Author Interview: Wayne Turmel 🐺

I met Wayne through a mutual love of werewolves. He graciously agreed to an interview on my site. I hope you dig it 👌🏼 because we all need more werewolves in our lives. This particular werewolf? He’s a PI, embroiled in relics, psychics, and a witchfinder. Let’s dig in.

Tell me a bit about yourself, and what led you to being a writer (the why of it, and maybe the what, if you can).

I’m a grumpy old, cis-het white guy originally from Canada, but live in Las Vegas now with my wife (The Duchess) and Mad Max, scourge of lizards and most manly of poodles. I spent the first nearly 20 years out of high school doing standup comedy and touring North America before the real world called and I had to run away from the circus. Even with a respectable day job, I still have the creative itch. After writing a bunch of nonfiction books and articles, I got it in my head I’d never be a “real writer,” until I tackled a novel. 9 Years ago, out came The Count of the Sahara. I wrote two more historical fiction adventures (Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans) before making a wild left turn into Urban Fantasy with the Werewolf PI Series. The third and final installment is out May 2, Johnny Lycan & the Last Witchfinder.

Tell me about the Johnny Lycan books. You’ve got two out, and honestly setting one of these stories in Vegas is inspired… I’d love to hear more details, say, about the good guys and bad!

Imagine if a hard-boiled PI like Spenser or Reacher was 30 years old and trying to make a go of it in Chicago. Now imagine with all that, he’s also a werewolf. That was the origin story, if you will.

There are three books in the series. In book 1, Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk, he gets his first big client. The weird old man wants him to track down an Egyptian relic that is supposedly a fake. (Spoiler alert, it is decidedly not.) At first, Johnny doesn’t believe in the occult, so thinks he’s the weirdest, scariest thing out there. The world believes otherwise. Johnny has to not only reclaim the object, but deal with an even meaner, crazier werewolf who used to be a Russian gangster.

In book 2, Johnny Lycan & the Vegas Berserker, all hell breaks loose. It’s based on my own experience moving from Chicago to Las Vegas, and what would Johnny think of Sin City. Sent there to pick up an artifact, he runs into a psychic pawn broker, a coven of badass witches and some survivalist types who have an honest to god, shapeshifting Berserker on their team.

Rock and roll me on your upcoming third book. What should fans expect?

Finally (out May 2, 2024) is Johnny Lycan & the Last Witchfinder. Johnny is getting the hang of this detective thing, and learning the ins and outs of dealing with the paranormal. Things turn ugly when he finds out a reporter has video of Johnny’s escapades in Vegas and is threatening to expose his secret. That’s not bad enough, suddenly a group of anti-witch types threaten Chicago’s Paranormal community. Their leader claims to be the last witchfinder, Matthew Hopkins. Problem is, Hopkins died 400 years ago. Our boy has to deal with crazy cult members, suspected demons, and sooooooo many rats.

Which author(s) did you most want to be when you were learning the craft? What about them made you love their work?

I read a lot as a child, and YA wasn’t a thing. I grew up on Erle Stanley Gardner (my grandmother had all the Perry Mason paperbacks) and short story writers like Ramsey Campbell and Harlan Ellison. Then I read Hunter S Thompson and the gloves really came off. To say what’s on your mind without hiding it or being afraid to hold a mirror up to the world was literally mind-blowing to a church-going Christian kid from small-town Canada. Of course, I’m too polite and cowardly to write like that, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to write?

Fiction is so much harder to write than nonfiction. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to write (besides my father’s eulogy) was a short story based on an old Hollywood urban legend my wife loved to tell at dinner parties to shock people. The story goes that Ava Gardner and Lana Turner were having a drunken lost weekend in Palm Springs and picked up a young gas jockey and gave him the weekend of his life. I have no idea if it’s true, but it’s made the rounds for years. It took me nearly 20 years to figure out how to write “Ava, Lana, and Old Bob Campbell.” The tone, how spicy to make it, making it credible. They were all big challenges but I’m pretty proud of that story.

What’s the most fun thing you’ve written?

I have a ball writing fiction, but short stories most of all. I am a huge boxing fan and have about half a dozen stories centered on the sport that I really love. What I like most about them is they started as writing experiments. Boxing takes place in three-minute rounds, and in a very defined space. Can you describe the action and drama inside those constraints? On my website are most of my short fiction, and you can find those stories there.

If you could provide three pieces of writing advice to aspiring or established authors, what would they be?

There are three things I tell all writers:

  1. Don’t trust yourself to edit, especially proofing. Not only will you not find some of the obvious mistakes, but many of us don’t have the ability to say, “that really sucks, pull it.” You need other voices to keep you honest.
  2. Read in genres other than the ones you write. You can always tell when a sci-fi author his never read romance, because his love interests are boring and flat. If you write horror, read comedy. If you’re a pulp detective writer, read literary fiction. It’s amazing what you can learn/steal from people outside your normal experience that will help you write outside the box.
  3. Everyone says writing is a lonely job. I beg to differ. Typing (getting the words on paper) is lonely. Writing should be social. Hang with writers. Join a local meetup or critique group. All my novels and most of my short work has been vastly improved by the feedback and input from others. That’ doesn’t mean you have to believe or listen to everything they say. When they’re right I fix it. When they’re wrong, I know why and leave it in.

Where can we find you, and Johnny Lycan, online? Your site, Goodreads, socials…

The easiest place to find any of my work is my Amazon author page. The first two Johnny Lycan books are available in paperback, Kindle, and Audible. The third is in paperback and Kindle for now.

You can find me at:

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