Monday, August 20, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Hal Eisenberg, author of Overnight Sensation

Today we have the pleasure of talking to Hal Eisenberg, author of the young adult novel, Overnight Sensation. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to ENTER TO WIN a signed copy of Overnight Sensation and some awesome swag, including guitar picks and bookmarks! Overnight Sensation is about a fifteen year-old and his friends that accidentally become famous after taking credit for a song that was recorded by someone else. Here’s a synopsis:

Jonah Levine is practically invisible at Applecrest High. His Facebook page is pathetic, his baseball skills are mediocre at best, and his IQ seems to drop 50 points when talking to girls. But everything changes when his rock band, Hitstreak, becomes the hottest teen sensation in the country. And now they’re about to perform in front of 15,000 screaming fans. So why isn’t he jumping for joy?

Well, for starters, that hit on the radio wasn’t really recorded by his band. In fact, six months ago, he and his friends could barely play a note between them. And now they’re about to perform in front of 15,000 screaming fans. What begins as a mindless prank quickly spins out of control, involving his father’s secret past as a ‘70s rocker, a high school bully who wants in on the action, and a ruthless media mogul who will stop at nothing to claim the band as his own. Will Jonah prevail? Or will he and his band go down in flames and become the biggest farce in pop music history? ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and carried that passion into my profession as creative director of my own advertising agency. I’ve written and produced many award-winning radio and television campaigns, but when I decided to write this novel, I soon discovered it was nothing like writing ads and there were times when I thought I’d never finish it. Despite the constant rewrites though, I was determined to complete it and I urge every budding writer out there not to quit because in the end, it’s worth it! I also encourage them to write what they know. As for me, aside from working with celebrities in ad campaigns, I’ve also been in rock bands all my life, so music and fame seemed to be a natural choice when putting together the premise for Overnight Sensation.

Your book deals with what many people seem to be obsessed with lately - fame, and even more so, instant fame. How did you come up with the idea for Overnight Sensation?

I’ve always been fascinated with pop music and bands that seem to come out of nowhere and score a big hit. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, bands were promoted by radio stations, along with the record company’s marketing machine... Today, with the advent of sites like YouTube and Facebook, and reality shows like American Idol and The Voice, it seems as if anyone has a chance to go for instant fame. So I wondered, what would happen if both the old and new mediums collided and made a band famous by accident? And what if, even though they didn’t deserve that fame, they decided to try and hang on to that fame?

And that’s what happens in Overnight Sensation?

Yes. First, Jonah sends some friends the song his dad’s old band recorded in their basement. Then, one of those friends emails it to a radio station pretending it’s his band called, Hitstreak. When the song accidentally gets played all over the country, the fake band becomes an overnight sensation, and the lure of fame and fortune becomes irresistible for everyone involved.

So, everyone has their own reasons for wanting to go along with the charade.

Exactly. They all get caught up in the fame game and end up having to deal with the reality of the situation. It’s like, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it!

How is the story told?

It’s told through Jonah’s eyes, and at times he even addresses the reader one-to-one like in the TV show, The Wonder Years, or the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where the main character looks directly at the camera talks to the audience. Also, Jonah ends up having to deal with a lot of other issues like the school bully who wants to be in the band, Jonah’s dream girl, whose mere presence causes him to forget how to speak in full sentences, and the ruthless, media mogul who’s out to take credit for the boy’s sudden fame.

Plus, there’s a little reality spin regarding the book and your website.

Yes! when I wrote the book, the song I had in mind that creates all the buzz is actually a real song entitled, Every Little Bit Hurts, written and recorded by some friends in a band called the Raves. So I put the song on my website,, and I’ve invited teen bands or solo acts everywhere to take it, record their own version, and then download it to the site. Anyone who does this is going to receive a signed copy of the book along with some swag like guitar pics and book marks and I’m also working some other cool prizes to the band viewers vote as having the best rendition of the song. It’s a great way for upcoming teen bands to showcase their talent and it’s a fun way to promote the book. I also plan on having some local teen bands perform when I do book signings around the country.

The book is Overnight Sensation and the author is Hal Eisenberg. Thanks for being with us!

Sure! Thanks for inviting me!

Be sure to check out Hal's guest post about the music that inspired Overnight Sensation and the actors he imagines playing his characters HERE! And ENTER TO WIN a prize pack including signed paperback copy of Overnight Sensation, bookmarks, and guitar picks!

Image of Overnight Sensation Prize Pack

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For more on Overnight Sensation check at these sites!

1 comment:

  1. My favorite band is Sleeping With Sirens, current favorite song by them is Stomach Tied in Knots.


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