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IRDA Winning Author Arjay Lewis: “Do you know what my favorite book is? The one I am currently writing.”

The Vanishing was the winner in the Horror category of the 2021 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Arjay Lewis.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

The book is The Vanishing, and it was released in September of 2020
What’s the book’s first line?

Drake Harper drove his Ford Escape through the dark roads of the Pinelands. He still had three beers left in his six-pack, within easy reach on the dashboard.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

People missing. An unforgiving forest. Will one former detective survive the danger that lurks within? If you like courageous female protagonists, historical Native American legends, and journeys that few can survive, then you’ll love this novel.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

Growing up in New Jersey, I always heard legends of the famed ‘Jersey Devil’ the dark denizen of the Pineland forests in South Jersey.  The inspiration was to wonder, what if it were real, and how did it come and go so easily? The novel seeks to explain it in a way both terrifying and plausible.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Liliana Slavic is the kind of woman I admire, strong, independent yet capable of having a loving relationship. (Rather like my wife.) The distinctive thing about here is her Romani background, and a history of the supernatural that entailed.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Unlike many horror novels that rely merely on gore and surprises, The Vanishing is character driven. Yes, there are the frights and plot twists (Some of which surprised me!) but it is about people that you grow to care about. None of them are perfect or superhuman. They are just people trying to do the right thing as best they can.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I have been writing since I was 16.

Is this the first you’ve written?

The Vanishing was my 14th published novel.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I am a professional magician and entertainer

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Several hours, usually in the morning. I am often editing one book while writing another. Currently I am working on three books.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

I would prefer to delegate the marketing to someone else. But, I must wear many hats.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

I would, because it would make the marketing easier, and it would push sales for all my books.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I am an entertainer, it is my nature. As I grow older, I cannot do the shows I used to as easily. But I can still entertain through my books.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Dickens. He was truly the Shakespeare of the novel.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

I’m writing them now. Do you know what my favorite book is? The one I am currently writing.