Hollywood and Back:
How Author E. Van Lowe Reinvented Himself in Hollywood
How Author E. Van Lowe Reinvented Himself in Hollywood
Sitcom producer and writer E. Van Lowe, who had major hits with "The Cosby Show" and "Charles in Charge" among others, found as he hit middle-age that the phone rang less for jobs. He began writing paranormal romance novels, which, in turn, is bringing him back to Hollywood.
Los Angeles, CA
In mid-December, Ehrich (pronounced Eric) Van Lowe received a flat envelope in the mail from the Writers Guild of America. In it was a letter of congratulations along with a certificate. The Cosby Show had been selected as one of the 101 best television shows in history. Van Lowe and other writers were being honored for their roles in writing and producing the show.
“Receiving the honor was a mixed blessing,” says Van Lowe. “Many of my current fans weren’t even born when The Cosby Show aired in first run. They only know it from late night reruns on TV Land and Nick at Night. They view The Cosby Show the same way I viewed I Love Lucy reruns when I was a kid—something that happened a long, long time ago.”
Van Lowe laughs when he says this, but his laughter is bittersweet. Many of the young Hollywood executives who Van Lowe must look to to get hired to write TV shows and movies were children when he was writing and producing such stalwart series as The Cosby Show, Knight Rider, Charles In Charge and Even Stevens. In a culture that celebrates youth, they don’t see Van Lowe as a seasoned veteran; they see him just as they see any writer over forty—old and washed-up.
After a head writer stint on The Tom Joyner Show in 2006, Van Lowe realized his phone wasn’t ringing as much as it once was. He decided after the show had wrapped to begin his segue into his next career, that as an author. Van Lowe had begun his writing career as an author, writing a few paperback original horror novels when he was a student at the University of Southern California. In the early 80s, Van Lowe had written "Child’s Play" and "The Power" under the pseudonym Sal Conte.
“I loved horror when I was growing up,” says van Lowe. “I still do. I chose the first and last names of two guys I played basketball with at the Y as my pseudonym. I figured I’d save my own name for when I wrote the great American novel.”
The great American novel never happened because soon after graduating from the Masters in Professional Writing program at USC, Van Lowe began his more than twenty-year career writing television and film, and never looked back. “The plan was to return to writing books when my TV run was over. I had no idea it was going to last as long as it did, or be so successful.”
Van Lowe’s successes includes: co-writing the Academy Award nominated short film, Cadillac Dreams. A People’s Choice Award for The Cosby Show, an Emmy nomination for Even Stevens, and numerous other nominations including several for the NAACP Image Award, and two for the Director’s Guild of America Diversity Award.
When the Tom Joyner Show wrapped, Van Lowe made the difficult decision to not take any studio meetings that year in search of his next gig. Instead, he decided to take the year off and write his first young adult novel, “Never Slow Dance with a Zombie.” “It wasn’t a difficult decision for me. I knew my career was winding down and I wanted to get my second career started before my first career ended. I wrote the book before the zombie craze had hit, before YA novels like 'Twilight' and 'The Hunger Games' were hot movie properties. So to many of my friends, as well as my agents and manager, it seemed like a bad idea. But I have to hand it to my team, once they understood what I was doing, they embraced the idea as best they could and never deserted me.”
In 2007, Van Lowe’s faith in his team was rewarded when his agent, Jim Kellem (JKA Talent & Literary), did what Van Lowe thought he couldn’t by inking a book deal at Tor Teen, a division of publishing powerhouse MacMillan/St. Martin’s. By then, the book was highly anticipated. "Never Slow Dance with a Zombie" was released in September 2009 with an initial order of 70,000 copies. While the book never made it onto the best seller list, "Never Slow Dance with a Zombie" went on to garner a nomination for an American Library Association Award. The book became part of the first wave of YA zombie novels and launched the beginning of the current YA paranormal craze.
