Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Paul Lubaczewski 49
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally, I was born in Philadelphia PA, I grew up outside of the city. For the last 15 years I’ve lived in WV. Philly is a place that humours me, but it does a better job of it from a distance. It only took living in six major cities to discover, that I don’t like living in a city. Better late than never I suppose.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, let’s skip childhood, its depressing really, and a long time ago. I’ve been married for over 21 years now to my wife Leslie, we have a son at home in college, and two adult daughters living north of the Mason-Dixon. As far as education, diplomas in ecology and environmental science, which are kind of useless in a lot of way, but hey, I know things.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Still going through the book tour for my latest novel “I Never Eat…Cheesesteak” my next “Cult of the Gator God” should be arriving just in time to start the whole thing up again. Also have had shorts out recently in Dark Dossier, and the punkploitation anthology “Kids of the Black Hole” from St. Rooster Press
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Been writing my whole life really, I’ve just avoided writing fiction until this decade, mainly because I’m a born contrarian and everyone always said I’d be one. But wrote poetry, and lyrics for a variety of punk bands, then I wrote record reviews for Spark-Plug Magazine. About four years ago, I decided maybe I should stop wasting whatever talents I’m lucky to have, small as they might be.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, I suppose you’re officially one when you get your first piece published. So about 4 years ago when I had my first piece in Schlock! Uk
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had two books running at the same time. One, which hasn’t been published yet, is a big fat doorstop fantasy, which I wrote for the simplest of reasons. My wife wanted one. She’d ran out of things to read, was re-reading a lot of things. So I wrote her a novel. Cheesesteak which is out combines three of my favourite things, horror, Philly, and jokes.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
“I Never Eat…Cheesesteak” is a play on Bela Lugosi’s famous “I never drink….wine.”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
It depends really, if I’m writing shorts I give myself free reign so that’s fun time I guess. Horror Comedy, comedy of any sort really does take a lot of time for revisions. Every additional pass, you add jokes. So if you think, “Well I’ve written it, I’m done,” you’re in for disappointment.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think the trick is to grab enough traits from enough people that nobody can recognize themselves in the character, but everybody can recognize themselves. There isn’t one person thinking you based a character on them, but just about everyone knows someone like that, or sees a bit of themselves in that character.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
So far I’ve been keeping it to places I’ve been, of course, having been to a lot of different places, and lived in a lot of different places certainly helps with that. I’d certainly recommend travel, it gives you points of view you’d never have otherwise.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher has been providing covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t know if it’s possible to still have a coherent message after telling that many jokes. Generally if I put a message in there, I want it to be such a part of the story that it’s left you thinking a bit, without feeling like you were preached to at all.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I guess I have more favourite writers. They all do different things I admire. Overall if I had to pick, I’d say Roger Zelazny, I strongly respect his ability to take chances, and never deliver the same thing twice unless it was in a series. If you read “A Night In Lonesome October” and “Creatures of Light and Darkness” you’d never guess it was the same author. Jeff Strand I like a lot, his ability to drop a serious horror novel right after, well I mean he’s done funny Y/A, that’s impressive. As far as newer authors, I’m friends with a lot of them, so guys and gals, check to see if you’re on my friends list on Facebook. You are? Vous etes extraordinaire
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My best friend Steven Godfrey for starters. But most of my friends did, which, when you’re just getting started you really need to deal with rejections and what have you. Jeff Strand and Sab Grey gave me great back cover blurbs. Lots of magazine and anthology publishers. My book publisher. Etc
It takes a village to make a pompous author. 🙂
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
At this point I think I’m relatively committed. One novel out, one coming, an anthology coming, over 50 shorts published in various places, and way more written and being written.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are some jokes I thought of after the fact, but overall I try not to nit pick what I’ve done and worry more about what I’m going to do.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I think you learn little things every go round. Words you over use, things you had to research. Writing is always a learning process, you get better the more you do it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Post Malone, no! Kidding. Dylan O’brien might work
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep hammering at it. I see a lot of people quit because it’s hard to get in to the business, and you always feel like you’re not where you expected to be. Best truth I can tell you, you wont get to that spot if you throw up your hands and quit.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I am actually pretty quiet in person. Oh sure I’m thinking jokes all the time…. So if you ever invite me to a party, please have the decency to own a pet so I have someone to talk to.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“Road To Mars” by Eric Idle
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I am going to guess it involved the Bobbsey Twins and I was like six. But every Halloween my mom used to read the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Most things make me laugh. There’s humour in just about everything when you find the angle where it’s funny. What makes me cry? The end of Jimmy Stewart/Frank Capra films….like a baby
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jack London. Union organizer, gold rush prospector, war correspondent, traveler, man who really went and found the last great frontiers I might not agree with everything about the man, but the thing is, that’s part of what makes him fascinating. In reality I think most people from earlier times come with some objectionable views. Or Kurt Vonnegut, which would have been the safer choice, I do love his sense of the absurd.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Caving, hiking, music, photography
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Horror movies as far as films, I mean I watch other stuff, but that’s my first love. TV…..for something that is routinely on, I don’t really watch it watch it. Which is funny because something like the Young Ones I can toss on and still enjoy it.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Cheesecake, and for that matter Cheesesteak. Red and black. 70S and 80s punk mostly. There’s lot of other stuff, 50s blues, psychobilly, neue deutsche harte, but at the end of the day I’m most likely listening to CockSparrer, the Subhumans, the Germs or something like that
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Concentrate on music like I haven’t for years most likely. I have to do something to keep myself busy.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my wife, most likely hiking or something.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
To quote Jim Carroll, “It’s too soon, to ask me for the words someone carved on my tomb”
Actually I want to be cremated, and then two words.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
or just look for my page on Facebook
Goodreads link to the book
My Amazon page USA