Back with another interview. Hope everyone is being safe, today’s is with Lucas Pederson. Hope you guys enjoy!
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
- Hi! I live in a small Iowa town and started out by drawing in my early teens, truth be told. Every drawing, I wrote a short story. Eventually I began writing more than drawing and, around 2004, got serious about my writing and learning my craft. If not for a writing group in the old Zoetrope, I might not have ever published anything. Those folks were fantastic. They still are. I owe so much to all of them.
- I write anything from horror to YA. Recently, I’ve been interested in dark fantasy or grimdark fiction. I tend to write alot of science fantasy with horror elements.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
- It all stems from an idea. Sometimes two ideas merge. Or even three. Just depends, I guess. I have a pretty vivid mind’s eye, so I see the characters there. I know their traits, ect. In the end, though, I just write. I write the story scratching at the walls of my skull to be let out.
Tell the world about your current project!
- I’m finishing up a sea thriller titled, BLACK WATER for Severed Press. My next project is a novella titled, THIS IS THE HOUSE. About four people with dark pasts trapped in an old house where they must find certain keys to escape each room, but with a cost. It’s not a game, though, and the house has other plans. Think Saw meets Hell House.
Who would you say is the main character of your latest novel? And tell me a little bit about them!
- In my current project? That would be Hannah. She’s inspired by my middle daughter with a dry sense of humor and fearless. Well, until she meets something she actually fears…
Have you been to any conventions? If so, tell me a little about them!
- Unfortunately, I haven’t been. Had a few opportunities here and there, but they fell through. It’s something I really want to do so I can meet all my author friends in person! Someday, perhaps. Someday.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
- I would say around 16 or 17 years old. It was about the time I began falling in love with stories more than drawing (which I still love).
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
- Northern Minnesota. There’s just something about all the tress and lakes which sparks ideas and beams serenity.
What advice would you give new writers?
- Write. Just write. And keep writing until your story is finished. Wait a week, then go back and read what you wrote. Rewrite, of necessary. This is not a career to go in half-assed. You want to make sure the story and characters are they best they can be. Three drafts per novel. That’s the sweet spot
Though I’ve only done two drafts in the past. You want to be sure your vision is as perfect as you need before releasing it into the wild. Also, make friends. Don’t be an asshole. Support your fellow authors as best you can
Because, unless you get extremely lucky, you’re not Stephen King yet.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding?
- The current world we live in is a large inspiration. The unknown. The possibility of a real apocalypse. All that. I envisioned a world not dilapidated by disease, but a microscopic robot. I wrote this story long before Covid-19, but it all kind of fits now. Definitely not intended.
What inspires you to write?
- Everything. An idea or two…or three combining to create some new. Real life. I have too many stories clawing around in my head. That sort of thing. Inspiration is everywhere.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
- Finding the best time to write is difficult sometimes. I hate writing all night, but it seems to be the only time when the house is quiet. I don’t have an office to lock myself in, so I’m at that mercy of my family until they go to sleep, heh.
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not?
- I sit down at the kitchen table every night around 10:30 or 11 and write until however long it takes me to get to 3k words. Trust me, I don’t come close some nights, but at least there are some words written. That’s the main thing, get those words down as best you can. That’s the goal. Some nights go very well…other nights suck fuzzy donkey balls.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in any of your books, and why?
- There’s a scene in my YA book, THE SKIN FACTORY, where Death dances around this old ballet studio wearing a tutu and trying to coax our protagonist (a soul trapped inside a different body) to dance with it. However, a dance with Death is to die. That scene rolled out so vividly to me I still remember every detail.
Did you learn anything from writing your latest book? If so, what was it?
- Pacing, perhaps. A lot of my thrillers go balls to the wall and don’t typically let up until about the end. This one I went with a slower pace which gradually ramps up.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A gardener or an architect?
