I met Eric Lahti through a Facebook group called Indie Author Support and Discussion. I was invited to join by another friend of mine that was already a member, and I wasn't too sure what I was doing, or whether I should post anything or not. When I eventually started posting Eric was one of the group that would always comment, be it advice, on more than one occasion :), general chatting, or support of some new venture I had tried. The one that stands out the most to me recently being my first ever try at making a book trailer, which I posted up for opinions. Eric was one of the first to let me know he thought it was great for a first go, and that I should have been really pleased with it. And, let me tell you, coming from Eric, it meant a great deal.
Eric grew up in northwest New Mexico, where he spent his time searching for UFO's and buried treasure, which he says he didn't find but I can't help wondering. When he's not writing he's programming, something the tech challenged part of me is jealous about, or he's practicing Kenpo (you will find out exactly what that is a little later on). He is a very talented author, and though I haven't yet had the privilege of reading one of his books (something I will rectify when I replace my dead kindle), I have heard a lot of people comment on how much they enjoy them (which makes me even more annoyed that I can't just yet). He also designs all of his covers, bringing together some amazing imagery that really stands out and catches the eye, and makes his book recognizable and completely his. I also know he has a wicked sense of humour, and on more than one occasion has had the group in uproar with something he's said, or a response to someone else's post, but, you're guaranteed to be smiling along with him.
Here is what Eric Lahti has to say...
Why did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
I was sitting on the couch in the middle of the hottest part of an Albuquerque summer playing the same game for the third or fourth time and just got frustrated with my life. I’d been kicking around the basic plot of Henchmen, but had never written a book before. Against my better judgement I started writing. I guess the bottom line was I wanted to create something rather than just consuming stuff.
What was the thing that drove you the most to do so?
Curiosity, I guess. I wanted to see if I could do it. I’ve gotten good feedback, so I’ve just kept going since then.
How long have you been writing?
I started in July of 2013.
Why did you pick the genre/s that you have?
I like the idea that lurking just behind the normal world is something wonder and terrifying. It’s the blend of eating Asian noodles one night and finding a god the next that makes thing interesting.
Who is your favourite character, and why?
Of the ones I’ve written, I really like Felix Crow. He’s a scoundrel, a drunk, and prone to violent tendencies when he’s pushed into a corner, but his heart is mostly in the right place.
Do you have any particular quirks when writing?
Not really. I usually write after my son goes to bed. Kick back on the couch, prop my laptop on my legs and write while watching TV.
What does your family think of your work?
Most of my work isn’t exactly appropriate for my son. He’s only nine. But he has read one of the stories I put together for the children’s anthology IASD is putting together. My wife has enjoyed some of what I’ve written, but I don’t think she and I exactly share the same tastes in stories.
Do you belong to any writing groups?
The Indie Author Support & Discussion group on Facebook and the Sci-Fi and Fantasy group on Facebook.
How do you deal with writers block?
I’m currently working on three things at a time. After about 5k words in one, I switch over to the next. It doesn’t really give me much time to develop writer’s block.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
It takes a huge amount of dedication and time. You have to scrape some time out of the day to write and still balance family, work, exercise, and all those other things that are part of day-to-day life.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
It’s very much a chance to explore. I imagine everyone tells themselves stories about what they see and do. I get the opportunity to write those things down.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Drive around town sometime and look at the world. Really look at it. Wonder what that person skateboarding down the sidewalk carrying an armload of groceries is doing or what’s behind that building. I love to wander to through alleys and behind stores and see things that no one else bothers to look at. Some of those places wind up in stories, sometimes it’s just the general feel of a place that winds up in a story. Sometimes it’s dreams. One whole story in The Clock Man – The Protectors – came straight from a dream I had.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
I try to avoid doing that. It’s too easy to offend someone. One character in Arise had the same name as a guy I worked with. I had to assure him – the guy, not the character – that I wasn’t basing anything on him as a person. The only character that was actively based on someone had a part in the Clock Man. I hope she enjoyed it.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I practice and teach Kenpo. It’s a kind of American, Japanese, Chinese blend martial art. Oddly enough, I also write to relax.
What do you like to read?
I enjoy sci-fi, urban fantasy, crime fiction, things like that. One of my favourite books (interesting – I had to spell favourite with the British spelling or Word thought it was spelled wrong even though I’m writing this in the US) is Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. For all its fluff and bluster about the military, it’s a surprisingly deep look at the idea of duty and dedication.
Who is your favourite author?
I’ve really enjoyed Clifford Stoll’s works. He blends Lovecraftian mythos with a modern-day intelligence organization.
Where are your books available?
Right now I’m exclusively on Amazon. I tried Smashwords, which redistributed everything to B&N, iTunes, and a handful of other places, but I never got much out of it. I pulled everything and stuck it all on Amazon so I could use KDP Select’s extra features.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve got the third book in the Henchmen series, the first in a slightly futuristic dystopian series, and the first of an ongoing set of shorter (15k-20k word) stories focusing on one of the characters in Henchmen.
What is your ultimate goal?
Keep enjoying what I do. It would be nice to make enough money to do it for a living, but that’s a ways off.
Do you have a favourite film? And if so what is it?
I know I’m supposed to come up with some obscure foreign film that was hailed as a philosophical masterpiece, but I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Predator and John Woo’s The Killer. Predator is basically a modern-day retelling of Beowulf and the ballet of violence in The Killer is just too much fun to pass up.
Here is how you can find Eric Lahti
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/ericlahtiauthor
I'd like to take this last moment to thank Eric once again for agreeing to an interview, and answering all the questions I sent him. I hope you will take the time to follow him on any of the links provided above, or, better yet, shoot on over to Amazon and pick up a copy or two of his books. You'll beat me, and I'll be jealous, but you won't be disappointed.
So once again, thank you Eric Lahti.
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
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