I cannot express my gratitude to author J.F. Lewis for agreeing to be the first interview for the ImagiCon blog. The mass market paperback release of his second book, ReVamped, is scheduled for September 28. Author, Author! is offering an advanced taste of ImagiCon 2011 by offering 20% off ReVamped. The mass market paperback includes a teaser chapter from the third book in the Void City series, Crossed.
J.F. Lewis lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his patient wife, two adorable sons, an ornery Akita, and a very hyper Labrador-mix puppy. He decided that he wanted to be a writer when a supposed creative writing teacher questioned his sanity and suggested therapy. An avid reader, J also enjoys sushi, popcorn, lukewarm sodas, and old black and white movies. His two favorite activities are singing lullabies to his kids at bedtime and typing into the wee hours of the morning. Fortunately, like the protagonist of his Void City novels, the author takes very little sleep.
In Staked, we travel to Void City to meet Eric, a vampire with a short term memory problem and a volatile temper. Who is Eric, and what furry problems come his way?
I tend to think of Eric as kind of a vampire John McClane gone terribly wrong. He didn’t want to be a vampire, but now that he’s spent forty years as one, he’s not the kind of guy who would whine about it. He tries to keep to his own little area of Void City, but that doesn’t ever seem to work out for him. In the first book, he runs afoul of some evangelical werewolves from the Lycan Diocese. They think he’s killed the son of the local Alpha. Eric honestly isn’t sure whether he has or not, but it certainly seems like something he might have done, so he’s not trying to protest his possible innocence too loudly. That’s a big part of the mystery in Staked. Is Eric being set up? And if so, by whom?
In ReVamped, life for the undead gets even more complicated. What trouble finds Eric?
Heh. In ReVamped I got to write an evil undead flesh-eating classic American pony car. What more is there to say? The second book pits Eric up against two things he really hates: Demons and High Society Vampires. Eric is strictly a working man’s vampire, so the more… elite… vampires really piss him off. But he winds up having to try to work with them (some of them anyway) in order to get back a soul the demons have stolen. It’s the soul of someone very close to Eric but I can’t really say much more without spoiling the ending for Staked.
Crossed, which is coming out in January, takes Eric from Void City to Paris. Can you give us a hint at what adventures and disasters await?
Wedding bells and a honeymoon gone wrong. By book three, Eric has a good idea what is really going on with his wonky powers. He is also finally figuring out how he became a vampire in the first place and what his family curse entails. I went a little crazy with the third book and used Greta’s point of view for part of the novel. She’s way more terrifying than Eric.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, or are you a pantser?
I start with a character and a situation then go from there. So… pantser. Sometimes I have scenes in mind that I want to get to, and I might have an idea of how I want a story arc to end or issues I want to explore, but for me, writing is pretty much a case of everything flowing from that first scene. Then I have to go back through everything and make sure there is a coherent plot, even if it takes an extra draft or two to get it just right.
What is the worst writing advice you've received?
One of my college creative writing instructors told me to stop wasting my time on genre fiction, because, according to him, it’s a “masturbatory effort”. His comments made me mad enough to write a novel, though…
Many thanks again to J.F. Lewis for agreeing to be the guinea pig for this first interview. Please visit his website. You can also follow him on Facebook and/or on his blog.
Be sure to mark your calendar for ImagiCon 2011 where you can see J.F. Lewis and many other fantastic authors who we will be featuring on this blog in upcoming weeks.
Don't forget to check out Author, Author! for its special offer of 20% off ReVamped.