Today I would like to introduce you to author, Doug Lucas. He is the author of several novels;
Conversations With A Dead Man, The Man In The Mountain, Forgotten, Buzz words.
Doug, welcome to Novel Moments. I look forward to hearing more about you and your writing.
Tell us a bit about yourself
There really isn't much to tell if you're interested in the truth.
I was in the Marine Corps for twenty some odd years and retired. My wife felt money was important and suggested I start another career. I went to work for the Pennsylvania State Police as a forensic photographer and later a forensic video analysis.
As soon as she turned her back again I retired for the second time. I'll add it wasn't all that easy to accomplish this feat…the woman watched me like a hawk.
What keeps you writing?
Every morning my wife sits at the breakfast table pouring through the help wanted adds. I have no desire to be an Ice Road Trucker or hunt alligators in some swamp.
I've worked at something all my life. I think the motivating factor for me is I can work just as hard as I want to. I saw no reason to allow retirement to force me to forget who I am or how I've lived my life.
Writing is a hobby for me that fills a need. How many folks do you know who are just sitting on their hands doing nothing as they wait for death to catch them?
The old boy is going to get us all sooner or later...but he won't find me sitting on a couch watching television. I intend to make him work for a living.
Can you tell us a little more 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 available from a different publisher and not Great Minds Think Aloud Independent Publishing. I've pulled the novel off all the web sites and am in the process of reworking it. The second novel is a part of a two novel series which was never released.
What my new 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 points of view. 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 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 real folks react when threatened by someone with a weapon. I made my main heroes men and 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 Beirut, Lebanon. I wrote a work of fiction wrapped around facts in an effort to show there are more people injured than those on the battlefield. I want the reader to not only enjoy a the fiction...but see some of what happened at the same time...both in Beirut and at home.
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 also 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 Officer in Charge leads by example and she gets the very best out of her people in the shortest amount of time.
What inspired you to write these novels?
Pretty much just what I've said. Plus the addition factor of making my wife think I'm far too busy working, to do some of the chores she feels are appropriate for a retired gentleman such as myself does figure in the equation.
How did you come up with the titles?
I don't…it just seems to happen. Something about the title will fit and that's what I use.
How long did it take you to research and write the novels?
Not much for any of them really. I write about things I've either lived or that have caught my interest in the past. If I get stumped about something there is always a place called the Library…much to my surprise they have whole books filled with facts and such.
I love diaries folks have kept. If you want to know what life was like in say the 1800's or during the civil war…they are where you'll find the truth.
Is there a certain message you would like readers to get out of your novels?
Not really much more than I said before. Fiction should be entertainment and escape from day to day life. I don't think I'm doing much more than that when someone reads what I've written…at least this is what I hope happens.
Do you experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Writing for me is a hobby. Writer's block is the result of work.
If it's work…then it isn't fun…if it isn't fun it must be work…I'm retired.
If you force something into what you're writing, it would be much the same as forcing conclusions in forensics to match facts you don’t have. I stop what I'm doing and go have fun with something else. It may be a nap or a nice slow motorcycle ride on a back road…away from my wife and law enforcements prying eyes…safer that way. When I'm ready to have fun again…I write.
Are you a full time writer? If not, how do you make time to write?
If my wife were to ask me that question…the only possible answer would be yes. As Forrest Gump would say, "And that's all I got to say about that."
How does your daily writing schedule look like?
I write when I feel like it. There have been days when I never left the computer and other days when it was never turned on(except for video poker).
How does your marketing schedule look like?
My publisher Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing does all to that for me. I'm like most folks who want their books published and to actually have people read them. I wouldn't have the slightest clue how to go about getting my work noticed.
I offer as proof of that statement the first novel that was published. Two people bought the book(thanks Mom and brother Ken). Once I was able to convince Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing to take my books, I've had a few folks read and like what I've written. I've also had a few who didn't…oh well they paid for the book they didn't like.
Which avenues do you use to market your books?
