Monday, August 14, 2023

Bill Boggs Interview - Spike Unleashed

Photo Content from Bill Boggs

Bill Boggs, author of SPIKE UNLEASHED, is an Emmy Award–winning TV talk show host, producer, and writer who began his career in comedy. His earlier books include the novel The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog; a self-help book, Got What It Takes?; and At First Sight, a love story optioned by Hollywood. His TV credits include the long-running Midday Live out of New York City and programs on Food Network, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, Travel Channel, and Showtime. Bill served as the executive producer of the groundbreaking The Morton Downey Jr. Show and was the co-creator and host of the syndicated series Comedy Tonight. BillBoggsTV on YouTube features hundreds of Bill’s interviews with some of the most notable personalities of our time. He divides his time between New York City, East Hampton, and Palm Beach.

Greatest thing you learned at school.
That somehow I was actually able to get through school at the University of Pennsylvania and graduate. Beyond that, I learned to stay completely open to revisions in creative process, prepare to abandon preconceptions.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
Very early in life, maybe age 4 or 5, when I started drawing.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why?
Act One by Moss Hart, an epic story of success and overcoming disadvantaged youth.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Having people who read the book and tell me that they laughed out loud several times.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Read great books carefully and make sure you can type.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Squirrels. While I was writing, they’d be running around outside on the lawn and dangling by their tails on my birdfeeders. I’d stop to watch them. Squirrels don’t get credit for their agility, although I’ve seen Penn & Teller do similar stunts.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
The first chapter of SPIKE UINLEASHED and what happens to the wonder dog when he meets “the Kardashian.” He’s not sure which one she is. With enough cosmetic filler, everyone starts to look the same to him. He’s a dog.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Ram Dass’ Be Here Now awakened n me the desire to live mindfully in the moment. Try being mindful for about five minutes. It’s not easy but crucial. Dogs do it very well.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
It’s a great way to occupy time while you’re waiting for the squirrels to come back.

Can you tell us when you started SPIKE UNLEASHED, how that came about?
I planted the seeds of the story that unfolds in SPIKE UNLEASHED in the first book, The Adventures of Spike the Wonder Dog as told to Bill Boggs. So when I felt ready to write the sequel, I sat down to do it.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
That I had the discipline to prevail – to write the novel and get it published by Post Hill Press.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
Can’t say inspiration, but to create zany memorable characters that a reader would enjoy meeting.

  • Spike tells me the story. We do this without the aid of ‘shrooms.
  • Spike is an English bull terrier whose great, great, great, great grandfather was a war hero in Britain during WWII.
  • Spike’s nemesis is the boxer and exotic services Mogul, Ike “I Got Money” Piles.
  • Spike is having relationship problems with Daisy, his girlfriend at the start of the book. By book’s end he has a new love.
  • One of the characters Spike befriends is a foul-mouthed African grey parrot named Herbie.
  • Prince Harry has the title role as “Florida Man,” a Netflix movie that also stars Spike, Tim Allen, Jim Carrey and Lucie Arnaz.
  • SPIKE UNLEASHED is set in Palm Beach, East Hampton, and Manhattan, all places where I live. That was a great part of the writing experience for me.
  • Many celebrities appear in the book – a few (other than those mentioned above) are—Bill Maher, Nancy Pelosi, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, the defrosted head of baseball great Ted Williams (it was frozen after he died), Jay Z and Beyonce, the voice of Brian Cox, and the ghost of Anthony Bourdain.
Meet the Characters 
  archetypal dirty old man who owns the TV station where Bud and Spike work. He has a major sexual hang-up over Nancy Pelosi, whom he, Spike and Bud meet in Washington, DC. When Sol approaches her, the Old Swede gives her a…well, read the book.

LOMBARDO  Bud and Spike’s brilliant boss at WGHP-TV where they work in High Point, North Carolina.

BIG RANDY WOODY — strip club operator who hits it big on crypto and wants to create a “national civility project” to get nation on the right track, but fails because…well…read the book.

