Name: Larry Yoakum III
Where are you from? Born in Wichita, KS, raised in Valley Center, KS. Currently in Rowlett, Tx
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
Raised in a small town, a have a different outlook on life. I joined the Air Force after high school and served 4 years. Married twice before and divorced twice, I now have met and married the love of my life, Allison. We have been together since 2002, but married in 2014. Took a long time, I know, but we didn’t feel the need to rush. 😀 I am also the founder of a veteran’s brotherhood in the Dallas area called Knights of Targoth Order of Veterans, and I’m an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church. I like karaoke, World of Warcraft, horror movies, the Simpsons, and the comedy of George Carlin and Sam Kinison (R.I.P. both of them). I like rock, everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Just got back from a weekend in Vegas with the missus. Had a great time. I don’t gamble (don’t have the skill or the funds to waste) but there is a lot to do there.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing small articles and short stories in high school during my computer class when I was done with my assignments. I got bored waiting on the others. Then, in the military, I began writing short stories, many of which are currently published in my Yoakum’s Compendium of Bizarre and Original Stories. Everything from a grocery store in Hell to intelligent zombies. I wrote a lot because I had stories cluttering my brain, and the only way I could get them out was to write them down. In fact, my story Lawson One-Eye was written on paper with a pencil while I was deployed to Bahrain. When I got back, I transcribed it onto the computer, fleshed it out, and it is included in my Compendium. It was written in 1998, so I had held onto it for a while.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I wrote a short story when I was 20 and stationed at Eglin AFB. Once you write, you’re a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the stories to tell. Better to have them in the world for others to read (and hopefully enjoy) than to keep them locked up in your mind.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write a mix of horror, fantasy, with elements of sci-fi, blended with my own unique twisted humor and world perspective. All of my books are in a shared universe, so you’ll see some main characters in one story become a background character in others. A lot of my stuff centers around Valley Center, KS in some way. In my world, it is a nexus point where portals sometimes pop up, taking you from anywhere to the distant past of Saturn to five blocks up the road an hour into the future. I know the secret of why it happens, but I will cover it in a future book. The town attracts ghosts, monsters, etc, that hide in the shadows, but are still there nonetheless.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I don’t know, they just come to me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really a message. But the themes are things such as, the good guys don’t always win, the universe has much more to it than what we see with our own eyes, and evil isn’t necessarily always out to get you for the sake of getting you.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sometimes I take real life experience and just put the paranormal or government conspiracy flair into it. Such as one of my time traveling characters meeting JFK and knowing he’ll die, but has to let it happen so that the future is the way it should be. I’ve also had weird experiences in a house I know to be haunted when I was growing up, so I put some of those into my books.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I like the stories of Lovecraft. They were all short, sometimes a page long, but the mythology he weaved was amazing. I also watched anthology shows like Tales From The Darkside, which influenced some of my short stories.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
In the Dallas area, I’ve met a lot of great locals authors. One of my favorite is Jacqueline E. Smith, who is writing the Cemetery Tours series. And on FaceBook, I’ve met other great authors across the country who I’ve read, such as Donna Walo Clancy and Peggy A. Wheeler.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My best friend, brother from another mother, and co-founder of the Knights of Targoth Order of Veterans, James Rosenthal Jr.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m working on it. I’d love to give up the day job and write for my living. I don’t care about being a millionaire, I’d be happy with being a thousandaire.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I like to think the stories are already there and I just write them down from my mind. They’re by no means perfect, but there really is no such thing as perfection. Only what you feel makes the story complete.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In the military is when I kicked it into gear, but in high school, I did enjoy it a bit.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now, I’m working on a book called Baba Yaga: Cannibal Witch. It is the next in line of my folklore series, beginning with Redcap, in which Baba Yaga was a minor supporting character.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Since all my stories are in a shared universe, continuity can be a chore, but I do it well. I don’t want to contradict a previous story.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I’d love to be the type of author who can fly to other cities to do book signings and speak at events.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do, for the most part, but Haunting on the Nobility had its cover done by a professional. Donna Collier. I highly recommend her.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sometimes I am just not feeling it, so I’ll walk away for a bit, but eventually you have to push through. That, and as previously stated, continuity.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Just how to tie all the parts together and make it cohesive.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Well, Redcap is going to be made into an indie film later this year, but if it were mainstream with Hollywood names, I’d like to see the protagonist played by Liam Hemsworth. He seems like he could be a young ex-soldier returning home to a funeral only to come into contact with a mythical creature. If my Targothian series got made into a film, Ryan Reynolds could be the lead. He has the moves down, as you can see from Deadpool. He can use a sword and play dark and brooding, too.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t stop. Write for yourself, and if others like your work, then so much the better. But, you have to write what you love. If you force yourself into writing what others want, then you won’t have the heart in it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, you all make it special by reading the stories that flow out of my brain. I love you all.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Death By Chowdah by Donna Walo Clancy. Awesome ghost story. I recommend it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really the first, but one of the earliest was The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Even after all these years, the Simpsons still make me laugh. As for cry, not to sound cliché, but I’m sick of the Powers-That-Be using partisan politics to turn us against each other. As far as I’m concerned, both sides of the fence are working together to keep us at each other’s throats in order to better control us. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. I guess that doesn’t make me cry. Just boils my blood at times. Not to sound too much like a nerd, but when (Spoilers)
Spock dies at the end of Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, I get teary eyed.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Lovecraft. He died young (age 46). I’d just like to tell him how great his stories are and how they’ve held up even after all these decades.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Veteran, Patriot, Author, Husband, Brother, and Original Thinker. I think it sums me up.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Karaoke, World of Warcraft, horror movies. I don’t know if this counts as a hobby, but every year we go to Oktoberfest in Addison, Tx. Someday I want to go to the one in Munich, Germany. What can I say? I love German beer. Especially Spaten.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Simpsons, of course. Supernatural. The Walking Dead. Arrow. Agents of SHIELD. I don’t watch a lot of current shows other than those. But I do have Tales From The Dark Side, Lexx, Married With Children, Sons of Anarchy, as well as other shows, the complete series, that I’ll watch every now and then. Movies, I love the Star Wars movies. Since I was three. And, anything paranormal/horror. And Fight Club. I never tire of that movie.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Anything grilled and meat. Steak, burgers, pork chops. I like to wear a lot of black t-shirts with various things. On Fridays, I wear my Red Friday shirt (Remember Everyone Deployed) in honor of my brothers and sisters deployed far from home. Music, rock. Bon Scott era AC/DC is my favorite, followed by Motley Crue, Kiss, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Journey, Foreigner, and Rammstein. I don’t speak or understand German, but the music still rocks.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I would have learned to play guitar, I’d love to be a musician. Maybe not to the level of a rock god, but I’d be happy to play classic rock in a bar cover band at night.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? My site is called Larry’s Office, located at http://larryyoakum3.webs.com/ Come on by and don’t forget to sign the guestbook. I have a blog on there, but I hardly write on it anymore.
I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all as LarryYoakum3. On Facebook I also have my own page Larry Yoakum III – Independent Author
I have an Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Larry-Yoakum-III/e/B0118ONKR6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1462068950&sr=8-1
You can also find me on LinkedIn, though I don’t post a lot on there.