Mr. Lukeman has generously offered to give away 10 ebook copies of White Jade!!
K.T. Hello and welcome. I am very excited to have you here today. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
A.L I've been writing since I was a kid. I used to send stories to the sci-fi magazines, starting when I was around twelve. Lots of rejection letters! My first book was a Sword and Sorcery novel called The Bane of Kanthos, published by ACE paperbacks in 1969 under the pen name of Alex Dain. It had a fantastic Gray Morrow cover. I'm trying to track down the rights to see if I can re-release it. I'm a former Marine, I ride old, fast motorcycles and I play folk guitar. Did that for a living for ten years. I've calmed down a lot in the last few years...
K.T. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
A.L. Well, I have a lot of trouble with the first 5000 words or so. I get them down, then I am never satisfied, even after I've revised the whole draft many times. I revise as I go, working over the previous day's work, so the first draft is really a second or third. Takes time, about 9 or 10 months for completed book. I'm never fully satisfied, but there comes a point where you just have to stop. I read a lot and I think I learn the most from contemporary writers like Robert Crais, James Lee Burke, Nelson DeMille, Steve Berry, Diana Gabaldon--I could go on. Lee child is a favorite.
K.T. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
A.L. Don't know, really. After that first book I went to Spain and thought I WAS a writer and wrote a sequel (ACE wanted one). The book is long lost, and maybe it would fly now in these darker times, but back then it didn't cut it. It was very, very dark, more of an eruption of the unconscious than a novel. Then I started writing non-fiction around 1990. I had several books traditionally published with moderate success and a few fair advances. Non-fiction does not interest me now.
K.S. What genre do you write?
A.L. I write thrillers, fast paced page turners featuring the Project, a covert counter-terrorism unit that reports only to the President. Strong male and female primary protagonists, sociopathic villains. My characters get in a lot of trouble.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career?
A.L. Good books. Steinbeck, Wolfe, Hemingway, Vonnegut, Camus--the list is very long. I like books with great description, deep characterization and fascinating plots.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
A.L. My wife Gayle is incredibly supportive. She has to listen to me go though the story for months and bore her with details. She's my first reader and she has great ideas. She helps me understand the mystery of the female mind and points out places, much to my chagrin, where I have fallen into the pit of classic masculine misunderstanding.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
A.L. That I really, really enjoy writing. There is nothing like it when I'm in the flow. It's a high that can't be beat, as good as any.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
A.L. White Jade is #1 in the series. It begins with a brutal murder, which leads to the introduction of the female protagonist, Selena Connor. The murdered man was her uncle and a friend of the President, killed for his money and an old book. But the book is missing. Selena comes to the Project and meets Nick Carter. She's a world class expert with ancient languages and highly skilled in martial arts. Nick is a beat up former Recon Marine with PTSD. He has prophetic dreams and hasn't gotten over his dead fiancée. The book may contain the secret of immortality, but a very bad man in China wants the book for another reason. It goes on from there, from Washington to California, from Beijing to Tibet. Naturally, a relationship develops over time between Nick and Selena and she finds herself in a dangerous world very different from the academic world she's used to. The relationship changes both of them.
The Lance is #2 in the series. It continues their story and involves a Nazi conspiracy started during WWII which is now coming to fruition. World War III lurks in the background.
K.S. Where can we find your novels?
A.L. On Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Apple. Here's the link for White Jade on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/White-Jade-ebook/dp/B005EOQMIG/
You can go to my Author Central page on Amazon and find everything there.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
A.L. Thanks for asking, Kolina. The website is http://www.alexlukeman.org
The Blog is http://www.alexlukeman.blogspot.com
The fan site is http://www.facebook.com/alexlukeman
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
A.L. Hey, advice is a lot easier than writing. Mostly it's write every day, or at least five days a week. Start with a scene, any scene. Don't worry about getting it perfect, because you won't. That comes later. Revise many, many times. If you are not competent as an editor, find an editor, because you need one. Mostly, follow the Dalai Lama's advice: "Never give up. No matter what, never give up."