Interview with Author Loren Rhoads

I’m excited to host an interview with author Loren Rhoads here today.

loren

Most writers I know were starry-eyed readers as children. What do you recall about the first stories that captivated your heart?

peter pan

My mom used to read books to my brother and me at bedtime.  The first one I remember falling in love with was Peter Pan.

dirt hills

 

I’m not sure what about the story intrigued me initially, but when I was four, my family moved to a brand-new house built in the middle of one of my grandmother’s fields.  There wasn’t any yard, then, just piles of dirt dug out for the basment. All around the house rose these little hillocks, covered in willows and weeds and wildflowers.

wildflower

Everything seemed feral, like something out of Neverland. My brother and I acted out our own Neverland adventures.  We were so disappointed when the steamroller finally came and smoothed everything out for a yard.

house flat

When did you start writing your own stories?

writing story

I’m not sure when I first started writing things down, but I remember when I started to tell myself stories.

 

My mom was a firm believer in naps. She was in her 20s, working full-time as an English teacher, with two kids under 5. She may have needed a nap more than we did.

napping

In order to get us to settle down, my mom made my brother and me get in her big bed with her.  I had to hold still so they could sleep.  I passed the time making up stories.  They were about mermaids, like the puppet Marina in the Stingray show on TV.

marina

What made you keep going?

girls

When I was in junior high, I met some girls who actually wrote their stories down so they could pass them around.  We didn’t think of ourselves as writers, really.  We just wanted to share the stories we had in our heads.  Sharing stories was a revelation for me.

imagination

I loved that I could create pictures that would live inside someone else’s imagination.  I took my first creative writing class in high school.  After that, I took every writing class I could find.

publish

What was the path to publication like for you?

long road

It’s been a long road.  I published my first stories in the 1980s, after I went to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop.

clarion

Soon after that, I had a teacher who discouraged me from writing science fiction, so I turned to horror.  The horror community was so much more welcoming.

horror

Since then, my short stories have ranged from erotic horror to science fiction to urban fantasy, while my novels have been space opera and a succubus/angel love story.  I’ve written a couple of nonfiction books about cemeteries, too.

spec

What was the best writing / publishing advice you ever received?

Ray Bradbury photographed in his office in 1987.
Ray Bradbury photographed in his office in 1987.

Years ago, I met Ray Bradbury, my writing idol, at a book signing in San Francisco. I told him I was struggling with my first novel because I felt like I had to know everything before I could write a word.  I felt like I needed to be an expert.

 just write

He told me not to think about it so much.  “Just write,” he said.  “You’ll find out what you need to know as you’re writing.  Don’t think so much.” He was so very right. I’ve been a pantser ever since.

write freely

Was there any unhelpful or bad advice you can steer hopeful writers away from?

 write dont know

I hate “Write what you know.”  What you know can be boring.  Write to find out what you think. Write to discover things you want to know more about.  Write what you’re interested in.

 experiment

What would you like readers to know about your work?

cover

My latest project has been a series of short stories about a witch who travels the world to find monsters. Her stories combine my love of travel with the old “psychic detective” stories.  I’ve released three short collections on Amazon and plan an omnibus paperback edition of them for the fall.

Here’s the link to the first collection: Alondra’s Experiments

Nancy Kilpatrickauthor of_Thrones of Blood seriesPower of the Blood series (2)

What question do you wish I would have asked that I didn’t?

 camp

What am I working on now?  I’m glad you asked!

I’m editing a charity anthology for my local Horror Writers Association group.  The book is called Tales for the Camp Fire.  We’ll be selling them to raise money for survivors of last year’s devastating wildfire, the most devastating natural disaster in modern California history.  The book should be out in May. I am really excited about the caliber of the work in it.

199cemeteries_1a

To learn more about Loren Rhoads online,check out her site: lorenrhoads.com/

king

Thanks for stopping by! Happy writing & reading all.

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