The 5 Questions of Writing by guest author Louis K Lowy
It is a great pleasure to have the noted American author, Louis K Lowy, share his writing habits with us on the blog today. Louis has three published novels, Die Laughing, Pedal and To Dream (Anatomy of a Humachine #1). All of these have received critical acclaim. I am grateful to Louis for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop by today.
Thank you, Val, for allowing me to appear on your blog. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
1) When do you write?
I used to write Monday thru Friday a minimum of three hours a day (15 hours a week). I did that for around eight or nine years, but I’ve recently cut back on that schedule, mainly because I feel like I need a breather, and because I’ve got two completed novels, and another scheduled for release in May, so I’m ahead of the game. Another factor is with all of that writing under my belt, I feel like I’m quicker and better at it than when I first began, meaning I can get more accomplished, now, in a shorter period then I used to.
My current schedule amounts to a minimum one hour on Monday, two hours on Tuesday, one hour on Wednesday, one hour on Thursday, and two hours on Friday (7 hours a week). The reason my writing schedule varies is due to my gym workouts. I exercise on Mondays (twice a day), Wednesdays (twice a day), and Thursdays. It eats up a lot of my time, but I feel like it’s important to keep in shape and hopefully avoid health problems, which would really stifle my ability to write.
On my one-hour writing days, I usually begin when I return from the gym – which is around 1:00 or 1:30. On my two-hour writing days, I start my first hour of writing shortly after I’m out of bed, which is around 7am. I may stop for breakfast, then finish off the second hour.
2) How do you write?
I do my plotting and initial research in longhand. I usually have a couple of books to read before I can begin, and will reference in longhand particular pages or info that I need. Longhand is more convenient because I’m not restricted to being in front of the computer. I can also jot down things quickly and arrange them in a format that is conducive to my train of thought. When I’m done with that process, I usually transfer my notes to a word doc and print them out. I keep a notebook for every novel. It’s filled with those notes, and who knows what else—anything pertaining to the story. Once I actually begin writing the novel proper, I’m strictly on a word processor. It’s easier to bounce around, change names, correct spelling, etc. etc., though I will keep some handwritten notes as I go along. For instance, here’s a good tip; write down all of the names of your characters as they enter your tale. For some reason, nearly every one of us accumulates character’s names in our novel that begin with the same letter: Ray, Riana, Raquel, Rory. This will very easily point that out. Also, with a lot of characters being introduced or passing through, I tend to forget who’s who, and this helps me sort things out. Basically, I’m organizing, which is a huge help in constructing the book.
3) What do you write?
I’m pretty eclectic. I wrote a humor poem, “Poetry Workshop (Mary had a little lamb)” that finished second place in Winning Writers’ Wergle Flomp Humor poetry contest, which had over seven hundred entries. My first published piece was a non-fiction story. But mainly I started out writing fictional short stories and was fortunate to have a good portion of them published. They ranged in subject from a man dealing with Alzheimer’s, to a priest questioning his faith, to the story of a boy, a serial killer and a ghost dog. From my short stories I gradually drifted to novels. My first published book, Die Laughing, is a humorously dark sci-fi adventure that takes place in the 1950s. My second novel, Pedal, is a contemporary women’s novel about a 49 year old music teacher who is laid off and fights to reclaim her life back through bicycle racing, my next novel To Dream: Anatomy of a Humachine I, centers around an A.I. struggling to find his humanity. My latest novel—The Second Life of Eddie Coyne, due out in May, is about a dying gambler who takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize — to save his soul. Currently I’m working on a crime novel, and book II of Anatomy of a Humachine.
4) Why do you write?
I write because I love it. I played bass for many years in original music bands and it was always a compromise, a give and take, an amalgamation of ideas. That’s not to say it was a bad thing. Many times the sum of the whole was greater than the individual parts. Still, what writing allows me to do is realize my vision unfiltered. It also allows me to express parts of me through my characters that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) normally do. I get to explore issues that I’m interested in. It’s a lot of work, but what’s not to love about that?
5) Where do you write?
I have the most wonderful room in my house. One wall is nothing but a bookshelf packed with books that I love, reference material, and my favorite DVDs. Hanging on the other three walls are classic 1950s and 1960s horror and sci-fi movie posters that I also love. Everything from Forbidden Planet to Night of the Living Dead. I also have my bass and an acoustic guitar in the room in the event I get the urge to noodle around with them. I have vintage collectible super-hero action figures, and horror/sci-fi models displayed in a couple of cases. Of course, my desk is there (a bit cluttered I have to admit) along with my laptop, printer, etc. This room allows me to envision and create—it really is lovely.
Thanks again, Val, for this wonderful opportunity to appear on your blog. I had a great time.
TO DREAM, book one of his science fiction epic, ANATOMY OF A HUMACHINE (IFWG Publishing), was released in 2017.
Louis K. Lowy’s first published novel, DIE LAUGHING (IFWG Publishing 2011), is a humorously dark science fiction adventure set in the 1950s.
His 2015 novel, PEDAL (Rereleased in 2017 by IFWG Publishing), tells the story of a 49-yr-old music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life through bicycle racing.
Louis’ short stories have appeared in, among others, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin Magazine, the anthology Everything is Broken, and the Chaffey Review.