schools and conferences.
He is currently Visiting Professor at the College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, with classes in noir fiction, the modern short story, genre fiction, and developing a literary voice. Mr. Lowenkopf has served as editorial director for literary, general trade, mass market, and scholarly book publishers, seeing over 500 books through the editorial and production process. His own short fiction has appeared widely in the literary press. He is author of the popular The Fiction Writer’s Handbook.
In his own words about his favorite character and scene:

I feel a distinct sense of favoring all my characters because each has for me an almost perfect balance of heroic and damned fool traits. This is deliberate. As I write, each has the potential to surprise me by doing something of heroism or damned foolishness. But okay, you wanted one character. At the moment, it is Matthew Bender, the actor in “Between the Acts.” His very name—Bender—was a discovery for me because, while I was getting him into difficulties, I was also reading in and about The Odyssey, thinking what a piece of work Odysseus was, then finding out the translation of his name means “a man of many turns.”
Wham! The light of inspiration. Odysseus. Bender. The former was returning from the Trojan Wars. The latter, my guy, was returning home from an off-Broadway production of Troilus and Cressida, which is about the Trojan Wars. What this means for me is a series of inter-related short stories of Bender, coming home from what was likely his most significant performance to date. And what’s next for him? I’m well into “The Man in the Chicken Suit.” An actor’s got to work, right.
My favorite scene? This question, also, makes me reaffirm my belief that I’d better like them all, or they don’t earn their way into the story. Wishing to give you a specific, I still enjoy the implications of the protagonist of “Death Wishes,” wanting to acquire a cat from the animal shelter, then being refused because he is not a cat person.


  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Shelly.

  2. Anytime! He seems like a very wonderful man.