Author bio: L. R. W. Lee credits her love of fantasy to C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Later on, she enjoyed the complex world of Middle Earth brought to life by J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The multiple dimensions of the worlds, especially the dragons, mixed with a layer of meaning captivated her and made her desire to invent Young Adult Fantasy and Epic Fantasy worlds others could get lost in, but also take meaning away from. More recently, L. R. W. Lee has found inspiration from J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series as well as Brandon Mull and his best selling Fablehaven, Beyonders and Five Kingdoms series.
L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. She hopes, one day, to become a top, bestselling author of teen books so she can share these life changing principles more widely. L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband.
Book title: Andy Smithson series
Genre: MG/YA, coming-of-age, fantasy
Synopsis: Four years ago, Andy Smithson discovered he is the Chosen one to break a 500-yr-old curse plaguing the land of Oomaldee when he unexpectedly and mysteriously found himself there. To do so, he must collect ingredients for a magical potion. Thus far he has gathered the scale of a red dragon, venom from a giant serpent, a unicorn’s horn, and the tail feather of a phoenix. Now he must ask a griffin for one of its talons. There’s just one problem…humans have poached griffin treasure, causing these mythical creatures to attack on sight.
Complicating matters, the evil Abaddon, sovereign of Oomaldee’s northern neighbor, is turning more and more citizens into zolt in his ongoing campaign of terror as he sets in motion the final steps of his plan to conquer the land. Things really start to heat up in book five!
If you loved Harry Potter, you’ll love the Andy Smithson series chalk full of mythical creatures, newly invented animals like zolt, herewolves, and therewolves, a complex plot with evolving characters, and positive themes including responsibility, diligence, dignity, friendship and more. ·
Publish date: Various
Publisher: Woodgate Publishing
Award-winning author of the Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy adventure series that entertains while teaching uncommon life principles including responsibility, diligence, dignity, friendship, and more.
Hi Linda. Thanks for coming visiting the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network today. It looks like you have a pen name. Why is that?
I do use a pen name: L. R. W. Lee. It wasn’t because I had visions of being a big, mysterious author who needed one, but rather when I went to secure my website domain name I found “Linda Lee,” my non-pen name, was not available. I wasn’t surprised seeing as how many Linda Lee’s exist in the word… (I’ll add this real quick: I was on a flight one time and struck up a conversation with the woman next to me. When we exchanged business cards at the end, I burst out laughing. No kidding…her name was Linda Lee, too). Adding a middle initial didn’t help either. So, I went back to one of the folks who inspired my love of fantasy, and took inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien.
What’s the story behind your Andy Smithson book title?
Four years ago, Andy Smithson discovered he is the Chosen one to break a 500-yr-old curse plaguing the land of Oomaldee when he unexpectedly and mysteriously finds himself there. The prequel reveals what precipitated the curse—as a teen, the current king was carried away by his lust for power and usurped the throne from his older sister in an act of treachery. So then, the titles of the books manifest Imogenia, the king’s sister’s evolution, from the afterlife.
- Beginning with Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, Imogenia is furious at what has happened to her and she fuels her emotional hurt as indicated by “blast” and “fury”.
- In Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, Imogenia turns venomous (or spiteful) and cunning in seeking ways to continually punish her brother.
- Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor has Imogenia act in a manner disgraceful to the honor of royalty.
- In Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace we see Imogenia’s grace reborn as she begins to reflect.
- In Vision of the Griffin’s Heart Imogenia realizes she is gripped by the hatred and distrust she has harbored for so long. Unlike griffins who she sees choose to trust others (she gets an understanding, or vision, of her true nature, or heart, through these creatures), Imogenia cannot yet make that leap when it comes to her brother.
- And there’s two more books coming, so more evolution happening. Where will she end up? Healed? Or unable to overcome?
Have you used any real people in your characters?
