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Welcome to your regular dose of Writer Wednesday creativity advice from your host with the most.
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Today, we have an excellent Author Interview to share with you all on this fine evening, as we welcome our guest author Alan Lampe, as he tells us about his debut novel release and shares with us his writing experiences.
Buckle up for a crazy adventure and have fun, thanks for reading 🙂
Hi there Alan, a real pleasure to have you here over here today to discuss your debut novel release, along with your own passions, influences and writing experiences.
Thanks for having me, David, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Let’s start first with your debut novel itself “Bill’s Cajun House of Pleasure”, a historical fiction ‘romp in the swamp’ tale, based in a bordello in the swamps of Louisiana. Please tell us more about the plot and themes of your book, along with giving us an insight into your cantankerous protagonist Bill Valencourt and what kind of crazy adventures are in store for him throughout the course of his journey spanning thirty years.
“Bill’s Cajun House of Pleasure” is a humorous telling of the well-worn tale of boy meets girl, boy meets another girl, boy dumps first girl for second girl. It just so happens the second girl is a whore in his uncle’s employ. Bill’s uncle was a prison of war during the Great War. He returned with a very bad attitude. Bill picks up this bad attitude and believes it is the right way to run his business. Throughout the course of the book, he learns this is not the case. He reluctantly changes his ways, but it’s a little too late by then to go back and make amends.
Crazy Adventures: In Bill’s world, it’s normal for everyone to know he runs a bordello in a small town. He has all his women get into the Halloween spirit and hand out candy to the local kids, and other favors to the men. Bill gets his news from Rich Bastärds, who broadcasts from the WFUX radio station in Baton Rouge. Throughout the years, Rich’s primary story is another stolen part off his Buick Roadmaster. When Bill returns after World War II, he reluctantly hires a peg-legged woman who throws out her bed and installs trapeze style swings in her room. He also must contend with Helen, the Red-Haired Hellion, and her roomful of scented candles. At the beginning of the 1960s, he meets the most honest lawman in Louisiana, the righteous Officer Ambeauxpeaux, who just happens to fall in in love with Hurricane Gussy, one of Bill’s women. Bill also keeps an eye on his local barfly, an immigrant worker who can drink anyone under the table.
If your novel was to be made into a film (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
Liam Hemsworth as young Bill, Clint Eastwood as the older Bill and Margot Robbie as Ariel.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I have an alligator reading a book being held up by two frogs on my business card. There are several alligators in “Bill’s Cajun House of Pleasure.” They’re pretty laid back, until they strike lightening quick. In a way, that’s my style of writing. I’m going along with the story and then BAM, here’s an unexpected joke.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
The ability to make the manuscript fun is what defines my writing. In the Halloween scene in my book, a young boy and Bill discuss how much Ariel’s costume, as Mata Hari, covers her body. It’s a fun way to interject math into the story without the dread of a word problem. Humor pops up quite a bit in my stories. I want ensure my readers have a wonderful time with my work.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The most difficult thing is finding quick answers to research questions. One of Bill’s customers arrives in a Buick where the antenna is in the middle of the roof just above the windshield. Trying to find out exactly what that was called took time out of my writing.
The easiest thing is letting my characters tell the story. All I have to do is just type the words they say. Sometimes they know what is going on better than I do and I let them take control.
