Talking Books with Ian Lewis, author of ‘Godspeed, Carry My Bullet’
About the Author
Ian Lewis prefers not to be bound by a particular genre. Though the inspiration for his work varies, it often finds roots in something he dreamt. He strives for a gritty realism and maintains an interest in the humanity of his characters. His hope is that readers find themselves haunted by his stories in the sense that the narrative sticks with them long after they’ve finished reading, leaving them with a subtle restlessness for more. Mr. Lewis is the author of The Camaro Murders, Lady in Flames, and Power in the Hands of One, all novellas. His first full length novel, Godspeed, Carry My Bullet, was released in April of 2016. He has been writing since 2002.
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About the Book:
Title: Godspeed, Carry My Bullet
Author: Ian Lewis
Bobby Clyne has nothing to lose. Two illegitimate governments have taken the place of the fallen United States: The Directorate in the East and the United States Valiant in the West. And he’s just learned that a man who once terrorized his family as a low-ranking member of the Military Police is set to become the Grand Marshall of the Ohio Region. Armed with his father’s Dragunov sniper rifle, Bobby embarks on a mission of revenge with consequences far more reaching than his personal vendetta.
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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Ian Lewis! Can you tell us where you are from?
A: Thanks for having me. I’m from Ohio. Cost of living is low and we get all four seasons.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
A: I can’t quite remember the “aha” moment where I came up with the title. I think it was truly one of those moments of pure inspiration where something just pops into your head. What I liked about it was it felt like stream of consciousness. There was a certain finality to it. You read the title and you don’t know what type of bullet it is, or what gun will shoot it, or even who the gun is aimed at, but you’re compelled to find out. I also like that it didn’t sound like a typical thriller title. I think it’s more original.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
A: I designed it myself. Pronoun.com was the platform I used to publish the book (which is a really cool site, by the way), and they recommended canva.com for the cover (also a cool site). I toyed around with different effects on the photos to get a hazy, stinking heat of summer feel. The greenish tint lent a somewhat deranged, unbalanced look to it, sort of a feeling of desperation after having passed the point of no return. The swelling crowd of Military Police, a shooter looking down the scope of a rifle, the outstretched urban street that suggests a journey ahead—it’s full of tension.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
A: The first of a two-part series, Godspeed, Carry My Bullet has page turning qualities. Nearly every chapter leaves you hanging. Even my wife, after having read an early copy, said “You have to write the second book right now!” Granted she’s biased, but she’s never said that about anything else I’ve written. I also think readers will enjoy the range of characters: a would-be assassin nursing wounds from the past, a nomadic survivalist trying to forge his own path, a single mother struggling amidst financial distress, a novice undercover operative working to restore Constitutional government, and an itinerant preacher turned vigilante tracking a predator who has kidnapped a young girl.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
A: Yes, though the book can be read without picking up on it. It’s meant to be an allegory of failed partisan politics, and I wanted the “moral of the story” to be nuanced and subtle. So someone could read this just for pure entertainment value if they wanted. However, the point was to underline how divisive and unproductive our two-party system is, and even raise the question of whether that divisiveness is engineered. Is it just another method by which those in power maintain their control? Something to think about…
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
A: I really liked the chapter that takes place during the Native American sweat lodge ceremony. One of the characters is trying to track down his twin brother, his brother having set out to find a man who kidnapped a young girl. He runs into car trouble and as part of the exchange for a new alternator, has to participate in a sweat lodge ceremony. I’ve never been to such a ceremony, so it was interesting doing the research. The whole scene with the stifling heat, steam, and pungent odor of pinon needles was meant to ratchet up his anxiety, because he’s convinced his brother is in trouble while he’s stuck waiting to get his hands on an alternator.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
A: The premise of the book was rooted in an inside joke amongst coworkers. We envisioned ourselves as characters in a somewhat dystopian version of the United States where the government had split in two—one in the East and one in the West. I told my coworkers that I would write a book about it, just for fun. So partly it was because I said I would. The other motivation was to actually complete my first full-length novel, seeing as all of my previous releases are novellas (The Camaro Murders, Lady in Flames, and Power in the Hands of One).
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
A: That’s not a fun question at all. I will have to decline.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I do love Italian food, so Italy would be an option. Israel would be interesting given the rich Biblical history there, but at the end of the day, I’m a homebody. Travel doesn’t really excite me.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
A: I’m both by necessity. Otherwise nothing gets done, including my writing. Family and a full time job will do that to you. In fact, as I’m writing this, everyone else has already gone to bed.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
A: No, just me. Lots of readers, but no writers. I think some of them have the knack for writing, just not the creative impulse.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
A: I always had a rich imagination, but I wouldn’t say I was a dreamer. I was always really grounded, maybe too grounded. I wanted to grow up too fast.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
A: The ability to create matter at will. That way I could create anything I wanted. Essentially I’d be my own genie without the trappings of a bottle.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
A: Thank you! I would encourage readers to pick up a copy of Godspeed, Carry My Bullet if for no other reason than they’re fed up with politics. Constructive reviews are always appreciated. Also be sure to check out my back catalog with Untreed Reads; there are always great promotions going on.