I'VE LOVED WRITING EVER SINCE I LEARNED HOW. Like many kids, my summer writing project was about our family’s annual vacation, an adventure that was usually at my grandparents’ log cabin in Canada. I wrote down everything that seemed significant, like buying my first pocket knife and pretending to hunt for bears. One Christmas, my aunt gave me a lockable diary, and my writing turned to the wonder and adventures of life in rural Minnesota.
As I grew older, my writing became more commercial, like real estate training programs and marketing newsletters. In 2005, I co-founded an online education company with my daughter, Liz, and I wrote certified continuing education courses and pre-license courses for real estate licensees. That writing earned money and strengthened my writing skills, but lacked the freedom and adventure of my childhood projects. To fix that, I used my non-career time to write novels.
My first novel took three years to complete. It wasn't very good, but it helped me learn story crafting and the discipline of putting words together during long work sessions. I’ve written four other novels since then, each one furthering my knowledge and skills, but not surviving the publishers' slush piles. Looking back, I gave up marketing too soon in order to write a new story that I felt passionate about. Like most novelists, creating a believable world and life-like characters seemed far more compelling and rewarding than cranking out query letters to agents and publishers.
In 2017, I decided to devote my full attention to writing novels. My first project was LOST IN DALAT, and I returned to Vietnam to do research for it. I’m also editing and revising some of my earlier novels, strengthening scenes and characters, and making plot improvements that are clearer to me with the passage of time. The storylines remain exciting to me, and I think readers will keep turning pages to find out what’s going to happen.
The above photo is James Luger's writing desk in the French colonial villa where he stayed in Dalat, Vietnam.
ALTHOUGH MY STORIES ENTAIL ADVENTURES, they are not genre adventure novels. They might involve romance, but are not genre romance novels. Although they all have strong female characters, they only border on being women’s story novels. For want of a more specific category, I would have to call them “mainstream,” or perhaps “cross-over” novels—all of them seasoned with all the above.
The adventure through-lines of my written and in-progress novels have been inspired largely by my adventure trips, such as an expedition in a small thatched-roof boat to the source of the Amazon River with my friend, Hollis Willeford; a camping safari across the African Serengeti in a Land Rover with my daughter, Nikki; a trek with Sherpas through Himalayas from India to Nepal with my daughter, Erika; an excursion down the Nile River, and then by minivan trip across Israel, with my daughter, Liz; and two return trips to Vietnam since I served there as a US Army soldier in 1965-1966.
The above photo is James Luger and his grandson, Olin.
MY FORTHCOMING NON-FICTION BOOKS will be about aviation and real estate.
My aviation career started in the early 1970s when I became a young commercial pilot and certificated flight instructor. I have taught many students how to fly airplanes, but most of my instruction experience has been teaching experienced pilots to fly aerobatics and how to maintain and regain control of an airplane that goes out of control. My paperback training manual and ebook version will be available in 2020.
As a 40+ year real estate broker and brokerage owner,I have written real estate training courses, both for classroom and online delivery. Thousands of agents and brokers have enrolled in my courses and their reviews report that they found them helpful in starting new real estate careers, or advancing the current careers of experienced professionals. I will soon be releasing print and ebook versions of my most popular topics.
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