Congratulations on your new release for the ‘Nightlife Series’. I have to say you know how to pull a reader in. I dislike roller coaster rides, in fact, they terrify me. Your experience with one particular ride took me with you, whether I wanted to go or not, and I forgive you, because it hooked me and wouldn’t let go, especially as the ride climbed to the top, a man, terrified his safety belt was not secured properly, snapping it in place just in time for that 80 mph descent.
Your love for roller coasters is mentioned and explored with your family. What draws you to roller coasters?
I suppose having season tickets to Six Flags San Antonio helps. J I could come up with all kinds of philosophical drivel and metaphors, but I think my fascination with roller coasters is one of those “reclaim your lost youth” things. The older I get, the more I have learned to appreciate those rare moments of abandon, letting all other concerns dissipate with the thrill of the ride. Escapism maybe?
Would you believe my teenagers actually complain about going to the theme park. My son would rather skate. Kids today take so much for granted.
Have you taken this love/thrill and applied it in your ‘Nightlife Series’?
I live very vicariously through my novels, perhaps a little too much. These worlds allow me to indulge in all the decadence and adventurous abandon I can imagine. I can imagine A LOT. In some ways it feels like developing a split personality. There’s this kinda insane guy who goes places and does things the married father could and should never do. I shudder to think what I would be doing if I was single with no kids.
What inspired you to write this series?
I was reading lots of different novels at the time, horror, and romance, contemporary, paranormal. I found myself envisioning several scenarios and characters that should be in a novel. The idea occurred to me I could actually write the stories I wished had already been written for my entertainment. One of those ‘epiphany’ moments. Once I got the idea stuck in my head, I was off and going. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Would you be willing to share a few tidbits from ‘Nightlife: Las Vegas’?
‘The Nightlife Las Vegas’ takes our two favorite vampires to the edges of extreme behavior, the brink of insanity. Aaron is still learning about himself, still fighting an inner battle with his predatory-carnal cravings. In a momentary loss of control, he decides to bring the food home with him. He and Michelle adopt a bloodslave pet, Anastasia. Ana has a long dark history of issues, alcoholism, drug abuse, and other things.
This is in part Ana’s story of her fascination-addiction to Aaron and Michelle. They take on Ana’s baggage into their little family.
All of Michelle’s tidy rules of vampiric deportment are broken. ‘The Nightlife Las Vegas’ begs the question: What happens when vampires use heroin?
I genre hop in my writing and know why I do it, but everyone has their own reasons writing for multiple genres. What inspiration draws your muse to write Paranormal Romance Erotica, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Horror?
I write urban fantasy-paranormal romance-thriller-horror-suspense-with-a-splash-of-erotica for my own personal entertainment. These are the kinds of novels I enjoy reading. I have always been enthralled by the macabre, taboo, and otherwise obnoxious and shocking fiction.
I wrote a Young Adult urban fantasy novel, “The Shepherd”, for my own teens as a Christmas present last year. It has since undergone much editing and is still being edited. I’m told it’s a little too edgy for YA readers, but hey, that’s how I write. I should have it published by this Christmas or January.
I have another YA novel planned that delves into an unusual unintended consequence of identity theft. My kids love the ideas and plot to the tale, so I’m gonna have to write it.
I have an upcoming Science fiction novel set in 2064. I consider it prophetic-futurist. It’s largely my own vision of what our future will be like. I’ve thrown in some other elements for entertainment value, but the fundamental basis of this future society is a series of today’s trends that I see leading to an unavoidable eventuality. It’s a heavy political, philosophical, and environmental statement.
I look forward to reading your paranormal romance based on the tidbits you shared on your blog about bringing the reader in versus giving lessons on sex. When can we anticipate a release and find out a little more about it?
My novel, ‘BLOOD SLAVE’, is out now. It is about a young immigrant from Columbia working as an escort in Spanish Harlem who ends up bloodslave to a vampire. It’s written first person, and is essentially a paranormal romance with suspense-thriller-horror overtones. It is more or less the same kind of novel as the Nightlife New York & Las Vegas.
