Paul Levas is a man who knows where he is going. As a writer, he will be writing till the day he dies. I wanted to interview Levas here for the site, and I really wanted to get him to tell you why you need to be reading his books. As a horror writer, he takes his inspiration from Stephen King– what better education could there be? Read, learn and enjoy….
If you could work with any author who would it be?
Stephen King and Michael Bray.
Who is your favourite author, and is you writing style similar to theirs?
Stephen King, and I have been told my style is very similar.
What’s your favourite part of a book, Paul?
The ending. But I love the entire story. See how things develop.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
No, however, in a novel I am about to start, the main character’s name is Donald King–for Donald Westlake and Stephen King.
How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
Greatly. I write what I know. For example, I just wrote a story titled Restroom, where a young boy is locked inside a porta-potty. When I was six or seven, I myself was locked inside. I was terrified. My aunt rescued me.
What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?
For about a year I read Stephen King and Joe Hill, but now I am on year #2 of Harry Potter. To answer your question, I love Horror, Fantasy, thrillers.
Were you always good at writing?
Most authors of whom I am a fan started writing very young. I was a video game junkie until I turned sixteen. Since then, I’ve been writing. At first I wasn’t good. Like anything else, I’ve learned a lot as I’ve written and read more.
How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it).
My novel, 43, which is in edits, is about an abused boy named Jason Dillinger. With that one, I didn’t really get an idea. I observed someone I know. I observed him so much, I felt like I was him–the one being abused. Angry, sad, hurt, etc. I started writing every day–1,000 words a day–and I ended up with an 88,000 word manuscript. Another novel I wrote, Trials of Life, simply came from a quote that popped up in my head: ‘The choices you make depict your future.’
What advice would you give to people who “run out of creativity” when writing?
WRITE every day. Read every day. The only way you will ever get better are through those two things, and to be around positive people. I know from personal experience that stress and anxiety interrupt the process.
What is the most important lack in your life?
Sadly, my family- brother, sister, mother.
You are in Walmart looking at books—you see your new book on the shelf—what do you think?
I will scream inside, with a smile like Heath Ledger’s character the Joker. I will be proud and happy.
You are on a plane and someone asks if you are Paul Levas and raves about your new book—how do you handle it?
BEWILDERED AND HAPPY. I will give them all of my time and a “Thank you!”
You have the #1 bestseller in America—what would be your first thought?
Thank you Lord God, and thank you for everyone that helped me along the way.
Are you at ease when interviewing? Do you find interviews generally exciting or boring?
Exciting and nervous.
What puts you off when reading a book? Bad grammar? Awful editing? Slow stories?
Slow story and bad grammar.
Is paradise self-made or can it be found? Is writing your paradise?
My soon-to-be wife and writing are my paradise.
You enter “The Twilight Zone” and find yourself in a world without books or reading. Is your first reaction to explore this new place or to leave in disgust at the illiteracy of this new world?
Explore. A great idea could arise.
Why do you think reading has become such a rarity in the U.S.A? Do you blame video games and modern pop music for its decline?
Video games are great after a long, productive day, but if you play them every day non-stop…well, I don’t feel productive. I HAVE to write. Even if its fifteen words.
Do you agree that writers have to be salesmen in the Indie world?
With self-publishing, yes; but even if you’re with a publisher, it would never hurt to start a conversation about your work.