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Author Q&A ft @marklukensbooks | Ancient Enemy Series Book Tour and $50 Amazon GC #Giveaway | Silver Dagger Tours Presents #Horror

The Ancient Enemy Series by Mark Lukens (horror) is on virtual book tour and  stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.  B...



The Ancient Enemy Series by Mark Lukens (horror) is on virtual book tour and stops at Readeropolis with an author interview. 

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for $50 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).





DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOVIE?

It’s difficult to select a favorite movie without breaking them down into genres: favorite horror movies, or sci-fi movies, or comedies, etc. But if I had to pick only one movie as my favorite, it would be Lonesome Dove (which was actually a mini-series on TV in the late eighties, so I hope that counts). I watched Lonesome Dove when it first came on TV (I believe in 1989). I was mesmerized, and I immediately bought and read the book written by Larry McMurtry. I’d never been a huge fan of westerns at that time, but Lonesome Dove seemed to be different than a typical western; it was an epic journey and the characters seemed familiar yet larger-than-life at the same time. I’ve seen many great movies over the years, but that one is still my favorite.


WHICH OF YOUR NOVELS CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING MADE INTO A MOVIE?

I can imagine most of my novels being made into movies, and I would be thrilled if any of them ever made it to the screen. I always thought Ancient Enemy would be a really scary movie on the screen, if the special effects were good enough. That novel started out as a screenplay originally and had some interest for a little while, but nothing came of it. Sightings also started out as a screenplay and it was optioned for years, so I think it would transfer well into film. The Exorcist’s Apprentice started out as a treatment (but the studio passed on it at the last moment), and I could still see that as a movie, or even a limited series. I would love to see Devil’s Island made into a movie.


WHAT LITERARY PILGRAMAGES HAVE YOU GONE ON?

I haven’t gone on any literary pilgrimages, but I would love to. I went to Europe when I was nineteen years old, backpacking through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, England, and Scotland. I had a great time, and even though I had spent all of the money I had made up until that time, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. But if I were to go back now, I would love to add some literary destinations into my travels, especially through England and Scotland (and I would definitely go to Ireland this time). And there are still some fascinating places to see in America. I’ve heard of other authors who have visited famous sites from horror movies (like areas of Georgetown filmed in The Exorcist), and I think that would be really cool.


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE ANCIENT ENEMY?

Ancient Enemy was a screenplay at first. I wrote it years ago when I was just beginning to try my hand at screenwriting. I had a drywall business at the time, but I had this idea for a horror movie that I couldn’t get out of my mind. I saw criminals abducting a woman and a mysterious boy during a snowstorm. I could see them taking refuge in what they thought was an abandoned cabin, not knowing that something terrible had been chasing the woman and the boy. The idea was in my mind for a while, and I might have jotted down a quick outline. I remember that it only took me about two or three days to write the screenplay by hand on notebook paper. I can still see myself writing at the dining room table off of the kitchen. But even though I wrote the first draft quickly, it has gone through years of rewrites and edits into the novel it is now.


HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Every book is different. Since I’ve been doing this as a job for the last five years, I’ve discovered that each book is taking less and less time to write. Some books took me longer than others to write. Devil’s Island took me three years to write, and I worked on and published quite a few other books while working on it. Other books like Ancient Enemy and Sightings were quick, but they were also based on my screenplays, so it was like having a very detailed outline to work from. Neither book changed that much from the script.

I would say at this time, that I try to shoot for two to four months to write a book, but I’m always trying to get them done quicker. One way is to work more hours in a day. I try to get anywhere from three to six hours of work done in a day, but it can depend on other things I need to do that day or how I’m feeling. There are days where I just can’t concentrate, or I’m just not feeling it. If I have one of those days, I allow myself a day off or I work on marketing and social media stuff, or work on another project I have in the beginning stages. But I don’t take too much time off, and I’ve been writing long enough that I can trust myself to get back to work in the next few days. One thing I’ve learned over the last five years is that even if I’m stuck or not feeling like writing, if I just tell myself that I’ll write a few lines or just one page, I’ll find that those few sentences may turn into pages as inspiration comes. Sometimes all it takes is to sit down in the chair and start writing.


DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?

The dreaded writer’s block. I believe it’s real, and it can happen in some form or another to all writers. I call it getting stuck at some point in the book or story I’m writing. I’ll get stuck at a point, not sure where to go, or how to get from this scene to the next one.

Here are some ways I deal with writer’s block or what I call getting stuck:
I try to just power right through it. Even if what I’m writing doesn’t sound good to me or it isn’t perfect, I’ll just keep powering through it and getting those words down on paper because I know I can go back and make changes later. And, like I’ve said before, sometimes magic happens as you begin writing, and ideas just seem to appear like magic; you get those “ah-ha” moments as you write, and sometimes the problems in the story just seem to work themselves out.

I’ll take some time off and either take a break or work on something else. Sometimes if the block or the part in the story I’m stuck on isn’t working itself out, I’ll just walk away for a little bit. Sometimes I’ll just take that day or the next day off and watch a movie or read a book or exercise, anything to take my mind off of it. But sometimes taking my mind off of it for a while causes an answer to kind of just pop into my consciousness from my subconscious. Or, after I’m rested mentally from the problem, I can go back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Talking out the problem with someone else can help sometimes. My favorite sounding board is my wife. I’ll be stuck in a part of the story, or frustrated with something, so I’ll talk it out, and sometimes just talking it out helps organize things in my mind. Also, my wife will offer suggestions.