Soon after the sale of "Never Slow Dance with a Zombie," Kellem called again telling Van Lowe the family of a teen Hollywood star wanted to meet with him. Jim had slipped the manuscript to the young star’s family. They loved the story and wanted to option it for their daughter. Van Lowe declined the option because he realized he could have a resurgence in Hollywood if he were the rights holder and producer of this and several popular novels. How would he become the rights holder to more books? He’d write the books himself.
“I wanted to become a beloved novelist, not a guy who wrote one book that became a movie,” says Van Lowe. “I love books and the people who read them. As much as I wanted to renew my Hollywood career, I knew I had to write several books that readers enjoyed. If I did that, the rest would take care of itself.”
Van Lowe says his greatest reward has been the fans. Although his protagonists are always teenagers, his books appeal to young and old alike. Van Lowe particularly loves interacting with his younger fans. “They’re so enthusiastic,” he says. In 2009 Van Lowe’s young fan’s enthusiasm was on display when many of them showed up to his Never Slow Dance with a Zombie Fest hours early to get made into zombies by a professional Hollywood makeup artist.
Van Lowe was on a roll. His second and third novels, (the first two books in The Falling Angels Saga) "Boyfriend from Hell" and "Earth Angel" became eBook Best Sellers in 2012. The four-book saga is being published by White Whisker Books, owned and operated by Van Lowe’s college classmate and friend, Christopher Meeks.
“Working with Meeks has been a dream. I’m able to have a hand in all aspects of the publishing process, including design, marketing, and release dates. I’m a hands-on kind of guy. I try to write page-turners, and with Chris’s help, I believe we deliver the best visceral experience for my fans that we possibly can.”
Meeks only has admiration for Van Lowe. "Ehrich saw what I was doing at White Whisker and asked if I'd considering publishing his Falling Angels Saga. I was only one chapter in and saw this guy is a magician. He can write. His fourth book comes out in two months."
Van Lowe takes as much care with his new career as he did with The Cosby Show. The highly anticipated fourth and final book in the saga, entitled "Falling," debuts on March 13th 2014. White Whisker is hosting a launch party at Vroman’s Books in Pasadena on launch day, where Van Lowe will do a reading. The event is free and open to the public. Van Lowe is hoping his latest book becomes another best seller. “My fans are going to love the final book. I put everything I had into it,” he says with pride.
Van Lowe is quite busy in his new career. He spent much of the summer in meetings at every major studio and many production companies shopping his projects. He and a partner wrote a sitcom pilot for a cable network. In December, he teamed with Hollywood heavyweight Peter Bergmann to produce the Falling Angels Saga as a feature film franchise. He is currently at work on the screenplay for "Boyfriend from Hell," the first book in the franchise. In January, he resumed taking meetings for more TV projects based on his works. He’s also working on a new novella and his next novel.
“I can’t believe how busy I am,” says Van Lowe. “Two years ago I couldn’t get arrested. Some days I feel overwhelmed, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My new career is every bit as rewarding as my first, possibly even more rewarding because I’m older and wiser. Who said youth is wasted on the young? I feel as youthful as ever. I’m having a ball.”
Van Lowe hopes his story can be an inspiration for men and women who believe the work world is preparing them for pasture. “We can all continue to be productive members of society,” he says, “if instead of lamenting the end of our careers, we take a moment to rethink our career strategies.”
White Whisker Books
Falling by E Van Lowe
Book 4 of the Falling Angels Saga
Genre: Paranormal YA
Think twice before you agree to marry Satan. There’s no divorcing the devil.Source: Info in the About Falling was from the press kit from the publicity team.
The End is Near
Will Megan Barnett go falling back into the arms of dreamy earth angel, Guy Matson? Or, is she in fact, falling in love with the demon, Orthon? Or, will her out-of-control abilities send her falling into Satan’s open arms?
