Interview with Lewis Gross

What made you decide to become a writer? 
I have been writing about Holistic dentistry for almost 30 years in professional publications and mostly to the public to expose the world to alternative dental theories. For about 20 years I have been developing a medical thriller, "The Amalgamist," which I hope to have published this coming summer. It is presently in final re-edit. I write fiction and memoirs about subjects that are close to heart, as a means of self-expression, and to expose falsehoods and injustice. Sometimes I write from love and sometimes from anger, but if the feelings are genuine, then it will be of interest to my readers. Sometimes, what I consider love, others may internalize as anger.

Tell us a bit about your book Montauk Tango: From the Ashes of 9/11 to the Frying Pan of a Hampton's Restaurant. 
"Montauk Tango" is a fictionalized memoir about my family escaping NYC after 9/11, moving to Montauk and opening a restaurant. The story was fictionalized because I accuse some of the locals of being unwelcome of newcomers and change. The story is also about weekend marriage - I commute weekly from NYC - and parenting. Writing this story allowed me to find a safe place while the wife and three coming of age sons created their own business.

What was the hardest part of writing the book? 
The most frustrating part of the process was the inability to get a contract by a regular publisher. Many agents read the first chapter and liked the story, but they claimed a restaurant book would only sell if you were a celebrity chef, or better, a famous chef involved in a scandal.

Who is your publisher and what made you choose them? 
Although I attended many conferences and writers workshops and pitched the story to many agents, I was unable to land a contract and so self-published with iUniverse, which mimics the work of traditional houses. My experience with self-publishing was mixed, there are industrial prejudices against self-publishers, although certainly there are new windows on the internet for anyone self-promoting. The final book was nicely printed, but iUniverse was very corporate and lacked creativity.

Who designed the cover art? 
I designed the cover and my friend did the photo. The hard part was finding a woman with a great pair of legs who was willing to pose with a fish.

Do you have any tips for other writers? 
My advice to other new writers is to spend time in the sun thickening their skin, persevere, and show up every day for work, even when nursing a hangover. I am also working on a future project, "What would I do without you?", which is about the reaction of the community to my publishing Montauk Tango.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing? 
 I’d like to invite them to my next signing, which will be on December 4th from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at the East Hampton Library, 159 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 631-324-0222 or for general information, they can visit

Related posts:

Interview with Thomas Palfy
Interview with Cheryl Malandrinos
Interview with Alberta Ross
Interview with Mary Andrews



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