Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Tour: Funny Books by Rich Leder @LaughRiotPress @VBTCafe #Giveaway

Author Bio:
Rich Leder

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films.

He has written four funny novels to be released in 2014: McCall & Company: Workman's Complication, McCall & Company: Swollen Identity, Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, and Let There Be Linda.

He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a commercial real estate agent, an indie film director, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, were grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three college kids.

Rich loves to hear from readers and writers. Please don't be shy.

You can write him directly at Email

Or you can visit him at Website

Release Date: AUGUST 2014
Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Description:



Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father's New York private investigation business after he's a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work-or dance-again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner-and her father-and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade?  She might, but it's going to be a whole lot of hilarious.



Way-off Broadway actress and NYC PI Kate McCall had promised the police and the Assistant DA-her son-that she was all done investigating any damn thing in New York...

Meaning beautiful billionaire socialite Brooke Barrington says someone has stolen her identity and the corporate assassin who murdered Kate's father has shot the eyes out of the CEO of Superior Press...

Meaning McCall & Company is back in business...

Meaning Kate enlists the help of the eccentric tenants of her brownstone-the House of Emotional Tics-and her melodramatic acting troupe, the Schmidt and Parker Players...

Meaning things spiral hilariously and dangerously out of control...  

Meaning she is confronted by Brooke's demonic identical twin, Bailey, accosted by international counterfeiters, and arrested for impersonating a hooker.

Will Kate stop Bailey from murdering Brooke? Or will she stop Brooke from murdering Bailey? Or will she figure out how to tell one from the other in time to survive the wrath of the Bulgarian mob men hired to protect the counterfeit cash?

And will she finally find her father's killer?  

She might, but it's going to be a fast, funny, furious ride.


My name is Mark Manilow. I am a Hollywood screenwriter. Here's my recipe for a cocktail called "Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy."

Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler.

Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with a brutal case of writer's block.

Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner.

Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated relationship.

Blend with the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire, who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie.

Toss in the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer's beguiling granddaughter-my monkey wrench.

Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I'll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench...or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice. 



"Your father's dead, Miss McCall. Got himself murdered."
I thought I might hear that sentence one day, but I was even less ready for it than I imagined I would be. I blinked a few times, then walked to one of the toilets, sat down, and gestured at his cigarettes. "I'll take one of those now." Some bad news is simply too big to process right away.
He gave me a Camel, lit it, and moved back to the sink. "I work for Mel Shavelson, your father's attorney. I'm the bearer of bad news. That's my job."
He talked about how my father got himself murdered-something about sticking his nose someplace it had no business being, something else about the police finding him late last night (actually, at three o'clock on Friday morning) tied to a chair in an elevator in an office building, two big fat bullet holes where his eyes used to be-but I wasn't listening.
Instead, I was thinking about the final curtain of the last performance of Bye Bye Birdie. My father had given me flowers, handing them to me on the stage while the audience applauded. They were roses from a Korean market and smelled like ginger.
"Shavelson's going to read the will, and you're supposed to be there," Barnes said. He put his cigarette out in the sink, tossed the butt in the trash, and crossed to the toilet, where I sat watching the Camel burn down to my fingers. (I don't smoke). He handed me Mel Shavelson's business card and said, "Date and time's on the back. Monday morning, ten thirty."
I took the card, still smelling the ginger roses, grief growing inside me, building, building, getting ready to bust through the wall of shock that had been constructed in the same second the fire hydrant had delivered the bad news, which, as he said, was his job.
"I knew your old man," Barnes said. "He was a hell of a PI." And then he left.
There had been a voicemail for me from a Detective Harriman earlier in the day, but it was just a general "Please call me as soon as possible" sort of message. I had been busy, and usually the police only contacted me to verify something or other about Jimmy getting into trouble on the job. Jimmy always worked that kind of thing out for himself and had told me, "Never cozy up to the cops unless you're impersonating one." I deleted Harriman's message and didn't call him back. Maybe that's what he was going to tell me, that Jimmy had been murdered. Anyway, now Barnes had told me.
I dropped the Camel in the toilet, looked at the card, and wept like a seventh-grade girl.

Guest Blog:


I began my professional writing life as a screenwriter. Please don't hold it against me.

Before I moved from LA to North Carolina to write novels, I moved from New York to LA to write movies. The change of scene to Southern California was predicated upon my failing miserably as a commercial real estate leasing agent. I didn't fail at the job; I was quite good at that. I failed at my life. I was paralyzed with unhappiness, utterly unfulfilled. I wanted to be a writer. I was born to be a writer. I was living the wrong life, and I knew it. I had spent the previous 10 years in Manhattan working in restaurants learning to be, trying to be a writer. Then I got married, decided it was time to live a traditional life, got a job in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and went numb.

I quit that job by getting fired, moved to LA, had a long, swell, 15-year ride-18 produced television films-then went east to write novels. I've just published three of them through Laugh Riot Press, the social media marketing and self-publishing company I founded to get my funny books (I write funny books) and me out there in the digital marketplace.

So I've been a professional writer for 25 years, and I've learned some things that are true for both screenwriting and novel writing, which makes me think they might be true about writing-period. And that makes me think it might be helpful to discuss these thing out loud in a guest post on an awesome blog, like, well, The Avid Reader, in case one of you Avid Reader writers was looking for a few things that were true about writing.

So here I am, and here they are: 5 things that are true about writing novels and movies (and possibly storytelling in general):


You know how much effort you put into making your characters three-dimensional, living-breathing human beings who are flesh and blood and heart and soul and so present and real that they're sitting in your office telling you what they're going to say and do next? That's how much effort you have to put into your setting.

