Author Lucian Barnes Answers Questions

What got you writing ?


I can’t recall what originally drew me to write as a pre-teen, but I do remember being inspired by the old Scooby Doo cartoons as well as the Hardy Boys series of mystery books. Life kind of got in the way for a while, but I took up my pen again a few years back as the result of prodding from a good friend.

Why do you write horror ?

Two phrases that I hear a lot come to mind. The first being, “Write what you know,” and the second, “Write what you would like to read.” Both of these are reasons why I write what I do. I like to draw from personal experiences while writing, then twist things around a bit to fictionalize them. Though, there are still some situations that people who know me personally will read a passage and say, “Hey, I remember that!” Even material used in the Desolace Series is created this way, though much of the story’s plot and direction comes from my subconscious as I dream at night.

Something I have always wondered, how do you pick names for your characters ?

More often than not, the names suggest themselves to me while I write. Perhaps the characters influence my decisions regarding their names by some weird form of telepathy, who knows? What I do know is that there are very few instances where I actually sit down and try to figure out each character’s name ahead of time, and in those cases I generally use a random name generator and cycle through the results until I see something I like.

How do you work ? Do you have a set number of words to be written daily ? Do you play music ?

Most of the time, I write at the desk in what many people would consider my office, writing cave, or something similar. I prefer to call it my “torture chamber,” mainly because it sounds more fitting. After all, sometimes it feels as if I am holding my characters captive, so I can poke and prod them at my convenience to watch how they react.

As for my other routines, I don’t listen to music at all when I’m writing. During a break from writing, maybe, but otherwise I need almost total silence to concentrate. Outside distractions make it difficult for me to hear what my characters are whispering in my ears. I also treat writing as if it were, what some would consider, “a normal job”; I work during the day, Monday through Friday, like most do and give myself the weekend to recharge. I try not to put too much pressure on myself, as far as word count is concerned, but still strive to get at least one thousand words written each day.

How do you plan for a book, or do you plan at all?

I rarely plan out a book, other than the points I want to touch upon while writing. Though, I do make up detailed character descriptions and notes to keep me on track. That way, I can keep all my “ducks” in a row and maintain consistency throughout a book. If a character has been altered during the story somehow, either by injury or other means, I jot this information down so I don’t lose track and have a character doing something they shouldn’t be able to do. On some projects the story is so complex that I need an outline to keep everything straight, but that is rarely the case.

What are your plans for your Desolace series ?

Very few things are “etched in stone” with the series. What I do know is where each book will start and end. Aside from that, the characters decide the direction the series will take, as they control what happens between the front and back of a book, and they have a nasty tendency to throw curve balls at me by doing something I didn’t expect. I can, however, tell you that when the series is complete it will span seven books.

Do you have something you’re working on now ?

Currently, I am working on a few things. My main project at the moment is the fifth book of the Desolace Series, which will be called Cemetery Hill. One of my side projects is a book of short stories that I am tentatively naming, Fractured Reflections. Another side project is a sci-fi/horror novel about a shape-shifting alien, though I haven’t pinned down a title for that one.

Who are some of your favorite authors ?

Stephen King, JH Glaze, and Anne Rice.

You were nominated for Best Horror book of 2013. Tell me about that .

To be honest, it was a shock. Destined for Darkness had only been out for about a month when I found out that it had been nominated for Horror Book of the Year. The nomination surprised me a lot, but mainly because I didn’t think many people knew about the book. When the nomination period closed, and I discovered that my book was a finalist for the award, I was blown away! It was a very bumpy and emotional ride, for quite a while I was so excited I could hardly breathe, but in the end another great author won the award. It was still an honor to make it as far as I did, and I look forward to seeing if I can muster up another nomination this year.

Anything else you would like to add ?

With my current progress on the fifth book of the Desolace Series, I am expecting the writing portion of the project to be completed sometime in February of 2014. It will be sent out to my beta readers shortly thereafter, revisions will be made, then it will be sent to my editor for the final polish. I am fairly certain the book will be available by March of 2014, or April at the latest.

There  ya have them 🙂

Thank you so much for answering my questions 🙂


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