Author Interview: Wayne Turmel of Black Rose Writing

Welcome to Tuesday's Author Interview. I'm excited to chat with Wayne Turmel who interviewed me a few years ago! We are both being published by Black Rose Writing, Wayne's new book comes out soon. So let's get started. Love your new author photo! 

JMR- Tell us about yourself, who are you? Where do you live? What do you do for fun? What does the perfect day look like?

WT- Wow, that’s a pretty broad question. I am originally from a little town in BC, Canada (shout out to Mission. Go Roadrunners.) Now I live in Las Vegas. It’s great because when I want to bet on some horses or listen to live music, I’m 15 minutes away from the action. Otherwise, hanging on my deck with a cigar, reading a book and watching the hummingbirds works for me. 

JMR- You write both fiction and non-fiction books. Do you come at them in different ways? Is the process more structured for non-fiction? How do you get into the right frame of mind for each genre?

WT- That’s a strange combination you’re right. Especially since my ego won’t let me write under a pseudonym.  My non-fiction revolves around the day job, which is as the leader of the Remote Leadership Institute. (  I approach the two things the way I approach the rest of my life. When I go to work, I show up in a frame of mind to  be a responsible adult. Buckle down, stick to the topic, be a darned grownup.  When I write fiction, it’s more like I’m showing up to a party. A little more relaxed, a lot more unfiltered. I can let all the stuff out of my head that I have to stifle at work. Probably keeps me from snapping and becoming a cautionary tale.

JMR- You worked as a stand-up comedian for many years, how has that experience influenced your writing? Do you find yourself inserting comedy into your writing? 

WT- I don’t know if it’s as much my standup influences my writing as the way I look at the world influenced me to become a standup, and that instinct is part of my DNA. Humor finds its way into everything I do, even the driest blog post on communication and working from home has something to laugh (or at least smile) about. The ability to find the humor in work is part of why I’ve been so successful in my field. It’s a differentiator and a big part of our brand. 

Additionally, the craft of writing a joke—coming up with an idea and working it like a pitbull with a femur bone until it is exactly right—is a vital skill for any artist. It’s also frustrating. Someone once said being an author is like telling a joke and waiting 2 years for the laugh. That’s why I write short stories as well, more immediate gratification. I’m basically a 5-year-old crying for attention.

JMR- Your early fiction books were historical fiction, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphan are set in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades. What is your favorite historical era and why? 

WT- My first three novels, “The Count of the Sahara,” and the Lucca le Pou stories, “Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans,” are set in two of my favorite eras; the 1920s and the Crusades. I have a wide range of interests, although some periods don’t interest me, mainly because they have been done to death. If you ever see me writing about the American Civil War or the War of the Roses, I’ve been kidnapped and it’s a cry for help.

JMR- Ha! There does seem to be a rash of Civil War books lately. I have to say, I loved Acre's Bastard, but I have a fondness for all things Crusades! It was so well written and a riveting story with a really great main character. There's a link to it on amazon in the book cover below!

JMR- What’s your favorite part of writing historical fiction? The research or the actual writing?

WT- I have such a good time with the research, it’s often a pain to actually  stop and write. In another life I would have chosen to be a professional historian. I am naturally curious, which made me a huge pain in the neck as a child. I’m still constantly asking, “why?” That’s the research part: how did we get where we are? Why did that happen that way? When you begin writing, the question changes to “what if?”

JMR- I am notorious about over researching! To me it's the best part of writing historical fiction. 

JMR- Do you have a favorite historical character? Why? 

WT- Given what I’ve said about myself, I do have a couple. The subject of my first novel, Byron de Prorok, fascinated me, and that’s what drove me to tackle the story. My favorite historical character (and few people know about him) is Sir Richard Francis Burton. He was an explorer, diplomat, (although not very diplomatic) author, weapons expert and spoke 19 languages. He also translated the first adult (read pornographic) version of the Arabian Knights into English. He was brilliant but also damaged and slightly crazy, and if I had a therapist, I’m sure she’d have a field day with why I obsess about him so much. 

JMR- link to The Count of the Sahara in the book cover below!

JMR- Your new book, soon to be released, is called Johnny Lycan & The Anubis Disk, and features a werewolf. What in the world! That’s quite a leap from your earlier works. Why? Will you write more historical fiction?

WT- My reading has always been eclectic. I enjoy a good fantasy or horror story as much as an interesting piece of historical fiction. I was burned out on historical fiction (partly because it wasn’t selling despite good reviews and some awards!) and wanted to do this weird story I had percolating in my brain. Werewolves are my favorite monster, going back to when I was a kid.

JMR- Tell us about Johnny Lycan. What’s his story?

WT- A very kind reviewer said the book is like Raymond Chandler wrote about a werewolf. I’m not going to go that far (although I’ll take it!) but the story is about this 30-year-old loner with a terrible secret. He becomes a private security expert and thinks the fact he’s a Lycan makes him the strangest thing in the world. He finds out he’s wrong. It’s both an exciting urban fantasy thriller and (no big surprise) has lots of laughs in it.

JMR- How can readers find you on social media or the web? 

WT- I am all over the place. You can find out about all the various parts of my life at my website, If people sign up for my newsletter there, they’ll also get a free short story that isn’t available anywhere else. 
I’m on Goodreads and love following and being followed by folks
My Amazon author page where you can find my fiction AND nonfiction
And I’m really active on Twitter
I don’t have a separate author page so you’re in danger of learning about my real life but I’m also on Facebook.

Click the Amazon button to see Johnny Lycan on Amazon! Available now for pre-order.

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

WT- The question would be: You were on Jeopardy back in the nineties and lost. What did you learn?  The answer is, I am just smart enough to get on jeopardy but not smart enough to win. One needs to learn their limitations. 😊

JMR- Thanks Wayne for a great interview and good luck with you new book! Readers be sure to subscribe to my blog and never miss another post. 


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