Name: Travis Luedke
Who is Travis? Hilarious father and full time author with a true love for sexy horror.
Books: The Nightlife Series (Books 1-3), The Shepherd, Blood Slave, A World of Romance (ASMSG Collections#3)
You instantly know when you found the author of your dreams; fun, passionate, knowledgeable and so completely serious all at the same time. Readers meet Travis Luedke a wonderful author who provides a breath of fresh air in genre (paranormal romance) so often used. Interview by Tania Lasenburg, Travis explains not only his thought process when writing but how serious self-publishing really is.
Were you always a writer? If not what did you do before you decided to publish your first book and why did you decide to leave it?
I started writing in 2010. It wasn’t until 2012 I decided to self-publish. Once I saw everybody doing it, I knew it was time. I love the control I have over every step of the publishing process.
Control freak? Yes.
Why did you choose romance paranormal? What it is about that genre that you feel draws readers
and writers in?
I have always been a fan of escapist fiction like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert R. McCammon, and Peter Straub. I found horror novels based on the supernatural were my Brian Lumley taught me the dark, wicked beauty of vampires. Then I discovered Anne Rice. I loved The Vampire Chronicles, but these creatures never had any sex! I wanted vampires who get it on, seducers. With Laurell K. Hamilton I finally found the full, combo meal deal. Vicious predators, sexy seducers, and gobs of smoking-hot sex; I’m a total addict now. PNR is my guilty pleasure, and that’s what I write. I have my cake and eat it too. My vampires live in the real nightlife of today: back alleys, ghettos, strip clubs, casinos, drugs, prostitution, escorts, mafia, cartel. All that good stuff.
I like it dark, gritty, violent and sensual, with thriller intensity. I blend these elements into my own wicked cocktail.
How has your experiences been in the publishing world? Is there a lot of networking? Sucking up?
Or did you have an easier time because your writing spoke for
I pretty much splatter myself on every major social media platform. You could call me a social media junky. I spend more time there than I do actually writing. For those who like a dark, gritty, sexual read, my work does speak for itself, and the Nightlife Series cover art oozes sensuality. Honestly, publishers trying to combat obscurity need to get creative, get guerilla. It’s all about metadata and Amazon’s internal SEO, keywords and categories. We have to grab eyeballs with freebies, giveaways, discounted sales. Our main advantage over traditional publishers is our ability and willingness to sell for less, and give books away. I know, it sucks. We write our masterpieces only to give them away?
But Amazon is the self-publishers best friend. A massive freebie campaign, giving away twenty thousand books, is
really a smart move. Everybody debates the pros and cons, but this is the best way to get our books in front of thousands of eyeballs. For prolific authors with a series, numerous titles available, a fat ass freebie run brings loads of attention to our other books.
What in your daily life allows you to stay creative?
I have a constant stream of ideas. Never dries up. My critique partners look at my ideas and give me a score on the suckometer (usually needs a lot of work). They know my writing intimately, and they bring me back down to reality. It’s easy to become consumed with a new idea. I need my team to point out the gazillion flaws in my genius (lots and lots of flaws). Either it sticks, or the idea is discarded for something better. A novel is constantly evolving, right up until the moment I click publish. The real problem is putting away the social media to focus on writing. Social media will consume your life, an addiction worse than drugs.
Finally, how has your writing changed from your first book to your last?
Its sexier, meaner, leaner, tastes great, and less filling. I write the light beer version these days, a minimalist approach. Lots of chopped clauses. A sprinkle of touchy-feely. Some wall-smashing, toe curling sex scenes. Sift in a few pounds of crushing violence and cover it in blood frosting (several quarts of arterial flow sprayed across the room). I have a lot of fun with my writing. Got no problem getting into the mind of villains. It’s the heroes I always struggle to write.
To know more about the always active Travis Luedke or simply enjoy some good
(truly king of social media)
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