I spent most of my youth in rural Ohio and began writing stories at an early age. Many of these early attempts at story-telling were inspired by mysteries, such as those found in the old Hardy Boys books and the cartoon antics of Scooby Doo. As I entered my teenage years I began to drift away from writing stories, instead picking up my pencil to compose lyrics for heavy metal songs because my new dream was to become a musician. That vision remained hopeful for many years after my high school graduation, but like most dreams of this nature it died out as I became older.
After working several menial jobs through the years that followed, my thoughts again began to turn toward writing books. Inspired by my favorite author, Stephen King, I took an online creative writing course and slowly began to develop my skills. In late 2010 I was given a violent shove, both by the job market (which was horrible to say the least, and still is) and by the persistent encouragement of close friends, to pick up my pen and begin writing again.
In early 2012, I gave birth (that’s almost what it felt like) to my very first published book, Desolace. Finally having a completed novel in my hand was the best feeling in the world for me, giving me a sense of accomplishment I had waited a lifetime for. Things have grown easier for me with each book I have published. Since the initial release of Desolace, I have released four more novels in the series. My latest work is a futuristic horror book titled, EL-204.
Lucian has 10, that’s right, 10 ebook copies of EL-240 up for grabs! Enter here:
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I would have to say, very early in life. Although, I was writing stories before I was even a teenager, I had trouble sticking to it because I was more interested in writing song lyrics at the time. Eventually, the whole rock star fantasy diminished and story writing began to surface once more. It wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to make a career of it, at which point I buckled down and started writing full time. (I loved writing song lyrics too when I was a misunderstood teen…those were the days!)
In what genre do you write?
Mainly, I write horror stories. However, most are laced with other genres as well; fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal/supernatural aspects can be found in nearly every book I have written.
Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?
Not really. I’ve always had an affinity for horror, and it feels the most natural for me to write what I personally would love to read. (You write what you know.)
What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?
Generally, I write using a computer. This isn’t to say if I was deprived of the technology that I wouldn’t resort to pen and paper, because I would. Any means necessary to quiet the voices in my head. As for the process itself, I have a tendency to “wing it”, and don’t normally use outlines. I sit down to write with a clear idea of what direction I want my story to take, then the characters take over and steer me from there; although, usually in a direction I hadn’t anticipated. As crazy as it may sound, they have a life of their own. (I like this approach!)
Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?
Initially, it was Stephen King who inspired me, but over time I have found myself influenced by others as well. Indie Author JH Glaze has been the most recent. Not only does he inspire me, but he is also a great friend.
How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?
It really depends on the book. Most of the novels I’ve written to date have been a blend of fantasy and horror, and these stories often require little in the way of research. However, the same can’t be said of all of my books. Two of these novels, which are primarily horror, I found myself researching different things almost as much as I was writing. Most times it was for a silly detail that many readers might overlook, but I did so to add an authenticity to the books. Even though they are completely fictional, I want the reader to be able to associate with things and places they might have experienced in their lifetime.
Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?
Personally, I need complete silence to write. I am easily distracted, so I avoid outside noise like the plague.
When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?
This can probably be summed up by a phrase I’ve often heard about writers, and it holds true for me as well. “A writer never takes a vacation. He is either writing, or thinking about writing.” (I like it! We, our brains at least, never rest)
What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?
It might sound boring to most, but what I find to be the most exciting experience is watching a story develop, the characters coming to life as I write, and finally…seeing the end of a novel in sight.
Who created your amazing cover art?
Katie Cowan at KC Designs has created most of my covers.
Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?
My editor, Melissa Ringsted, has suffered through every book I’ve published, so in all fairness, she deserves my highest praise. Her attention to detail and commitment to excellence makes my work shine. Sorry about all the nightmares I’ve given you with my stories, Melissa! (Poor Melissa!)
Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.
I will have two novels coming out before the end of the year, one of which will be released on October 24th and the other will follow in December. The October novel, EL-204, is significantly different than anything else I’ve written. To briefly describe it, I felt it to be like a blending of Fatal Attraction and Frankenstein, though it also has end-of-the-world overtones. It deals with genetic experimentation, and the government’s greedy involvement in the research as they hope to create an army that can’t be reckoned with.
The second project is a continuation of the fantasy/horror Desolace Series that I’m most known for. The Tree of Life is the sixth book of the series, in which a wizard from the parallel world of Desolace races against time to thwart an evil entity from taking over his world. With each book of the series, I’ve tried to incorporate new developments to keep my readers guessing. This one will be no different than what they’ve come to expect, and will likely have readers excited to see how things will play out in the end. There will be one more novel in the series before it reaches its epic conclusion. (My reading list just keeps growing!)
What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?
The same two authors who have inspired me the most, Stephen King and JH Glaze. (I must check out JH Glaze *goes to amazon*)
Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?
I can’t say that I have just one favorite, as every book in the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King is exceptional. As for why this series is my favorite, the way King blends the fantasy aspects of each book with his special brand of horror made the story come to life in my mind like no other books have ever done.
What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?
As an author, I realize that no matter how good a book is, Hollywood rarely duplicates the intensity of the original work. Even so, I believe converting books to movies is something that will cater to the individual who is more stimulated by visual cues, thus making films a necessary evil. Though it will sound biased, I must admit that I would love to see a film adaptation of any of the stories I’ve written. I think they are far different than the usual slush and remakes that seem to be flooding the market lately. (Doesn’t sound biased to me! I think that would be awesome!)
As a reader, what about a book turns you away?
I have several quirks when I’m reading a book, but will only list a couple of examples here. Each of these things has caused me to close a book without finishing: overusage of character names (several times in the same paragraph), repeatedly starting sentences with “And” or “But” drives me crazy, and poor editing. I can’t count the number of books I’ve read where I found myself asking, “Did this author even bother with an editor?”
If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?
If the book doesn’t contain many of my above quirks, oftentimes I will be a trooper and try to finish it. Although, another thing that will sway my opinion is romance/erotica. If a book is too heavy with squishy, sentimental crap, I normally don’t finish. (“squishy, sentimental crap” Bahaha!)
Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?
I will experiment with new authors and genres from time to time, but prefer to stick to horror.
Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?
Both. I would much rather have an actual book in my hands, though. On my budget, however, I believe that I read more ebooks nowadays. Although, this is only because they are cheaper to purchase.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Leatherface is super creepy!)
Favorite TV show?
Dexter (Gah! Love Dexter though I am NOT happy about that last season)
If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What’s your favorite candy/dessert?
Cheesecake (plain or with strawberries?)
What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.
Cannibal Corpse, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Slipknot, Metallica
What’s your hidden talent?
It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you, now would it? (touché)
What is your dream vacation?
Visiting the Carpathian mountains (Nice)
Author Name: Lucian Barnes
Book Links: http://lucianbarnes.wix.com/author