Category Archives: Autobiography

A Thank You to my Readers.

Just a quick note…

Some of you may know that I recently had back surgery. I have spent the last month at home and I am just now getting back to work. It’s been more of a struggle to keep my head straight than I thought it would be. In fact, many days of late I feel lost in the woods.

A while back I was taught that when I was living in a bad headspace, one thing I could do was to make a gratitude list — things in my life for which I was grateful to have. I’m keeping most of that list to myself, except one thing.

I am grateful for my readers. And lately, I’ve been getting a lot of visitors here and I am not entirely sure why. But it puts a big sloppy grin on my face so I will take it.

For anyone who has ever taken a minute to read one of my posts, poems, or whatevers AND/OR those who have taken the time to listen to my podcasts or interviews AND/OR to those who have read and/or reviewed my books…here’s an owl.

thank-you-clip-art-236576

You are the fuel that keeps me going. THANKS!

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My Story Can Finally Be Told

One of my favorite things about writing, blogging, and putting it out there is what comes back to you. Sometimes you have to wait for a while, but it can be pure amazeballs when it arrives.

Case in point: The passage you will find below. In the week of my new book’s launch, I put out some all-calls to Facebook land — the usually shameless self-promotion that the indie author/artist/musician must do to survive in a world drowning in content and voices.

A former military badass friend of mine (and former student as well) took the time to reveal what he had learned about me from his time as an agent of a shadow organization. I am convinced he knows real-life ninjas and a few mind-blowing secrets that will most certainly die with him. So yeah, he’s kinda scary. Don’t mess with him.

I present his full post, which for the first time anywhere, tells the true story of how I entered the world and I how I will conquer it. Also, it shows me that this kid has some writing chops. I fully plan to drag him into the Bizarro world. I hope he’s ready.

From the mobile phone of Nick E. —

Tom Lucas is more than just a man. He is a demi-god. There are tales about Tom Lucas… Legends. Myths. Wikipedia pages. Here is just some of what I’ve gathered:

In December, many years ago, Tom Lucas shot right out of the womb with the furious speed of a 12-gauge shotgun, blasting into the chest of the doctor, who died on impact. Breast milk was unable to nourish this monster of a baby, who had the body of a midget on horse steroids, with enormous muscles covering his entire physique, including a twelve pack for an abdomen, and bowling balls for biceps. No, instead of milk, this hell spawn of a child required bottles of scotch, cartons of Marlboro Reds, and pounds of bacon to remain well nourished. He would only breastfeed for fun, on other children’s mothers. Tom Lucas lost his virginity before his father. To this day, scientists are still trying to understand this phenomenon. Currently, the most widely accepted theory within the scientific community involves time travel, however the mystery remains unsolved.

In 2001, Tom Lucas, or Disco-TomFoolery, as his techno-biker gang knew him as, pulled off the largest heist in United States history when he stole the entire Detroit Lions football stadium, the Silverdome, and hid it in his garage for a year, forcing the Lions to move to Ford Field to play their games. After a year of partying and cocaine-fueled orgies, Disco-Tom grew tired of the Silverdome, and returned it to its original location. While returning it though, the Detroit Police Department busted him, and he was thrown in jail for 5 years.

During his five-year sentence in the Detroit maximum-security prison known as “Oprah’s Wormhole”, Disco-Tom taught himself how to read and write, with his eyes closed. Using his minds eye, he began to master the art of the written word, and begun crafting novels by using telekinesis to move the pen across the paper. His penmanship was flawless, like a teenage girl on Adderall, and his words and the stories he told were so epic that Shakespeare farted in his grave. Witnesses claim that the fart smelled of roses and romance.

In 2005, Tom was released from “Oprah’s Wormhole” due to good behavior, although historians argue that Lucas perhaps used a Jedi Mind trick to bend the will of the Parole Board.

