Name Paul Levas
Where are you from Antioch IL
I graduated High School from Desert Vista in Ahwatukee Phoenix, Arizona in 2002. My family is from the Northern suburbs of Chicago IL. We moved to Phoenix in 1993. However, I have relocated to Tucson, Arizona
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Currently, I am thrilled to announce that I have a long story, The Circle I Tread, coming out on July 1st, 2016. It includes an excerpt of my debut novel 43. The Circle I Tread is a drama about a man who is shot in his self-help group, and lives to tell about it. 43 is a novel about an abused boy, Jason Dillinger, and befriend his newest neighbors. They give him this mysterious box with the number 43 engraved on it. This box shows him a new life, a life he has never seen. It breathes life into Jason , and Jason breathes his life. That will be out later this year or early 2017. I’ve also been invited to be a part of this Anthology for the International Animal Rescue donations. I have a short story included. Very proud of that. In addition, it was announced the other day, I have a collection of short stories coming soon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing at an early age, my teens. However, I didn’t get serious about making a career until I was in my early twenties.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the beginning. We all start somewhere, right?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and Quinton Tarantino.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I really enjoy starting the action from the first sentence, instead of leading up to a specific situation. However, I use the ‘What if’ scenario a lot.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Circle I Tread involves the traits, good and bad, we develop from past family members. It is a circle that everyone treads, walks. 43? That has been confusion to some friends of ‘Why?’ It involves a major plot point for the main character, John Dillinger.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not one I meant to happen, but yes, there is a message in my upcoming novel and The Circle I Tread. 43? It is frustrating what abused kids go through. The Circle I Tread is basically, we are not perfect, but we’re all people that have mistakes, traits, good and bad.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say, I write what I know and see, but then my imagination takes over.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
Stephen King has influenced me the most.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really enjoy Michael Bray. His storytelling is solid and unique, and it grips me from the start.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My high school sweetheart. Sarah. She didn’t just encourage my writing, but things in my life that led up to my career.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
This is funny. I was in school, and saw that a classmate had SCREAM the screenplay. I left school and bought the screenplay. I went home, read it, and wrote my own short script.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure, I’ll share a bit of a novel called The Vanishing Monkey.
Porter sits at his desk in his tiny office, staring out the window at the stucco wall, and waits for inspiration. The stucco is the prison in which he’s captive: his house. In truth, his house isn’t the prison. The prison is the four-walls of his office where he goes to work every morning. The long bookshelf on his black wooden desk is where the stacked books on writing (How To Write A Novel! On Writing By Stephen King! Plot & Structure! How To Write Great Dialogue) rest beyond his IBM Word Pad. They are no service to him now like they were when he first sat at the same desk and, in five months, punched out his first published novel.
The chandelier gleams through the office, most days setting the mood perfectly, but not today. His daily ROCKSTAR energy drink rests on top the bookshelf beside his stuffed monkey. However, the inspiring taste offers him nothing. The furry-brown monkey isn’t offering him anything either.
Papers and trash litter the tile. He doesn’t care. His desk is what he cares about. His favorite author, Stephen King, stapled to the wall, offers him no guidance either. The bright yellow paper stapled above Stephen King is his own personal affirmation. I AM A WRITER. I AM PUBLISHED. MY NAME IS PORTER WILLIS! The yellow pad beside his IBM has a zero written in black ink. Above the zero, the words ‘Word count’ are written. Lucky Silver, a gift from Brenda, rests on the yellow pad, once his lucky pen, now terrorizes him with each glance.
By God I will write today. I will not again suffer this hell. Lucky Silver shall serve me, not torment me. I need that first sentence. One sentence. Then I shall control the day. It’s a new day (six weeks since that day in Night Owls) and he has to write great fiction. It means his life. What will he write? What if he puts something up for grabs? What will he decide? Right now, he only hopes the first sentence he writes today will bring the inspiration he needs.
The questions haunt him in composition hell. Every author, he figures, understands. You’d have to be a writer to understand the process of writing: creating great ideas and then working on the story until it is perfect, the courage and focus, the determination, the time. For some, it takes a few months, years for others, but no matter the time, writing takes a lot of work.
When he began writing, Porter didn’t understand the development of story, however, since purchasing and reading the books, his talent only grows.
“Then why can’t I do it now?” he asks the silent office. “Why can’t I get back into it? What is wrong with me?”
Pepper leaps to her feet and moves her muzzle under his right arm.
“How are you, girl?” he says brushing his palm over her back. Pepper licks his wrist, and gives him the droopy eyes a dog gives when their sad or begging. Porter can see her mind telling him “Here daddy, I’ll lick your wrist.” He smiles, strokes her back, and rubs her neck. Pepper’s bed has been beside his feet every day since he wrote his first novel. She’s his companion, his only companion after Brenda left, and she’s part of the inspiration. However, today Pepper’s just like the rest. No guidance. What is he going to do? He glances at the Stephen King picture. Stephen help me, I need this. I want this.
The response doesn’t come. He glances at the word count pad, as gooseflesh cover his arms and shivers terrify him. His smile fades and Pepper lies down in her bed. The blank screen of his word processor and the flashing cursor wait patiently, like always. I’m doing what I know. I’m writing what I
know, aren’t I? He doesn’t want to question himself, but six weeks of not writing a single word will do that to a writer. Plus, life without Brenda isn’t making things any better.
Porter’s thought breaks. His eyes open wide and he spins around toward Pepper. His heart thumps rapidly. YES! The image is as thick as when he wrote his first novel. Yes, he’s got an idea, a great, wonderful, spellbinding idea. In fact, it’ll blow his first book out of the water, which he needs badly.
Pepper’s eyes flutter and her body trembles. Just another dream about chasing that damn cat. He thinks, and shifts his eyes toward the blank screen and starts typing.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I can’t pin-point a certain thing, but I can tell you I earn something new everyday.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but planning to soon.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My friend, one of my favorite writers, Michael Bray
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting information I received correct.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up! I met a couple the other day, and the lady told me I want to write a book, but have no time. I told her. “Write one sentence, write one paragrapha a day.”
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy my stories, and that you are entertained.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The second book in THE BILL HODGES SEREIES By Stephen King. Finders Keepers.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My grandfather. Because I’ve heard so much about him, and was a great man.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’m not sure.
Fiona: Other than writing, do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love playing video games, poker, traveling, and road-trips
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Favorite movie is the Back to The Future trilogy
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Italian and Mexican food. Blue is my color, and music. Love punk rock, blues, rap, funk. Social Distortion is my favorite band. Johnny Cash, and Elvis as well.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Be in the business of giving back to disabled, veterans, etc.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so, what is it? Yes. https://www.facebook.com/PAULLEVAS18/?fref=ts