Name: Loren Rhoads
Age: Old enough to remember men walking on the moon.
Where are you from: I live in San Francisco.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I studied journalism at University of Michigan and attended the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop at Michigan State University.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My space opera novel The Dangerous Type came out early in July. It’s the first of the In the Wake of the Templar trilogy. Kill By Numbers, the second book, comes out on September 1 and No More Heroes, the third book, comes out on November 3 this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing for real in high school. Before that, I told myself stories, but I didn’t start writing them down and revising them until I was 14 or 15. I had an amazing creative writing teacher named Ms. Perrone who told me she believed I could become a real writer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I got into the Flint Area Writers club as a junior in high school. You had to read your work aloud and critique others. The adults treated me as one of them. They taught me how to write.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I adored Star Wars when the original came out in 1977. I immediately wanted to live in that future. My trilogy spun out of those dreams.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think so. I try to adapt the style to the subject matter – so the style of my science fiction is shorter and punchier than my urban fantasy, which is more descriptive and ornate.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Dangerous Type came from The Cars’ song of the same name. Kill By Numbers is a line from Gary Numan’s “Down in the Park.” No More Heroes is a song by The Stranglers. They are all songs I loved when I was in high school.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The Dangerous Type is about people that others disregard, ignore, or underestimate. I wrote it in such a way that all the points of view tell the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I think the relationships between the characters are very realistic.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’ve had been lucky enough to keep some of my friends from high school, so I wanted to write about long-term friendships and how they change – or don’t – over time.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Martha Allard, my best friend from high school, is a writer, too. She reads almost everything I write. Her criticism is always spot-on and thoughtful when it comes to the emotional reality of the characters. She’s one of the best writers I’ve read. Her support means the world to me, so I dedicated The Dangerous Type to her.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished re-reading William Gibson’s Neuromancer. I’m not sure what will be next, but I just bought Robert Brockaway’s The Unnoticeables.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I loved Dana Fredsti’s Plague World trilogy. I heard a rumor that there might be another book in the series. I can’t wait for that!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up a novel called The Shadow of Death about a young witch who tries to cheat Death to keep her teacher alive. It’s urban fantasy, rather than science fiction.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Broad Universe, an organization for women who write speculative fiction of any flavor, has been great. They’ve opened their blogs to me as a guest poster, set up group readings at conventions I’ve gone to, and been very patient with my questions and suggestions. I’m glad I found them and they accepted me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t have waited for my editor’s notes to start revising the first book. I submitted it in August 2013, but he didn’t get his notes to me until October 2014. From that point on, I revised The Dangerous Type, finished the first draft of Kill By Numbers, revised it, and wrote Kill By Numbers from scratch. The whole trilogy came together in 8 months – then I promptly got pneumonia. I wish I had gotten started much earlier so I didn’t have to write so hard.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mom was a firm believer in naps, even after I’d outgrown them. That gave me a lot of time when I had to hold still and pretend to sleep in which to tell myself stories.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
There’s an excerpt up on my website: http://lorenrhoads.com/writing/the-dangerous-type/the-dangerous-type/
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Right now, it’s reading reviews. Unless they love my book unconditionally, it stings. I know that’s not fair of me, but I need to stop looking for validation from reviewers. It’s not their job to comfort me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I adore Neil Gaiman. He describes things so beautifully.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I read part of The Dangerous Type in Atlanta for the World Horror Convention. I’ll read more in Spokane at the World Science Fiction Convention in August. Oh, and I’m hoping to set up a signing at my hometown Barnes & Noble in Flint, Michigan. Other than that, I think I’ll be sticking around San Francisco.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover artist is Cody Tilson. Isn’t he amazing? Here’s his website: http://www.codytilson.com/
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The schedule. I started No More Heroes on February 3. I turned the final revision in on June 8. I’ve never written a book that fast.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It’s really important to exercise and get away from the desk everyday. I was good about that in the beginning of the process, but by the end, I was doing nothing but writing. I couldn’t sleep, I propped myself up with caffeine and sugar, and I ended up with pneumonia. Next time, I’ll take better care of myself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Try to write consistently. I go to the café every morning to write, which works great for me. After the cafe, even if I don’t accomplish anything else that day, I’ve already gotten my writing out of the way. Don’t wait to be inspired. Just sitting in the chair, ready to work, will inspire you. It helps if you keep a list of things you want to write about, so you’re never at a loss for a topic.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! Your imaginations make my characters live.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that made a huge impression on me was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I was 10.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love clever word play. I cry over everything: the fragility of beauty, the brevity of life, basic human kindness.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Anne Rice and thank her for Interview with the Vampire.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why?
“My god, it’s full of stars.” It’s a line from 2001: A Space Odyssey and what I hope to see after I die.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I like to wander graveyards. It was a hobby long before I wrote Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’ve been looking for a new TV to follow since Dr. Who and Game of Thrones went on hiatus. I’d love some suggestions.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Lemongrass tofu with a Vietnamese iced coffee: absolute favorite meal. I love all shades of blue. I listen to a lot of instrumental psychedelic rock, because my husband was a guitarist in SubArachnoid Space.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would be a tour guide. It would still be a way to tell stories about things that excite me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog is: http://lorenrhoads.com/blog/
Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.com/Loren-Rhoads/e/B002P905PE/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
Powell’s Books: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781597808149-0