The Australian writer Luke Romyn is the e-publishing sensation in his country
Luke Romyn, Bestselling author of The Dark Path, Beyond Hades, Blacklisted, and Slaves of Valhalla. Also, it’s available Corpus Christi on Amazon now. At first, The Legacy Chronicles will be a four-book series though it might extend further
«Luke does and incredible job telling the story and it really pulls you inside. » Miranda McHenry
«In his debut novel, “The Dark Path,” Luke showcases his writing talents through the eyes and actions of Vain, aka The Dark Man. » Dee Marie
«Will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the page in a relentless quest to find out more. » Nicole Morgan
By: Alberto Berenguer Twitter: @tukoberenguer
Your first four books have all been category best sellers on Amazon, with over 220.000 copies distributed to date. Did you expect this success?
I definitely hoped for it, but ultimately I just wanted people to read my books, to hear the stories I yearned to tell.
Why did you decide to publish on Amazon.com? It is difficult to find a Publisher in Australia?
It’s difficult to publish anywhere, especially at the moment when the industry is in complete upheaval. But I love the ease of Amazon, and the audience you reach is now worldwide.
You have received many positive reviews from your readers on the whole, over eighty reviews in fact. However, other thinks that you use a bad language. Do you agree? Would you recommend The Dark Park to everyone beneath 18 years?
Of course there’s bad language. When writing about an assassin who tortures and murders people, he’s not going to be quoting Shakespeare. I try to make my characters as believable as possible, and won’t bracket them into what some people think is proper and improper just to avoid damaging someone’s delicate sensitivities. Would I recommend The Dark Path to under 18s? That depends on the reader. I’ve had 15 year olds contact me on Twitter saying The Dark Path made reading fun for them again. Sometimes kids see clearer than adults.
Would you define that novel with the term: Psychological Thriller? Or is it horror genre?
I don’t think it’s a psychological thriller. Other people labeled it a horror, not me, and then it saw success in that genre so I just stuck with it. It’s more of a thriller/horror/paranormal/biblical/comedy/action & adventure kind of story. I always planned on it being an action-thriller, but then it became much deeper, incorporating things like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, demonic worship, and angels. In the end it sort of slips between genres, but that’s okay, I like being individual.
Vain, an assassin without peer, is the main character of The Dark Park. While creating the character, were you inspired by someone, in your own experiences or something along those lines?
I wanted to create the darkest character possible and then attempt to draw him back into the light. Over the years my life has led me to meet some raster nasty people, some aspects of whom I used to create the Dark Man known as Vain. The rest came from me.
I wish to emphasize that in your debut novel, The Dark Path, you showcase your writing talents through the eyes and actions of Vain. What would you emphasize of this character?
He’s a man lost, protected by the talents he uses to kill people he doesn’t know for a reason he doesn’t understand. He’s extremely primal and instinctive, and it takes a special child to show him it’s all right to come back to the world of the living.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Many, many years. I kept putting it aside thinking it’d never get finished. I think, all in all, my first book from start to publication took around a decade.
In addition to writing, you have spent over nineteen years working in the security industry. How did you fall in love with writing?
What’s not to fall in love with about writing? The ability to escape into imagination, to draw a world around yourself and create people who walk and talk and breathe on pages is almost godlike. And when others love your words it’s a joy like no other.
How would you define your narrative style?
Very instinctive. I definitely don’t think about things too much, simply let the story flow and see where it takes me. I find that if I plan things out too much it becomes stilted and broken. Best to just let it take me where it wants to go – I’m just along for the ride.
In Beyond Hades you use mythology and Greek culture. What do you attract this culture?
Greek mythology contains some of the greatest tales this world has ever seen. I simply wanted to bring that monstrous action into a modern-day world. It ended up being so large I had to write two books.
Who creates the covers of your e-books?
I do all my covers myself. At first it was a pain to learn Photoshop, but now I love the versatility it allows. I see the covers as merely an extension of the story, something to reach out and grab readers.
“Nobody can escape their past. It will always be there, returning to haunt you in the darkest times of your life”. Why did you choose it for your tale in Blacklisted?
Blacklisted is a tale about a man’s past catching up with him and turning the tables. I like the irony of a vigilante killer who gets captured and used by the government to hunt an international terrorist.
What is the difference between Mike Swanson, character of Blacklisted, and the others?
Mike is probably what I would describe as a reluctant killer. Whereas Vain in The Dark Path kills without mercy, Mike doesn’t really have that kind of nature, but feels compelled to do the things he does in the hopes it might grant him some kind of inner-peace.
In Slaves of Valhalla, Wes must try to find a way to stop a foe to ensure mankind is not reduced to slavery by the creatures. What do you want to transmit readers with this plot?
There is no real underlying plot with the two books of The Prometheus Wars; they’re simply adventure through and through. I wanted to create high-velocity action that grabbed the reader from the start and didn’t let go until the final page. From the majority of feedback I receive from readers, it’s mission accomplished.
All readers agree that your e-book is an easy read and very entertaining. Was it difficult to write the plot of the novel?
That varies from book to book. Some, like The Prometheus Wars novels, required a ton of research. The simplest creatures from Greek mythology needed to be referenced and then cross-checked multiple times to ensure the facts were correct. It’s hard to do that when ideas are flowing – sometimes I simply needed to write past a section in order to continue with my train of thought, going back later to fill in the gaps.
Also, do you think that an important factor in your success lies in the interaction that you set up with your readers through social networks?
I love chatting with readers. What better way to discover new stories than find out what people want to read about? I’m lucky to have tons of followers on Twitter and Facebook, along with many on Goodreads as well. It helps to let people know about my books, but I try not to flood my timelines with ads, that’d just be stupid. On Twitter I tend to share my oft-invading thoughts, many of which are simply humorous, and I’m widely known as a “serial smartass”.
Your latest book is Corpus Christi, book 1 of ‘The Legacy Chronicles’. Can you talk us something from this book?
It’s about a reluctant messiah. A man with a past jaded against religion discovers he’s Christ reborn, here to see mankind through Armageddon. It’s a spinoff from The Dark Path, and Vain makes several appearances throughout the series, book two of which is in edits right now.
And, how many books will be part of ‘The Legacy Chronicles’?
This will be a four-book series, unless something major comes up, in which case it might extend further, I’m not sure yet. But at this stage I have ideas for at least four.
Finally, what are your future literary projects? Are you writing a new novel now?
Right now it’s all about The Legacy Chronicles. In a far-off glimpse of the future I have an idea for another book involving Wes, but at this stage I just want to complete the current series and see where it ends up.