AUTHOR INTERVIEW: U.L. Harper, author of 'The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe' & Giveaway!

U.L. Harper is a speculative fiction/horror author, influenced by magical realism. A former journalist from Long Beach, California, he now resides in the evergreen state of Washington with his wife. He is a soon-to-be father, and an avid Dodgers fan.
His latest book is the speculative fiction/horror/magical realism novel, THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE.



About the Book:

While in the process of bringing his wife, Sandra, back to the living, Arthur journals about moments from his past that changed him.

During the journal writing, he rediscovers how, as an orphan, his ability to animate objects and
people to life may have ultimately destroyed the lives of the few who grew close to him. The old stuffed teddy bear that helped him assemble puzzles when he was a child might have been too much of a secret for his adoptive mother to keep. His friend Quincy, who had abilities similar to his, might have been scared away by Arthur’s abilities. And his grade school teacher is still harboring a secret about his biological father that she can only hope to be true.

Once Sandra is alive again, things become more complicated. She claims Arthur is not who or what he thinks he is. Her ire shines a spotlight on the insidious but most likely true, unspoken nature of their relationship.

In the meantime, a mysterious smell envelopes the community—a stench so heinous it can be fatal. As the number of deaths from the stench mounts, Arthur must decide who to animate back to life and who remains dead.
The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe is available at AMAZON.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Originally The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe was outlined as a comic book. Obviously, it didn’t work out. The biggest reason it didn’t work was because it wound up being a love story instead of a super hero story. But when I say love story, I don’t mean romance. Let me not confuse the audience. His wife shoots herself in the head twelve lines into the book.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

This was the hardest project I’ve ever done. It’s a guarantee the next one will be twice as easy. It became especially difficult because of how it toes genre lines. It was hard for me to convince the original readers that his wife wasn’t a zombie just because he brought her back to the living. I’m not telling a zombie story. Also, because there is so much history being told, I found it a challenge to not release tension at every stanza or chapter break.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

This is a self-publish piece of work. In a nutshell, watching book stores close one after the other or move to smaller locations doesn’t make me trust the industry enough to wait for acceptance. Sounds arrogant but I think it’s reasonable. The model needs fixing. I think it works for those who can gain that confidence in the right agent. I don’t think this novel is the one to gain that type of confidence, unfortunately. It’s not genre specific enough. It’s just my negativity possibly.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

This isn’t my first, but there were surprises. The biggest being the quality of the paper book. We went with bright colors, in an attempt to make a good thumbnail online, which is what I think book covers are nowadays. It’s like the paper book is the physical version of the thumbnail, rather than the other way around. The different approach made for a much “cleaner” looking cover. It looks fantastic on the shelf, and we didn’t go with gloss this time. The matte finish grounded it somehow. Very cool. The other surprise is the reception. People are genuinely shocked by the content. I often hear how it’s not like anything they’ve read, which is good because it’s not like anything I’ve written.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on the third and last installment to my In Blackness books. Those books have a severity that I don’t plan on matching in future writing. Beaches made of flesh. Meadows of hair. It’s oh wow type stuff. I’m almost certain we’ll see it a bit after summer. 

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

I mentioned it before but it might surprise people that it took me years to finish. Most people say they finish a novel in a month. The third draft is about six months in. Not this guy. Years, my friend. Years.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

A big message is the message of letting go. A lot of times when it comes to lessons of the heart, we tend to tell people to go for it. In this one it’s more like, hey, fix yourself before you go forward. It’s an odd message but it’s there on several levels. The lesson is that love is not always the be-all end-all. Other elements play a role as well, because everything matters.  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Come find me online on twitter @ulharper or just do an old fashioned email From there anything can happen. Oh, and I’m actually a lot more fun than I seem. For instance, a mushroom was at a bar but nobody would sit next to him. He was like, “Why will nobody hang out with me? I’m a fungi.”

Yeah, that just happened.

U.L. Harper is giving away a free e-copy of his book!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one free e-copy of THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE.
  • This giveaway ends midnight June 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 31.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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