Currently The World of Ink Network is touring debut author L.R.W. Lee’s middle grade fantasy adventure, Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book 1).
And today World of Ink and L.R.W Lee drop by my neck of the writing woods.
Welcome L.R.W. Lee
Thanks Helen for inviting me.
My pleasure. It must be exciting promoting your debut novel. And I know you have had a busy schedule so far so it is lovely that you could drop by. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I live in Austin, TX with my husband and two kids. I started my career in accounting, eventually starting a few companies of my own. The last one I grew for 12 years before selling it in Jan 2012. With the opportunity to do something different, I chose to write.
Did you always want to be a writer?
My earliest recollection in terms of writing is of age 8. I had just finished reading CS Lewis’ Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I was hooked on how Lewis constructed multiple layers of plot and wove them throughout the book simultaneously. This just connected with my brain and I wanted to write a children’s book that followed a similar style.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for approximately 18 months.
What writers do you think have influenced you?
JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Brandon Mull and certainly others, but these are a few of the authors that influenced me the most.
Do you have a favourite book?
Narrowing it down to just one book is difficult. Any of the children’s stories these authors wrote would certainly be included among my most favourite books.
What inspired you to write Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury Book 1?
I founded and grew a business for 12 years beginning in 2000 and successfully sold it in January 2012. In 2005, I chose to bring on a partner/mentor to continue to grow it. He taught me not only business narratives, but also shared his personal philosophies. He is Korean and therefore has many philosophies that you might call Eastern-based that are refreshingly different from Western-based philosophies I was raised with. Many of these, including overcoming frustration, impatience and fear among others, significantly changed how I think and act. It is these life principles that I seek to share through my books. I hope to help others better enjoy their journey through life. I am passionate about helping others embody new ways of approaching these and similar situations. As a result, I have included on my website discussion questions for parents to work through with their kids.
I just love the cover.
How many books do you plan for this series?
A total of 7 books are planned for the series.
What is the message you want your readers to take away from reading your book/s?
The reason I write is I am passionate about sharing life principles including overcoming frustration, impatience, fear, prejudice, jealousy and more. These are the messages I hope my readers take away. If they do, I am convinced their lives can be more enjoyable than before.
Do you write in any other genre?
Not at this time.
Some writers have a preferred writing schedule. Do you?
My writing is a reflection of how my brain invents narratives. As I am working through a plot outline, I allow myself the space to design. Having to stick to a rigid schedule does not work for me as I write. That said, I do have a timeline in mind for when I want to release a book and I work toward that.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
I love to write in the upstairs study/loft of our home. It overlooks a wonderful view of a lake. The view puts me in an effective mood to invent and create.
Did you encounter any obstacles to the road of publishing this book?
I don’t know if I would call it an obstacle, but the biggest challenge I found being a new author was finding people to read my book and give honest, constructive feedback. I eventually found a good editor as well, but in the beginning I did not know who would be “good” or not. Going forward, with the people I have found in the process of publishing my first book, I anticipate the process will be easier the next time around.
Apart from creating stories, could you tell us a little about your other passions?
While I’m almost ashamed to admit it, I love Disney music tracks including, ‘You’ll be in My Heart’ (Phil Collins) and ‘I See the Light’ (Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi) and several others; ‘The Sound of Music’ is my favorite musical. As my husband and kids will confirm, I hate scary movies. But, I love piano and strings music, sunsets in Hawaii and a good cup of decaf, French press coffee (yes, decaf!). I’m a healthy-eating fanatic (lean protein and complex carbs, if you please) and I exercise regularly (even though I hate it!). I also love Ansel Adams’ prints, and mobiles, as well as all manner of kinetic art.
Yes, I love the sunsets in Hawaii and Ansel Adams’ prints as well.
What projects are you working on now?
I am currently working on Book 2 in the series, Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning
What attributes do you feel are necessary to be a successful author and publisher?
Passion to communicate your message, skill of listening to criticism constructively no matter what tone it is delivered in, and skill in marketing!
What words best describe you?
Creative, a kid at heart who never wants to grow up, compassionate, diligent
Before you go, do you have any words of advice to fellow writers?
Be passionate about the message you want to communicate. Without passion, the hard times will snuff your creativity and cause self doubts.
And ….. just to finish up, could you please complete the following:
At school I was … a brown noser! And my grades prove it!!
When I was a child I wanted to be … a veterinarian
I relax by … listening to music, enjoying a good cup of decaf French-press coffee
Website address: http://www.lrwlee.com
Interview on Blog Talk Radio: http://bit.ly/10AgvjY
Reviews of Book: http://amzn.to/1662dzV
Thanks again L.R.W. Lee for dropping by, and we wish you and World of Ink a successful tour.
More about L.R.W. Lee’s debut novel: Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book 1).
About the Book:
Ten-year-old Andy Smithson is magically brought to the Land of Oomaldee while he is doing dishes one night. Unbeknownst to him, he is there to break a 500-year-old curse. Andy learns that his quest is the Dragon’s Lair to find an ingredient critical to breaking the curse – the scale from an elusive red dragon, the fiercest of all dragon species. Andy nearly destroys the castle amidst adventures battling fire-breathing dragons, fighting vicious vulture attacks, escaping people-eating giants and more.
A middle grade (5th and 6th grade) fantasy adventure that entertains while teaching uncommon life changing narratives.
ISBN -10: 1482312646
Available in eBook and Print
Publication Date: April 2013
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure
Helen Ross interviews L.R.W Lee during her May World of Ink Tour. 29 May 2013.