BRENDA  Bud’s sometime girlfriend who wears a “sexbit” on her wrist during intimacy with Bud that gives Bud a score on his performance in the sack each time they go at it. The sexbit is one of my many inventions created for the book.

Donald Trump appears in the book at Mar-a-Lago behind a podium with an “I’m Still the President” presidential seal as he welcomes a group of evangelical Christians for dinner and a movie – a screening of “The Aristocrats.” It’s a filthy film but DJT is not familiar with the content. He chose it because he thought the title reflected well on him.

IVAN  drunken Russian former special protection officer for Putin who is now working for Ike “I got money” Piles to eliminate Budd and Spike…and he almost succeeds, except for…

BILLY  Spike’s brilliant brother with whom Spike is reunited and who helps the wonder dog in his hour of need.

“How did three dogs and a parrot end up traveling to East Hampton unsupervised on a bus?” is how the CBS Evening News teased the story about what took Spike to the East End of Long Island.

There are 18 illustrations in the novel from Jacob Below. We are endeavoring to get both Spike books made into a streaming cartoon series for Netflix or Prime Adult Animation.

A troupe of washed-up celebrity lookalike performers figures in the plot. Bud, Lombardo, and Spike are involved in creating a reality show for Andy Cohen. Among the performers is a Joe Biden imitator who morphs Dean Martin’s confused drunk act into Joe at a press conference.

Writing Behind the Scenes
I always start writing by editing the work from the previous day.

What is the first job you have had?
Stock boy in a grocery store, age 11.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Too many to relate, maybe winning the American Legion Award for outstanding classmate as selected by my classmates in 8th grade.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
Drama, it was easy.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
The fifties, the last decade of innocence.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid.
Not worrying about so much, but then I remember, “Be here now.”

Best date you've ever had?
That’s saved for my memoir, but think French and initials B.B.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
“Today is going to be a great day.”

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Meeting Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas at 4 AM, the day after I had a dream that I would meet him.

What's your most missed memory?
I don’t know. If I missed it, I can’t remember it.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Not one thing.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
All the time.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love, no contest.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
My God, look at my hair, it must be really humid.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Of the things I accomplished during the previous waking hours.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
Buying a used VW with no warranty that broke down the next day on the Pennsylvania Turnpike – I was age 22.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
My high school graduation, oh, to see my beloved classmates again.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

First Love?

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Jonas Salk who invented a polio vaccine.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
The fifties, last decade of innocence and the birth of rock and roll, and, by the end of the decade, just when you are ready for it, the sexual revolution.

First Heartbreak?

Any Camp stories you would like to share?
Only camping I ever did was with the U.S. Army

At a movie theater which arm rest is yours?

What is your greatest adventure?
Here’s the adventure yet to be…

What event in your life would make a good movie?
The meeting Sinatra story and his subsequent appearance on my TV show and the headlines it made around the world.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
A dinosaur skeleton

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
That’s my business.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Laughing at the captain’s dinner scene in “triangle of sadness.” So, now, please get the book, and have some good laughs on me…over and out…

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
That I was a part of a group of people who did a terrible thing and knew we’d get caught.

Our English Bull Terrier hero and his master Bud continue their hilarious antics in this latest installment of Spike the Wonder Dog’s adventures.

This laugh-out-loud novel, with its interwoven and inventive plotlines, could be called Game of Bones . In the midst of being ensnared in a devious revenge plot, Spike the Wonder Dog manages to unleash his celebrated brand of absurdist humor, shrewd social commentary, and certifiably funny grievances at human shortcomings, while romping through all manner of sexy scenarios in the rich and famous playgrounds of Palm Beach, Manhattan, and East Hampton. Spike and the wacky but deeply developed characters he encounters will definitely tickle your funny bone as he and his talk show host owner Bud dig up some brilliant twists on popular culture scenarios, celebrities, and behind-the-scenes action in the world of entertainment.

You can purchase Spike Unleashed at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BILL BOGGS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Spike Unleashed by Bill Boggs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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