About Luther Lovelace Jr.
Growing up in Ohio in the 1960s, Luther Lovelace was the typical All-American boy. He loved watching Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, the Browns, and the Dodgers, and along with his neighborhood friends would play baseball in the vacant lot located down the street.
Less typically, Lovelace was also a voracious reader. By the time he was eight, he could recite Paul Laurence Dunbar’s In the Morning. As a college freshman at Hampton Institute, he began taking a keen interest in American history. Bruce Catton’s work, A Stillness at Appomattox, peaked his interest in Civil War era history.
But the stories he began to admire in subsequent years were those told by his father, a World War II veteran. Like many African-American soldiers, Luther Carl Lovelace received little recognition for his contributions to the war effort. “My father shipped out to France on the Queen Mary at the age of seventeen,” Lovelace says. “He left his home in Georgia, migrating north in pursuit of better opportunities. But the war broke out, and my father, like most African-Americans, joined the Army. He passed away in 2001. It was the greatest trauma of my life. I didn’t learn that his middle name was Carl until the day of his funeral. I guess I never thought to ask, and that is my loss. We didn’t spend as much time together as I would have liked. I feel that I have always been searching for him, always wondering who he was.”
Lovelace has penned two previous novels, The Happy Hour and Embrace the Imperfection. Both stories examine the joys and tribulations of ordinary men struggling against thwarted life expectations. Neither book has been published to this date, but reluctant readers will have to prepare themselves for Random Acts of Mayhem’s episodic structure, breakneck pace and dizzying emotion, which are the true source of this novel’s irresistible readability.
At Hampton Institute and Cornell University, Lovelace studied Electrical Engineering. A father of four sons and an avid traveler with a particular affection for youth of all abilities, Lovelace began teaching in 1992. It is this affection that enabled Lovelace to write Random Acts of Mayhem. “I needed that psychic and geographical proximity in order to understand how culture influences our youth. Not as a writer by any means, but as a human being.”