My Publisher likes (and I agree) the Amazon Prime program. I look at using the Prime Program as being much the same as paying for advertisement. I'll also add Kindle seems to be winning the e-reader wars, so Amazon is the right market. We've even managed to sell a few copies of the books I've written in the paper back format.
My publisher does everything for me, so I'd say they earn what they make.
What books can we expect from you in the future?
I have no idea.
I just finished a book called the Flats Teachers, which I'm not sure I'm going to even give to my publisher. I've played with the idea of trying to do a Science Fiction with time travel being used as punishment for being politically incorrect. But that's in the what if stage. I would like to see if I could pull something of that nature off and produce a readable story line…so maybe.
What was your best ever moment as a published author?
I had a lady contact me and she wanted me to autograph two of books I've written.
Do you have a message for your readers?
Yes…keep buying my books, I still need that pooper scooper.
It was nice chatting with you, Doug. I wish you lots and lots of sales. Now let’s hear from your wife.
Soon after doing the interview with Doug, I got an email from his wife, Linda Lucas. Read on to find out what she has to say. Isn’t it a treat to get a small peek behind the scenes? Thanks, Linda.
Here’s what she wrote:
My name is Linda Lucas, and I read your recent interview with the author, Douglas Lucas. It seems that he left out a few interesting items that you and your readers might find amusing. Although his interview is well done, your questions were right on point -- and his answers were brief and direct--there was just so much he didn't tell.
As his wife, I feel compelled to clear up a few things. I believe I was charged with driving him to work too hard. This may/or may not be true; however, if he'd stop spending money on large items such as a brand new Canned AM Motorcycle made in Canada -- I wouldn't have to beat the budget into submission. (Whether he likes it or not, the man has expensive tastes). Did I tell you about the truck that followed him home? Or the boat we needed--when the only one who could swim was -- guess who?
But Mr. I'm Retired--"I write when I want to"-- doesn't seem to catch on that every time he says "Yes" it costs money. So being a good wife, of sound mind (not crazy in the least) I must push Mr. Wonderful to work. Every day. Do I enjoy it? Yes, come to think of it, I do. It makes up for all those years when he dragged his wife and family here and there and went off on his own to Japan, Beirut, Phillipines, Viet Nam, California -- on none of these trips were we taken. When he was about to retire, he was offered a tour of duty in Spain. And he said? "No thank you." Didn't ask anyone in the family, just said "No." Just stuck us in downtown Biglerville, PA. (You'll have to find it on a map).
He's a wonderful husband, he truly is, but at times his desires and ours clash. Thus when he started writing, he said "I need a computer--you can't expect me to use a typewriter." So he got a computer--slightly over $5000. I encouraged him to write for the next two years. Note: I did not say I made, I said I encouraged. As many women know well, retired men are lazy, they think they have worked enough already and shouldn't have to lift a hand again.
Never mind that their spouses also had to work all those years, raising children to meet specifications set by a gone-on deployment--father. In other words, he set the rules, the standards for success---and left the rest to--their mother. Once more it's happening again--except that this time grandma turned them over to grandpa----which is why he writes so much----(it's one way of getting out of child raising). If you think the school year is bad, you should see him in the summertime. Lordy, Lordy look who's well past 40.
As for his research for all these novels, I'd have to say it's been done over the last 46 years (of marriage--though if you ask him--he'll tell you with a straight face) -- we've been married 5 years, two of them somewhat happily. And finally, do we even have a dog? Yes. Did I purchase the dog? Guilty. So his excuse for writing? To buy the dog a "pooper scooper" to make Mr. Retiree's life easier. He named the dog "Trouble". His reason--he said the dog looked like "trouble"--oh, and then hired a professional trainer (I won't say what that cost) sothe dog would behave. Actually, I think every man needs a dog to walk every day. It's good exercise.
Having said all of my complaints, I will add -- Mr. Doug Lucas writes some of the best stories I've ever read anywhere, and I hope your readers will take a look at all of his books and find them as entertaining as it is to live with "The Mystro".
To learn more about Doug, please visit the following links.Facebook
· Conversations With A Dead Man
· The Man In The Mountain