Here’s the blurb for BLOOD SLAVE:
Her mother named her Esperanza de Salvador – Hope for Salvation. Her mother must have known what her life would be like. As an escort in the sex trade working for Columbian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, Esperanza had little hope of salvation.
When she’s forced into an unusual addictive relationship as Blood Slave to Vampire Master Enrique, trapped in a Manhattan penthouse, she thought she was dead meat. But Enrique seemed to respect her, perhaps even care for her.
It’s a whirlwind love story as she’s swept into the high society nightlife of the Manhattan elite, hanging on the arm of her filthy rich Vampire Master Enrique. But is it all that it seems? Does Enrique really love her as she does him? Or is it nothing more than a relationship of convenience, to provide his nightly demands for blood.
And what will she do if the cartel boss she abandoned finally catches up with her to collect on old debts?
You have shared your experience in obtaining ebook cover art, using the method of ‘prove you’re the one’…How has your muse created this in your books?
I am a control freak in all things. I must have complete control over my writing, cover art, publishing, marketing, and promotions. Although I work with beta-readers, critiques, and an editor, in the end I decide what to write and publish. The ‘prove you’re the one’ attitude is a symptom of the heavy competition in all aspects of self-publishing. There’s a ton of service providers, cover artists, and formatters out on the web. You must sift through the slush pile to find the gems, to find service providers that can do what you cannot do yourself, or do it far better than you can.
One thing that’s helped me immensely is a group of like-minded Indie authors who cross-promote and lend a helping hand, ASMSG–Author’s Social Media Support Group. I joke around it’s like AA meetings for author’s: “Hello, my name is Travis, I’m a twitter addict and an author…”
But seriously, a group like this helps you to hone your craft and put out the best product you can as an author/publisher. That’s what ‘prove you’re the one’ comes down to. Prove you have a voice readers connect with.
I read where you said, ‘Your e-book better be one cool-ass lookin’ thumbnail’. That is a great way to sum it up for any part of our writing in order to pull in readers, publishers and agents in a query, synopsis or blurb. What advice would you give writers, newbies to seasoned, in making their presentation ‘cool-ass lookin’?
The competition for discovery is fierce. We must provide a product that stands out with a unique factor; or something that speaks to the readers of our genre, giving them precisely what they want. I have chosen to be unique in cover art and writing. But I know my market is the romance/erotica female readers, so my blurbs are written for those women.
I don’t do queries. I don’t waste time chasing waterfalls. I’m Indie and happy about it.
My advice: Writers/publishers need to study closely the trends in their genres, and finds ways to be at the cutting edge of that trend or carve out a little unique piece of that pie. We can no longer be just ‘writers’. We must learn all the tools employed in publishing and marketing, and learn how to attract attention amongst the gazillions of other authors trying to do the same.
Life brings trials and tribulations in many forms and when we least expect it. What is your most memorable and has it enhanced your writing?
I would say that spending a few unplanned moments incarcerated is one of the most life-changing events anyone can go through. In there, the characters you meet, the stories they tell of their lives, are far more colorful and intense than any fiction. The old saying ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ is never more accurate than when you’re in jail.
One last question 🙂 for readers of paranormal romance erotica…what do your heroines love about your muse?
I take my heroines on an extreme ride of eroticism, violence, and emotional highs and lows. They face adversity and challenges, but they rise up and overcome. My heroines usually have a dark rough past that’s shaped who they are today. In the immortal words of Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger.’
Readers have spoken with 5 star reviews on Travis Luedke:
“…considerable talent for crafting erotic, action-packed, supernatural thrillers that leave the reader saying “Wow!” Mr. Luedke has an incredibly twisted imagination…”
That’s one reader’s opinion. But don’t take his word for it, check it out FREE. ‘The Nightlife New York’ is permaFREE on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Smashwords, and Kobo. Enjoy.
Thank you for a wonderful interview, Travis. I agree with your, ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger.’ quote. It’s one of my favorites, too, and another reason why I like a song with that similar approach.
Congratulations on your new release and thank you for the information on your permFREE read. I wish you much success!
Readers, you will not be disappointed. Travis can be found many places…check him out below!