CA: How did you choose your pen name?
LB: Well I once played a game and one of the characters in the game had the name Lucien. I loved the name and combined it with Black, which I thought was a good solid last name. What I later found out was that Lucien means light and well black signifies dark so it turned out to be a very cool play on words.
CA: What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
LB: I write fiction stories, which I classify as Science Fiction/Fantasy. With my series, No Vacancies, I am introducing readers to four completely different storylines; each one with different elements of fiction. For example, One More Sunday is about a detective that investigates the death of one of the city’s superheroes known as the Protector. In Outcast, I blend horror and action adventure. Therefore, readers can experience multiple tales that all have unique characters and storylines. Some of these stories will continue in future volumes and others will be self-contained. I really feel that this format keeps the storytelling very fast paced and makes the reader come back for more.
CA: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LB: When I was 19, I fell in love with the notion of writing. Within three years, I had successfully brought together a few creators and we self published a comic book. That was an exciting time and we were thrilled to see it in print. I have multiple titles that I wrote as comic book series, but I am in the process of transforming all of them into the short story/serialized fiction format used in No Vacancies. Volume 1 includes three of those stories (High Stakes, Outcast and One More Sunday) and one unique story that I wrote as a short story.
CA: Who or what was your inspiration for writing?
LB: I had a very long writing dry spell after some long personal strife. I met my wife about four years ago and my life has changed infinitely for the better. She is my rock, my support and my inspiration to keep with whatever I do. She backs me 200% and forces me to stick with it. I could not imagine my life without her.
CA: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
LB: Well since I work a full time job, I write when I can. I have my lunch hour devoted to either school or writing and that has really focused my energy. Outside of that, I write on the weekends and when I have spare moments.
CA: Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?
CA: What was your biggest challenge in writing your book(s)?
LB: My biggest concern as a writer is definitely confidence in my work. I am without a doubt my own worst critic and tend to be hard on my work. Writing a story that draws the reader in, gives them an exciting ride and leaving them wanting either to know more about a particular character or to read the next part of a story and doing it well is a major obstacle. In the end, I just have to let the chips fall where they may and see what turns out.
CA: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
LB: I work a full time job and spend my spare time with my wife and family. I try to write when I have the free time and that is usually early in the morning or during lunch hour. That has become my ritual writing and study hall, as I am a part time student as well.
CA: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
LB: No Vacancies is my first book, but it really contains four different stories. I think my favorite story is One More Sunday, though years ago if you asked me that question that answer would have been different. I had only intended to write OMS as a self-contained story, but because of the feedback, I think the characters from One More Sunday will be back again soon. After that, it is a tossup.
CA: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
LB: Honestly a little of both. Most of my characters are from my imagination but I try to infuse certain characteristics of other people or myself. I think what personal experiences bring is that absolute sense of realism. One of the main problems in comic book writing is that many writers miss adding in those life experiences. If you are trying to accept characters as real, there has to be that human element. Divorce, death, loss of jobs are all critical aspects of life that should be blended in with the action or horror. When I started re-writing these stories and redeveloping my characters, I added in many elements from my own life that I thought would add that sense of realism.
There may be a few supporting characters that are thrown in for, let’s say cathartic release, but any similarity to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
CA: Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?
LB: Stick with it. It can be a long and hard road to get published (even self published). Stay confident and keep writing. I tried so many times to get my writing out there. When I finally saw the finished product in my hands, my knees went weak.
CA: How can a reader contact you or purchase your books?
LB: I would love reader feedback. They can contact me at email@example.com or they can connect through my website http://www.lucienblackbooks.com/. I have links to my blog and various other sites. The book is available on Amazon.com and Lulu.com.
CA: Thanks Lucien for an awesome interview. I first heard the name Lucien in a movie… maybe Gladiator and loved it as well. LOL I guess your pen name is contradictory but it works right?!