Normally when I feature an author, I tend to focus on his or her current novel. Today we are going to talk with author Doug Lucas and go over all his works, so better put on a pot of coffee for this one.
Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?
I was bored...it's just as simple as that. I retired from the Marines and went to work for the state police inIf you consider my wife's tiny list of my unfinished household chores staring me in the face (with no escape in sight)...well the decision to write books becomes easy to understand.
and managed to retire again...I was bored to tears. Pennsylvania
I understand my decision...she on the other hand takes a slightly different view of my driving desire to write. I've worked at something every day for longer than I can remember. I saw no reason for retirement to change my life style.
Household chores assigned by your wife aren't work...they're punishment for crimes you may or may not have committed.
Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?
For me, writing is a hobby. In the truest sense of the word, it's also an escape. The time spent writing allows me to just relax and forget the rest of the world...and the list.
I write as much or as little as I want. If it isn't fun...then it must be work and I'm retired. There have been days when I never left the computer...there have also been days when I didn't even turn it on.
Could you tell us a little about your novels?
I've written a total of eight novels. Four are now on Amazon as kindle books...read my bio...go buy one...I need a pooper scooper.
The first novel I wrote was published by a different publisher than Great Minds Think Aloud Independent Publishing. I've pulled it off all the web sites and am in the process of reworking it. The second novel is a part of a two novel series and has never been released.
What my publisher plans to do is release those two as a set sometime this year. The story for both novels is the same...I wanted the reader to see a life time of love and marriage from two different views. The man's story is called The Good Servant (his is the true version of course) and the wife's story is titled The Good Servant's Wife. Hopefully readers will watch as two very different people grow old together.
Conversations With a Dead Man is a blending of historical fiction and a dead man's life. Years ago I read an inscription on the head stone of a man who died in the 1840's . The inscription carved on his head stone stuck with me. I did some research and was able to learn a little about the old boy. I decided I'd tell a story and weave a history lesson into the story line at the same time.
Man In The Mountain was written because I'm sick and tired of action heroes who are always men, mostly larger than life and don't have a clue how folks react when threatened by someone with a weapon. I made my main heroes women with flaws, took humor and forced the "action heroes" to conform to reality. I wanted the women to have some of the same courage and reactions I've seen over the years.
Forgotten is based on the bombing of the Marine Barracks in
. I wrote a work of fiction in an effort to show there are more people injured than those on the battlefield. I want the reader to not only enjoy a work of fiction...but see some of what happened at the same time...both in Beirut, Lebanon and at home. Beirut
Buzz Words was partly written as an act of revenge aimed at my wife for her reaction to crimes I may or may not have committed. I'm sick and tired of detectives who are lone wolf police officers. I wanted the reader to understand crimes are solved by a lot of folks working their hearts out to get the right person arrested. The lead detective leads by example and she gets the very best out of her people in the shortest amount of time.
Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?
Each of the main characters I write about are a combination of some really super folks I've worked with over the years. I want them to have all the warts and flaws real people have.
What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
Each book is different, and I really don't have much more of a message other than what I've talked about.
Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow?
If you use an outline, how detailed is it?
I have a time line for events and characters before I start a book. Before I ever type the first word I've planned the most of the book out in my mind. I vary from the plan if I must. But the time line of the plot is in stone...so far.
What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
Depends on the book. I'll cover as much of a time span as I feel is necessary to tell the story.
Could you tell us how you go about your research, how you ‘catalogue’ information to make it all work?
My whole life has been research. I use what I know to accomplish what I intend to do. If I'm not sure of a fact...there is always the library with whole books full of facts. I love diaries folks have left behind. If you want to know what life was really like, in say 1790...you can find the truth written in those memories.
How long have you been awaiting the release of your novel? How much time has elapsed between having typed the last word, through the editing phase and to print?
If you can convince Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing to take your work...not long.
How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?
My publisher does all that for me. I wouldn't even know how to go about marketing a book.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes I do...do your own work.
Don't let someone else tell you any of your story line must be changed to make your book work the way they see it.
If you wrote it the way you wanted to tell the story...it will be enough. You are the most important reader you'll ever have
You're always going to have readers who find fault with what you wrote. There are a ton of folks who only want to make your work stronger (writers groups as an example) and will tell you to change this or that in your book.
If their advice makes sense to you...then by all means use it. If it changes the way you wanted to tell your story...then by all means tell them to write their own book.
Let the editor correct as much of your grammar, spelling or punctuation as needed. When everything is said and done, even if you don't sell one book, you'll still have written your book. There aren't that many folks can make that claim.
Could you tell us what you’re working on now?
I just finished a book about Teachers and our school system. I'm not real sure what I want to do with it, so it may just die a graceful death on my computer. I would like to see if I could pull off writing a story about time travel and history. But that's in the "what if " stage of planning. So I don't know yet.
I just want to thank Doug for taking the time to stop by. Thanks Doug!
This is a link to the DOUG LUCAS page on Amazon, so if you are interested in any of his books, click on his name and visit his page.