Interview: Frank Luke

Next in our new feature of interviews with Superversive authors:

In what way is your work “superversive?”
My books are superversive in that they seek to build up the reader and bring light to him. They are the opposite of grimdark. Things might look bad during the course of the story, but there is always hope and they will end with the good guys winning if they choose well.

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Lou’s Bar & Grill came to me as the collision of several things. First, in high school, I started reading Alfred Hitchcock collections. They always had exactly one Faustian bargain within them. That’s a deal with the Devil. I wanted to read a whole collection of them but never could. This was in the dark ages before Internet. Secondly, I love The Twilight Zone. When I finally started writing these stories, I wanted them to have a Twilight Zone feel and placed them all in one a bar that shows up where a new customer might be. Basing a collection of deals with the Devil on the seven deadly sins just made sense.

How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
Fantasy has always been a thing for me. I love books about dragons and honorable knights. In junior high, I read through so much of the fantasy section at school, that the librarian actually ordered more books specifically because she knew I would like them. Those were the first three DragonLance Chronicles: Autumn Twilight, Winter Night, and Spring Dawning. I devoured them and read them again at least twice more in high school. We didn’t have a book store in town, so I re-read books I liked much more than I do now.

Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
The work in progress is a companion collection to LOU’S BAR & GRILL called JOSHUA’S PAWN SHOP. Six of the seven stories are done, these concentrate on the cardinal virtues and heavenly graces. This is from the courage story where a mild-mannered man named Harold has to face demonlord to get back the
Book of Kells. (I did verify that all creatures and characters invented by HP Lovecraft were released into the public domain.)

Excerpt:
Nyarlathotep laughed with an ugly sound like a wheeze. “It’s not the first relic I’ve taken. Joshua sends people after most of them, Richard.” He smiled horribly and pointed to a pile of human bones in the corner.

“My name is Harold.” Harold struggled fruitlessly between the Mi-Go. “Why do you want the Book of Kells?” His writhing accomplished nothing except the Mi-Go tightening their grips. Chitinous spikes dug into his arms.

Nyarlathotep opened the book to a page of script with lavish decorations. The first letter of the first paragraph on each page was decorated. The facing page had a man on a throne with four other men, two on each side. All were seated. Drawings of knots framed the seated figures. “Celtic knotwork is very old magic, so old it isn’t even considered magic anymore. This spell keeps some of my brethren, the Outer Gods, out of the real world.”

“And you want to unleash them.”

Nyarlathotep’s smile dripped evil. “And to do so, all I need is to get rid of you.”

“You can’t break the spell while I’m here?”

“Your presence in the cave disrupts the mystical energies I need. I could kill you right now, but you’ve shown spunk tonight. You came after me even after I almost killed you at Sekhmet’s. Join me, and I’ll give you wealth beyond your wildest dreams, Richard.”


Pizza with pineapples, yes or no?
Depends on what other toppings. With ham, yes indeed. Pepperoni or beef, no way. A place were I used to work, I actually developed a reputation as the pizza guy. And if I could reopen any one pizzeria I’ve visited over the years that is now gone, it would be Ken’s Pizza Parlor. They only operated in Oklahoma and Texas, might even still be a few open somewhere out there.

What was your second dog’s name?
My second dog was my favorite dog. His name was Poncho. We had him for five or six years. He liked to chase my grandfather’s cows but never caught any of them.

If you had a chance to co-write with any author, current or from the past, who would it be?
I would love to cowrite with C. S. Lewis. One of the reviewers of REBIRTHS said of it, “If C.S. Lewis had played the Elder Scrolls before writing Narnia, it might have turned out like this.” I believe Narnia is the set of books I have read the most often.

A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a pastor, programmer, and seminary grad. The last is where I met my wife. She takes care of the kids while I earn money. I’m not sure which is harder, but I know which is more important.

What book are you reading now?
I just started a re-read of the Chronicles of Prydain. I last read it a few years ago with my sons. They liked the adventure of a young boy growing into manhood. It’s definitely a great series. The boy wanted to be a hero in the beginning but learned and grew until he was satisfied to just be a man. Then it was pointed out to him he had been acting like a hero for years by keeping his promises and protecting those in need.

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My family has DVDs of series that we enjoyed. We specifically chose not to have any kind of reception. My choices in that batch are ST: Original Series, ST:Deep Space Nine (all seven seasons). My wife has LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and WHEN CALLS THE HEART. We aren’t sure at all what’s going to happen to the last series since the main actress is in such hot water with the Feds (Lori Loughlin).

Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I blog at frankluke.wordpress.com
. I also have a Facebook page, but that is a personal not professional page. On my blog, you can sign up for a mailing list.


See Lou’s Bar and Grill on Amazon