Who are some of the authors, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain inspire me. Edgar created a whole new genre. How many authors get to do that? Mark Twain had an amazing wit. He worked a dead cat into most of Huckleberry Finn’s activities with ease, as if it wouldn’t be possible to do the event without the dead cat.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Quite a bit actually. I visited the Fort Smith Visitor Center at Miss Laura’s to understand how a bordello works. The building was once a bordello and is a great start. In my first draft, I mention how the sunlight through the glass jar turned the whiskey a peanut butter color. One of my critiques said if that is true, then the whiskey has gone sour. So, I bought a 1950’s glass whiskey jar online, borrowed some whiskey from my co-worker and found out sunlight through the jar makes it clear. I also contacted Baton Rouge General to verify the hospital’s name back in the time that I used it. The more I research, the better I can make the story.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I write for the joy of creating new experiences. How else can you understand the inner workings of a brothel, the circus, alcohol and cars of 1950’s without going into debt? A common phrase for all writers is to “write what you know.” I’ve seen it adapted to “write what you’re willing to research.” Once again, all those topics are a joy to research. Sometimes it’s even more fun to seek the answer out in person instead of online. Writing is also a great education tool. I looked up clothing styles, period slang, voodoo and much more all to make a Bill’s rich in authenticity. Writing, and doing the research is a true joy for me.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I have an exercise I do to deal with Writers Block. I take the one word theme of the scene I want to write and jot it down on a piece of paper. Then I create branches from that word of everything the word means or refers to. For instance, if coffee is the theme, one branch could include coffee makers, like Folgers, Maxwell House, Sanka, and Nescafe. Another branch would hold the types of coffee, like cappuccino, café mocha, latte, and Turkish coffee. After all the branches are created, I can see all the options necessary to break through Writers Block and press on.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing sooner! I wrote in elementary school and in junior high, but got away from it in high school. If I had continued to write and took courses on writing back then, I probably would have more books out now.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
When the weather is good, I like to hike. When I’m stuck in doors, I’ll either watch some TV or clean the house.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’m working on second book. It is not a sequel to “Bill’s Cajun House of Pleasure.” It is a medieval historical fantasy set in a new world. I model several of the town and cities from various times in Earth’s past. For example, one of the towns is modelled after Peter the Great’s Russia. Another is steep in the Italian Renaissance. A third represents the glory of Spain when it mastered the seas. Humor flows throughout the novel.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Finish your first draft. Don’t get side tracked by a critique group who say rewrite all this and try again. Listen to what they have to say and take notes, then adopt their suggestions as you keep writing. Don’t spend months trying to make a perfect opening chapter. Write what your characters are telling you and move on. It is easier to edit a full manuscript than it is a chapter of an unfinished story. One last thing for aspiring writers, dedicate some time every week to writing, and don’t let your family, friends, or job, interfere with that writing time. The more time you spend writing, the better you’ll be.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining us Alan and for giving us enlightening creative advice, we can’t wait to head out to swamp and dive into your tales with Bill real soon 🙂
Thank you, David, I’ve enjoyed being your guest.
Alan Lampe is an author under contract with Oghma Creative Media. His first book, Bill’s Cajun House of Pleasure, is scheduled to be released on April 24, 2018. Keep up with his progress by reading his weekly blog.
His historical fiction summer beach read needs to be in your 2018 travel plans. The story is based in a bordello in the swamps of Louisiana. This romp in the swamp spans thirty years, from 1939 to 1969, with well-developed over-the-top characters. A tale told in the fashion of Forrest Gump by cantankerous and foul-mouthed Bill Valencourt from his room at Our Lady of Sorrows Nursing Home in New Orleans to Times-Picayune reporter Jimmie Rains. A few alligators come along for the ride. Told from his point of view, see how he learns breaking up with a voodoo princess for a soiled swamp dove wasn’t the smartest move he ever made.
You can connect with Alan via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Alan Lampe – Author (FB)
Twitter:- @AlanLampeAuthor (Twitter)
Website:- The Website of Author Alan Lampe
You can buy his books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, as authors we strive to give our writing our own individual voice and to make our words as authentic as possible. Alan is a big fan of authenticity, particularly in his dedication to the research for his book, an aspect which he actually enjoys the most about writing. For more articles on the theme of ‘Authentic’ then check out these links by fellow bloggers below:-
