Morning all and welcome to the weekend! Today I’m delighted to be chatting with Shane Lusher on Meet the Author. We’re talking about inspiration, procrastination, confidence, advice to his younger self, superpowers, his books, and his new book Blood Tithes, and more…..Enjoy!
Crime / Thriller
Tell us a bit about yourself:
It took me the better part of twenty years to write my first novel, and since then I’ve never looked back. I have been writing since the age of five, but it took me until the tender age of 38 to silence the inner critics and just put it down on paper. As an American living in Vienna, Austria, my choice of character is about as about as autobiographical as I dare to let it get: out of his element, in a familiar yet foreign environment, where nothing is really as it seems. My books are about the place I grew up in: Tazewell County, Illinois, in the USA. For many years people were telling me to write about Vienna, but then I started reading the crime news from back home, and that was enough inspiration to last a lifetime.
I have a wife, Barbara, and three children, two cats and a puppy. I’ve discovered that the busier I am, the more drive I have to write.
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I have always wanted to write, so it’s difficult to say what actually inspired me. Books. Not just reading—devouring—them, but also the look and the feel and the smell of them. My family gets a kick out of my tendency to pause while reading and inhale the smell. It’s probably some psychological disorder, but one I’ve been told is also probably completely harmless.
The ideas just pop in there. It’s just a sudden “what if this happened” and then I have the idea for a book. With New Blood, it was reading about a body buried behind a barn. With Blood Origin, it was reading an article about all of the data companies collect about us, and how we are targeted for sales marketing, and so it went like this: “What if you could track a serial killer based on his buying behaviour?”
How many books have you written and published?
I have written four books, and published three: New Blood, Blood Origin and Maddie (a novella) are already out on all the major platforms, and Blood Tithes is launching on June 15.
How long does it take you to write a book?
The first draft usually takes around a month, but I am a horrible procrastinator. Or rather, I pour all of my energy into the first draft, and then at the end I’m so exhausted I have to take a break. New Blood took five years, Blood Origin and Blood Tithes nearly a year, and Maddie two weeks. My goal is to write two books a year, so I’d better get started on the next one.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I don’t really have a favourite. Each book is a completed chapter of where I want to be the character at that point in time, and where I am myself, really. If I had to pick, I would say New Blood, because it was my first. It was the one where I said “I finally did it. I can do it. I can do more.”
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Dana Hartman, definitely. He has the same sense of humour as I do. Though once the DTs set in and he started jonesing for a cigarette, I’m not sure if he would be all that much fun.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A writer. Hands down. Everything else I considered has always been just a distraction.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Lawn mower, movie theatre concessions worker, bartender, copy boy, accountant, construction worker, English teacher, and, most recently and permanently, an IT consultant.
Other than writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Travelling—basically anywhere, though I prefer Southeast Asia. I also enjoy hiking, but my main passion is reading. Constantly, constantly reading. Anything and everything.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice, what would it be?
Write. Don’t think about any of the voices—internal or external—and just write. I got that advice myself when I was my younger writing self. Maybe everybody does. But it is the one truth that perseveres. Write it down. You always have time to clean it up.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. But it’s what happens after the first sight that matters.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. I’ve spent way too much time flying around the world, waiting to get to where I’m going.
Do you feel it’s more important to have a) strong characters b) a mind-blowing plot or c) amazing settings?
B) followed closely by A). I’ve always felt that it’s the plot that makes the story interesting, and unless the characters are people you will never forget, you have to go with plot. This is, I believe, what often separates genre fiction from “serious” or “literary” fiction (I read both equally). When I was in creative writing classes in college, a lot of the professors were very big on instilling their students with this idea that genre fiction isn’t serious fiction. I’ve always disagreed. Shakespeare was able to write a damn good story AND give us strong characters and amazing settings.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
How long would you wait for revenge?
Twenty years ago, Dana Hartman wronged a man.
Some people never forget.
What would you sacrifice?
A woman’s severed arm is found in a dumpster in Tazewell County, Illinois.
A few hours later, the rest of her shows up in Peoria.
Dana knows her. Her name is Sara Glass.
Who would you take with you?
Sara’s niece has been kidnapped by the same person who killed her aunt.
Dana knows the man who did it. This man wants Dana to destroy his own life.
Just like Dana had done to him, many years ago.
In the third novel set in Tazewell County, Dana Hartman will have to set
everything on the line—his reputation, the woman he loves, even his life—
in order to catch a killer before he kills again.
It will be available June 15 on all the major platforms, here is the Amazon link to my author page:
For other links, you can find them on my website.
Thanks Shane for coming on over and chatting with us!
Have a wonderful day all.