Author Interview with Lucas Flint

Lucas Flint is the pen name of Timothy L. Cerepaka, who writes superhero fiction under it. The Lucas Flint pen name is also published under the Secret Identity Books imprint of Annulus Publishing, an imprint devoted to publishing superhero fiction. Timothy L. Cerepaka was born in Austin, Texas, although he was raised in the small town of Cherokee Texas, where he was homeschooled by his parents and where he still lives today.

As a young boy growing up building LEGO sets, reading books from many different genres and on many different subjects, and playing video games, Timothy’s strong imagination led him to begin writing his first stories. He began posting these stories on the Internet on a fansite dedicated to the LEGO toy line called BIONICLE, where he met similar authors starting out and received a lot of valuable criticism to help improve his work. Keep reading to learn more about this author.

When did you first start writing fiction?

I started writing when I was 12-years-old. I got my start in fanfiction based off of the old Lego toyline called Bionicle, which I wrote for almost a decade before I started publishing professionally in 2014.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Paper or eBook?

I like paper and ebooks equally, but recently most of my reading has been on my Kindle, and most of that has been LitRPG.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I really enjoyed the Eli Monpress books by Rachel Aaron. Although not the most popular fantasy books in the genre, I still found the series enjoyable, although it’s not LitRPG.

Of your books, which is your personal favorite? Why?

That’s a tough one because I like a lot of my books, but if I had to pick just one, I would say The Player Blackout. I feel like the book really pushed me to improve my craft and do my absolute best. Also, I am immensely proud of how the characters, setting, and plot worked out.

You can make one LitRPG book (not your own) a movie. Which is it and why?

Another tough one because there are so many awesome LitRPG books. But I’m going to say the first Awaken Online book. I think the climax and ending would be especially awesome in a movie and I would love to see the whole series adapted to film.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. While there are times where the creative juices are flowing and times where they aren’t, I’ve found that writer’s block isn’t much of an issue as long as you develop some degree of self-discipline. Writing is my job and I need to write whether I feel like it or not. I often find that the act of writing itself–even when it feels boring and stupid and not fun–can help me get through whatever blocks I might be experiencing, although getting started can be a challenge itself at times.

Everyone’s different, though, and if you do find yourself dealing with some sort of block, it’s worth taking some time to examine the problem and figure out what the problem is.

Are you an outliner or pantser? 

I’m a pantser, but I do like to have some degree of preparation before I begin writing. For The Player Blackout, for example, I spent a few months worldbuilding the setting, fleshing out the characters, and getting some ideas before I wrote even one word in Scrivener. I didn’t write down a formal outline or anything like that, however. Outlining just doesn’t work for me.

What is your writing process like?

Before I start writing, I usually need to know these five things: The setting, minor/supporting characters, the protagonist, the antagonist, and the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist.

Once I have all of that stuff fleshed out and feel confident I can write the book, I then start writing. I write five days a week every week until the book is finished. I rarely edit as a I write, instead making notes in the notes section of Scrivener that I will refer to later during the editing process.

I write very quickly, so I can often finish the first draft in a couple of weeks, maybe a month depending on the length of the book. No outline, as I said above, but as long as I have those five things I mentioned before, I can usually write a pretty coherent story.

How many hours a day do you write?

I usually write for about two hours a day. Not always in a row, however. Usually, I like to take a break every hour to walk around, get something to eat, maybe use the bathroom, and so on, but two hours is usually how long it takes.

Share a photo of your workspace and tell us about it?

Here’s a picture my desk where I do all of my writing. It’s very ergonomic, with a comfy chair, padded arms, a vertical mouse, split keyboard, raised laptop, and mouse pad with wrist pad, and, of course, my earbuds for listening to music while I write.

Who are some of your favorite authors of all time?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Rick Riordan, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Greg Farshtey are some of my favorites just off the top of my head.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. It would be easier to travel that way.

Where do you get your ideas?

Pretty much everywhere, honestly. I get ideas from books, from the news, from movies, from TV shows and video games, from my life experiences, from discussions with others … I get ideas anywhere I can.

What are your thoughts on how VR will affect the future of humanity?

I’m not sure. I think if VR becomes realistic enough, we’ll see some percentage of the population decide to spend almost all their time in VR and forsake the real world entirely.

On a more positive note, I could see VR combining with online shopping to create VR shopping. Imagine if, instead of scrolling through your Amazon search results, you put on a VR helmet or something like that and found yourself in a VR store with the items on virtual ‘shelves’ that you can examine like in a real store. I could see something like that happening at some point in the future.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Research varies considerably from book to book. Most of my books require little research because I tend to stick to writing what I know, but for my LitRPG book, I spent a long time researching the genre and MMMORPGs in general in order to make sure I got it right. So it just depends on the book.

First video game memory?

Probably Super Mario World from the SNES. I used to play that game all the time. Really fun, although I haven’t played it in a while.

What can fans expect from you next?

This month, they can expect the release of the second Capes Online book, The Player Plague. It’s the sequel to The Player Blackout, so if you enjoyed that book, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Also, I can confirm that the audiobook edition of The Player Blackout will be available in April, so that’s another thing to look forward to, especially if you’re an audiobook listener. 

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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