I'd like to introduce Felipe Adan Lerma. I met Felipe on Facebook around eighteen months ago. We were both members of the same group that led to the Indie Author Support and Discussion website and had chatted a time or two, and then we both got involved in a charity venture in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Care Nurses. It was around this time that we became friends, most likely due to the fact I was always badgering for links and pictures for the advertising side of things :), and now we follow each other on Twitter and chat there when we can.
Felipe is the eldest of six siblings, a father of three, and a grandfather of five, and I'm sure his background in all things fitness and yoga helps him stay on his toes and keep up. He's also been married to his wife for thirty years, a feat you don't hear of very often anymore, and has been writing and creating pictures since the sixties, though he began writing more seriously in the late seventies and eighties.
Here is what Felipe Adan Lerma had to say...
Why did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
More like how did I figure out I was and wanted to be a writer (smiles). From as a child, and being the oldest of six, I was quickly “put in charge” of my younger brothers and sisters. Watching them was pretty boring unless I kept them occupied. All I really remember is several large sets of very round and ready eyes waiting for me to entertain them. Kid brothers and sisters can be a touch crowd. But so accepting when you hit them with something they liked. Funny stuff worked best for them plus suited me too.
What was the thing that drove you the most to do so?
Fear. Fear I'd get in trouble for not entertaining my younger brother and sister. You might think this led me to catering to trends and whims, but it actually, looking back over half a century (smiles), made me keenly focussed in finding expressive modes that first satisfied and entertained me.
How long have you been writing?
Since a child, in the oral story telling sense. But since a late teen or early 20 something if you count when I started writing movie reviews for a jr college student paper. That was way fun!
Why did you pick the genre/s that you have?
My first fiction stories, written in the early 80s, reflected the years after my first wife and I broke up. And before she and I decided, for health reasons, that our two children live with me. So those first stories were contemporary searching stories. Searching for romance, searching for meaning, searching for direction. Being the oldest of six, and being married and starting a family as a late teen, and having lived beyond both those situations, left me in a vacuum.
More recently, though I wrote one child story in the early 80s, I've returned to having tween and teen characters. I really like them. But I feel my stories are very incomplete without either a strong or co-level adult character interacting with them. Thus my emphasis on multi-generational fiction.
For fun, esp via my recent (last few years) exposure to Joe Konrath, Raymond Chandler, and Janet Evanovich, I'm merged the extended family and romance threads into mysteries and thrillers. Those have gotten to be very much fun!
Who is your favourite character, and why?
Sorry. Have thought about this question a long long time, but each of my main characters fill either an age or interest (or both) niche very dear to me.
So a favorite character for me is like a fav food item or fitness routine – depends on the meal or need, or itch (smiles).
Do you have any particular quirks when writing?
Very close to my experience painting or working with my photographs, it's an immersion where time warps and wraps itself into my focus so tightly, I lose the sense of separateness from it. Very addicting!
What does your family think of your work?
I'll have to smile ahead of time on this one! I'd say from tolerantly benign to kindfully uncurious to cautious to avoid discussing.
Do you belong to any writing groups? And if so what do you think are the pros and cons?
I belong to several. Lots of pros and a few cons. So, so far, there's been more to benefit from than regret. Eventually I think one finds a few especially kindred creating souls, and that's very very nice.
How do you deal with writers block?
Alternate creative threads: I like art, dance, music, movement, film, TV, acting, kids. Oh yeah, and writing (smiles).
Of the latter, like with art (painting vs photography vs digital art), I can vary my word-work (smiles). Poetry, shorts, discussion and action bits in story idea files, blog posts, FB posts, Twitter tweets. There's even rumours folks talk with each other at times!
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
Questions like this! (smiles)
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
Immersion. Then, after, when re-reading some of one's work, finding moments and passages that sparkle, inspire, and scare me – scare me with the can-I-do-that-again question!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Just taking a breath, looking around, and seeing hearing smelling tasting feeling what's going on. Shadow and light. Flickering or set like iron grids. Contrasts. Where the edges smooth and touching and blend. It's all so much. It's just slowing down enough to catch and notate some of it. Then putting it into story form where someone else can experience the bits and pieces as a coherent piece of life.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Everything is based on things and people we know. Allowing ourselves to mesh that with what's inside us, in terms of other memories and feelings, takes what we know specifically, and makes it something different and digestible by others. Memoirs are a different thing. So here I'm speaking specifically about fiction.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
What do you like to read?
Fiction. A tiny bit of non-fiction. Right now reading stuff re Twitter. Previously it was stuff on deep point of view. Getting ready to move on and catch up on trends and tech in the visual world, esp photography.
Who is your favourite author?
I've had many many previous favourites. So let's say these are current favs (smiles): Raymond Chandler. Joe Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson. Janet Evanovich. Matthew Iden.
There's a writer new-to-me, Shari Hearn, writing a kind of cozy thriller mysteries in Kindle Worlds I've recently been very impressed with. Action, humor, romance, touching.
But if one wanted a wide genre-spread of really surprisingly consistently entertaining writers, I'd recommend the charity anthology You're Not Alone. Read each one. In order. And be shocked how good the various genres can be in short dosages.
Where are your books available?
Mostly, maybe all of them, on Amazon, including in their Kindle Unlimited program.
Had let one title lapse recently - “Dirty Sixth Street, Austin” with the intent to “try” and make it free “wide” so's to drive traffic to my other thriller titles on Amazon. That was over two weeks ago. Never have had the time to reformat it, resubmit it, blah blah. So, when I remember, I'll re-input that title back into KU.
What are you working on right now?
Besides making a major move back into my images (selecting, cropping, dodging and burning in spots, selective sharpening, then uploading to image sites, including Amazon Marketplace and Fine Art America) – continuing work on Queen, the Serial Novel.
Though mostly written ahead of time (as about half the writers two hundred years ago did when serial first appeared – and led to full length “novels”) many of the 37 total books have summaries of additional chapter work needed. Plus I pick and adjust two of my own original photos for each book.
Currently I've finished work on 17 of the 37 2500-3500 story word books. Should be finished by late this year, then I'll produce an omnibus with the whole 100,000+ word story.
And, I'm beginning my push back into Kindle Worlds with a new Joe Konrath-Ann Voss Peterson Codename: Chandler thriller my very own Samantha Lacroix also features in!
Though to answer your question more immediately, I'm helping my wife prepare lunch (smiles).
What is your ultimate goal?
To live a fulfilling happy life. If I can do that, that – I firmly believe – will also help others the best way that's in me.
Do you have a favourite film? And if so what is it?
I do have so many. But The Curious Case of Benjamin Button always comes to mind (described as a romantic drama). And Zulu, with a very young Michael Cane.
There's a power in those two stories I'm still processing, ingesting, digesting, and creating new ways to mould my own ideas from.
Here is where you can find Felipe Adan Lerma
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.co.uk/Felipe-Adan-Lerma1
Amazon Marketplace: goo.gl/xqLMPc
WordPress Website: www.felipeadanlerma.com
Fine Art America: felipeadan-lerma.pixels.com
The last thing Felipe Adan Lerma said to me was "Thank you so much Sallyann. It's been a pleasure. Plus I'm never quite sure what I'll really answer (smiles)." and I have to say the pleasure was all mine. Felipe always proves to have a quirky, off the wall humour, and, as you can tell, spends a lot of time smiling :). So once again I'd like to thank Felipe for agreeing to take part in my interviews, and I hope you will follow him on one of the links above. And don't forget to pop on over to Amazon and check out his books, you migh have found your next favourite author.
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
Check out their website for a wonderful choice of Indie authors for you to chose from.