I have the great pleasure of introducing this next person who's not only a great author but a wonderful friend as well.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing on and off for the better part of ten years. I had a few projects which I scrapped, along with quite a few short stories, before I settled on the idea for The Dark Path. That in itself was a mission, and underwent several incarnations before I finally settled on one which I was happy with. It was a huge learning process. In fact, every time I write, I find myself learning something new. It really excites me when I can sit down and create something unique and enjoyable.
What was your reaction(s) when you first heard The Dark Path was going to be published?
I got the email from my publisher and immediately ran into the bedroom, yelling at the top of my voice, scaring the hell out of my poor wife. It was without doubt the most exciting day I can remember. I was so damn goofy, like a little kid at Christmas.
What's one day in the life of Luke Romyn like?
Busy. I seem to remember having days off, but not for a long time now. I have two shops which I run, along with some huge writing projects. My second novel, Blacklisted, is now being shopped around by my agents, and early interest sounds promising. I've just finished another novel and am about to begin writing a sequel to it.
So basically, a day in my life begins with getting up and going straight to the computer to check on my overflowing inbox. I then like to spend some time either writing or editing, interspersed with some social networking. The social networking, especially on Twitter, really fires my brain in different directions, and I find it actually helps with my novel writing. I use a lot of humor in my networking, which is very different to the high level action of my books. This helps to balance me out, and stops me from getting stuck in a writing 'rut'. After this, I'll usually try to go to the gym, and then go in to sort out some stuff with my shops, or do a shift in one of them. Later on I'll get home and jump back on the computer for more writing, editing, or social networking - or a combination of the three. It's a very exciting existence.
Do you have a current project you’re working on or something you plan to begin soon?
I always have something in the works. Like I said, I just finished the first draft and edit of another novel, and am about to begin working on its sequel. Blacklisted is still getting tweaked and polished while we're waiting to hear back from the publishers, and we're working on getting The Dark Path into print, which is something readers have been clamoring for.
In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of being a published author?
Finding time for everything I want to do. That is definitely the biggest issue. Plans are in the works now for me to step away from being so hands-on with my businesses and focus more on writing full time. Even then, there's always more to do than I can find time for.
What’s the most rewarding?
Getting contacted by a stranger who has read my work and loved it is surely the most rewarding thing. Reader feedback is definitely what authors survive on; it's more important than air or water. I've had people on Twitter contact me out of the blue raving about The Dark Path, and there's nothing else like it in the world. I think that's why authors persevere in the face of all the obstacles that get thrown up in front of them. There is something which drives you on when everything, all of the rejections and shattered hopes, which truly separates an author from just some guy or girl who puts words onto paper. It is an absolute need to have other people share your dreams. Or at least it is for me.
If you could co-author a book with any of your fellow authors or anyone from anywhere, who would you choose and why?
Stephen King. I think he is an absolute master when it comes to thinking outside the box. Strangely enough, his books aren't listed amongst my favorite reads - I'm more of a fan of the late David Gemmell or Raymond E. Feist - but the scope of Stephen King's universe is so huge I know I could learn a lot from him. His writing always gets tagged with the horror label, but often times it is much more than this, and nothing short of genius. I've also studied a lot on his writing process, and find I have a lot of the same traits in the way I approach a project.
Describe your writing process.
I start writing with a simple idea, a kind of 'what if?' scenario and let it pan out on its own from there. For instance with The Dark Path, I began with a single line: "Please don't kill my wife!" After this I thought, Now who would be killing this guy's wife, and why? The story expanded from this simple idea into a tale which encompasses several continents and dimensions, as well as traveling through the psyche of a man used to feeling no conscience who is forced to fight against himself and his instincts right up until the end. Blacklisted was slightly different in that I initially wrote it as a short story, and then found myself yearning to find out what would happen to the main character later on in his life. This story was particularly close to my heart in many aspects, and a lot of the main character, Mike Swanson, is based on myself and my own life experiences. This is probably why I needed it to continue, and thus reveal parts of myself in the process. As with The Dark Path, Blacklisted expanded almost without conscious thought on my behalf and swiftly became a massive story which encompasses almost every continent. Anyway, long story short is that I like my books to almost take on a life of their own while I'm writing them. In this way, not only will the reader be more surprised by the eventualities, but I will be as well. I often feel that the story is already there, and I am just the one to put it into writing.