Tom Lucas became a teacher, and then began publishing novels, the very same novels that he came up with in prison. Leather to the Corinthians was so critically acclaimed that it won an Oscar award, Grammy award, Emmy award, Golden Globe award, Tony award, Academy award, MTV Music award, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award, The Medal Of Honor, and the Nobel Peace Price, and Pulitzer Prize for the category of “Best Fucking Thing Ever, Holy Shit, Buy This Now” category.

So there you have it folks. Tom Lucas. The man, the myth, the legend, the cliché, the overused phrase. Many deny these legends and myths as lies, fabrications, or something I just came up with right now out of boredom. But others know the truth. Do you believe?

Like = You Believe!
Share = You KNOW!
Comment = You commented!

My dad says if we get enough likes, he’ll buy me Jupiter for my birthday, so please share and like, and Bill Gates will give you $1000, and I just won the lottery so If I reach 50 comments, then all 50 commenters will get $10,000!!! Guys, you can’t make this sort of stuff up, this is the truth. Read the Facebook terms of use. The third Facebook Commandment states “thou shalt not troll.”

Wow, I can’t believe I wrote all this crap. I can’t believe YOU read all this crap. uhm yeah, so that’s the end of my post. Special thanks to Morgan Freeman for narrating everything, and Depeche Mode for the original soundtrack.

That’s it folks. I’m done. Can you believe I did this all on my phone? I am NOT going back to proofread, so sorry for errors.

GO BUY HIS BOOK!

Damn. This was just too good not to share. Right?

My Writing Process: A Blog Hop Stop

Blog Hops are these neat little things where different bloggers build bridges between their worlds and hopefully introduce their readers to someone new. There are all kinds of themes for blog hops. This particular one is about the writing process.

Sidney Williams from Sid is Alive passed the baton my way for this leg of the blog hop. Sid is a friend, colleague, and fantastic horror writer and I recommend that you check him out.

Now on to the questions:

What am I working on?

I have several projects under way. For the past six months I have been working on a manuscript for a horror novel (it’s Trainspotting in a haunted house) and a poetry collection with a friend of mine. I’m also doing a fair bit of copywriting and reporting regularly for GenuineOrlando.com.

And…I recently finished a one-month Bizarro writing workshop on Litreactor.com, hosted by one of the pillars of the genre, Rose O’Keefe (publisher of Eraserhead Press). I managed to crank out three short stories and I am putting together a few pitches for potential bizarro novellas.

This is by far the most exciting thing I am currently working on.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I’d like to think that it has to do with the referential nature of my writing, along with my talent for satire. My first (and currently only) novel, Leather to the Corinthians, is a bit of a genre mash-up that many found hard to describe. Perhaps that is not the best thing for marketing, but hearing someone say that you just HAVE TO READ IT TO UNDERSTAND IT…that feels great to me.

I have also been told that the book is weird, wild, bizarre, etc. I’ll take that too.

I wrote the book I wanted to write.

Why do I write what I do?

To kind of piggyback on that last thing, I write stories that I would want to read. I have experienced so much STORY in my life, through reading, watching, and playing. I am well read. I know formula, trope, and cliché. I am always looking for something original. I try to do that with my own work and present an original voice.

How does my writing process work?

I write every day, M-F. Sometimes on the weekends, but that’s typically only if there is a paycheck involved.

I need quiet. I need isolation. I am now at the point in my life where I have my own home office and that has made me much more productive. I am more creative when I am tired or after exercise, so I try to time my sessions to line up with these.

I can write at any time in the day, but until I do, I feel like I left something on the stove.

Or the water running.

Or that I am being crushed by 1000 pounds of dreams and expectations.

Also, I will listen to music that reinforces the mood of what I am writing. Many of my characters have soundtracks or playlists that help me stay true.

Who’s next on the Blog Hop?

I have chosen two wonderful writers for you.

Dominic and I have been friends since I started blogging. We met through WordPress. I love his stuff. He’s so damn authentic. You can find him here – eternalDomnation.com

Linda is a writer and folk artist, and she is amazing at both. Her blog is relatively new and each post is so very well crafted. Find her at: Lindapuritz.wordpress.com

Submitting Stories and all of the Other Stuff I am Doing.

