Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Interview with Lee Matthew Goldberg, GRENADE BOUQUETS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

Yes, GRENADE BOUQUETS is the second book in the Runaway Train Series. It’s about a teen girl in the ‘90s who goes off the rails after her sister dies and find love and inspiration in grunge music and her dream to become a singer.


Do you have a favorite character?

The main character, Nico Sullivan. She has to be my favorite if I’m writing three books about her.


Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?

The character Clarissa is minor in the first book, but has a much bigger part in the second. There’s a love triangle plot, since the main character’s boyfriend Evan is Clarissa’s ex.


Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?

I have an agent, but sent this directly to its publisher Wise Wolf Books. I had a friend who recommended them for YA, and the deal happened very quickly. They liked the first book so much that they wanted to do a second book right away.


How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?

My first novel SLOW DOWN came out in 2015. I got the deal for that in 2013, but it took about two years with an agent to find the right publisher.


Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?

I’ve never self-published. I’ve worked with Big 5 publishers and Indies throughout my career.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

For these books, I definitely listened to a lot of music since it’s set in the grunge world of 1994-1996.


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

Heavily outline, usually a paragraph for each chapter so I have an idea of what I’m writing each day.


Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?

Always, it’s the hardest thing about being a writer. Even with traditional publishers, a lot of the marketing falls on your shoulders too. That’s just the way it is.


Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Dogs by a mile, both vanilla and chocolate, tea never coffee, talk or text depending on my mood, and for writing, definitely during the day.


What’s next for you?

The third book in the RUNAWAY TRAIN series VANISH ME, which I’ve haven’t started yet. And I have an adult thriller STALKER STALKED coming out Sept 17th. I’m also working on some exciting screenplay stuff connected to my books!

Grenade Bouquets
Lee Matthew Goldberg
(Runaway Train, #2)
Publication date: August 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…

The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.

But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.

A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.

“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”– Kirkus Reviews on Runaway Train.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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