Wednesday, April 23, 2014


E A Lake, Author
E A Lake likes to write dystopian fiction because it is “so much fun.” He started the WWIV series with IN THE BEGINNING to set the stage. Lake strives for believability and “regular, normal, everyday people,” and writes purely for entertainment.

E A Lake is his pen name, and the E and A are just "random vowels." He wants us to refer to him as Lake. He is a father and grandfather, and when he's not writing he's working as a CFO at a small creative company. His mother says his books disturb her, which he takes as praise. Lake is just finishing his next book in the WWIV series, Kids at War.

Q: Why did you choose to write about dystopia, rather than utopia?

E A Lake: Dystopia is so much fun! It’s all about subtraction; removing from people all the nice things they depend on so much every day. It makes me smile now just thinking of it. Also, it gives me a chance to show the recreation of our humanity, after I’ve used most of the book destroying the same.

Q: Why are you writing a series rather than standalone books? How will your first book, WWIV: IN THE BEGINNING, set the stage for the books that follow?

E A Lake: The more I considered a single book in this unique situation, the more “what if…” questions popped into my mind. I didn’t want to create a massive, all-inclusive novel with everything, so I came up with individual books for the series.

My first novel tells the reader what has happened. Actually, it shows you the effects of what has happened. No one knows what actually caused our power, phones, and cars to stop working. That answer may come at a later time (maybe Book Six or Seven).

Q: How do you write to appeal to readers “between 13 and 113”?

E A Lake:  Very carefully. First of all, I try to eliminate all graphic violence. Bad things will happen in these books. But I can cover the bad elements in short vague passages, and still get the idea across. Next, I keep the mild profanity to a minimum. We all know that these will be trying times, but not everyone in the novel has to talk like a Marine Grunt. Finally, it’s the cast of characters I assemble. Teen boys and girls, twenty and thirty-somethings, older folks, and maybe an innocent child or baby thrown in here and there (just for fun). Something for everyone really.

Q: How important is credibility or believability to your works? What do you do to pull readers into your make-believe world of the future?

E A Lake: Believability is my number one goal. I constantly tell people I never want the reader to suspend their beliefs. I research certain aspects of my writings to the maximum degree. Cars won’t run? Okay, all cars or just some cars? What’s the exact year break-off where they started using computers? Things like that. 

I try to paint the complete picture of our new landscape, post event. But I use a very broad brush to attempt to engage the reader’s imagination as much as possible. I take everyday events, that we now take for granted, and make them as painstakingly difficult as possible. Remember, you’ll now have to go looking for food and fresh water.

Q: What makes your characters interesting? Why will readers engage with them?

E A Lake: Great question, and I have a great answer for this. My characters are interesting because they are regular, normal every day people. They’re your neighbor, the guy who mows your lawn when you’re on vacation. The woman who bakes cookies for the church bazaar. The minister from the local church. A 14-year-old girl, just trying to get from one dysfunctional parent’s house to another’s. The kid who’s the quarterback on the varsity football team. Just a bunch of regular people. In other words – you, me, your mom, your dad – everyone you know and love. This makes it really easy for the reader to identify and relate to at least one character in each of my books.

Q: Is the concept of “villains vs heroes” or “antagonist vs protagonist” relevant to your books? If so, do you need a villain to have a hero? Or can events create heroes? What makes an interesting villain and hero?

E A Lake: I believe that when you present the citizens of the world a new dark dreary dystopian setting, they really don’t need villains. Come on, these people are going to struggle against nature to survive now. They’ll have their hands full.

But as long as they’re struggling, why not throw in a few villains. Just to keep things interesting. That way, every time you think you’ll be able to catch your breath and maybe get started back towards normal, turn the page. More trouble awaits our hero.

Events against incredible natural odds will make our heroes/protagonists shine. Events against the already bad natural odds, and villains to boot, will make our heroes human once again.
Q:  Do your characters lead you to write about them? Or do you keep them in their place by sticking to an outline?

