Interview with Author Wade Joseph LeFevre

  • 1. What inspired you to become an author? What was your inspiration for writing?
  •  Originally I wanted to be a screenwriter. I even took some classes in college. My mom and some friends tried to tell me to write a book for years before I finally did it. I was working at a video store and becoming disheartened at what people wanted to see and what they thought of some fantastically good movies, so I figured it would be even harder to sell a screenplay than I had originally thought. I considered giving up writing entirely, but I had so many ideas! I figured what the hell and started writing Jude. I’d already written it as a screenplay so it was a pretty easy transition. The inspiration for Jude, like many of my other stories, came from a series of movies where I saw missed opportunities. They went in this direction and I thought, well what about that direction? Nobody ever goes that direction!
  • 2. Favorite character to write about?
  • I don’t know if there is any one specific character I like more than the others, but if you pay attention to the main characters in all of my stories they’re always wrestling with some strong real world dilemma before the story begins. Jude is living day to day in fear and the fear of alienating her loved ones is almost as bad as the one of being home alone, Arthur, the main character of Snipe Hunt, is getting ready to retire, but he has nothing. He’s old and alone and all he’s ever had is the job. Now what? So I suppose I like to write about characters who come at these extreme problems like vampires from a real world perspective that might even in some cases distract from their normal problems. Those are the characters I like writing about the most.
  • 3. Why did you chose paranormal on Snipe Hunt? Specifically why a vampire?
  • Well when I wrote Jude it was more of an exercise. Can I do this? I chose a story I had already written as a screenplay so I could focus more on the construction and prose. So when I sat down for the second book I was intending it to be released as my first and my thought process was, which of my stories are the most fully developed and ready to go, and then what would probably get noticed. I chose Snipe Hunt because of the prologue. I was sure that it would definitely grab people’s attention. The prologue was actually the starting point for the entire project, so the villain had always been a vampire in the story.
  • 4. Have you ever thought or consider writing in a different genre like erotica or just plain romance?
  • I don’t know about romance. That’s not really my genre at all. I like a few movies, but not enough to want to do one of my own. I’ve never read a romance novel, only snippets. One of the stories I’m working on has a strong romantic element to it, and I’m having a hard time getting that story to take shape I think because of the romance involved. I have thought about erotica because frankly I can slip that into any genre I want. Everyone has sex so it would be no problem to write a very good science fiction or crime drama with heavy amounts of sex in it. I do have a project, possibly a series I have been considering and maybe one day I’ll sit down and write one, see how it goes.
  • 5. Which one of your books was the favorite to write?
  • I think my favorite one to write is the first draft I just completed. The book is set in my childhood and I got to revisit a good chunk of fun things and reminisce. Also, as much fun as I had on the other books, they were all more difficult to write. Jude and Snipe were an uphill battle to acclimate myself to prose after so long of doing screenplay format and the next book, Covenant, was easier and more fun, but there were still long days of staring out the window trying to make the chapters more than one page long. The newest book, which should be out next year, flowed pretty well and I wrote it start to finish in just a few months and I think, I hope, it’s excellent. 
  • 6. Which character do you relate to the most?
  • Of everyone I would have to say I relate most to Jude. Her fear gets in the way of her relationships, which is her main drive through the beginning of the story, getting over that fear so she doesn’t alienate her husband or impose on her sister. Since I was little I’ve been afraid of heights and I feel like it’s been a bit of a strain on some friends and potential girlfriends, to the point where I’m afraid to say things. I mean I am bad! Escalators at the mall can be a problem. So I definitely relate to Jude’s journey. 
  • 7. How do you approach cover design?
  • Oh well cover design is easy. I have no idea about cover design, and ignore the whole thing while I write the book. My friend Melissa and her husband Curt actually came up with the cover for Jude after reading the book. The rat on the string was the image that really caught their imaginations so we had to do it. My friend Kevin drew an incredible picture that is still my author photo on Facebook. But for the most part I rely on Sarah at Sprinkles on Top Studios. We went to her for Snipe and I told her what I was thinking. She caught the theme and came back with a few things and I found something out of those I liked and she put it all together and it was just magical! She redesigned Jude’s cover and I look forward to what she’s going to do this summer when she starts on Covenant. 
  • 8. Do you write as you go or do you have a pretty good idea of how the whole book is going to be?
  • For the most part I write as I go. I know key events when I sit down. Who the characters are, certain things I want to happen, I know the ending, but for the most part I put it together as I go. 
  • 9. Who is your favorite author? Most influential?
  • The answer to both of those is Richard Matheson. His books were always so detailed and interesting. He really knew how to get into a story and explore all the facets of it. His characters were usually everyday Joe’s just trying to make it day to day so they felt more real. My dad was a guy like that so I could really relate to them. They were just always in these extreme situations. Like I Am Legend I couldn’t even watch the Will Smith movie because he was an army doctor, but in the book he was a factory worker. The parts where he’s reading science books and trying to solve the vampire problem with something he didn’t understand was brilliant! 
  • 10. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?
