- a fantasy, sci-fi, & humor writer (although all of his stuff is supposed to be funny)
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Born in the San Francisco Bay area but raised in Spokane, Washington, Ron L. Lahr is the author of the new epic fantasy series the Kathaldi Chronicles. He has worked mainly in the IT and ERP software consulting fields and enjoys gardening, cooking from scratch with his amazing wife, working on old cars, and spending time with his family, which mainly consists of his wife, children, parents, and in-laws, plus of course, all of their pets. He is also a fan of the Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball teams and the Seattle Mariners.
Ron, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
In addition to writing, I also love food and we grow a lot of it. Fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Then my wife and I cook/bake a lot of stuff from scratch. The next step is adding chickens for eggs so I’m going to have to go with chickens as my final answer. Between eight and ten. I’m just waiting for the spring so I can get some chicks.
I gotta admit, I got a little confused when you started talking about cooking when I asked about pets! I hope you get some lovely chickens with mellow dispositions.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write fantasy and sci-fi that have large humor elements of one sort or another and then some straight humor. I started by being younger than all of my classmates as well as shorter and very skinny. When I added glasses, humor was my only option! It worked so well that I started writing it down. As a huge fan of reading it seemed only natural.
I’ve never been that great at non-ironic humor, but I totally empathize with the younger and shorter than-classmates — with glasses! I got mine in third grade.
What do you like to read?
Almost anything! I read a lot of fantasy, sci-fi, and humor, of course. Those are probably my favorites, but I also love mysteries, literature, gardening and cookbooks, and just about anything else.
What a great selection! The ubiquitous “they” suggest reading widely is great for your writing.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Keep a daily word count
I am not a big believer in forcing yourself to write every day, or a certain number of words per day, no matter what. I prefer not to write garbage and when I’m ill or run down, or just not feeling it I simply concentrate on marketing, or editing, or baking. As a matter of fact, I’m done writing for today so as soon as I’m done with this interview I’ll be switching to cooking dinner and making a peach pie for dessert.
I know several authors that do force themselves to write every day and have great success with it but it’s not for me,
Oooh! Tell me more about this pie. Are you eating it hot? Or à la mode? Or what? Er, I mean. I totally understand! I can do NaNoWriMo but writing daily is unsustainable for me.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Don’t get distracted by new projects.
Your brain will try to mess with you by coming up with amazing ideas for new stories and trying to convince you to switch to them. Don’t! Just write up a paragraph or two about them in case they really are great ideas and then finish the story you were working on. This is a biggie for me!
Book one of my epic fantasy trilogy, Children of Kathaldi, was started when my oldest daughter was a toddler. She’s now married, so it’s been a while. Part of it was switching the book from 3rd person to 1st person and having Dirk be the narrator instead of a different character being the protagonist, but it was also just letting life, work, kids, etc., keep me from finishing things. Admittedly, now that the kids are gone it is much easier to find the time to write, but I wish I had kept with it. I would surely be a gazillionaire by now!
I have a writer friend (with small children) who is always struggling with focus versus new-shiny storylines. It’s a very common problem. And? Let’s not talk about how many times I’ve revamped my first book.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Kathaldi Chronicles (3+ book series)
A thief with dreams of adventure. An eternal battle against the Gods. Free drinks and grateful women.
Dirk is a scoundrel. Some would say a jerk. He’ll admit it. But his ambition only goes as far as his next heist. It’s not that he’s against noble causes or grand adventures. To hear him tell it, he’s had a few. As long as there’s something in it for him.
But when a childhood friend shows up with an unbelievable tale, Dirk must decide if he really is up for adventure worthy of the songs of bards. The last time the Kathaldi battled the Gods, they nearly destroyed the world. Can Dirk and his companions prevent the world from sliding into chaos once more?
If women and treasure await, he’s going to give it his best shot.