Lyle Howard has been writing wonderful stories since he was a child and this passion led him to become the author of the bestselling novels; It's About Time, Terminal Justice, Trouble in Paradise and the upcoming release A Trace of Revenge. He tends to look at the world from a different perspective than others - something his readers can greatly appreciate. As our Author of the Day, Howard reveals what inspired his novel, Mr. Sandman, talks about what it takes to be an author while teaching full time and much more.
Please give us a short introduction to what Mr. Sandman is about.
The story follows the life of Lance Cutter, from his birth as part of a scientific military experiment through his adult life. Throughout the story his life is entwined in real-life events as he searches to discover the truth of his origins.
Lance Cutter is born out of an experiment. What inspired you to give your protagonist this background?
I’ll tell you, but you won’t believe me. I was watching Desert Storm coverage while I was out on the patio and a lizard walked across one of my window screens and something just clicked. Tha’t the truth!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? And was there a single, defining moment where you finally realized that you have reached your goal in becoming an author?
I’ve been writing for myself since I was a child. It’s my creative outlet. For my last birthday, my family surprised me with an envelope loaded with stories I wrote as a kid. They were pretty darned good.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
You’d have to ask my wife.
Readers report that the novel reads a bit like it is two separate stories, in three parts. Why did you take this approach?
I know this sounds hokey, but I like to tie different stories together. At first they seem unrelated, but they come together at the end. It’s a challenge, but I really like it.
The book is hard to put down. How did you manage to maintain the feeling of suspense throughout?
I wrote it like I was watching a movie. If I were paying to see it, I’d want to ensure that the story would keep my interest.
Where do your ideas come from?
I don’t see the world the way others do.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your book?
Life is precious.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
Believe it or not, I’m also a teacher, although that gig is ending soon. I cannot wait to devote my full time to writing. It’s tough to write during the school year, thus the reason my latest novel, A Trace of Revenge, has taken nearly two years to write.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
Researching actual events and incorporating them into the story.
Do you ever let your books stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
All the time.
What genre of books do you like to read? Do you limit yourself to only the genre that you write yourself?
I have a few authors I really like. I am a huge fan of Robert B. Parker and mourn his loss.
What are you working on right now?
Finishing A Trace of Revenge.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Please subscribe to my website lylehoward.com. It’s free and also has a short story I just wrote for all new fans who sign up for the latest information on my work and news.