F.T. Lukens Speaks About Supernatural and Writing About It

F.T. Lukens is the author of Otherworldly. Otherworldly follows Seventeen-year-old Ellery who does not believe in the supernatural. The novel explores a world where the supernatural does exist, as well as romance. YEM was able to speak with F.T. about  believing in the supernatural, getting inspiration for his characters, and her book writing process.

Young Entertainment: When did you first know that you wanted to be an author?
F.T. Lukens: I’ve always loved writing. As a child, I wrote stories in notebooks and then as a teen and college student I wrote all the time and shared my writing with my friends. But it wasn’t until I was an adult and established in a completely different career that I thought I maybe had a chance to become an author. 

YE: Have you always wanted to write a novel such as Otherworldly that deals with the supernatural and the paranormal?
F.T. L:
I’ve always been drawn to any kind of fantasy or contemporary fantasy. I love ghost stories and I love researching folklore from different areas which often leads to stories of the paranormal or supernatural. It was inevitable that at some point I’d write a novel that has paranormal elements. 

YE: Do you yourself believe in the supernatural?
F.T. L: 
I definitely believe that there are things that are beyond the realm of human perception and understanding. 

YE: What three words would you use to describe Ellery?
F.T. L: 
Independent, stubborn, tender-hearted (beneath the brusque exterior)

YE: Was any part of Otherworldly inspired by your real life?
F.T. L: 
The main character, Ellery, has a job as a dishwasher in a diner. And that was a job that I did as a teen as well. I worked in an ice cream vendor that was located in a horse racing track and I had to wash dishes at the end of the day. I also worked at a summer camp and washed dishes in the kitchen a few days per week. So, when I was thinking about potential employment for Ellery, I gave them a job that was much like the ones I did as a teen.

YE: Where do you get your inspiration for your characters such as Ellery or Knox?
F.T. L: 
The inspiration for the characters was the idea to write a dynamic between a skeptic and an actual supernatural being. And that’s where the creation began. When I was brainstorming Ellery’s character and their arc, I knew that there had to be reasons for why Ellery was skeptical of anything paranormal, and I knew there needed to be other aspects of their character to ensure they were well-rounded. As for Knox, since he was to be the paranormal character, I wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a power imbalance in the relationship between him and Ellery as he is an immortal being, and that’s why his memory is erased after each life. Which also meant that I had to find ways for him to learn about the human realm, which is why he is obsessed with television and gleans all his information about being a teen from supernatural tv shows. 

YE: What is something you hope your readers can take away from Otherworldly?
F.T. L: 
I always hope that my readers have a fun time with the book and characters when they pick up one of my novels to read. For Otherworldly specifically, I hope readers walk away knowing that it’s okay to choose what’s best for them and that at times it’s okay to center their own needs and wants.

YE: What is your favorite thing about writing for a young adult audience?
F.T. L: 
I love the eagerness and the passion that young adult readers have for their favorite books. In high school years, many teens lose their love for reading because of the required reading that goes with schoolwork, so I hope that my books can be something light, fun, and engaging that will help keep that love for reading going.

YE: What is your favorite part of the book writing process?
F.T. L: 
I love the brainstorming and planning stage of book writing. I love the daydreaming stage and following trains of creative thought to see where it goes. 

YE: Is there a book that you love so much you wish you had written?
F.T. L: 
There are definitely books that I love that I re-read, but I don’t think there are books that I wish I had written.

YE: What is something you learned about yourself through the writing process of Otherworldly?
F.T. L: 
Otherworldly was written and edited during a very tumultuous and stressful time in my life and while writing, I learned that I can advocate for myself when needed, but I am also able to focus and get things done.

YE: What is something you hope to write about in the future?
F.T. L: 
I very much want to write another comedy. I love writing humor and I would love to write another comedic fantasy in the future.