Although I have managed to keep my blog current, I haven’t spoken much to the actual pursuit of the craft, something I did much more of as I ramped up to the release of my first novel as well as the months that followed.

That’s because I have been busy writing the second novel, along with several other ongoing projects. I have gotten to the point where I am writing every day, working on something. This level of productivity is beyond anything I have experienced in the past and although I do ride up near the edge of exhaustion more often than not, I know that when you’re hot, you have to shoot the puck as much as possible.

The second novel is going well. I am about to hit the 45k mark, so I am halfway through the first draft. It’s very different than my first book (which will be a series in time, but it will take some time). It’s a horror novel, first and foremost.

Here’s the premise for your consideration:

Jesse Cruce wants to escape his past. As a struggling drug addict, he thought rehab was hell, but it turns out renovating his dead father’s house in St. Augustine is worse. When he accidentally opens a portal to the afterlife, he unleashes a demonic force capable of dragging the city’s souls into the abyss. Jesse might be able to stop it — but only if he can defeat the self-perpetuating monster of his addiction first.

So there’s character development, a plot, internal and external conflict – all the makings of a fine story (or so I have been told). I’m having a great time writing it and I am enjoying horror much more that I even thought. The writing is slow but steady. I can manage about 500-1000 words a day. Some of “why” of this is time (gainful employment be DAMNED) but I’m exploring some dark places and to be honest (and at the risk of sounding pretentious), it’s emotionally draining. Most days I go for a jog right after to clear my mind.

I expect to have the manuscript wrapped up by late spring. Then revisions. Then a content editor. Then more revisions. Then beta readers. Then the queries. Unlike the insanity of Leather, it won’t nearly be as hard to pitch. Yay for simplicity!

So this is the slow moving titan that is pulling me through 2014. However, I have several other projects going that are supporting my need to be stupid busy. Also, versatility must be practiced.

As an aspiring storyteller, it’s one of my goals to always be submitting, to have my work in consideration somewhere. Last year, I had my darkly humorous take on Santa Claus accepted and published in F*cked Up Fairy Tales, did some guest blogging, secured a short story in a horror anthology coming out in 2015 and sold a vampire poem — of all things.

This year, I have two stories that I am trying to find a home for. The first is a very straightforward werewolf tale (it may be too linear in structure, we’ll see) and I also have my attempt at metafiction/slipstream, a 2000 word shifting narrative that has gathered seven rejections to date. It might just be that the right editor hasn’t seen it yet or that it has a significant flaw or twelve that I have yet to identify. I also have three short stories in the planning stages: a sci-fi satire starring a gigantic gladiator by the name of Titanus, a dystopian tale of a world where having material possessions is punished, and a non-fiction piece about a terrible car accident I was in many years ago.

Although my novel would be finished much sooner without the side projects, I feel that it is critical for me to be putting smaller works out there and I think it’s something all aspiring authors NEED to do. For me, it’s about expanding my readership and exposure while challenging myself to work with stories and themes that are slightly out of my comfort zone. Seriously, I would never think to write a werewolf story, but I have one. For you, it may be a completely different reason but I can say that those small victories are what keep me motivated.

There is the rejection. Or should I say, there are the rejections. I have my fair share of them. The pursuit of writing demands it! I recently was asked how I deal with regular rejection and it’s not complicated. I give myself an hour to feel a bit bummed then I immediately target new places to submit. I’ll take another good look at the piece in question, perhaps revise a bit, and then it’s out the door to another editor. Unless you have been given specific feedback, you can never be sure why it was rejected, so there is no reason to get pissed off or depressed. If they gave you feedback, there’s even less of a reason for hard feelings. Hell, you just got feedback for free. Rejoice!

Fall off the horse seven times, get up eight.

I’m using a few different sites to find places to submit. I’ve been leaning on Ralan.com mostly as they list the kind of markets I am most interested in and they keep their info up to date. There’s Duotrope, of course. Writer’s Digest also has lots to offer if you are looking to submit, and I have had some luck with Writer’s Relief.