Andy Smithson, the main protagonist, is loosely patterned after my son as he was growing up. My husband and I say we didn’t truly learn to parent until he came along. He was a kid who pushed all boundaries and his imagination seemed boundless. As an example, one time we took away his computer privileges, so we changed the password on his computer. Several days later my husband noticed the settings seemed different – my son had reinstalled Windows…he was in tenth grade at the time…what kid even thinks about doing something like that?? This is what we had to deal with in raising my son, so he provided lots of fodder for my books. I can laugh now that he’s grown.
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
I use places and events all the time. Most times it’s easier than making things up completely. A few examples: Abaddon, the evil king of Oomaldee’s northern neighbour, is patterned after Napolean. Book three includes a nod to a water park here in Texas. Book four includes an experience riding in a hot air balloon.
What music do you listen to when writing?
I listen to Pandora usually. I put on a classical music station without words. I can’t write to music with words as I find myself distracted. Depending on the scene, I sometimes also turn to the Movie Soundtracks station where the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter themes put me in the mood for a particularly dark or dangerous scene I’m writing.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently re-writing book one of the series. It’s already a freebie so you may wonder why I would seemingly waste my time and money on redoing a book I won’t make any money on. My rationale: my craft has dramatically improved since I started writing four years ago in no small part thanks to my gifted editor. Book one either draws readers into the series or repels them. I know what my current conversion rate between book one and book two in the series is. If I can get folks into book two, they read the rest. So it’s a business decision that I hope will pay off J
What do you do when you have writers’ block?
Firstly, I refuse to call the situation when I can’t find words, “writer’s block” as, for me at least, it tends to make the situation worse. Instead, I recognize it for what it is: I have not yet invented the narrative for a scene. It’s not about “finding” words. It’s about “inventing” words. From this orientation then, I set to work to discover what scene/dialog leading up to the situation produced it—what path did I follow that “backed me” into the corner I’m in. Then I either change that, or start Googling words, phrases, locations, mythical creatures, anything related to the scene to spur new ideas. After filling my brain with all this raw material, if no new narrative has come to mind, I set it aside and let my brain work subliminally. Sometimes it takes a few days, but my brain ALWAYS comes up with something in the end.
List some great books you have recently read: The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova, Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, The Black Mage series by Rachel Carter, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, The Stolen Empire series by Sherry Ficklin. Oh there’s so many more, but I’ll stop here. Give me great prose, a riveting conflict set in an engaging fantasy world, and throw in dash of romance and I’m yours.
What do you write about in your blog? On my blog at http://blog.lrwlee.com as you would expect, I share current happenings with my books, but I also share gobs and gobs of reviews of books I read. I give my unbiased opinion and don’t sugar coat things. Most reviews tend to be positive and in the four or five range because I won’t waste my time on a book whose writing style, I can’t stand. So if you’re ever looking for a read you’ll enjoy, check it out.
What are your writing plans for this year? As I mentioned, I’m currently re-writing book one. I hope to wrap that up and in readers hands by mid-March. After that I plan to turn my attention to book six in the seven book, Andy Smithson series. Once I finish book seven in 2017, I am dying to start a YA Fantasy romance series—what I love reading. With all I’ve learned from writing the Andy Smithson series, I feel like I have a shot at getting a traditional publishing deal that could significantly expand my distribution. *crosses fingers*
Where do you like to travel to? My husband and I love relaxing in Hawaii. This year though I’m stoked that we are planning a trip to the UK and France! I’m always wanted to visit these and other European countries and I can’t wait!!
Favourite food: bread pudding
Silliest saying: Indeed
Best holiday spot: Home
Favourite song at the moment: Gabriel’s Oboe
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Definitely Lord of the Rings!
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Visit Paris!
Sounds like you have a great 2016 to look forward to, Linda. Thanks so much for flying in today to share your thoughts with us.
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhyUyPYbgYU
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/L.+R.+W.+Lee?_requestid=215691
Interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series. www.huntersofreloria.weebly.com
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