E A Lake:  The first step to every manuscript I create is to throw down a general outline. It’s nothing formal or complicated. This outline serves as a guide as I move into the actual writing process. Next, I create each character in detail. Name, height, weight, hair color, eye color, personality, birthdate, parent’s names, hometown, education, etc…

I refer to my outline as I write to make sure I get all the major scenes covered. And I try to highlight (in the outline) two or three main ideas I want to get across in each chapter. But it’s my characters that run the show. They take me to some of the wildest places I could ever imagine. I find it funny how these characters take over the novel and it seems like I’m just along for the ride.

Q: Are your books purely for entertainment? Or do you write to educate or deliver a message or two?

E A Lake: Pure and simple entertainment. Even though I write of doom and gloom, and end of days – I’m not like that in real life. These are just stories that I’ve thought or dreamt up about a situation that could happen one day. But I’m sure we all hope and pray it never occurs.

The only “so called” message I deliver is simple. The events in my novels crush humanity and each of our own humanity’s. But that’s not the end of the story. Read and watch how resilient we really can be. Humanity may sink for a while, but I truly believe it will rebound as time moves forward.

Q: What’s next?

E A Lake: Immediately, I am putting the finishing touches on book two of the WWIV series – Kids at War. But don’t worry; it’s not about children becoming soldiers. The theme deals more with our younger generation and the problems they will find in this new dystopia.

After that, I need to really tighten up book one of The Smith Chronicles entitled Golden 5. Books one and two of that series are written, but they’re still in rough form. These are longer tales, with recurring characters. I hope to have the first of that series out by late fall 2014.

Q: Tell us something about e a lake. What does the “e a” stand for? What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

E A Lake: When I was younger, I ran a marathon. I spend most fall weekend days sitting in a tree, watching deer walk by (my son thinks I’m hunting with him, ha!). I have three grown children and three young grandchildren. My mother has read two of my manuscripts and told me they disturbed her – and she meant that as a compliment.

The ‘e’ and the ‘a’ in my pen name mean absolutely nothing. They are simply two random vowels. I want people in the writing community to call me lake.

Like many indie authors, I work a regular fulltime job. During the week I’m a CFO for a small creative company. On weekends I work on my honey-do list, and play Dad and Grandpa as much as possible.

About E A Lake

E A Lake: I write dystopian. It's dark, yet fun to play with. WWIV - In The Beginning is my debut novel. Trying to get this junk in my head, down on pages. Those pages become chapters. The chapters become a manuscript. The manuscript becomes a novel. Sounds easy enough.

I am an author and my pen name is e a lake. The e and the a mean nothing. So please just call me lake.

Not everything in dystopian writing has to be dark and dreary. I try to create post -apocalyptic situations that will challenge the reader to really believe that the events in my novels could happen.

The best part of my genre? Who needs antagonists when the landscape surrounding my protagonist is so bad. You just have to love this stuff.

My favorites are the usual list of suspects. Orwell, Bradbury, Stephen King, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.

I'm not all that scary. Father to three, grandfather to two (three in April 2014). Just a regular guy.

What will we do when suddenly our power, our phones, and our cars don't work? What will we do when we realize our government is missing and we have no protection; no police, no national guard? What will we do when our food runs out or spoils, and fresh water becomes scarce? What will we do when we realize we are completely and undeniably on our own? What could possibly happen next? 

What happens when IT happens? 

Follow an ordinary man, Bill Carlson, through the first 30 days of the ensuing uncertainty. From his once quiet, now violent, St. Paul suburb; to the empty, and yet deadly, county roads of west central Wisconsin. 

With limited knowledge of prepping, Bill must rely on neighbors for help. Why did he never pay attention to his “crazy doomsday” neighbor Scott? Now that the world, at least his world, is dark, Bill has so many questions. How can he possibly survive in this dark dystopian world? 

Bill goes in search of his family, and finds so much more. Friendly people in small towns, other villages that allow no strangers, people searching for help, and people looking to take anything you might have – via any means. 

Will Bill find his family, some 300 miles away? Will the power come back on after mysteriously going out? Will he be able to help others in times of need, much less himself? 

WWIV has begun, and we’re only In The Beginning. 

Twitter (handle) - @ealake5
Google+ - Search for ‘e a lake’


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