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Author of "Tourist", Lucas Bantner, Answers 20 Questions

By Novelreads @NovelReads


Lucas Bantner
the multi-talented author of

Lucas Bantner very gamely agreed to answer 20 questions when I asked him if he'd be willing to let me interview him. Read his answers and get to know him better!  
1) What genre do you generally write and what drew you to this genre?
I'm a nerd, which lends itself to Science Fiction quite handily. I don't think this is a bad thing in any way. I love science and technology, and I'm smart enough to understand most things in those categories. Following from that, I find an almost unethical amount of pleasure in making up technology that is based on enough facts that it could, in some way, be considered almost feasible, but at the same time is completely outlandish.
2) What have you had published to-date?

The only work of significance that has been published is my novel, Tourist. However, go back five or six years, and my first actual paid publication came when I was paid ten dollars to write a tongue-in-cheek story for a dating website. My story borrowed a bit too much from real life, though, and some very nice people got very mad at me. So I asked the people who ran the website to take the story down and returned my payment.

3) Have you self-published any of your work?
Does it count if I paid to print out a handful of copies of the draft of "Tourist" and gave them to friends and family?
4) Do you read eBooks or do you prefer “regular” books?
I greatly prefer regular books. This might be because I don't have an actual ebook reader at the moment. Maybe picking one up would help turn me to the dark side.
5) Do you have a favorite fictitious character?
This changes about as often as my favorite movie or my favorite band. If I had to pick one right now, I'd probably go with Toru Okada, the lead character from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. He is, in every way, the most boring human being the world has ever known, and yet all of these completely fantastic, hysterical, unnatural and bizarre things keep happening to him.
6) How important do you think a book titles and covers are? And did you have a say in yours?
Is my publisher going to read this? I might just go ahead and plead the Fifth.
7) What are you working on at the moment?
Far more things than I will probably ever finish. Two, maybe three more novels in the Tourist/The Immutable series; a story about space, three-dimensionality, and alcohol; a short story about a guy who starts getting letters from his dead ex-girlfriend; a collection of songs based on the lyrics written by Thomas Pynchon; Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C Minor, op. 111; a set of ambient/electronic pieces; and designing a website to show all of these things to the world.
8) Do you have time to write every day?
Yes. Do I actually spend that time writing? Not always...
9) Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, do you have any tips on how to beat it?
It seems like I always have writer's block. Which I know is a ridiculous statement, because I write all the time. But even now I'm filling out this questionnaire rather than working on any of the things mentioned in my response to question number 7. When all else fails, I tend to resort to my dreams. I keep a notepad and pencil next to my bed, so when I wake up delirious in the middle of the night, I can scribble down whatever nonsense was spiraling through my dreaming brain. Nine times out of ten it's useless, but that one gem more than makes up for it. Also, read. I write infinitely better when I am reading regularly.
10) Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
A little bit of both. In the early stages of a writing project I tend to just write fast and furiously, letting whatever ideas I may have fall onto the page. If I keep at this for long enough, I usually notice that many of the ideas are of a similar theme, or revolve around the same set of characters, or have other relationships between them. As I start to explore those relationships, the story starts coming together. At that point I write a rough outline, and then start filling in that outline with actual words.
11) How does it make you feel when you hand your work over to an editor once you’ve completed a manuscript?
Nervous, scared, excited, stressed out.
12) Do you have to do much research for your writing? 
I love research, but it can be a dangerous thing. Sometimes I spend more time on Wikipedia than I do actually writing. For Tourist I spent a lot of time researching geography; making sure my characters were visiting places that actually existed, as well as trying to understand how people in those places act and talk. Then again, my novel is about giant machines that hold the world together. Sometimes a reader appreciates things that are completely made up.
13) How do you deal with rejection from publisher/agents?
14) Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
I've entered one or two over the years, but haven't won anything. It's been long enough since I have that I couldn't really recommend anything in particular.
15) What do you enjoy most/least about writing?
I've spent a number of years working office jobs where it was not clear what, if anything, I had produced over the course of my employment. With writing there is a very real, tangible thing that is produced that I can take and show to people and say "hey, look, I made this." That feeling is very satisfying.
16) What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I could say "write something every day," which you should, but everyone says that. So I'll change it a bit: read something every day. Reading is every bit as important to writing as writing is.
17) If you could invite anyone from any era for a cup of coffee in your living room, who would you choose?
Alexander Scriabin.
18) Do you have a favorite quote?
I sort of feel the same way about this question as I do about question 5, re: my favorite fictional character. I'm not big on motivational posters depicting soaring eagles, and the quotes that tend to stick in my head are left an impression on me personally because they are either powerful or silly. I will not choose between the first two that came to mind; both are the opening sentences of great stories, both of which were strong enough for me to shut the book, take it to the bookstore counter, and buy it. First, Stephen King's The Gunslinger, Dark Tower Book One: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Second, George Saunders' TheBrief and Frightening Reign of Phil: "It's one thing to be a small country, but the country of Inner Horner was so small only one Inner Hornerite at a time could fit inside, and the other six Inner Hornerites had to wait their turns to live in their own country while standing very timidly in the surrounding country of Outer Horner."
19) What do you do when you’re not writing?

Making noise; practicing piano, playing one of the dozens of instruments I've collected over the years, designing software music systems, thinking about getting back to writing that opera I began eight years ago. Also, I spend a lot of time playing hockey and soccer.
20) What do you think the future holds for you as a writer?
It holds exactly what I am willing to put into it.
"Tourist" by Lucas Bantner is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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