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In Conversation With Author, Musician and Popular Culture Consultant, Chuck Harter
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/8585/1/In-Conversation-With-Author-Musician-and-Popular-Culture-Consultant-Chuck-Harter/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on February 2, 2018
 


Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest, author, musician and popular culture consultant, Chuck Harter.

Chuck is the author of the new book Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series and has written four previously published books which include, Superboy & Superpup: The Lost Videos, Superman on Broadway - Co-Authored with Bob Holiday, Johnnie Ray: The Year of the Atomic Ray and Little Elf: A Celebration of Harry Langdon - Co-Authored with Michael J. Hayde.





                 

Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest, author, musician and popular culture consultant, Chuck Harter.

Chuck is the author of the new book Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series and has written four previously published books which include, Superboy & Superpup: The Lost Videos, Superman on Broadway - Co-Authored with Bob Holiday, Johnnie Ray: The Year of the Atomic Ray and Little Elf: A Celebration of Harry Langdon - Co-Authored with Michael J. Hayde.

Chuck wrote the acclaimed Television Documentary Hey! Hey! We're the Monkees - Rhino/Disney Channel and...among others... Gossip: Tabloid Tales for A&E.

He has appeared as a commentator on such TV programs as North Mission Road, Cops: America's Most Wanted, Places of Infamy, A&E Biography, Mysteries and Scandals and Unsolved Mysteries.

Under his musical performing name of Chuck Winston he has produced four CDS of musical recordings and recently finished a compilation CD of the best previously released material The Best of Chuck Winston - Kickz Records.

He has performed in concert many times in the Los Angeles area. Chuck's current book is Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series which covers the 1960's program about education.

His next project will be a book on the 1961 Horror TV series Way Out in which he will partner with author Martin Grams, Jr. Publication is scheduled for September of 2018.

Norm: Good day Chuck and thanks for participating in our interview.

What do you consider to be your greatest success (or successes) so far in your various careers?

Chuck: In my musical career, I have worked with many outstanding and talented musicians, producers and engineers. I’ve performed in many concerts and have entertained audiences. I’ve also produced several cds of my musical performances.

In the field of television, I’ve written documentaries, consulted on many types of programs and have been often featured on camera as a commentator.

I’ve written 5 books that have all been published to critical acclaim. They have sold well enough for the niche markets that they were intended for. Each book was a learning experience in research, preparation, editing and presentation. Each one has been better than the last. I am looking forward to the next project as it will be my first self published effort.

Norm: What has been your greatest challenge (professionally) that you’ve overcome in getting to where you’re at today?

Chuck: I would say it was to acquire confidence in my own judgment. In creating a book one must always please him or herself first, then adapt according to the requirements of the publisher. At first I would acquiesce completely to the demands of the various companies. I learned to be more forceful and to pick and choose my battles for my concepts.

Norm: Why do you write? Do you have a theme, message, or goal for your books?

Chuck: I write because I enjoy it. As a creative artist, I enjoy the journey of discovery in a new subject. Sometimes I feel like an amateur detective in my research pursuits. People really interest me. There is always a humanistic side to any situation that is both compelling and emotionally moving. My goal is to do the best job that I can in creating a book. Since my books have tended to showcase popular culture, it has been my goal to produce a great book. If my efforts have been successful, then the reader will seek out aspects of the subject to further their awareness of it. I have found that this has been true of all my written tomes and that has been most gratifying to me.

Norm: Why have you been attracted to Pop Culture?

Chuck: I was an only child with few relatives who was the son of parents in the Air Force. We moved every few years and it was difficult to make friends. Music, books, film and television became friends of a sort and my interest grew as I discovered so many interesting and enlightening aspects of popular culture. After I grew up and did make friends, have relations ships and so on, my interest in popular culture continued to the present day.

Norm: What advice can you give aspiring writers that you wished you had gotten, or that you wished you would have listened to?

Chuck: My main advice would be to work as hard as you can on your creative project. Positive reception to any such effort is extremely gratifying and to know that people have been moved by your efforts is almost euphoric. I also advise any writer to do as much research as possible and to follow any lead, no matter how small. Many times I have persevered on a seemingly trivial source and been pleased to find a goldmine after the trek. Be courteous, patient and professional with anyone you wish to involve. Know that they might not be into the project as much as you. Be persistent but fair.

Norm: How many times in your career have you experienced rejection? How did they shape you?

Chuck: I have rarely experienced rejection as I have always had confidence in my own skills. I haven’t put forth any projects without a lot of careful consideration. The problems have been more in the nature of a lack of control or what I felt were unnecessary changes to my efforts.

Norm: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your latest book Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series?

Chuck: I hadn’t seen the show as a youth since it was broadcast opposite the popular Combat series. My father wanted to watch the war series as he was in the military. The show never reran in the 70’s and 80’s so I was only vaguely aware of it. About three years ago a friend sent me episodes of Mr.Novak on some DVDS. I watched them and was very impressed by the overall excellence of the production. After an attempt to buy a book on this unjustly forgotten series, and finding none, I decided to write my own book to make others aware of this amazing show. It was also to be a creative project.

