Welcome Leighgendaries to the nineteenth edition of 10 Questions With…
Today, our guest is:
Ernie Luis is a college student down in Miami studying sports and fitness. He loves drinking beers and growing beards. Hobbies include adventures and road trips with friends, obnoxiously yelling at his favorite sports teams whether they’re doing good or bad, and eating. When he’s not doing any of those, he’s probably writing and chasing his dream of telling people stories.
It’s time for:
10 Questions With Ernie Luis
1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?
For the longest time, it was actually my love of writing that most people had no idea about. Not even my parents. But other than that, I’m a pretty open book, so there’s not too many things people don’t know about me. Except maybe the body that’s buried in the backyard…just kidding. One thing only my close friends know is that I’m secretly a pirate, who only comes out with the consumption of rum.
2.) What inspired you to write your first book?
A mixture of Hugh Howey’s Wool – Part 1, and the film Looper. I was 19 years old, unaware of this phenomena of self publishing, and after reading about the Kindle Marketplace, suddenly I didn’t need an agent or a publisher to put my stories out there. So after a few years of writing stories, hating them, never publishing them, I wrote a story called Alternate, based off of an idea I got after watching Looper. And thus began my indie journey. And I’ve loved every minute of it.
3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Marcus Zusak. Because 1) The Book Thief, despite it being an obligation for summer reading in school, was the first book to ever make me pause mid-read and sit in silence as I swallowed what happened to those fictional characters. Which led to 2) him becoming the reason why I fell in love with written stories.
4.) If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Ernest Hemingway, because what other answer is there for writers named Ernie?
5.) What book are you reading now?
Armada by Ernest Cline
6.) Are there any new authors that have captured your interest?
Man, I wish I had a better answer for this! But I’ve just recently picked up a book by Kristin Hannah called the Nightingale. I had never heard of her before this, but I am a fan now. The Nightingale is one those books that’s so beautiful in the small moments that it pushes me to make every single sentence count in my books. Beautiful, beautiful book.
7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
Hmm, I’ve thought of this before. I don’t think I would, though. In my particular case, any changes I’ve had in mind for my stories have fleshed out into their own story ideas. Such as Meddler, which is a time travel short that will be featured in the Time Travel Chronicles.
8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Killswitch: In a war with artificially intelligent robots, humans created a limitless army through cloning. And as the war raged on, authentic human numbers dwindled. But when a clone soldier spots a robot protecting a human child through the apocalyptic wasteland, everything changes.
He could still hear those sounds. The whizzes, the pings, the pops. The booms, the crashes, the explosions. He could still hear the shouts from the living. The screams of the dying.
Tanner! They screamed, reaching out for him.
Tanner…their voices faded.
It’s okay, Tanner told them, holding their dying bodies. I’ve got you. It’s okay.
Sometimes they cried. Other times, he would. But there was always a small silence right before it was over. As if the war around them had faded to the background, allowing them one quiet moment as they slipped away. And in those moments, they gave Tanner the most important messages he would ever deliver.
Tell my sons, they’d say. Tell my daughters. Tell my wife. Promise me, you’ll tell them.
He would hear those final words while their limp bodies hung in his arms, their eyes and their voices the last things to go.
And there were so many. So many sons, so many daughters, so many wives. So many strong, heavy men held in the scrawny arms of a terrified boy. So many eyes fighting to stay open, to stay awake just long enough to see Tanner nod his head and promise them, Yes. I’ll tell your sons. I’ll tell your daughters. I’ll tell your wife. I promise.
And Tanner would stay with them as they let go. Relief in their eyes. Their struggle washing away.
Soldiers returned home broken from the war. Shaken from all they had seen. But for Tanner, it was different. It wasn’t the things he heard or the sights he saw. It wasn’t the taste of
blood or the touch of death. It was the promises. It was the promises he made on the battlefield, and the promises he kept, after it was all over, that eventually broke him.
9.) If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?
Maine, it’s basically Canada! Just give it to them.
10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
I’m sitting at my desk, looking at the thick black glove on my hand. I don’t how long I’ve been sitting here, staring numbly down at my covered palm. I don’t know what I’m going to do. How did it come to this?
I snap out of my daze as a penguin walks through my bedroom door, a sombrero on his head and a cigarette in his mouth.
“Walter,” he says, smoke rising from his words. “It’s time.”
I look over at him, my heart racing. “I thought I had longer.”
He shakes his head. “I’m sorry. C’mon. Let’s go.”
I get up from my seat as he points his fin to the door. I walk through, and the rest of the penguins line the hallway, all of them looking up at me.
“Go get ‘em, chief,” they say. “You got this.”
I make it to my front door, and I can already see the legion of reporters on my front lawn. I step outside, and the cameras, microphones, and questions pepper and stab at me in an instant.
My sombrero wearing partner steps outside with me, and the reporters go silent.
With the microphones all in my face, the reporters waiting for me to say something, the world holding their breath watching through the cameras, I take my glove off.
Gasps. Flashes. More silence.
I raise my blue, frost made hand, and curl my icy fingers into a fist.
I look into the cameras. Lean in towards the microphones. And I finally announce to the world my long held secret.
“Yes,” I say. “I am the Penguin-Man.”
Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:
Here’s the link to my first book, Alternate:
His daughter died when she was eight years old.
He joined a secret time traveling organization soon after.
Now, almost a decade later, he still clings to their promise.
The promise that they’d let him go back and stop his daughter from ever dying.
But when a friend goes rogue back in time, she reveals deep and terrible secrets about the organization and all the promises they’ve failed to keep…
And everything changes.
Samuel Peralta and I were talking about Ernie Luis and Samuel told me, ” I read his first book and missed my subway stop. And I offered him a Chronicle title that same day. Young guy, very new…. but amazing writer.”
I have not read this story yet but it is very high on my to read list now after being told this. I hope you will add it to your list as well.
GIVEAWAY: Ernie Luis is going to give away an ebook bundle with his three stories Alternate, Backwards, and Aversion. To win all you need to do is answer the following question in the comment section.
What’s the last book/movie that moved you to tears?
The giveaway will run until Friday, 8/21/15, at 8:30 am (est).
I would like to thank Ernie Luis for joining us today for this episode of 10 Questions With…
There are two more books that come after Alternate: