Today I am honored to post a Q & A session with the awesome author, David H. Steinberg. Not only is he a screenplay writer, who wrote movies such as Slackers and American Pie 2, he is now a Young Adult novel writer- Last Stop This Town
Author Bio via Amazon-
"David H. Steinberg grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, entered Yale at age 16, and earned his law degree from Duke University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the law review. After four years of entertainment law in Atlanta and New York, he abandoned his legal career to attend U.S.C.'s Peter Stark Producing Program.
Steinberg broke out as a writer in 1999 with his teen comedy SLACKERS that ignited a bidding war for the script. The movie starred Devon Sawa, Jason Schwartzman, and Jamie King and became an instant cult classic.
Steinberg was immediately hired by Universal Studios to pen the sequel to the smash hit AMERICAN PIE, and as a result, that movie had the highest gross of all the films."
Last Stop This Town is available in Paperback and Kindle edition on Amazon.
My review for Last Stop This Town is here
Do you use real-life facts based on true stories? or Do you use your OWN experiences? If so, care to share which experiences were real- life?
Usually, I just make everything up, but for “Last Stop This Town,” I chose to set it in my real home town and my real high school, so it only seemed fair to use real events from my high school days. The characters themselves share bits and pieces of traits of friends—what characters don’t—but some of the incidents are mostly true. Like, for example, the High Speed Test in chapter 1. Totally true story, even the lawnmower guy really happened, and I was the one driving. Just goes to show you how the teenage brain isn’t fully formed when it comes to judgment! I have to admit all the sexual hijinks are made up, though. I wish half of that stuff would have really happened!
When naming your characters in Last Stop This Town, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
For the main characters, I don’t go for symbolism, but I do pick names that fit their personalities. “Dylan” just seems like a good looking guy to me. (Maybe I watched too much 90210 in my youth.) “Noah” wasn’t supposed to be a biblical reference, just a reliable best friend. I always like one of my guys to have a strange name, like Walker, and a nickname, like Pike. Oh, and every movie I’ve made has the lead character’s name start with “D.”
Supporting characters I can get a little more clever with. Like “Patience.”
What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
Pay attention to everything around you. And that doesn’t mean just the Starbucks! Listen to how kids talk, be observant how people interact. And, of course, draw from your own life. But make sure to spice it up.
Who designed the cover if Last Stop This Town?
My wonderful wife is a letterpress printer (monkeybusinesspress.com), graphic designer, and independent film producer. She literally printed out a map of Connecticut, put a toy Scion on it, and snapped away. Of course, the final product was three days of Photoshop later, but I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on it.
Will there be a sequel to Last Stop This Town?
I don’t think so. I’d love to turn it into a film that I could direct and if the book takes off I will try to do just that. But as a novel, I’m already working on my next YA story, and this one is the exact opposite of Last Stop.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Last Stop This town?
Nope. I love writing for film, but when I turn in a screenplay, it goes to a million other people, including the director and the actors. The end product is truly a collaboration, and while that can be great, it’s not the same pride of authorship as a book where every word is my own.
What were your thoughts on the outcome of the movie Slackers? Did it turn out exactly as you visioned it? How close did the actors come to your characters?
I’ve come to love Slackers. It was my first film and it was a big shock to see people change things. The director was a bit of a lunatic and the movie was different from the script. But as I wrote other movies and got some distance, I started to realize that the core script is still in there and it’s okay to have someone else’s vision interpret your script.
What's your favorite fruit?
Honeycrisp apple. Don’t try to give me a Gala and tell me it’s the same.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I think having dinner with a dead person would be totally disgusting and violate the health code. But it does sound like a good idea for a fraternity initiation.
Thank you so much, David!
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