What is the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
Wow, that is a really hard question. I've seen so many incredible places throughout my travel. From Beijing as a kid with my mother before the Tianemen Square massacre, to Egypt where my wife and I narrowly missed a terrorist bombing by a week (seriously), but where we saw some sights that I'll never, ever forget. I also got into trouble from my wife for bartering (as a joke) with a tribesman for how many camels he would give me for her. From memory, he offered me just over a hundred; I think she should have been flattered....
Yeah, I still haven't heard the last of that one.
Anyway, Paris, Rome and Athens would also have to be high on the list of places I've visited as well, as would Thailand with its myriad of sights and wonderful people. I lived in Fiji for about six months when I was fifteen after my father was killed over there, and a few years ago did some protection work there as well. Once again, the people there are wonderful and it is a beautiful country. The truth of the matter, though, is that it would have to be a toss up between Switzerland and Venice, simply because both places are exactly what I was expecting, whereas many of the other countries were incredible to see, but the reality was somewhat less than the lead up to it. Venice was exactly what I thought it would be like, and I hope to go there again one day. My wife and I stayed in a loft overlooking one of the main canals, and it was just a joy to be there. In Switzerland, we traveled out of the main cities and stayed in a small town in the alps called Murren, 1400 meters up in the Swiss Alps on the edge of a huge cliff looking out into a massive ravine. We even climbed - through my lack of directional skills or common sense - a little hill called Schilthorn, which is about 4000 meters high! That was incredible, and something which will stay with me forever, because I will never, ever do anything so stupid again... maybe.
What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
I'm hoping things will continue to escalate smoothly, and would like to set up a long-term situation with a NYC publisher. But don't we all. It's very early in the game for me at the moment, but things are looking exceptionally promising. The Dark Path has been a category bestseller, often sitting in the #1 position, on all of its distribution sites for the ebook version. The fact that it came in as #8 on the Predators & Editors Reader's Poll for best horror of 2009 - beating out the aforementioned Stephen King who came in at #16 - really gives me hope for the future of my books. And now that my agents at Tribe Literary Agency are doing the groundwork in regards to selling my books, all I have to focus on is churning them out. There has been talk of selling off the film rights for The Dark Path, but that's a long way off at this point. Blacklisted is really going to expand my audience with some serious action and characters which I really love. This is also my first foray into the realm of reality-based fiction as opposed to the more paranormal aspects The Dark Path incorporated, and I'm really excited.END OF INTERVIEW
I want to give huge thank you for Luke for being a part of my celebration here for Authorpalooza! Thank you, Luke!!
To find out more about Author Luke Romyn and his adventures:
Here's a little info about The Dark Path which you one you lucky commenters can win a download copy of it!
The Dark Path
Wild Child Publishing
Book Length: Novel
Read Online Extract here
New York’s underworld quivers at the mention of his name. Evil courses through his veins like blood and his conscience has lain dormant for over a decade while he has slashed and burned his way to the top of the food chain. Vain.
The Dark Man, born of torment into an existence of death. In the underworld of killers he reigns supreme. And yet he is chosen for a task of supreme benevolence. Why would he be selected to save a young boy, the Avun-Riah, and then protect him against a horde of enemies, both mortal and demonic? Because he is the only one with any hope of success.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have risen from the pits of Hell and, along with a fanatical army of cultists, are ranged against Vain. If the boy is slain then Sordarrah will be raised to destroy the Earth, a feat even Lucifer never managed.
Evil is being used to fight evil in the ultimate battle for the outcome of all existence. Armageddon sits upon the horizon and all that stands in its way is a man whose path has always been dark.
To win a download copy of The Dark Path just:
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukeRomyn, tweet a hello to Luke and tell him V sent ya! And tweet about this giveaway with #Authorpalooza tag and include this link here: http://bit.ly/c2l9X6
For extra points you can also stalk Luke on Facebook I mean friend on Facebook here
And answer me this:
What's a few of your favorite fictional bad boys or girls?