1. Copper Cranes – Affectation
2. Daily Prompt: Authentic – Bonkers Away!
3. Brainpan Data Dump – Your True Self
4. Daily Word Prompt: Authentic – Confessions of a Twenty-Something
5. copypower – Authentic Self
6. Copper Cranes – Mockingbird
7. Give Me Authentic – miko hargett
8. Article 94 – Isolation
9. Momentum of Jo – Using Your Authentic Voice
10. Bengali beauty. – What every heart desires.
11. Poncho hand-woven – Ana Studio Art
12. Smiling – aroused
13. theblackwallblog – Always You
14. Authentic – Favor’s blog
15. Be Real – Debbie Gravett
16. #Authentic – zeinswords
17. 3 Quotes, 3 Days – All The Shoes I Wear
18. Authentic – aroused
19. D.J. Garcia, Gentleman & Scholar – Being real
20. After All These Years – Leigha Robbins
21. witchlike – A Mad Tea Party
22. Success Inspirers World – You have to be authentic
23. Authentic – Covert Novelist
24. Authentic Book Reviews – E. Denise Billups, Writer
25. The heart wants – The Chaos Within
26. A superhuman chicken spoke – Quaint Revival
27. Authenthic – the nathan estibeiro
28. BLOG #21: BEAUTYMNL.COM REVIEW (YAY OR NAY) – Thousand Love
29. She is just an ambivert – Prachi Acharya
30. The library shhhhhed itself today – Dreaming of being a kick ass librarian
31. Authenticity – FocusHappyNow
32. Haiku: Spring Pond – Tranature
33. Which Way? Stillness: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards – This Pilgrim’s Progress
34. Breathe. In Remembrance. – Zeckrombryan
35. Make your day worthwhile – Musings
36. An Authentic Life – Andrew Green’s Poems
37. The Sky Of My Thoughts… – Rashmi Mishra
38. Darling, You Must See Who I See – A Tango of Pen and Paper
39. There Goes My Heart – valeriesvoice
40. Notes to Women – The Weekend
41. HIS HAND, I HOLD – That Indian Girl in Sweden
42. Walk with God – Fessing Up!
43. Free images for your blog? I recommend Canva – I’ll Watch Your Life In Pictures
44. Light Motifs II – All She Wrote
45. Authentic – minzkhaitan
46. A Life Retired – Authentic support
47. American Dream – Life As A Single Mom
48. Once a Day Photos – Work Boots
49. Rogue Planet – Vibes
50. How to be your authentic self (in a world that wants you to be otherwise) – Pearls Global Impact
51. Life On The Skinny Branches – The Real McCoy
52. Authentic Self – iamlifelonglearner
53. Conversations – SUDDENLY SOUND
54. I am me – Life is a Journey
55. An authentic life – SophiesWisdom
56. Nickey Dubstep – authenticity and me
57. Daily Art – coolpeppermint – March 2018
58. Life. Love and the|Imperial Guards – ccelaynarose3
59. Another authentic Thought! – FeelPurple
60. Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales – As Then, So It Is Now …
61. Cat Lesson Learned – Bipolar Barb
62. Be Fearlessly Authentic – Inspiring Authenticity, Health and Empowerment
63. Scott Andrew Bailey – Authentic
64. On Hold and A Handbasket to H*ll – Walk the Goats
65. In Illo Tempore (In Those Days) – clayandbranches
66. 30 Day Emotional Detox – Day 1. Rope Of Hope – Opinionated Head
67. RECIPE: Authentic Meat Kashmiri Rogan Josh – The Fruity Tart
68. constant VARIABLE – Authentic
69. Drown Out the Noise – EST. AT 3 A.M.
70. Authentic Random words… – FeelPurple
71. Authentic – thehouseofbailey
72. Work – Words
73. Feeling Free, Being Me ( a poem) – Sumyanna Writes
74. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – AUTHENTIC
75. Avicii is dead but he will always hold a fond place in my memories – Sebastian’s Life
76. Scars – wide-eyed wanderer
77. Reality of Reality – OneAndNone
78. Pure – I am a paradox.
79. Be It Politics or Love – response to daily prompt – The Bleeding Pencil
80. Authenticity Is Magnetic • sarishboo
81. At-Home Ladies Paint Nights – The Bright and Bubbly Chronicles
82. My throat is stolen by an overbearing growl – Sarahs Crazy Mind
83. Alone, Not Lonely – Words Un-Spoken
84. Under the influence? – Word Play … Poetry in Progress
85. Authentic – pencilandpaperstories
86. thelonerose – Are we friends?
