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- Guest Post: Lee Matthew Goldberg talks about his book Slow Down
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Release Date: 20th January 2015
Publisher: New Pulp Press
Indiebound buy link: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com/wp-content/themes/goldberg/images/buy-at-indiebound.jpg
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to welcome Lee Matthew Goldberg to the blog with this fantastic guest post as he talks about his writing journey.
The journey from inception to publication was a long one for Slow Down. I was working at my first job in TV production after college and the whole office was fired. I decided to start writing Slow Down, finished a draft, and then put it in a desk for 10 years before picking it up again and seeing it was worth revisiting.
The first spark of an idea that I had was from the Coldplay song, “Yellow.” The lyrics “they were all yellow,” stuck in my mind and I had this image of a circular yellow tattoo being seen on people throughout New York. In the book, all of Dominick’s actresses in his film wind up having a similar tattoo as a mark.
In terms of setting, I grew up in Manhattan and knew the book would take place there. New York has this dog-eat-dog quality that fits with the characters’ aspirations of stepping on one another to get ahead. I’ve always been a big fan of Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney and there are elements of Slow Down that were influenced by American Psycho and Bright Lights, Big City, both seminal books about the darker underbelly of wealthy Manhattanites.
The femme fatale character Isadora was influenced by my love of classic noir films like Double Indemnity and great noir writers like James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler. The main character Noah becomes the sap she cons into getting rid of her husband, even though Noah thinks he’s the one conning her all along.
With the novel's themes, I wanted to play with the idea of film as life. Noah speaks of wanting to “live a life interesting enough for people to watch,” and Dominick wants to create a film where the actors actually experience and feel what their characters are feeling. The notion of seeing the world through a lens permeates throughout Slow Down, since everyone is hiding part of themselves and only certain aspects are highlighted. It’s as if they all know how terrible they are behaving to get what they desire and are afraid of revealing too much.
Lastly, the book can be read in two different ways. It can be a noir tale about the desire for success getting out of or hand, or a twisted love story about Noah and his childhood crush Nevie, both embroiled in a rush for fame, heading for a crash unless they leave everything behind and just “slow down”. I like books without definitive endings where the characters can go off in many directions. I’ll leave it up to the readers to decide where mine eventually wind up.
How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick Bambach's new avant-garde film isn't enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah's dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick's spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good.
Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.
Lee Matthew Goldberg graduated with an MFA from the New School. He is a regular contributor to The Montreal Review and The Adirondack Review. His fiction has also appeared in Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Orion headless, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and on Amazon. He has co-founded a monthly reading series called The Guerrilla Lit Fiction Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). His debut novel SLOW DOWN is a neo-noir thriller that will be published by New Pulp Press in January 2015. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @leematthewg.