Hello, and thanks for stopping by in what will be a regular feature moving forward. My evil plan to take over the world has been put on hold until tomorrow, the same conclusion I reach every night. I'll be bringing you insights, random fun facts and much more with these interviews with some of my author buddies.
So to dive right in, I'm here with Lou Paduano in a swanky London hotel as he sits across from me brooding...that's how all interviews start right? Well, the magic of the internet and email we've managed to connect a UK based small-time-start-up author, me, with the hugely talented author of the Greystone series (highly recommended), Lou Paduano all the way out in America.
LF: Off the bat – Ideal writing location, conditions, and the food and drink required to get you through an all-day writing session?
LP: If I'm drafting the only place available is my desk with my headphones blasting the same 74 song playlist it's been playing for the last ten years. Anything to wipe away the world. I have a box of 100 Tootsie Pops, and a 40 oz water bottle and I'm ready to go. If I'm outlining or scripting I try to head outdoors when possible to remind myself of what the sun looks like. It is a rare treat.
LF: So, how long have you been writing?
LP: I'd say my entire life, but that's so cliche. I majored in creative writing in college (100 years ago...) and pretty much dabbled afterwards as I sought gainful employment. I finished a couple of books here and there, but they never went anywhere. When my wife and I had our first child in 2013, we decided to give this writing thing a real chance, and I've been pretty diligent ever since.
LF: What genres do you write?
LP: I tend to bleed from one to the other but primarily science fiction and fantasy with a focus on urban fantasy at the moment.
LF: What are you currently reading?
LP: When I draft I can't read prose. It screws up my style. So right now I am reading Chris Claremont's X-Men run (1975 - 1991) in between chapters of my own work.
LF: Best piece of writing advice you've ever had?
LP: *No one cares. An old professor told me this when I dropped out of his Honor's Program to focus on my writing. I hear him say it every time I start a draft as a reminder for how wrong he was and how much I care about the story being told, about the work being created. I hear him say it every time I get an email from a reader who loved my book as I laugh at his myopic view of the publishing world. Best motivator ever.
LF: You're at a swanky 5-star restaurant and can have five guests, who do you pick and why?
LP: The Scooby Gang. Why? Because you know they've seen some crazy crap and have some awesome stories to tell. And to hear them bitch about Scrappy-Doo. Did anyone really like that guy?
LF: The Worst piece of writing advice you've ever had?
LP: *Same as above.
LF: You wake up in an abandoned city, with no phone or internet, just a backpack and one person to help you, oh and the city is crawling with zombies. Questions - who's the person? And what three items are in the backpack?
LP: My wife is at my side. We take refuge on the roof of the tallest skyscraper. In the bag is a deck of cards and two beers. We sit on the ledge and play cards all day, laughing and reminiscing about the world not being overrun by zombies - those were the days... - then we settle back and watch the sunset. When the groaning of the masses finally reaches us, we take each other by the hand and jump. Not the most uplifting of scenarios but the one that felt true to me. Who says I'm not a romantic at heart?
LF: What's your latest novel and where can we check it out?
LP: The Greystone Saga Volume Two just hit the digital shelves. You can find it on Amazon with a kick-ass Kit Foster cover. It contains books 3 and 4 of the series as well as a sneak peek of book five heading your way in paperback and ebook in September!
Note: Check out book one here, seriously good stuff for fans of dark, urban fantasy- amzn.to/2d02dts
LF: What's your current WIP?
LP: I am finishing up edits on Book 2 of a sci-fi conspiracy thriller series called The DSA. It's The X-Files meets The Atlantis Gene with shadowy government groups and big questions about where we are as a race, all with lots of snappy banter and complicated secrets. It's broken into seasons with 6 books (or "episodes") per season. Mapping it out has been a blast, and I can't wait for readers to see how crazy things get over the course of the series.
LF: A ninja tip for any aspiring author? (Lou and future authors don't realise these tips are going to help me take over the world, just don't tell them)
LP: Fall in love with editing. Accept it as a natural part of the process. Learn what works and what doesn't by tweaking, twisting and screwing around with your drafts. This has taken me the longest to figure out but I finally did and it's made drafting that much easier knowing the hardest part to come is also the most rewarding.
Drum roll, please... Lou... If you dare... Please enter the QUICKFIRE ROUND! (Said Finding Nemo style at the top of Mount Wannahockaloogie)
Favourite Graphic Novel?
Batman: The Long Halloween
Procrastination Platform – Twitter, Facebook or Instagram?
How do you read – paperback or e-book?
Back to the Future Part II
Comics, comics and more comics
Go to soundtrack while writing?
Lou's Writing Playlist (circa 2005)
Where in the world are you?
Buffalo, New York
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to play the lead role as you?
Jason Statham. We're practically twins we look so much alike. My accent is better though.
So the closing summary:
It turns out you can be a romantic while writing gory, urban fantasy.
What's on the playlist, Lou? Examples? Screenshot welcomed below...
I have no idea what a "Tootsie Pop" is, but I'm guessing strawberry based sweet; I'm not googling and cheating, that's not how it's done.
Flipping lousy advice into a positive, well played and definitely the way for all writers to go.
Scrappy-Doo was exhausting, far too much well scrap.
Excellent favourite film choice.
Yes, yes I agree Jason Statham could play Lou.
The WIP sounds incredible, keep us all updated, and fellow authors and readers go and consume the Greystone novels.
Thank you so much to Lou for taking the time to be the test subject and help launch the Author Spotlight series on my website.