Monday, April 2, 2012

Alan Lewis' Bloody Garden

Some titles resonate with you and grab you by the throat. That's the way it is with Alan Lewis' novel The Blood in the Snowflake Garden. Six words and I'm hooked.

So I was thrilled that he loans us a bit of his time to chat with us about his work.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

The Blood in Snowflake Garden is my first novel, released by BeWrite Books in December. Set in an alternate 1965 at Santa’s North Pole, the novel revolves around the murder of the Premier of the NP. Max Sneed, a retired police chief is called back to duty in investigate the high profile killing. Helping him along is Rob Watson, a London reporter. It is through Rob’s eyes that we see what life is really like at the top of the world. The novel is a gritty, hardboiled detective story at its core.  Make no mistake about it; this isn’t the kind of funny, goofy tale that’d be made into a Tim Allen movie. Political intrigue, Cold War politics, infidelity and racial tensions are just some of the obstacles facing the citizens of the NP and lend motive to the many suspects of the killing.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?  

I’m an amateur historian, so I love alternate history or using historical themes as a basis for a story. Also, dark comedy is a must for me.

What would be your dream project?    

My next novel is a steampunk adventure. I dream is that it will be received well enough to turn into an ongoing series, maybe movies, and will generate more money than the Harry Freakin Potter books.  Well, you do say ‘dream’, right?

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?
 
I’m too much of an editor and perfectionist to ask me that question. I look at everything I’ve done and start rethinking how it should have been done.

What inspires you to write?    

Bad writing will inspire me faster than anything. When I read or hear something awful, I think to myself, ‘Damn, my kids could have done better.’  Then to prove I’m better, I start writing.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?   

Hard question. There have been many that I’ve enjoyed over the years and that have helped shape my style.  Douglas Adams has always been a favorite of mine. Although my humor isn’t as farfetched as his, I do find myself thinking of the times when I would laugh my butt off at a particular line and it makes me look for ways of inserting my own brand of humor into a scene. Tom Clancy’s way of taking a mammoth storyline, filled with dozens of subplots and yet making it all come together in the end has always fascinated me. I feel like BSG was like that, plenty of subplots that I had to bring together at the end. I studied his writing as a way of pulling that novel together in the end.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why? 

I’d said it would depend on whose writing we’re looking examining. Some writers are true masters at grammatical form, structuring and word choices. Those writers can use the beauty of words to hide the imperfections in their plots or flat characters. Other writers are gifted at the art of storytelling. They may not be the best writers, but damn they can tell a great story that will keep you turning the pages.  The true masters are those few among us that are skilled at both.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?     

My second novel will be a steampunk tale due out this summer called The Lightning Bolts of Zeus. It’s a steampunk action/adventure novel, which will be the first in The Hawke Girl’s Series.  After that, I’ve got a dark comedic werewolf novella, Wild Pooch, due out in October.

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To learn more about Alan's work, visit: http://www.snowflakegarden.com.