Today I feature an interview with Lorne Oliver, a fellow Canadian and author of Red Island. Welcome Lorne, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.
I always find writing about myself to be the hardest thing to do. Hi, I’m Lorne. I’ve lived in almost every region of Canada. Currently I live in Saskatchewan. If you ever get the chance to cross our great country this is the part where you hear things in the car like: are we there yet? Oh look, another field…and my favorite – am I being punished for something? Geez, can you ever tell I’m not from here. I have a great wife and two great kids. When I’m not writing I’m cooking or watching crime shows on TV and movies…okay I’m probably thinking about writing while doing all of that.
Tell us about your writing process?
My writing process changes subtly, but is basically the same. I’m one of those guys who always has a notebook at arms-reach so most of my first draft is done old school with pen and paper. As I type it up I put it through a sort of rewrite. For the second draft I print what I have and go over it with a pen editing what is there and often writing in completely new scenes. In RED ISLAND I added some new scenes and polished a lot, but the bulk of it is what was first written. In RED SERGE, my second novel to be released the end of August, I wrote a brand new chapter and completely changed the ending resulting in killing off a main character. As for the inevitable outline or not outline question, every story I have ever outlined I have gotten bored with and never finished. I do, however do a LOT of research for these books.
Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
Two really. I’ve written a couple of good “romance from a male perspective” books. One I refer to as a mix of Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity and Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember. I keep getting encouragement to polish them up and publish them but they are my first children so I’m a little protective. The second genre would be something to do with YA. Probably YA fantasy.
Awesome! What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
On Writing by Stephen King – It gave me insights into writing and publishing.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – This book showed me that we all have a voice and we can use that to tell our own story. As long as the story is good people will want to read it.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – The story is so simple and yet so grand. There’s a good side and a bad side. One simple action leads to a bigger eruption and in the end everything comes to a complete circle and everything is tied up neatly.
As for the rest, I can’t pick specific books. Writer’s like Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, and Michelle Gagnon inspire my writing… Clive Cussler’s books are a great source of how to write action… there are too many.
Great choices! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?
In the past my main characters have always looked like a much better looking version of me. When I wrote Red Island I pictured certain people in the roles of some of the characters. For Reid I pictured Jason Wiles who played Bosco on the TV show Third Watch, for Deborah English I thought of Elisha Cuthbert, and the only other character who I thought of a real person for was the bad guy. It’ll seem strange, but when I wrote his physical description I thought of the singer Michael Bublé. I think he was on TV at the time I was writing it.
Bosco was one of my favourite characters on Third Watch and Jason Wiles has a great list of career credits! What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
Go back to bed because I was probably still dreaming. I’m not saying my books aren’t good enough to make the list, my Mom loves them, but the competition out there is amazing.
Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
My wife would say that writing is my vice. I wake and go to the kitchen with my notebook in my hand. I take it in the car when we go out because you never know when something will spark an idea. I get home from work and I sit in my corner with my computer. And when I’m not writing I am talking about the ideas or characters or my latest blog tour, and on and on.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
There is such a time? Ha,ha,ha I’m usually cooking or watching some favorite shows on TV. I love crime shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order, but I’m a geek at heart so I also love The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I also enjoy the time with my two kids and wife.
Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.
This is from a book titled THE CISTERN, hopefully out in December. It’s completely different characters from the other two books.
Maeve scrunched her face as her teeth tore at the flesh of the other woman’s arm. She chewed quickly and swallowed hard. She tried not to think about what it tasted like. Her stomach lurched wanting to reject what she was putting in her body.
She closed her eyes and tried to remember what daisies smelled like, what sun on her skin felt like. She imagined the ocean’s water lapping against her belly. She could almost feel the breeze coming in with each wave.
Her chest suddenly burned. She felt the fire shoot up through her throat. On instinct she turned fast. The brick wall scratched hard against her forehead. Pain and heat cracked through her skull. Her body fell back. Water splashed up over her naked skin.
Sounds great! Now let’s take a quick look at Red Island… (Clicking on the cover will take you directly to Amazon!)
Was it the nightmare that woke Reid or the phone ringing in the middle of the night that brought on the dream? Sgt. Reid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police moved his family to Prince Edward Island, “The Gentle Island,” to get away from crime and homicides. He had to get away from the nightmares and concentrate on his family.
It’s a lovely place to live. The sound of the ocean crashing against sandy beaches, sand dunes covered in tufts of dancing green grass…
…And then there is the young woman hanging from a tree. It isn’t a gentle island any more.
It’s Ben’s world. Whether we live or die is all up to him and Reid is going to have to play his game.