- Pantser. Not say that I might jot down a summary of the story or a short synopsis here and there. Mostly, though, I’m a pantser. I love being surprised while a story unfolds before me. I love the organic feel of it.
If you had to give up either snacks and drinks during writing sessions, or music, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to?
- Drinks, probably. Especially of the alcohol variety, ha ha. Even so, I like having either coffee or water near at hand while writing.
Which is your favorite season to write in, and why?
- Fall or winter seem to be my prime writing seasons. I tend to write more horror during the fall and more thrillers, fantasy and science fiction during winter. Not exactly sure why, except for maybe the gloominess sparks my imagination. I dunno. I’m weird.
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
- I have one of those “mind’s eye” things. I can see every character. But that’s the physical part. The internal stuff comes from something deeper. I tend to claim most of us writers have a form of multiple personality disorder. We can be whoever the character needs us to be. And through placing yourself as the character, you eventually come to understand him/her. Might not happen right away, though gradually. That’s how it is for me, anyway.
What are your future project(s)?
- I have the horror novella, THIS IS THE HOUSE, releasing in a few months. Saw meets Hell House. There are a couple books I have contracted through Severed Press. One about an Old West gunslinger falling into a lost world where he must fight off both hungry dinosaurs and the outlaws he was hired to kill. The other is a play on the Loch Ness Monster. During World War 1, a Russian scientist fleeing for his life drops a creature that would soon be known as Nessie in the lake. A creature bred in a lab to be a ravenous secret weapon that goes dormant every fifteen years. After those books, I’ll have a grimdark fantasy being released titled, GORECROW. And, if I have time, write a third book for my Cryptid Force Six series.
What is your favorite book ever written?
- Oh, man. That’s a tough one. I like them all. But if I were to choose one, it’d be CLINT CLUSTERFUK. That book was a blast to write.
Who are your favorite authors?
- Another tough question. The list is nearly endless. But, if I had to name a few, they’d be:
Michael R. Fletcher
Stephen Graham Jones
What makes a good villain?
- One who is not always evil, or rather, doesn’t see himself/herself as evil. We’re all the heroes in our own stories, right? A villain is no different. Also, they need to be a little empathetic. They need to have emotions, just like our hero and not the cliché chuckling guy in the shadows, twisting his mustache.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Read. Draw. Play guitar. Fishing and camping. Spending time with family.
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
- Either an animator, comic book artist, or CGI specialist.
Coffee or Tea? Or (exult deep breath) what other drink do you prefer, if you like neither?
- Coffee. Always…coffee.
You can travel to anywhere in the universe. Where would you go, and why?
- Not sure if this means fictional or real universe as we know it today. In the semi-realness, I’d dive into Jupiter and see if it’s really made of gases. All that swirling…might be a front for hiding life. Aliens, man…aliens…
Do you have any writing blogs you recommend?
- Not that I can think of off the top of my head.
Do you have any writer friends you’d like to give a shoutout to?
- I did above a bit for favorite authors, but yeah, all of those are friends, except Stephen King, heh. All of them are amazing writers and I highly recommend each and every one of them.
Pick any three fiction characters. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
- Conan. Wolfman. Hannibal Lecter. We’re one our way to Minnesota when the drugs take hold…
What superpower would you most like?
- Speed. Can you imagine how much I could write if I was as fast as the Flash!?
What are two of your favorite covers of all time? (Not your own.)
- Rob Hayes’s, NEVER DIE. Patrick Freivald’s, IN THE GARDEN OF RUSTING GODS.
It’s a very difficult time right now for the world. When quarantine and pandemic comes to an end, what is the first thing you would like to do?
- Go to an authentic Mexican restaurant and a family vacation.
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
- I’m most active on Facebook, www.facebook.com/lucas.pederson5 . I pop onto Twitter sometimes, @pederson_lucas. And I can also be reached at my email, email@example.com
My latest book, WYNTER’S EDGE, can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0869PFSXL?tag=speculativefic05&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1