In the final, heart-stopping chapter of the Falling Angels Saga, Megan Barnett is on a quest to rid her life of Satan forever, but Satan has other plans, including a lavish wedding, and he’s willing to destroy her family and everyone she loves to have his way. To add to the drama, rogue demons have risen from hell with plans of their own.
Will Megan finally have her happily-ever-after, or is she doomed to an eternity in HELL?
Heaven Sent by E Van Lowe
Book 3 of the Falling Angels Saga
Genre: Paranormal YA
About Heaven Sent:
What Does It All Mean?Source: Info in the About Heaven Sent was from the press kit from the publicity team.
Readers who devoured Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel will be captivated by the third book in the Falling Angels Saga.
As summer break for Glendale Union high begins, heartsick Megan awaits Guy's return while struggling to control her emerging abilities. Love is in the air, but can the new loves in Megan, Maudrina, Suze and Aunt' Jaz's life be trusted? Nothing is what it seems. Meanwhile, the Satanists are set to hatch their most diabolical scheme ever, and if it comes to pass, Satan may finally win out.
Megan has precious little time to unravel the cryptic message hidden in the riddle she received at the end of Earth Angel. If she doesn’t, the life of someone most dear to her will be lost forever, and Megan may yet find herself living in HELL.
Heaven Sent Excerpt
Earth Angel by E Van Lowe
Book 2 of the Falling Angels Saga
Genre: Paranormal YA
About Earth Angel:
Heaven Can Wait!Source: Info in the About Earth Angel was from the press kit from the publicity team.
Just because Megan Barnett recently defeated Satan, has a fantastic new best friend, and has won the love of deliciously handsome, Guy Matson, doesn’t mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn’t realize it, but in her possession is a powerful weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels and demons and everything in between. They will do ANYTHING to get it.
In E. Van Lowe’s humorous, romantic and thrilling sequel to Boyfriend From Hell, Megan winds up in a gripping life or death battle to save herself, the boy she loves, and all of mankind from unthinkable evil.
Megan Barnett has recently defeated Satan, found a fantastic new best friend, and has won the heart of deliciously handsome, Guy Matson. But that doesn’t mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn’t realize that she is in possession of a powerful paranormal weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels, demons and everything in between.
In E. Van Lowe’s romantic yet thrilling sequel to Boyfriend From Hell, Megan finds herself in a gripping life or death battle to save the boy she loves, and all of mankind from unthinkable evil.
Earth Angel Excerpt
Boyfriend From Hell by E Van Lowe
Book 1 of the Falling Angels Saga
Genre: Paranormal YA
About Boyfriend From Hell:
Aww, Hell No!Source: Info in the About Boyfriend From Hell was from the press kit from the publicity team.
Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together. “But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…”
The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago. Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. But neither of the handsome guys is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.
Or buy Boyfriend From Hell for $0.99 HERE.
Boyfriend From Hell Excerpt
Read Chapters 1 to 6 of Boyfriend From Hell HERE for free.
Meet The Author
About E. Van Lowe:
E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer, screen-writer, playwright and producer who has worked on such TV shows as "The Cosby Show," "Even Stevens," and "Homeboys In Outer Space." He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie," was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award.
The first two books in the Falling Angels Saga: “Boyfriend From Hell” and “Earth Angel,” are best sellers. “The Zombie Always Knocks Twice” is the first book in the Hollyweird series.
In December 2014, he received a letter and certificate from the Writers Guild of America for his work on The Cosby Show, which had been selected as one of the 101 best television shows in history.
E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.
1 Prize pack featuring Winged heart jewelry set, plushy puppy, dancing devil, Valentine coffee mug, Valentine socks, Bewitching Book Tours t-shirt, beaded angel/devil bookmark by Clara’s Custom Creations and various swag (US Shipping Only).
1 set of all 4 books in the series (paperbacks US Shipping Only).
2 sets of all 4 ebooks in the series
4 winners will receive their choice of any ebook in the series