Norm: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Chuck: My goal was to discover and report on all aspects of this quality TV series from the past. It was my intention that readers would become aware of this forgotten series and that there might be a possibility of an official DVD release. It looks like Warner Archive could very well be releasing the first season of Mr. Novak this year in a DVD set. The reviews have been 100% positive for my book so I feel that I did achieve my goal.

Norm: What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

Chuck: I belong to four vintage newspaper sites including Newspapers.com and some others. There is a wealth of material from the past in the pages of old newspapers. I also conducted research at the Margaret Herrick Library (Motion Picture Academy) in Beverly Hills. They have microfilm on Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and many vintage publications that dealt with film and television.

Norm: What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Chuck: The most difficult aspect for me was to sustain a level of interest and intent over three years. Writing a book like Mr. Novak is a long, arduous effort and one can get burned out if not careful. I found at times I would have to step away from the project for a week or two and would then return with fresh energy and enthusiasm. It was best to have a sustained enthusiasm that bubbled along.

Norm: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Chuck: I met many wonderful people in the course of working on the book. They shared memories of the show but also told me some of the things that were going on in their lives. Some also took an interest in what I was doing apart from the book project. I can say that I have made some genuine friends and that our friendship will endure even after the project is technically over.

Norm: What is the most important thing that people don't know about your subject of Mr Novak that they need to know?

Chuck: As the show was forgotten for so many years, I feel that people being aware of both its existence and superior quality is the most important thing.

Norm: What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

Chuck: I didn’t really begin promoting the book until it was finished and accepted by my publisher BearMamormedia. Once that had occurred, I set up a WEBSITE for the book and began adding content from the book’s material. I searched the internet for any bloggers or podcasters who might be interested in vintage television, 1960’s pop culture, education, fan sites for the stars of the show and bloggers who revue books. I also posted on many Facebook pages of any similar themed pages. In addition I provided promotional postcards to dealers in vintage DVDS, memorabilia and collectibles to include with their shipped merchandise.

Norm: How would you compare television writing today as compared to the 1960's and 70's?

Chuck: The writing of 60’s television was perhaps more literate than what followed. People read more in the 60’s and 70’s than they do in the modern day. Note that Newsweek Magazine is very small compared to issues from these previous decades. Due to the great influence of social media, the internet and a trend for multi tasking, the television of today may be more for the eye than the ear. Quicker editing and faster action seem to be providing a more visceral experience than the slower paced cerebral shows of the past. It is indeed a different world and many productions from the past could not interest a modern audience due to dated presentation.

Norm: Do you believe that if Mr. Novak were on television today, it would be as popular as it was when it was first aired?

Chuck: The themes of the majority of the Mr. Novak episodes are completely relevant to the modern day. So the basic scripts and situations could easily be adapted for modern audiences. It would be in the production and presentation that some updating would be advisable. Perhaps some quicker editing and a little more action would appeal to an audience of today. The hairstyles, apparel and dialogue of the high school students would have to be updated and of course cell phones would have to be seen and used in abundance. It would be wonderful if after the reissue of the series on DVD, that NBC would commission a new series. I feel strongly that if the same dedication to scripting, production, acting and direction were applied in the spirit of E. Jack Neuman’s vision, that it could be a popular show.

Norm: What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?

Chuck: If you want to write...then write! Anyone who puts forth a creative effort is a person of value. Sometimes the struggle may be the reward. Don’t ever consider if you are good enough...just do it! You will get feedback...and if it is negative or overly critical...then learn from it...improve and go again. Never give up. Everyone has something to say and there are surely those that would like to hear it. Everyone has a story and everyone can learn from a story. Keep on keeping on!

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series?

Chuck: The WEBSITE for the book, my Facebook page and the FACEBOOK page for Mr. Novak An Acclaimed Television Series. People can also google Mr. Novak and will find many blog reviews and such. They could also purchase a book from BearManormedia and AMAZON.

Norm: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)

Chuck: I will be partnering with a fine writer named Martin Grams, Jr. to self -publish a book on the classic Horror television series ’Way Out.

It was a 14 episode program that aired in the Summer of 1961 and was produced by David Susskind for Talent Associates and hosted by famed British writer Roald Dahl.

The show was taped live in New York City and was broadcast on Friday nights just before The Twilight Zone.

In a way, it could be considered a cousin of the The Twilight Zone. The others Horror/Fantasy/Sci Fi series of the time included Zone, The Outer Limits, Thriller, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. ‘Way Out is the one that hasn’t been covered. All 14 episodes exist and 10 of them are available for viewing on Youtube.

Martin and I have just begun a WEBSITE for the forthcoming book.

We hope to have the book released in September of 2018. It will be issued on our Hargram Books label.

Norm: As this interview comes to an end, what question do you wish that someone would ask about your latest book, but nobody has?

Chuck: Where can I buy 25 copies of your book?

Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.