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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight with Loren Lambert

When the whispers in the night, the whispers of her lover, are the whispers of a killer, will Margot escape before she becomes the next victim?

Deep in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon, a serial killer stalks. He leaves his signature—a skull mask on the corpse. But when the homicide cop realizes the crimes are the reenactment of a case never solved ten years ago--all fingers point to Michael DeVeccio. And when Margot realizes she is married to the killer, her life becomes a living nightmare.

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! I have a very special treat for you today. As you know, Mask of the Betrayer is a psychological thriller. At its core is its villain, billionaire business tycoon Michael DeVeccio who operates his construction empire with an iron fist. He is charming, coy and very cunning. And he is a demented sociopath who has been getting away with murder for decades. When I asked Triad Productions to make a video of my book, I didn’t think they could come up with an actor to fill the shoes of Michael DeVeccio, the most complex character I have created to date. They did and he’s here with me today. Let’s have a warm welcome for Loren Lambert.

Thunderous applause explodes as Loren enters the parlor. The Hunting Song plays in the background, the song that has been programmed into Michael’s head since he was twelve years old.

Sharon: Have a seat, Loren. Thank you for joining me today. Can Oliver get you something from the bar?

Loren: Yes, a nice peach nectar and Fresca blend--my favorite—have to keep a clear mind, a cool head and a steady hand.

Sharon: I’ll have the same, Oliver.
Allow me to commend you on your outstanding performance of Michael DeVeccio, Loren. You portrayed him so well. How did it feel to play the role of such a twisted sociopath, a man who kills with no remorse?

Loren: Thank you. I love a challenge and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to tackle this. I also love stories, their magic and mystery and power to transform our conscious. It's not that playing a twisted sociopath is fun, it's creating a complex, multi-dimensional character that is not a stereotype, facade or some gauzy representation of reality that is satisfying. Michael's character presented that opportunity and challenge. I hope I captured something that is reflective of the imaginations of the readers of this story.

Oliver serves the drinks.

Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. You know when I wrote the book, I wanted the reader to understand the significance of the Hunting Song. From the age of twelve, Michael’s uncle trained his nephew to kill the betrayer by programming the song into his head. By this method of brainwashing, the lyrics of the song echoed in Michael’s head, pumping him up with the urge to get even. The opening scene in the video portrays this. Tell me what went through your mind when you crept into the mansion, put on the macabre skull mask with those chilling words haunting you?

Loren: Love the thrill of the hunt, so to speak.

Sharon: I was very pleased with the balcony scene, when Michael is muttering to himself about finding the perfect woman to produce his son, an heir to his kingdom. He believes he can have whatever he wants simply by ruling it so. It sounds like the ramblings of a madman. Was it difficult to get into character for this scene:

Loren: No, because the difficulty was met with sufficient preparation to present the scene. A good actor does not memorize lines, he or she memorizes thoughts, emotions and motives that capture the mood of the scene and drive the words from his soul.

Sharon: It’s important for authors to give a character a habit of some type, either quirky or obsessive. I gave Michael the obsessive habit of tapping his cigarette three times before lighting it. Did you find this effective, helping you to get inside Michael’s head?

Loren: Not necessarily. Unusual actions and habits certainly do help capture the manifestation of a unique individual, just as wardrobe does, but they become more integral when combined with a progressive action that moves the plot forward or that tell us something about the character. Michael's habit was a symbol of his uniqueness as an individual. Given more scenes we might have learned how this habit may have said something about him and the habit’s origins and thereby revealed its greater meaning.

Sharon: Michael and the homicide cop toy with one another throughout the entire book. Santiago, a streety cop with attitude, hates the smug billionaire and wants nothing more than to nail him for the recent murders as well as the murder of his uncle ten years earlier. Michael cooly taunts the cop, all but admitting to the crimes, knowing there is no evidence. How did it feel to play this scene in the DeVeccio parlor, leisurely sipping coffee while reading the Wall Street Journal?

Loren: Again, it was great fun taking on the airs of a overconfident villain snubbing the authorities with a wry smile as opposed to playing a stereotype.

Sharon: Now let’s chat about the sweet and unsuspecting Margot Montgomery. When Michael meets Margot in the cocktail lounge in his casino, charisma oozes from every pore. But the whole while he is drawing her in with his devastating charm, he is seeing her as the perfect woman to produce his son. What went through your head during this scene?

Loren: This scene more fully highlights Michael's cunning and bravado. Here, Michael demonstrates that he believes that he indeed found a woman who is, "easy to control," and who he knows was sucked into the marriage, not just because of his charm, but because of her attraction to wealth and her naivety. He also relies upon the fact that what he sees as her unsophisticated nature, will cause her to be too paralyzed with fear to do anything--or so he suspects. This peaks the interest of the audience and begs the questions, what is she going to do? Is she capable of getting out of this and how?

Sharon: Absolutely. Michael is a master manipulator and is always on the hunt. And the pool scene is very dramatic. Michael has Margot right where he wants her—under his thumb. She knows at this point that he is the serial killer. She knows he wants a son. And if she doesn’t do as she’s commanded, she will be the next victim. Oliver, roll the video, please. Let’s watch Loren Lambert in action.

Thunderous applause…

Sharon: Awesome how you captured the character of Michael DeVeccio so well. And it looks like a real mansion was used. Can you tell me about it?

Loren: The McCune mansion was built in 1900 by Alfred W. McCune for 1 million dollars (22 million by today’s standards). In 1920 it was donated to the LDS who used it for a music school. The LDS church sold it and today it has been renovated and is rented by the upper class for weddings, balls and other special events. We were extremely lucky to shoot there. It was simply gorgeous.

