Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spotlight on YA/Adult Author, Stuart R. West

We're spending time getting to know LQR author, Stuart R. West.

LQR: Thanks for hanging out with us today, Stuart. Can you tell our readers a little about you, please?

Stuart: Well, hey, Kai and readers, what’s up? Afraid I’m not very interesting. Nothing as cool as what’s going on in my writerly head, I mean. I was a graphic artist for 27 years or so and the corporate world wore me down. Now, for better or worse, I’m writing, sharing my insanity with the public-at-large. I guess you could say it’s kinda’ interesting that I’ve delved into the worlds of music, performance art, illustration and writing, but, honestly, the most interesting thing that ever happened to me was when I was 13. Frank Gorshin (aka, the TV show Batman’s “Riddler”) offered me a cigarette. I declined the smoke, still carry the memory.

LQR: I think many authors lead a very mundane life. Thank goodness for all the excitement we create in our heads, huh? If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining or inciting?

Stuart: Um, probably when the lousy company I worked for as an artist for 25 years closed the doors due to incompetence. If that doesn’t work, let’s go with my sixth grade teacher giving me a blank book as a gift and told me to fill it with imagination.

LQR: Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme?

Stuart: Somehow, I’ve found myself in the position of writing Midwest tales, stripping away the Norman Rockwellian veneer of “solid middle American family values.” Wait! Don’t run away yet, it’s not nearly as dull or creepy as it sounds. Well, yeah, it can sometimes get a little creepy. But someone has to do it. And since I’ve been stuck in a Kansas City suburb all my life, who better to do it? I also like to bring the funny. Even when I’m writing about spooky stuff. I strive to bring the humor, heart and sometimes, horror; the “Three ‘H’s.”

LQR: Tell us about your newest release and what you’re currently working on.

Stuart: My newest tale of trauma, Rapture of the Living Dead, will be out by MuseItUp Publishing this year. I took the zombie mythos, twisted it, came up with my own warped spin. Expect suspense, pathos, searing emotion, romance, and humor. Up next? A lot of stuff. A thriller taking place at a bed & breakfast during a horrific winter storm; a darkly comical thriller about a corporation that sponsors serial killers; a historical thriller spanning two decades entailing the downfall of a mining town; and a darkly comedic novel about a stand-up comedian who crosses a demon. Also contemplating a new Tex, the Witch Boy book, this one set in college.

LQR: Well, you won’t be running out of material any time soon. Share with us a favorite authorial moments from your career so far.

Stuart: Several teens have contacted me regarding the Tex, the Witch Boy trilogy. They’ve said how much it helped them with bullying and with, well, life. That meant more to me than sales or stellar reviews.

LQR: Last month’s theme here on Lightning Quick Reads was goals. Can you tell us a writing career goal of yours five years down the road?

Stuart: Gah. Tough one. In three years, I’ve written eleven novels. So, um, doing the math (not my strong suit)…let’s see…25 novels within five years?

LQR: Let’s lighten the mood a little. Do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Stuart: Yes and no. I enjoy dark thrillers. But some of it’s a little too much for my tender sensibilities. Not a fan of gore. Regarding movies? I LOVE me some awful bad ‘70’s and ‘80’s genre films. Sure, they’re terrible. But that’s the fun. More laugh out loud moments than any Adam Sandler comedy.

LQR: I agree about those campy movies, though I have to limit the amount of them I watch in order to maintain my appreciation. If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Stuart: Clearly, I’d want to rule the world, doling out candy to good citizens. Or, wait…is that Santa Claus? I get confused.

LQR: You always make me laugh, Stuart. Anything else you’d like to add?

Stuart: The acclaimed (by more than just family and friends!) Tex, the Witch Boy series will be out in paperback this year, 2015!

LQR: How exciting. Congrats! Where can our awesome stalkers readers find you online?

Stuart: Hanging out here all the time:

Surgeon General Warning: The blog’s irreverence may cause you to feel immature.

LQR: Thanks again for visiting with us today, Stuart. Readers, Stuart is happy to answer any additional questions you have, so fill up that comments section and he'll respond when he can!
Be sure to return tomorrow for Katie Carroll's Love short.


  1. Hey Stuart. You know I'm a fan of your work. Though, I must admit, I haven't read all eleven novels. Two questions: First, if you could live in the world of one of your novels, which would it be? Second, if you could send your worst enemy to live in the world of one of your novels, who--no scratch that. Typo. My bad--which would it be?

  2. Hi Eric. I'm not so sure I'd like to live in any of these worlds, really. It's okay to write about, just horrible places to visit. Then again, I do live in Kansas. And I think I'd like to ship my worst enemy off to Godland. That'll show 'em.

    1. Does anyone deserve to live in Godland, Stuart? You must have some really nasty enemies.

  3. I enjoyed learning more about Stuart and his writing antics. My gosh! You are one prolific writer. 25 novels in 5 years... That's quite a goal and one I'm sure you'll reach.

    A question for you, How has your graphic arts experience played into your writing career?

    1. Hey there, Joan. No, alas, I haven't been able to put my past experience to work sadly. You'd think with all of those years experience, I'd be able to design my own covers. But I just don't have faith in my art abilities. Plus, I kinda' got burned out on it.

  4. Hey, for those daring and/or curious, The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals is free today and tomorrow on Amazon:
    It's my very special (largely inappropriate) Valentine's Day gift to y'all!

    1. Grabbed a copy. Thanks, Stuart. I am curious to see how it compares to Godland. Couldn't be as dark. Could it?

  5. It was so nice to learn more about you Stuart. Love your answers and I will go check out your book!

  6. Meg. I've started Stuart's book. It's starting quite well.

  7. Great post Kai, Stuart.
    Eleven books... well done. In different genres and stand alones. That should be a recipe for success.

    1. A recipe for success? Um, not quite. I think jumping around genres might confuse readers.

  8. Loved learning more about you, Stuart. Wow, eleven books. And it sounds like you have more just waiting for you to tell them. Can't wait to hear about them!