  • I am Legend is actually my favorite book. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it. Fahrenheit 451 is a close second. I really like horror and science fiction, those are usually the ones I buy. I do like detective and mystery stories, like just recently I read Gone Girl which was amazing. I also read a lot of history like Black Hawk Down and In the Garden of Beasts. I like those stories about little moments in time that not many people have heard about or that made a giant impact in the world with such a little thing like taking the American embassy in Iran hostage. Real gripping stuff. 
  • 11. Which book was the hardest to write for you?
  • I would say the hardest was Snipe Hunt. Of course there was the issues of writing prose and being more detailed than in screenwriting which I’ve already mentioned, but my biggest hurdle was a fundamental flaw in the story I was telling which was, the main character was a cop. I hate those books usually, the horror novel where a cop is the main character, and when reading the back sometimes I’ll lose interest the moment I find out he’s a cop. I feel like it’s a cop out, no pun intended, kind of like how writers always make writers the main characters of their stories. It seems like such little work to put a cop at the center of your book. Of course he’s going to be at all the big events of your book, but I had to figure out a way to make it interesting and hopefully a little bit original. That’s where I got the idea that he’s retiring and alone in life, a real workaholic who doesn’t even like his job. The challenge was to make Arthur somebody that I wouldn’t say the author was just lazy picking this character when I finished the book. Fingers crossed that mission was accomplished? You tell me. 
  • 12. Where do you get your ideas from?
  • They come from different places. Sometimes they’re little things in my everyday life I see and others they’re bits from books and movies that I think I can do better or I see something that they didn’t see. For instance I see in movies a lot the stepmother/stepfather character listening in as their significant other tells the kids “he’s not trying to replace your father.” Dad’s dead, mom married a new guy. But nobody ever thinks of the religious point of view. If Cindy’s husband is dead and she marries Tom five years later, when she dies and goes to Heaven who does she spend eternity with? Does he old husband get the shaft? Has he been waiting ten years for his one true love and when she gets there she’s going to say, nope sorry waiting for Tom? I’ve thought about using that but can never find a place for it. Hopefully that all made sense. 
  • 13. How do you get in the writing mood?
  • Well some mornings I go for a good strong walk, less recently, but if I’m stuck somewhere a walk helps. I try to make myself sit at the computer in the mornings. Having a routine time to work really does help. Watching movies with the audio commentary or interviews with directors and screenwriters help too. I love listening to people discuss their process, where they came up with the characters and the story, how it developed. You don’t find this much in the book world which is why I included the afterwards in both books so far, so people who are interested could get more insight into where it all came from. 
  • 14. Do you listen to music while writing? If you do, what kind of music do you listen to?
  • I actually don’t listen to music while I’m writing. I’m the total silence type of guy. I know some people do and it helps them loosen up and stay loose, but me personally I find it distracting. 
  • 15. What is your e-reader device of choice? Or do you prefer books in print?
  • I prefer Kindle myself, although I still like the print book. I like to have a library. Some books are good to read for the dollar or three they cost on the kindle, sometimes I read a cheap book and love it and buy the paper back so I can have it! I alternate between print and the kindle but I wouldn’t say one was better than the other. 
  • 16. When did you first start writing?
  • I think it was 94 or 95. I’m about to age myself pretty good but when I was in junior high I fell in love with movies. I would sit down and write variations of these movies I loved at the time. I remember doing it for the Crow, Judge Dredd, Pulp Fiction and the Usual Suspects. Some would be pretty close copies, other times they would be generic knock offs like when you go to Redbox and see a movie that looks exactly like Transformers but it’s not at all like Transformers. I’m not sure exactly when I segued into coming up with my own stories, but transcribing some of my favorites was my original jumping off point. 
  • 17. What is the earliest memory you have of writing a story?
  • Well the earliest memory I have of writing an original story of mine was this one I did in high school, all handwritten, about these four teenagers who killed the creepy guy next door and buried him in a fresh grave at the graveyard. Twenty years later that grave was being exhumed and they were all afraid to get caught and they all lived with extreme guilt… It was an interesting story with some good twists but it doesn’t really work as it is. Maybe one day I’ll revise it or make it work better. I still have it in a box somewhere for just such an occasion. 
  • 18. When did you first, without hesitation, called yourself a writer?
  • I think it was my last year or so of high school. I was determined to go to college for screenwriting, I’d even looked into Cal State Northridge. There was never anything I wanted to do besides write really. I can’t remember the first time exactly I said it, but I know the first few times was odd to say. At a certain point it just became a part of my identity. When people ask what I do I say I’m a writer, but I make my money over here. My job and my income don’t have anything to do with it at all. Being a writer is the same as being male at this point. 
  • 19. What do you like to do in your downtime when not writing?
  • I read a lot! There are some shows I try to keep up with on television, like Doctor Who for example, and I’ll go to movies and hang out with friends, but a bulk of my time not writing or working is spent reading I would say. 
  • 20. Do you have any upcoming appearances/signings? When and where?
  • I am actually going to be at Authors Under the Lights in Universal City on March 22nd.

Bonus:

If you could have one superpower or become a certain paranormal (like a vampire, werewolf, etc) what would it be?

If I had the ability to do anything I would want the ability to stop time. Take a longer nap than I normally would, do some reading when I want to, go to work when I was ready, basically not have to fit everything I want and need to do into a few short hours. Just leisurely get everything done at my pace. That would be brilliant!

snipe hunt  terrorizing jude cover

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