America's Next Author background
America's Next Author
America's Next Author is the first real social writing contest. Winners will be chosen based on a unique combination of votes from readers and publishing industry experts.

A Brain Like Sherlock Holmes

Read our interview with Luke Swanson, the youngest ANA nominee, and find out which book he'd be embarrassed to be seen reading.

How were you able to rise to the top of the Author Ranking so quickly?

I have an amazing community and a family with more connections than Kevin Bacon. I also can thank the other contestants who rated my story and gave me such great constructive feedback.

What would you do if you were asked to join the Nazi party?

I'd like to think that I'd say "No!" and storm out of the General's office, slamming the door. But the inner turmoil of Germany in the 1940s is so interesting. I believe you can't know everything unless you know the history behind it, and the mindset of Germany is one of those things. Check out some books from the library; it's fascinating stuff.

What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

By far, the hardest thing about writing, for me anyways, is my self-confidence. Usually, whenever I get to act 2 of a story, I start to lose interest or think that it's running itself into the ground. That's when I grind my teeth and force the story forward, whether or not it wants me to.

Have you taken a creative writing class?

I haven't taken an official writing class, but I talk with authors an writers of varying genres a great deal. Experience is the best teacher, and I have next to none, so I do a lot of listening. I also read everything I can grab and draw different ideas from that.

Who is your favorite author of all time?

Oh, that's a tough one. You can't possibly ask me to choose a single author, knowing all that you now do about me. Here's my list: Steven James, Ted Dekker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Suzanne Collins, Dennis LeHane, Michael Connelly, Anthony Horowitz... I could go on, but that'll do for now.

When you were little, did you want to be an author when you grew up?

First, I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I realized that would involve heights, so that got scratched off the list pretty quick. Writer was next. Telling stories and tickling the imagination is what I love, and it's a dream to be able to do it for a large audience.

Name a book that you'd be embarrassed to be seen reading.

Twilight. Unfortunately, I have indeed been caught reading it. My name is Luke, and I have read Twilight. It has been fifteen months I last read it, and I've been on the wagon ever since.

Will you be working on another book soon? If so, can you give us any hints about it?

I've finished the first draft of my newest novel, a murder mystery set in Los Angeles. What would you do if you were chased by a murderer who based his kills on the Ten Commandments? It's pretty intense stuff, but with a redemptive theme throughout.

If you could choose one superhero power for yourself, what would it be?

ONE superpower? C'mon, now. Fine, I would have a brain like Sherlock Holmes. That's a superpower, right?

December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
Goodbye For Now!
I won't be America's Next Author this year, but maybe next year ... [...]
Like a Criminal
Mystery Writer (6)
We're not all cut out for a life of crime. [...]
Big Breaks and Little Breaks
Mystery Writer (5)
How one Facebook message brought me from frustrated and upset to excited and motivated. [...]
The Future Bestsellers
Mystery Writer (4)
The wild ride continues ... who will be the first wildcard nominee? Will I learn enough about online promotion to get hired for a job in marketing? ;) [...]
Image Is Everything
Mystery Writer (3)
This week I put a lot of effort into improving my ANA author page, and I think it's starting to pay off. [...]
My First Week Experience
Mystery Writer (2)
Voting, reviews, Facebook, Tweets, links ... so busy! [...]
Seven more rounds!
Mystery Writer (1)
When I first got the email notifying me that my story was accepted for America's Next Author, I was really excited and even a little nervous. [...]
America's Next Author

#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!