One trick I’ve learned if I can’t seem to get into writing or I’m stuck, is that I’ll take out some notebook paper and write down what I want to write about. I’ll write something like: In this scene, Billy and Jenny are going to the store when the criminals barge in to rob the place. And then I’ll write down what might happen next and then next, and before I know it I’ve written a page. What I’ve written won’t be perfect, but at least the skeleton of the story is there to work from. I think it’s that magic thing that happens again when you start writing something down, the creative forces in the mind seem to work differently (to me anyway) when something is written down rather than just thinking about it or daydreaming.

Writer’s block used to plague me more when I was younger, but I use the above techniques now, and they really seem to help.



Ancient Enemy
Ancient Enemy Series Book 1
by Mark Lukens
Genre: Horror

Ancient Enemy - it wants things . . . you have to give it what it wants.



Seven hundred years ago the Anasazi people built massive cities in what is now the southwestern United States . . . and then they vanished.

Stella, an archaeologist specializing in Anasazi culture, and David, a mysterious Navajo boy, are on the run from something terrifying. As they flee up into the snowy mountains of Colorado, they are carjacked by criminals escaping a botched bank robbery. Caught in a blizzard, they must take refuge in what they believe is an abandoned cabin. It's at this cabin where they will face horrors beyond their imagination.





Darkwind
Ancient Enemy Series Book 2


After a rancher finds ten mutilated bodies at a dig site on the Navajo Reservation, both Captain Begay of the Navajo Tribal Police and Special Agent Palmer of the FBI become involved ... but the case leads Palmer back up to Colorado where five more mutilated bodies and Stella's vehicle have been discovered at a burning cabin.

Cole, Stella, and David escape the cabin on a snowmobile, heading south to get David back down to the Navajo lands. Now that Stella believes that David is a natural-born shaman, she knows that their only hope of David ever defeating the Ancient Enemy is to find a reclusive shaman named Joe Blackhorn who can help train David.

But with Agent Palmer and Captain Begay hot on their trail, Cole and Stella must find Joe Blackhorn and the secrets he possesses before the Ancient Enemy destroys them all.






Hope's End
Ancient Enemy Series Book 3


In 1891, in the badlands of northern Arizona, Jed Cartwright, a bounty hunter and U.S. Marshal, transports a dangerous prisoner back to the town of Smith Junction. As they travel through the woods, they are attacked by what they believe are skinwalkers.

As Jed flees the woods, he finds a house where a family has been slaughtered - the only survivor is an eight-year-old Navajo boy, a boy traumatized by the horrors he has seen.

As Jed and the Navajo boy make their way north to Smith Junction, a sudden sandstorm diverts them to the small town of Hope's End. They take refuge from the storm in the saloon with some of the townspeople. But hours later, when the storm is over, they discover what has happened to the rest of the people in Hope's End . . . and the terror is only beginning, everything leading up to a shocking twist at the end.




Evil Spirits
Ancient Enemy Series Book 4


It has been seven years since David sent the Ancient Enemy back to its world in the ghost town that was once the town of Hope's End.

Cole and Stella have lived in Costa Rica for the last seven years. They wanted to believe that it was really over . . . but there were always doubts. And when Stella sees a horrifying vision in the jungle, she's certain that the Ancient Enemy has returned.

David, living at his aunt's house in New Mexico, knows the Ancient Enemy is back; he can feel it. And now nightmares about a serial killer possessed by the Ancient Enemy plague him, a killer who will stop at nothing, a killer who is coming for David. With Joe Blackhorn dead now, the only person David can turn to is Begay, the former captain of the Navajo Tribal Police.

Former FBI agent Palmer's nightmares have returned, and when he's called in as a consultant on the recent copycat murders - re-creations of the massacre at the archaeological dig site seven years ago - he knows that the ancient evil is back.

Together, they are drawn into one last stand against the Ancient Enemy . . . but this time the battle will be fought in the Ancient Enemy's world.






Mark Lukens has been writing since the second grade when his teacher called his parents in for a conference because the ghost story he'd written had her a little concerned.

Since then he's had several stories published and four screenplays optioned by producers in Hollywood. One script is in development to be produced. He is the author of many bestselling books including: Ancient Enemy, Darkwind: Ancient Enemy 2, Descendants of Magic, The Summoning, Night Terrors, Sightings, The Exorcist's Apprentice, What Lies Below, Devil's Island, The Darwin Effect, Ghost Town: a novella, and A Dark Collection: 12 Scary Stories. He is a member of The Horror Writers Association.


He grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida. But after many travels and adventures, he settled down near Tampa, Florida with his wonderful wife and son ... and a stray cat they adopted.





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!





2 comments

  1. These sound really good! I would love the opportunity to read them!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The story line sounds wonderful! nothing like reading something thats going to keep you on your toes and maybe under the blankets lOLL. Love the cover.
    @tisonlyme143

    ReplyDelete