Why do you write fantasy/sci-fi?
Well, first off, I love SFF. It’s my favorite genre to read, always has been. And my mind just seems to have a natural bent for it. Often I will think of a more mainstream/literary story but within a few steps of the plot, I start thinking of how to make it into a SFF story. Oddly enough, I feel more comfortable in stories that involve magic, mystical creatures, and far-away lands.
What was the inspiration behind In the Blood?
In the Blood‘s history of development is long and convoluted. It’s very first incarnation was as a retelling of “The Twelve Huntsmen” folktale. It went through many different phases after that until it arrived at its present form.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
Absolutely! I chose many of my characters’ names from baby books, researching meanings and alternate spellings. Because I write SFF sometimes I will alter the name by a letter or two to make it more exotic. But mostly, I just look for really old, obscure names that have great meanings. For instance “Ottilde” comes from the German Otthilde and means “fortunate heroine.”
Do you know the entire plot of a book at the beginning or do you make it up as you go along?
Before I start typing, a story spends quite a bit of time in my mental incubator. I don’t usually know the end of a story, but I have a good idea of the general direction. That being said, once I start the actual writing, the characters will often take hold and move it in a whole different direction. So, the short answer is no, I don’t know the plot before hand. I don’t outline . The only written planning I do is a character analysis for each of the main characters. Though now I do try to come up with a blurb and tagline before I’ve written too much just so I don’t have to try and do that later. It’s a pain! As is writing a synopsis. Barf!
What’s with all the author interviews on your blog?
As a newcomer to the professional writing world, I realized that I don’t know very much. It’s all very well to sit at your desk and drum out a story and pat yourself on the back. But it’s quite another thing to try and put that story out for public consumption. So, not too long after I created this website, I decided to gather as much knowledge as I could on being an author and surviving in the literary world. What better place to get that kind of intelligence than from other authors who have earned their stripes, either in indie or traditional publishing (or hybrid)? And how better to use that information than to share it with others?
Will you read my story/book and give me a critique?
I’m afraid not. The only people whose writing I critique belong to my writer’s group. My advice is to join/start a critique group. If a face-to-face group is impossible for you, join an online group like Critters.org. Totally free and a great help in getting lots of advice on a piece of writing.
Can I interview you or have you guest post on my blog?
Absolutely! I would love to. Just drop me a line through the “Contact R. L.” tab and let me know the details.
How can I get a review copy of your book(s)?
The review period for my books is the three months or so before the publication date. At that time, there is ample time and opportunity to get a digital review copy through Netgalley or sign up with my publisher, Lakewater Press, to be part of the advanced reviews wave. Physical copies – at any time – are sent to particular reviewers only (hand chosen by Lakewater Press, not me. I have no control over who gets those copies). If you missed the advanced review period and are NOT affiliated with a reputable review blog/publication, then you will need to purchase a copy through regular channels. I do not have any review copies in my possession (not even the digital files). Please email Lakewater Press directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Who is your favorite author?
Hmm… I have many. I like different authors for different reasons. But here are a few I can definitely say have had an influence on me and my work: Sharon Shinn, Cormac McCarthy, Lynn Flewelling, Patricia Briggs, Grace Draven, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Orwell, Tamora Pierce, Michael Ende, Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, Tanith Lee, Scott Westerfield, Suzanne Collins, Joan D. Vinge, Stephen King, Edwidge Danticat, Charlotte Bronte, Louise Marley, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Marge Piercy, Sarah Beth Durst, Michel Faber, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Sherman Alexie, Clare Bell, Joy Harjo, Roald Dahl, Patricia A. McKillip.