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Lou Aguilar

Authors on Characters

Penmore Press authors offer a rich and entertaining array of short reflections on characters and how they were created in the novels.  READ

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Lou Aguilar

Lou Aguilar was born in Cuba and lived there until age six, when his anti-Castro scholar father flew the family to America one step ahead of a firing squad (for his dad, not Lou). He attended the University of Maryland, where he majored in English, minored in film, and found both to be dependent on great writing. He became a journalist for The Washington Post and USA Today, then a screenwriter, and finally a novelist.

Lou has had three small movies produced, including the cult science-fiction film Electra (33rd on Maxim’s list of “The 50 Coolest ‘B’ Films of All Time”). He presently writes only “A” scripts and has a television legal drama and military thriller feature in development. Lou’s last short story, “The Mirror Cracked,” was published in a prestigious horror anthology, Kolchak: the Night Stalker Chronicles, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.

Lou is single, having postponed marriage until he either made the New York Times best sellers list or won an Oscar. But that stipulation has become less binding as the bird of youth flutters away.

The inspiration for Lou’s debut novel, Jake for Mayor (forthcoming 2016), came from a chance meeting one day on Venice Beach with a stunning young woman from Erie, Colorado, who approached him with news of her hometown: a dog named Jake ran for mayor and got votes. Could this, she asked, be a studio movie? Could he co-write it with her? Over the next few weeks, they transformed the true story into a fictional plot. Lou’s resultant screenplay was optioned a number of times but never produced, only changed for the worse. Ultimately, Lou decided the work was too constrained by Hollywood and rewrote Jake for Mayor as a novel.

Lou feels the story is a sort of Frank Capra in reverse. Instead of small-town pure-heart Mr. Smith going to politically corrupt Washington, the politically corrupt protagonist learns his lesson in the heart of what elitists call “flyover country.” But like another Capra masterpiece, this tale also has an angel, a dog—for dogs are the closest things to angels on Earth.

Jake for Mayor by Lou Aguilar

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Jake for Mayor

Ken Miller is having a bad run of luck. After torpedoing his career as a campaign manager, he drives through tiny Erie, Colorado, when a homeless beagle named Jake causes a series of mishaps that lands him in jail. Ken is granted bail on two conditions: that he not leave town before his trial in three weeks and—much to his chagrin—that he not let Jake out of his sight until then. Stuck in Erie as it prepares for a mayoral election, he’s drawn into the local politics by a waitress who vehemently opposes incumbent Charles Dunbar, the only candidate on the ticket. Unable to resist political adventure, Ken gets a brainstorm. If he can exploit the dog’s popularity among the townspeople and get them to elect Jake as a protest candidate, the publicity will put him back on top. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Ken warms to the dog, falls for the waitress, and employs her teenage son and his gang as campaign aides in a madcap battle with Mayor Dunbar … who has no intention of losing to a dog.