How can your characters convince your readers that they're falling in love, or running from the law, or battling space aliens, or living tortured suburban lives if the place they're doing these things is thin and false and nowhere? (Hint: they can't.)

If you're intending to sweep the reader off to a foreign land or a distant planet or New York City (my setting) or the San Fernando Valley (also my setting), then you better write that place as vibrant and electric and alive as you can. You have to transport the reader there with nothing but words, and the only way they're happily going with you is if you make it Real.


If it's a foregone conclusion that your good guy is going to win, then it's a foregone conclusion that your reader will lose interest. Keep in mind your antagonist doesn't have to be human. A plague could be your antagonist, or a tornado, or an alien species bent on eliminating our entire race, or a disease that threatens your hero's life or the lives of everyone on earth, or a bad boss, or a Civil War, or a great white shark, or a great white whale.

No matter the adversary, your protagonist must be overmatched for whatever task you have written for them. It has to seem like there's no way she can prevail. That the odds are too steep, the mountain is too high (yes, your antagonist can be a mountain), the ocean too wide, the river too deep.

If you don't do this (or if I don't do it), if your hero is so heroic that nothing can stop them from reaching their goal, then you can count on your reader to stop reading. In screenplays and novels, it has to seem like nothing can beat the bad guy.


Maybe your character overslept and is late for the most important meeting of the year. Maybe it's early evening and your character's five o'clock shadow is showing. Maybe it's winter. Maybe three weeks have gone by. Maybe three generations.

Stories don't happen free of time. In the same way they are set somewhere specific, they happen in a certain timeframe-Independence Day weekend, the 1960s, World War II, a certain time.

And that means a certain amount of time is passing as you tell your story. Let me say that again: time is passing for your characters as your story unfolds. Attitudes change over time. Appearances change over time. Relationships change over time.

People change over time.

How does that impact your characters? How does that impact your story? Be aware of time when you're writing. Trust me, you're readers are well aware of it. If it's absent, then they will be too.


If you're writing dialogue and not reading it out loud and in character to yourself, then you are missing the point of dialogue, which is just exactly this: these are words that your characters say to each other that are meant to be spoken out loud, as in heard by the ear.

Everyone gets that in Hollywood, where they hire actors to say the dialogue out loud. (I didn't say everyone writes good dialogue in Hollywood; I said they understand that dialogue is not meant to be heard inside one's head.)

When it's done right, the words match the disposition, education, occupation, and life station of that particular character. But it's hard to know if it's done right if you're reading it silently.

That's because your brain will lie to you every time: "Oh, Rich, are you kidding me with this dialogue? It's brilliant! Move on. There's nothing more to do here. Let's have a bourbon and celebrate the magnificence that is your dialogue."

Your ear doesn't do that: "Oh, Rich, are you kidding me with this dialogue? Can you not hear that? It's stilted and unnatural and devoid of all character logic. Dude, there's no way this character would say anything remotely like that. Get your butt back in the chair and write it again."

Novelists, you may not be used to doing this. Try it. Read it out loud. Your ear will tell you the truth.


With screenplays, one beat causes the next beat causes the next beat causes the next beat and so on to the end. After writing 56 movies, the whole causal motivation thing has been ingrained into my writer DNA. You know what? It's true about novels too.

Sure time can the jump any which way in a novel, and you can spend pages, chapters even, inside a character's mind and heart, riding the waves of their innermost thoughts and secrets, but if these deepest feelings aren't motivated by something else and then don't lead to something else-more thoughts or, better yet, some kind of action-then...uh oh...your story is stuck in the mud and your reader will jump off the bus.

Which means the answers to your hero's problems don't fall from the sky (unless your story is about answers falling from the sky...and then that better be causally motivated too).

In all storytelling, I think, writers must causally motivate their plotlines and their character arcs. If you're a screenwriter or a novelist, then that means you.

So do I practice what I preach? Geez, I hope so. I try to. Hey, I know, why don't you read me and then email me and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear from you.

Here's where you can find me. Here's where you can find the first book in my PI series, McCall & Company: Workman's Complication.

The more funny books in the world, the better.


September 7 - Introduction at VBT CafĂ© Blog

September 8 - Spotlight at Debbie Jeans

September 10 - Spotlight at Words, Words, Words

September 12 - Guest Blogging at PubSlush

September 15 - Interviewed at A. Literary Mafia

September 17 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner

September 19 - Interviewed at Bikers With Books

September 22 - Review & Guest Blog at Lilac Reviews

September 24 - Reviewed at KimberkyandCompany

September 26 - 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine

September 29 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

October 1 - Review & Interview at My Life, Love, & Passions

October 3 - Guest Blogging at The Avid Reader

October 6 - Interviewed at YAH Did Radio 6:30pm EST

October 8 - Spotlight at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

October 10 - Spotlight at A Cup Of Tea & A Big Book

October 13 - Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

October 15 - Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions

October 17 - Review & Interview at AG Lang Writes

October 20 - Spotlight at Dalene's Book Reviews

October 22 - 6 Besties at BK Walker Books

October 24 - Reviewed at BK Walker Books


Rich Leder said...

What great fun to be a part of The Avid Reader today. Thank you, Nancy, for hosting me on my Virtual Tour. The indie world needs you and this cool site. Keep it coming…

Rich Leder

Laugh Riot Press said...

Thanks for hosting our indie author Rich Leder on The Avid Reader today. Another great stop on his virtual blog tour! You can follow along on the rest of his tour from our website at

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