For those just tuning in, here’s the history behind these posts:
I love reading about the Publishing Journeys of my favorite writers.
I love the long, soul-searching interviews that reveal every obstacle and triumph: the author whose agent made her do three revisions before signing her … the author who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to write, because it’s the only time she has to herself … the critically acclaimed author who spent nine years trying to get published … I never tire of this stuff!
Long, luxurious interviews aside, don’t you sometimes find yourself wondering: “But do you like Thai or Chinese food better?”
Reader, I asked them.
I assembled a grab-bag full of random questions and emailed them to some of my favorite writers.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Eric Luper!
Eric Luper - eluper - is the author of Big Slick. It’s a contemporary YA novel about a sixteen-year-old boy, Andrew, with a head for numbers. He turns that talent to poker, but he’s several hundred dollars in the hole at the start of the novel. He “borrowed” money from his dad’s cash register, and needs to repay it fast, before his dad figures out why the dry cleaning receipts don’t seem to be adding up as usual. And that’s just the beginning of Andrew’s problems.
I thought this would be a comedic boy book when I started it, and it is funny, but Andrew faces some serious moral quandaries during the course of the narrative. The poker slang sprinkled throughout the story lightens the mood and keeps the non-poker-player from feeling confused. Luper manages to echo the theme even in brief passages; in the following excerpt, Andrew has a crush on Jasmine, his co-worker, who is dating a loser:
“I want to tell her she needs to dump him, but I’m afraid it’ll come across like I want her, which I do. But then I’d be tipping my hand; I have to slow-play this one.” Copyright 2007 Eric Luper.
Eric’s second YA novel, Bug Boy, is scheduled for release in July 2009. Set in 1934 Saratoga, it’s about a talented young jockey who is pressured to throw a race. I look forward to it!
In writing, are you a plotter or a plunger?
I think up a few characters and a situation and I plunge right in. I feel like I’m sort of cheating if I know where my book is going. The trouble with this technique is that it lends itself to unfinished manuscripts and stray first chapters. I have dozens of them on my hard drive.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Lessons from a Dead Girl, by Jo Knowles, which I am enjoying immensely. It’s one of those books that makes me want to stop reading because of all the terrible things, but of course I can’t help but turn the page! I’m also listening to I Am The Messenger , by Markus Zusak on CD in the car.
If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
I think I’d try my hand at thrillers/mysteries. They are so plot-dependent and I love those gritty “Elmore Leonard-esque” characters.
Thai food or Chinese?
I prefer spicy spicy Thai.
Snorkeling or skiing?
Skiing. I’ve snorkeled before and it makes me nervous being underwater. Sure it’s nice and sure it’s beautiful, but there’s always that looming thought that I could die down there really easily.
Certainly not “humble.” Actually this baker guy up in Lake George makes a caramel apple walnut pie that makes my eyes roll up into my head.
Pick three words to go on your tombstone.
Finally Done Editing
Five things you would do with $100,000.
The truth is I would pay off my student loans to really free me up to write, but that’s not fun. So here’s how I would squander $100,000
1) brand new computer set-up at my home and my office (and I would pay a tech geek to set it all up!)
2) vacation to Iceland (I’ve always wanted to go there)
3) vacation to someplace warm and sandy (so my wife won’t balk too much)
4) a completely restored convertible muscle car with flames painted down the sides
5) okay, so I probably would break down and pay bills with the rest…
Furthest you've ever been from home.
Probably Istanbul, Turkey
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Read your work out loud.
Rollercoasters: love em or hate em?
Perhaps. But what it’s of and where it is will remain a mystery…
Do you use writing prompts?
Not since creative writing classes in college.
Best present anyone ever gave you?
My cigar [store] Indian. It was a wedding present intended by my college roommate to cause our first marital spat. What kind of spat could it cause though? A cigar Indian belongs in the living room!
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Eric!