87. Bank Notes and Legal Tender – Ruth Blogs Here
88. charlottesville winter – Why I Suck My Belly In When I See You
89. Love, Episode 48, Odysseys in Paradise – The Jittery Goat
90. IfItBringsYouJoy – Inspirational Home Decor
91. Running Full Force – Fingers to Sky
92. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin – Authentic.
93. Authentic Self – Crunchy Fusion
94. Authentic reflection (s) haiku – The Journey
95. Six-word story: Authentic – writingiswonderful
96. Full Stop – My Life Is My Making
97. Authentic – The Bag Lady
98. The Anthem Of Spring – Memoirs of Alexander
99. G.I.R.L – Fearlessly Authentic
100. A Most Authentic Tourist – Help from Heaven
101. Authentic is better than fake – In my world
102. Authentic Counterfeit – hannah t.k.
103. Bent U ook Single? Are you also single? – #Theo|Herbots|Magazine Love, Joy And Happiness
104. Authentic – wordsareallihavesite
105. Blase’ – [Oh, cuanto te amo!]
106. Awl and Scribe – Conversing Birds
107. Naikanlens – The crystalline core of identity
108. Innocent eyes – In Denial
109. theempathyqueen – Authentic Behavior
110. Innocent eyes – Words – the deadliest foe of ’em all
111. Keeping It Real – LanelWilson
112. Pink Flower – SUDDENLY SOUND
113. Authentic Deeds – emotionsoflife2016
114. Apoven – Word of the Day: Authentic
115. Battle Marks … Scars Define How We Live Our Lives – Dhidhak
116. MC’s Whispers – Be authentic; be real
117. aaaUThenTic me too! – FeelPurple
118. Proscenium – Bad Hair Day
119. Martha L Shaw – AUTHENTICITY
120. Trace the fog – Authentic lost soul sound
121. Take me there – The Inkwell
122. Just Me And My Music – A Pricey Word
123. A Place With Special Meaning – One Way Ticket to America
124. In So Many Words – Punch the Monster
125. AWESOMELY AUTHENTIC – Marilyn Armstrong – Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life On Earth
126. Higher Than The Sky. Deeper Than The Ocean. – Curious Cat
127. Keeping it Real – Emy Life
128. The Real Deal – Rudy’s Ruminations
129. Letter to My Unborn Child- Whitney – DatOneLady
130. Scruples – This, That, and The Other
131. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – R is for Red Sox
132. Earthly Brain – 420
133. No place to Go – Around the World
134. Authentic Karen cuisine – Oh, border!
135. Light Words – A New Slant On A An Old Way Of Getting Around
136. Musings of a Random Mind – Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish
137. Be original – Emovere
138. Genuine – Protoformal Musings
139. Authentic – LIZ CHARNES
140. Emily K. Martin – You Wanna Make Me Cry?
141. This Is The Reason Feminists Want to Destroy Your Culture – The Male Factor
142. Fake – Megha’s World
143. Intimate Partner Violence – Turn The Tables On Feminists Now – The Male Factor
144. bethlovesblue – Poem #20
145. Jyothi’s Day Out – Authentic
146. Authentic Hand Crafted Jewelry – Mainline_Matter
147. Don’t be silly, doctor. – ampycom
148. An Exemption, Not THE Rule – Hinuha
149. Known Stranger – My Writings: My Views
150. My Life’s Top 3 Quotes – wealthandwallet
151. Life with chronic illness #2 Pain management – positive guider
152. Her Pearl – Along Came Poly…
153. Meandering on a narrow boat. – The Grey Traveller
154. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – “My Favorite Things, Enemies All Around” by DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES Vs. GHOSTFACE KILLAH & ADRIAN YOUNGE
155. On the Alsace Wine Route – Journeys of Len
156. nowathome – Authentic South AFrican Food
157. 0.2 – Normal Happenings – On Curse Words in Fiction
158. A perfect day for (hand) quilting… – Melony Patch