Sharon: Finally, before you leave, tell me your favorite scene and why?

Loren: Definitely the pool scene because it was layered with emotion and possibilities and was most pivotal to the story. (And I might add, it's a breeze playing opposite a talented and easy-on-the-eyes actress)

Sharon: Thank you so very much for joining me today on Wednesday Spotlight, Loren. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. And thank you for playing the role of Michael DeVeccio so well. Can you give readers your website to learn more about you and your acting?

Loren: Again, thank you. To contact me and learn more about me, become part of my network by going to my facebook page at:!/profile.php?id=1182125103

Also, to see future roles and productions I am involved with see:!/profile.php?id=1182125103


Hywela Lyn said...

Wonderful interview, Sharon and Loren.

This video is a great 'taster' of Sharon's brilliant book. I loved your portrayal of Michael, Loren, you captured the menace and coldness beneath the the killer's outward charm, perfectly.

Miss Mae said...

Fantastic interview! Loved meeting Loren, the man behind Michael. For anyone who's not yet read Sharon's book, I can tell you that Loren captured the persona of Michael to a brilliant T. While I loved all the scenes, I especially enjoyed the parlor scene. Loren carried that smug, in-your-face attitude to the authorities so well. His smile was so deliberately taunting while his eyes remained hard and cold.

You were perfect for this role, Loren, and it's a honor to "meet" you here at Sharon's blog.

Margaret Tanner said...

Terrific interview. Michael sounds chilling and you captured this so well.



Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Loren. outside of your brilliant performance, I am totally enthrolled by the McCune mansion. You were lucky indeed to have the opportunity to shoot at such a historical landmark. Bravo!
Oliver, keep the Fresca coming. Everyone, the bar is open. Lyn and Margaret, thanks for dropping by to chat with Loren.

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks for reminding me, Sharon - I forgot to say I thought the Mansion where the video was filmed was wonderful and so much like how I imagined it in the book and it was very interesting to learn about Clune Mansion and its history. Whata lovely and fascinatingt place.

Sharon Donovan said...

Miss Mae, I totally agree about Loren's playing the part of Michael to a T! And Lyn, you're so right about the mansion! While we wait for Loren, let's watch the video again. Oliver, lights camera action!

EA said...

Fantastic interview, and great trailer. The novel has a sinister edge and incredible feel. Congratulations on this great post!

Ginger Simpson said...

The video was like reading the book all over again. I got shivers. Your trailer captured the essence of the story and characters so well. Bravo!

Tiffany Green said...

Wow, what a great interview and book trailer! I have my copy of Mask of the Betrayer, although my mother-in-law swiped it before I could read it. I'm going to demand she give it back. Today! *grin* Congratulations, Sharon!!

Sharon Donovan said...

EA, Ginger and Tiffany. Thanks so much! Let's watch it again. Shhh. Listen to the hunting song and how Loren captures the personality of the madman so well.

Linda Swift said...

Sharon, thanks for inviting me to stop by to meet Loren. I had read the book, a chilling suspense all the way through and the video catpured the book so well. Which is a great compliment to the actors and director. Loren, you were well cast and believable. And yes, I counted the cigarette taps to be sure they followed the script. I think that was a hint of obsessive-complusive behavior and well as being a psychopath, right?
I think you expressed the ability to get into your character so well, Loren. After all, that is what acting is. Thanks for a very "in depth" interview. Linda

Mary Ricksen said...

Loren I wish you the very best.
The video gave me the same chill I had when I read the book. The mind of a murderer is hidden behind a wealthy, dashing, and charming character.
These kind of characters routinely
fool the best of us. Some people don't find out until it's too late!
Great one again Sharon, as always!
I musta watched that video a dozen times and each time I see something else.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey, Linda. Thanks for commenting and thanks for reading Mask! I agree. Loren did a really terrific job in portraying the maddman to sheer perfection. Here here.

Miss Mae said...

Wow, just saw the photo of Loren! May I say just how handsome he is???!!

Sharon Donovan said...

I know, Mary. Me too! Thanks for stopping by to chat. Miss Mae, isn't he just! Oliver, more drinks over here please!

Julie Robinson said...

Michael IS chilling. And Loren plays him just as I imagined the scenes unfolding when I read the novel.
I also noticed Loren kept in character with the 3 cigarette taps. Very cold and calculating.

Thanks for inviting me to the party, Sharon. Late again as usual. Think I'll have a little nightcap before retiring to bed.

Julie Robinson said...

BTW, I really liked the hunting song on the video. Really creepy.

Sharon Donovan said...

Julie! Thanks for droppin by. Michael was chilling indeed, and Loren captured his character with great articulation. Of course you can have a night cap. I insist. Oh Oliver...

annepatrick07 said...

Facinating interview, Sharon & Loren. And I love the video! Awesome job, Loren!

Best of luck to you both.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks for stopping by to chat, Anne. Oliver is happy to bring you something to drink and a wink!

Loren Lambert said...

Thank you all for your comments. Again, it was a lot of fun. Don't worry though, I'm really quite harmless in real life should we have the opportunity to meet. What do you say we adapt the story for a feature?

Miss Mae said...

I agree, Loren! Who do we call? Does Steven Spielberg do movies like Mask?

Sharon Donovan said...

Well, folks, that wraps it up for another Wednesday Spotlight. Thank you all for stopping by. Special thanks to my featured guest Loren Lambert. Great fun. Join me next week when actor Gregory Collett who played Diego Santiago in the video of Mask of the Betrayer joins me. Until then, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Love and Blessings,

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