Between these four sources, I think I have it covered. I can’t write enough content fast enough to enter every competition or submit to every publication that interests me, but that’s why I keep everything I write. You never know when you’ll stumble upon the perfect place for that piece that has been sitting in the box – just waiting for its chance. Put me in coach, I know I can play.

I’m also collaborating with an old friend on a poetry collection. It’s a good time. It’s pushing me. I choose a topic and write a poem. I send it to her and she writes on the same topic, and also writes a second piece, with a new topic of her choosing. She sends both back to me and I duplicate the process. We’ve written 20 poems each over the past year and I am learning so much from it.

And if all of this wasn’t enough, I am doing quite a bit of copywriting as well as script writing (marketing and instructional videos) and contributing reviews to an Orlando-centric (what to do around town kind of thing) to a new website. You can check it out here.

To wrap it up with a pretty ribbon, since starting this blog I have only build momentum. The friends and readers I have gained from it – MIND BLOWN. Far beyond any expectations I had with that first post. I’d like to thank you all for putting the gas in my tank to pursue my goals and dreams. I am passing mile markets with increasing speed and I have a great feeling about 2014.

Lucas out.

Detroit Rock City

guitar

I’ve had more than my fair share of jobs. I’ve been working since I was 15 and honestly I don’t have a good excuse for why I’m not a millionaire after nearly 30 years of employment. I’ll chalk that up to questionable choices and poor planning.

I suppose in time I will write about all of the hats I have worn. For now it’s suffice to say that my varied experiences have made me a well-rounded guy and that certainly helps with my role as an educator as well as my writing.

Recently a friend (and former boss) posted something on Facebook that took me back, back to my early 20s and my time at Detroit’s State Theater (now a Fillmore Theater, rebranded and absorbed by the Gelatinous Cube known as Live Nation).

It will always be The State Theater to me. A 1925 Renaissance Revival style movie house, this beautifully restored theater provided the backdrop for many of my misadventures. It was a pirate ship of sorts. I have a love for architecture and old buildings, and I can point to my time at the State for stoking that fire. The sub-basement was right out of Frankenstein, with huge belt driven fans for an ancient air conditioning system and the projection booth still had the original projectors. They were behemoths. So many hidden rooms, passageways, and secret places. I’m fairly certain there was a ghost or two. Just take a look at these nifty pictures and tell me you wouldn’t want to LARP a Cthulhu horror mystery there.

I began as a doorman/bouncer but eventually made my way backstage, working as a stagehand and also serving as the video director for a good chunk of my time there. My time as a stagehand has ruined me for live shows. I spent too many shows watching from the side of the stage or the soundboard. Standing out in the crowd, just a regular dude, is something that I still have difficulty with. I am a spoiled, petulant man-child.

Below is an almost complete list of shows I crewed (thanks to my friend’s post…he called them up via this database). I have a story for every one of them (another book to write). I’m sure that I am forgetting a few (+/- 20). For now, I just like looking at the list and keeping those adventures to myself.

Any favorites of yours on my list?

I look at this list and think, DAMN I LUCKED OUT.

Continue reading Detroit Rock City

Tom Lucas GETS HOOKED: 5×5 Interview with The Hook.

My completely unplanned January press tour continues with an interview over at The Hook. It was a good time, and The Hook’s readers are a complete blast.

I blasted Scooby Doo, got the tears going with a bit about my Dad, and attempted to defend my strange and baffling appreciation for Steely Dan.

Check it out here. The Hook is a blog worth following, and thanks again to the fine minds behind it for having me.

 

Interview with Tom Lucas in Debut Issue of Stanton Sunshine

sunshine

Stanton Sunshine is a brand spanking new web magazine with the purpose to “give people of all ages a safe place to visit — a place where you can feel nurtured, encouraged, entertained, loved and blessed. To offset the negativity that crops up in everyday life, I like to find the positive in every situation.”

Editor Debb Stanton has been a loyal follower of my blog for some time and I was honored to be interviewed for the first issue. Thanks Debb!

You can read the interview here.