TS. Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider’s knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an uncompromising look at the tumultuous world of professional sports. Today he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News; at the same time a prolific author under his own name and writing for Robert B. Parker and James Patterson.
Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?
ML. Just start writing. I do it all the time. Just get into it, even if the first few pages might not ever get into your book.
Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?
ML. In my imagination? Where else? I get them together and get them talking, and then all of a sudden one of them will say something I didn’t know they were going to say, or do something I had no idea they would do. In moments like that, I feel as if I have the best job in the world.
Q. What first inspired you to write?
ML. I always just wanted to tell my stories. When I was ten, I was writing mystery and adventure stories – longhand of course – with myself as a main character. Old-fashioned, Catholic School blue essay books. It’s all I ever wanted to do. Tell my stories. When I was traveling extensively to talk to kids in schools for my Middle Grade books, I’d always tell them that they had to buy my books, because I had no other skills.
Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?
ML. Characters. Always.
Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?
ML. All the time. At the home we once had in Connecticut, my wife Taylor transformed a shed about fifty yards from our back door into an amazing writing cottage. The first time I walked down the hill, my son Alex turned to his mother and said, “He may never come back.”
Q. Are you working on something now? If so tell us about it.
ML. Well into this September’s Jesse, called Stone’s Throw. And back with Mr. Patterson for a new one. Working with him has been one of the great experiences of my career. Like getting a master class in getting the reader to keep turning pages.
Q. When did you begin to write seriously?
ML. College. Three school papers. Working nights at the Boston Globe. Writing for the Globe and the old Boston Phoenix. Chasing my dreams as hard as I could. Now here I am, getting to write about characters that Robert B. created. Honor of a writing lifetime.
Q. How long after that were you published?
ML. I was in my early 30s when “Reggie” put me on the Times list for the first time. My first mystery, Dead Air, followed shortly thereafter.
Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?
Q. What makes a writer great?
ML. It’s like asking what makes oceans deep. It’s a wonderful mix of talent, imagination, work ethic, and writing stories that make you, the person writing them, keep going to find out what’s going to happen next. And never getting up from the desk until you’ve done your best work that day.
Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?
ML. There is nothing more exciting than Chapter One for me. Nothing. It’s the beginning of the adventure. And for me, there is no end to the adventure, even with The End. Because my head goes right into the next one.
Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?
ML. I have been blessed. My parents, in their 90s now, still living in their own home, have been a constant blessing. I’ve never met a smarter or better or kinder person than my wife. And we have these four amazing children. They make me smarter every day, by always reminding me that they think the good old days are now.
Q. What’s your down time look like?
ML. Down time? What’s that?
Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?
ML. I am thrilled to be back in the world of writing mysteries. I feel as if I’ve left my mark writing novels set in the world of sports for young readers. And I am so proud of the work Mr. Patterson and I did on “The Horsewoman,” a great big novel set in show jumping (spoiler alert: My daughter is a champion rider.) I never think genre. Just good stories.
Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)
It’s what I’ve constantly told my younger readers: Once a good idea gets inside your head, it’s impossible to get it out.
And the only thing more powerful than a good idea is a random act of kindness.
Did you miss part 1 of this wonderful Interview?
My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! November: Ella Quinn, December: Lauren Willig,
January: Madeline Hunter, February: Mike Lupica, March: Lee Matthew Goldberg
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