Author Spotlight: Sam Boush

Name: Sam Boush

Author of: All Systems Down (Lakewater Press)

From: Portland, OR

 

 

Can you tell me about the first piece you remember writing?

The first “book” I ever wrote (as far as I can remember) was also the one that made me want to be a writer. Winnie-the-Pooh fanfic. Me, maybe five years old, making my mom transcribe my words onto six-or-seven sheets of paper. Then I drew horribly on it all and bawled my eyes out when the sheets came apart.

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as a profession?

That fanfic. That was definitely it.

Is there anyone who went out of their way to help or advise you during your journey to become a published author?

Well, dozens of people. I actually think about this topic a lot because there are so many people who have helped me, and sometimes I feel like one of those concert-goers who launch themselves into a crowd. Body surfing, they call it. Except I’m surfing on the outstretched hands of all the people who have helped me.

If you’re looking for names, Tracy Daugherty from my college days at Oregon State University stands out pretty marvelously. He was the advisor for my honor’s college thesis which was a long-ass novel that must have been pretty painful to read. If you listen to the literary agents I submitted it to, you’d come away with that idea, anyway.

I was twenty-one when he pored over this never-to-be-published historical fiction monstrosity. Read the whole thing and marked it up at least a couple times. No one paid him anything to help me out. And this was on top of running the English department, teaching a full course load, raising his kids, trying to pound out his own writing. Man, when I look back at what he did I feel both grateful and, if I’m being honest, kinda terrible.

Do you exclusively write cyber thrillers or have you written in other genres?

Well… I exclusively write cyber thrillers in that All Systems Down and the next book in the series (working on it now, Lakewater Press, I SWEAR!) are both cyber thrillers. But I’m sure I’ll write more widely in the future. My guess is I’ll be sticking to thrillers, though. It’s a fun genre to write!

What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book? Is it difficult to achieve a work, life, write balance?

I’ve got a pretty good situation since I sold my business and am currently focused on just a few things. My kids are a top priority, and I’m kinda Mr. Dad right now, cooking, cleaning, running the kids around and writing in there. If I run into trouble it’s probably from creative juices squeezed out, not really from time.

How long does it generally take you to write a first draft? How long do you spend on revisions?

Are you sure this isn’t just a ploy from my publisher to find out how I’m doing on book 2? Well, I guess I’ll come clean. It takes me forever. FOREVER. I’m such a slow writer and researcher. Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole and spend an evening learning the intricacies of how a building collapses, watching videos on YouTube and reading engineering papers. I’m not even a wonk, but criminy, I can definitely be a dork.

So, first draft? A year. I dunno. Wayyyy to long. If you’re reading this and thinking that’s normal, it’s not. I don’t know why I’m so slow. And revisions? Gawd, I dunno there either. My publisher had multiple editors looking at my last book, cutting tens of thousands (TENS OF THOUSANDS!) of words, making the thing bleed, you know the drill. Took forever.

Can you describe the preparation/research you do for each book?

No. I can’t. It’s a lot.

Do you have any quirky writing habits (the things you’d never want anyone to know)?

I drink three cups of coffee. Then I write. I’m like a Hemmingway without the alcoholism or talent.

Have you ever done a literary pilgrimage—or any interesting research—for your novels? If not, do you have a research destination bucket list?

I’ve got a buddy (I’m looking at you, Lee Corum) who implied he could get me on a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. I implied that I would kill anyone he needed me to kill to get onboard that baby. Still waiting for his hitlist.

 Name one book you think is entirely underappreciated.

A Shine that Defies the Dark

Name one book that was a guilty pleasure.

See above

Be honest: Do you Google yourself?

Sure. Not too often, though.

As a writer, what animal would you choose as your mascot/avatar/patronus?

A bat. I stay inside all day. Being a writer isn’t glamorous.

Is there one thing you think you, as a writer, should be better at, but secretly struggle with?

No, there are dozens of things. But most of all, probably focus. Sometimes I find things to fix around the house when I should be writing.

What is one word of advice you’d give to an aspiring writer?

Write every day. I don’t do this, but it’s good advice.

Where can people find more about you?

 

All Systems Down 

24 hours.
That’s all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.

Pak Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.

And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.

Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.

Brendan will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.

In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.

Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.

For fans of Tom Clancy, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller which presents a threat so credible you’ll be questioning reality.

 

Get your copy:

From Amazon.com

From Barnes&Noble.com

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Lakewater Press Holiday Blog Hop (Day 9): Sam Boush

 

For the holiday season, we at Lakewater Press thought it would be a good time to share who we are with a little holiday blog hop.

Between December 1 and the 24th we’ll share holiday interviews with our authors and the Lakewater Press staff. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better, and to give our readers a peek behind the scenes–or pages!

Perhaps you’ll even find a new blog to follow, or your next favorite book!

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for our holiday giveaway!!)

Today’s interviewee:

Name and LWP affiliation: Sam Boush, Author  

Your blog (url):  http://cyberwarbooks.com/blog/

Where do you live? Portland, Oregon

What are your chances of having snow on Christmas Day? Nearly zero. Probably the same chances as me finding a suitcase full of cash and winning lottery tickets under a bench at the zoo.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? My favorite part is getting that Douglas fir through the front door. It makes the house smell like Christmas.

Egg nog: Yes or No? Yes. But I take mine with Lactaid and bourbon.

Are you an artistic gift wrapper or a basic “paper & tape” warrior?  Paper and tape. The utilitarian approach.

Do you have any special holiday memories that include books? Are there any specific titles you remember? The list of titles is long, but let me pull one memory out of the ol’ Santa hat.

It was 1995. I was living in France, an eighth grader far away from friends for a year. Generally, I hated it. Then my uncle sent me a box of books for Christmas.

It was a windfall.

English-language paperbacks cost about $40 in today’s money, and were only available in one store. Obviously, I couldn’t afford any of them. So those dozens of Philip Jose Farmer, Michael Crichton, and Orson Scott Card titles were like gold. I re-read them until they fell apart.

What is your earliest book-related memory? I wrote a Winnie the Pooh themed “book” when I was about four years old. And by “wrote” I mean I drew the pictures and dictated what I wanted it to say to my Mom. But somehow the pages got all mixed up and my Mom threw my creation into the trash. (No one recycled back then.) So, obviously I was deeply scarred and that incident led to the tortured poor-life-decision of pursuing a writing career.

And, being a parent myself now, I strongly suspect the “accident” that took down my masterpiece was an inside job. Mom, I’m onto you!

Do you write/work during the holidays? I try to spend family time with my family. But if the muse pulls me onto the dancefloor, I won’t turn her down.

Can you share what you’re working on now? It’s mostly marketing now for ALL SYSTEMS DOWN, which comes out in February. But realistically, “marketing” means scrolling through Twitter trying unsuccessfully to come up with something witty. Then drowning my failure in cheap Mexican beer.

But – and this is important – is there such a thing as expensive Mexican beer? I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is not. Coffee. If you’re going to pay too much for something, coffee is where you should spend your money.

What are your goals for 2018? My main goal is to get a lot of people to read ALL SYSTEMS DOWN. I don’t care how they get it, just so long as there are eyeballs on it.

Not literally. That’s disgusting.

 

Continue reading “Lakewater Press Holiday Blog Hop (Day 9): Sam Boush”

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