159. Authentic – Spiritual Fruit Without Religion
160. To Thine Own Self Be True, Especially If You Want to Make a Zillion Bucks – Reflections of An Untidy Mind
161. Na’ama Yehuda – You, Authenticated
162. HONEST AND TRUE – lovenlosses
163. “Authentic?” – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
164. Thriving Not Surviving – I Now Have the Courage to Reveal My Authentic Self
165. Authentic – Prompt and Circumstance
166. At the game… – KerDoodle Village
167. Big Apple – A Curious Hermit
168. Is It Okay To Have Regrets? – Sparkklingthoughts
169. Spinman – This VOGUE cover is Nearly 100 Years Old . “Amazing photos inside”
170. Authentic Pawn Shop Blues – Art Practitioner
171. Piper’s Adventures – Authentic: Spirit Meditation
172. Within (NaPoWriMo Day 20) – The Eggcorn
173. Old Rodeo Man – writelee.com
174. Wallie’s Wentletrap – Dragon Sim
175. 50 By 60 – On becoming a Gym Rat
176. This won is Authentic Sah! – Jesus_Freak
177. Curious Hart – Quote Challenge ~ “Authentic”
178. Brian Eno on what he learned from David Bowie in making art – Wells Baum
179. ‘Trust that your intuition is leading you somewhere.’ – Wells Baum
180. How does one just exist ? – Young Brave and Living
181. The Fabric of Friendship – bambubbled
182. Social networking is superficial – Wells Baum
183. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Authentic Feline
184. War and Love #Flash fiction – Short Prose
185. Real – BONSALLES ART
186. Real or fake? How to identify the authenticity of online photos – Wells Baum
187. Ceruleanpassion – The Authentic Soul
188. New2Writing – The Tunnels of Tad-Dlam â€“ Part 1
189. DEATH’S GENTLE EMBRACE – aglow TO ILLUMINATE WITH LOVE & GRATITUDE
190. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Let There be Light
191. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Authentic
192. Speaking your truth – My Cornerstone of Poetry
193. paeansunpluggedblog – Authentic
194. Underneath – Live Like It Matters
195. Wishing – Unoriginal (love) noteS
196. Letting our kids grow up – I Am Writing
197. Hot White Snow – Wait, This is Not Dim Sum
198. self – EclecticExclamations
199. The Carnival – TVG Writing
200. Science Traveler – My Interview and Abraham Lincoln on the Railsplitter Podcast
201. Social Media (poem) – Blue Sky Days 365
202. Are We Original? – Sparkklingthoughts
203. Cats Don’t – Curious Steph
204. A Present from Marrakech – Short Story. – Tales from the mind of Kristian
205. Dronstad – Deep web spider 2
206. Authentic – syncwithdeep
207. The Roaming Heart – The Psalmist
208. Inspiration (Micro poetry) – Megha’s World
209. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Authentic
210. Socially Awkward – stoneronarollercoaster
211. Phony – Vox Humbug
212. Streams and Consciousness – Ta An Speaks
213. Authentic (daily prompt) – refract reality
214. Amble Ramble – slkslkslkslk
215. Haiku on Friday – cocoa2
216. Lavender – Ta An Speaks
217. I Don’t Want To Be A Celebrity – M.S Poetry
218. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: authentic
219. bogpan – authentic olive oil
220. tell the truth – Seventeen Syllable Poetry
221. sonja benskin mesher – .. corruptions of spring ..
222. true love – Seventeen Syllable Poetry
223. Designer Sophisticate – The Real McCoy.
224. As Usual – Ta An Speaks
225. Bits of empty nesting – Quaint Revival
226. truth – Seventeen Syllable Poetry
227. Sweet Revenge – Short Story – Bookish Ideals
228. Frank Prem – confusing realities (a sound of thunder)
229. Frank Prem – fast track perambulation
230. Cimmerian Sentiment – Wobbly Legs – Part 17 – Marisol And Grady (NSFW)