It’s a December Author Spotlight Flood! Clearing out my backlog and getting these authors into the spotlight.
- a former stand-up comedian from Canada, living and writing in Las Vegas
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Wayne Turmel is originally from the small town of Mission, British Columbia, Canada. He now lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After nearly 20 years as a standup comedian, touring through Canada, the US and the Caribbean, he had to run away from the circus and join the real world. He is blessed to have a day job he loves, but this isn’t about that.
He’s written most of his life. Articles and blog posts have appeared in such odd places as Utah CEO Magazine, Writers Digest Online, Huffington Post, and many more. More recently (and why you’re here) he’s been writing fiction professionally since 2014, with the publication of The Count of the Sahara.
He lives with his wife, The Duchess, and Mad Max: Defender of the Realm, the most manly of poodles.
His motto is: Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The rest of us are doomed too, but get to smile smugly and say ‘told you so’.
Wayne, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Oh my gosh, I will have to say Mad Max, my current officemate and most manly of poodles or he gets all in his feelings. Truthfully, the coolest animal is a sea otter. They hang out at the beach, eating sea food off their tummies, which is a serious life goal. We could hang out together.
Puppies and otters, oh my! What a great pair. Land and sea puppies.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
Oh boy, how much time do you have?
My life is split between my nonfiction work (mostly business related, and specializing in management like The Long-Distance Leader, and The Long-Distance Teammate) and my fiction. For purposes of this interview, I’ve written 5 (the fifth just came out in December) novels in a number of genres. Three of my novels are Historical Fiction, and then I have two Urban Fantasy/Detective Thrillers, Johnny Lycan & The Anubis Disk, and the latest sequel, Johnny Lycan & The Vegas Berserker.
I’ve written all my life. I spent almost 18 years as a Standup Comic, so I wrote for my act, as well as articles and even tried screenplays. A couple of those got optioned but I never hit paydirt. When I had to join the real world, I began writing articles and books aimed at business communication and that helped keep my brain creative. When I turned 50, I decided it was time to become a “real” writer and tackle a novel and short fiction. I’ve had a dozen short stories published, and of course, The Count of the Sahara was my first historical fiction novel. Been writing nonstop ever since.
What a great journey.
What do you like to read?
I am Bibliographically Promiscuous (which means I’m a book slut) and will read almost anything. Nonfiction-wise, I love history and biographies. For fiction, it’s broken up between “real literature,” which are books I should read and love, and what I call “Jellybeans,” which are quick fun reads. With jellybeans, I just load stuff on my Kindle and plow through it. Urban Fantasy, Detective Thrillers, Historical Fiction, I devour them all, especially from Indie, mostly unknown, authors. For literary fiction, I love Mark Helprin’s work, In Paris in the Present Tense, his writing was so beautiful it made me want to quit from the shame of not being that brilliant.
What a lovely medley! And I call those binge-able books “popcorn books”. (I think it’s clear we have slightly different snacking preferences.)
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Write what you know.
It’s not bad advice it’s just usually interpreted incorrectly. If you only write your own physical experience, everything I write would be from the point of a sixty-year-old cis-het White Guy who has never been in any kind of physical peril. Not exactly the stuff of best sellers.
I think that’s meant to tap your emotional reserves. We all know fear, we all know pain, and we all have these feelings that make us crazy. Tap into that.
Since I write mostly in the First Person, I love getting to be all “method actor-y” and put myself in positions I’ve never been. I’m not a young German Immigrant in the 1920s, I’m not a 10-year-old biracial orphan during the crusades, and I’m sure not a thirty-year-old Chicago kid who happens to be a werewolf.
I mean, we only have your say-so that you’re not that thirty-year-old werewolf… But I completely agree! The heart of a story is the human experience, with love, hate, and everything in between. As long as the emotional resonance rings true, your story is good.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Don’t edit as you go.
That doesn’t mean I don’t go back after I’ve written a chapter and clean it up, but I don’t obsess and try to make it perfect before writing the next chapter. Revision and editing are crucial, as is getting feedback from critique groups and readers. Do your obsessive, torturous work after the first draft. If you try to make each chapter perfect, you’ll never move on and finish the project.
The world is full of brilliant first chapters that never see the light of day because the author can’t finish the book.
So true! My longtime followers know I’m a NaNoWriMo fast-drafting fan. Even if the rest of my life seems to be editing.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Acre’s Bastard: Book 1: The Holy Land, 1187
Salah-adin is poised to conquer the Kingdom of Jerusalem. For 10-year-old Lucca “the Louse”, it’s life as normal. The streets of Acre—the wickedest city in the world—are his playground. But when a violent act of betrayal leaves him homeless and alone, he’s drawn into a terrifying web of violence, espionage, and holy war.
The murder of a local clerk sends Lucca and the mysterious Brother Marco into a race against time to stop the Kingdom from tearing itself apart and becoming easy prey for their enemies. Can one lone boy save the Crusader Kingdom from disaster at the Horns of Hattin?
This exciting, sometimes wry tale, takes an adult look at the Crusades through the eyes of its most innocent victims—the children.
From the scorching desert to the freezing Midwest… a man struggles against the elements, himself, and those around him
Leading a motley crew of ‘experts’ deep into the Sahara, Count de Prorok is about to make a great discovery. The acclaim of finding the missing tomb of an ancient queen will set him and his family up for life.
But, when plotted against, the money dries up as quickly as the goodwill of his team, and in more ways than one, the Count appears to be stranded and left to the elements.
Johnny Lupul and the Anubis Disk: Book 1
Johnny Lupul is riding high. He’s got a PI license, a concealed carry permit, his first big payday, and a monster of a secret. After rescuing a bookie’s daughter from Russian mobsters, the newbie PI catches the attention of a rich, mysterious client.
At first, it’s easy money. After all, magic isn’t real and those “occult” objects have to be fakes. But while chasing an ancient relic, an obsessed enemy from his past emerges. Johnny learns that the world is much stranger—and more dangerous—than he ever suspected.
Malignant forces dwell in Egyptian artifacts, Romani superstition is fact, and being a werewolf may be the most normal thing he has to face on this case.