Saturday, 7 December 2013

Interview: Luke Preston, author of Out of Exile

On Luke's blog you'll find this: "Luke spent most of his twenties as a freelance writer, a private investigator and listening to rock ‘n roll. He drinks heavily on occasion, is a half decent musician and his idea of a good time involves a jukebox designed to bleed ears." 

It was enough for me to want to ask him a lot few questions after the release of his book Out of Exile (1st October 2013) which he kindly answered. Please give a warm welcome to Luke!

For those that don’t know you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I’m a guy who likes to tell stories, play music loud. My work has been recognised by MTV, the ATOM Awards, the Fellowship of Australian Writers and the Inside Film Awards, winning Best Unproduced Screenplay for The Adventures of Abigail Storm. I don’t believe in writer’s block or in the magic bullet theory. 

Your hero is a good guy but he’s doing a lot of bad things to achieve his goals. Why do you think people root for him? 

As children, we’re told what is right, and what is wrong but the world is far more fucked up than that. As individuals, communities, countries and nations we try to do what is best and what we think is right, but right and wrong is subjective and it is within that small, grey gap that drama exists. A story should be a brutal fight between two ideologies. Some people believe in their heart that Tom Bishop breaks the legal and moral laws and should be punished; others believe he is a good character doing bad things for good reasons. And they’re both right, because the argument in Dark City Blue and Out of Exile is how far into violence and force should a person venture in the name of good? 

Do you plan other books with Tom Bishop? Will it be a series? 

Tom Bishop will be back. I’m already working on the third instalment where Tom Bishop heads to the big city to work at Vogue for an overpowering boss and along the way learns that it’s okay to be himself… I’m just kidding. The third novel will be bigger than Out of Exile and sees Bishop in unfamiliar territory. 

Do you write books like you write screenplays or screenplays like you write books? 

They’re both complementary. Writing screenplays has helped my novels move along economically and writing novels has helped the prose in my screenplays standout. Writers from both disciplines can learn a lot from their long form counterparts. 

Which subjects are most difficult to write about? 

Truth. People can kid themselves in their day to day life and get away with it and live happily ever after. But you can’t get away with it on the page. A writer must first be honest with themselves before they can be honest with the reader and it takes a lot of guts to lay their heart and soul out there for strangers. In many ways being a published author is a great invasion of privacy. But in many other ways it’s about taking standing behind your values and beliefs and picking a fight. 

As writer, do you want to convey a moral in your books or do you only want to tell a story? 

Not necessarily a moral, but for me, every story I write must to say something new about the world in which we live. It may be a fresh point of view on an old issue, or something I’ve discovered that I believe the world should know about or at least pay attention to. In many ways Tom Bishop is a rebellion to political correctness. Western society publically condones men of violent action but when the shit hits the fan, they are the first to be called on. 

If you could experience one book once again, which one will it be? 

Women, by Charles Bukowski. He laid it on the line, his heart and balls and didn’t give a shit what anyone thought. 

You’ve won the What if Award for a The Adventures of Abigail Storm (congrats!), is there any progress on that front ? 

None. It is going to take a special producer to take on a story about an ex-porn star who saves the world from Martians. I don’t know, maybe the world is not ready for it yet. Or maybe I should just turn it into a porno. 

What would be the best Award you could win for your book? 

Awards are lovely and flattery is always welcomed. Although, I’ve won awards before when I didn’t deserve to and also lost awards when I deserved to win. Satisfaction in writing should always come from the act itself, not the result of the act. 

Why so serious question: 

Who’s your favourite villain? 

John Lithgow in Footloose is my favourite villain of all time. Now before you laugh your ass off, hear me out. John Lithgow in Footloose isn’t bad for the sake of being bad; he isn’t driven by greed, by power or by any personal gain. He is driven by the desire to protect the teenagers of Footloose-ville. He believes that rock ‘n roll leads to danger, whereas Kevin Bacon believes rock ‘n roll is about expression and freedom. When the antagonist has a goal just as valid as the protagonist’s, there’s great drama. 

Which book would to take on a desert island? 

Webster’s Dictionary. I would use it to write the books. 

What are you reading now? 

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright & The Comedy Writer by Peter Farrelly. 

Your most effective hair of the dog drink? 

A Red Eye 

1 oz (30 mL) vodka 
6 oz (180 mL) refrigerated tomato juice 
12 oz (350 mL) beer 
1 egg

About Out of Exile

After three years of rotting in a cell, Bishop is busted out of prison in the dead of night and thrown into the middle of a police war where the stakes are high and personal. He must associate himself with dangerous guys to try and save the girl... and the day! 

Out of Exile is not a book you read, it's a effing action-packed film, a kind of Die Hard with a more virile McLane! It's explosive, relentless and incredibly funny. An action-packed book where the hero is not afraid to get his hands dirty

If you want to follow Luke Preston on his blog, on Twitter or Facebook.

And if you should want to buy his book it's here!

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