Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon's Fury, Book 1 by L. R. W. Lee

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

C. S. Lewis inspired me to write after I read his book Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.  This book has two layers going simultaneously – the action going on in the foreground story and also the symbolism of the background narrative.  For whatever reason, my brain loved how he constructed these layers and I was hooked.  I wanted to write a children’s book with multiple layers, too!  And now I’m writing a whole series…

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I do.  I listen to Pandora and have Josh Groban radio  or Songs from a Secret Garden playing.  When I’m focusing on inventing, I can’t have songs with words playing or I find myself listening to the music and not writing, but when I’m doing less focused tasks, I have any kind of music playing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a veterinarian.  I think much of this was inspired from my reading the book Zoo Vet: Adventures of a Wild Animal Doctor by David Taylor.  The book is no longer in print, but I remember thinking how cool it could be to be involved in caring for zoo animals.  I also remember being influenced by the James Harriet series, All Things.  While Harriet was a country vet, I still thought this could be a neat profession.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
While I’m almost ashamed to admit it, I love Disney music tracks including, You’ll be in My Heart (Phil Collins) and I See the Light (Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi) and several others; The Sound of Music is my favorite musical. As my husband and kids will confirm, I hate scary movies. But, I love piano and strings music, sunsets in Hawaii and a good cup of decaf, French press coffee (yes, decaf!). I’m a healthy-eating fanatic (lean protein and complex carbs, if you please) and I exercise regularly (even though I hate it!). I also love Ansel Adams prints, and mobiles, as well as all manner of kinetic art.

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

I have to say that no matter what the review, I’m a scary-cat when I first get a new review to read.  My brain always braces for the worst.  While I have had many, many people rave about my book, my brain just goes there.  I guess I am still working on confidence in my work down deep inside.  So, when a review is negative, at first I feel disappointed.  Then I take a deep breath, get out of my emotions and psychology and try to understand what the person meant and what disappointed them.  I then try to make the criticism constructive and learn from it.  Some days it’s more of a struggle than others to do that though J .

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?
The names of my characters are important.  Not all, but most of my characters names mean something.  For example, the name Alden, my protagonist’s best friend, mean “helper”.  I use my character’s names to help define their role.

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?
My friends my think I’m an extrovert because my role as an author demands that I speak with my readers as well as with school groups and more.  My family, however, knows I’m an introvert.  I recharge my energy in peace and silence.  One of the best places for me to recharge is in Hawaii, looking out on the ocean, a few palm trees in the view, listening to waves roll up on the beach.  It is here that I take several deep breaths and drink in the solitude. 

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams 

I love this quote because an author is a thought leader.   

From the After Life, ten-year-old Andy Smithson’s relatives initiated a curse 500 years ago. Now they no longer agree it should continue and one is willing to sacrifice Andy’s life to end it. Unaware of the disagreement and with no say in the matter, Andy is unexpectedly and magically transported from his home. He finds himself in the Land of Oomaldee, facing mortal danger at every turn as he seeks to find a scale from a rare red dragon, the most ferocious of dragon species, to break the curse and save his life. 

Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon's Fury

A middle grade (4th through 6th grade) fantasy adventure that entertains while teaching uncommon, life changing narratives.

Book Trailer (All "Likes" are appreciated!)

Sitting on his bed with the afternoon sun shining through the window, Andy tried to slow down his racing thoughts. It was all so overwhelming.  It had been fun to think of himself as Chosen when that just meant he felt special.  Now, however, he wasn’t sure.  It sounded like a whole lot more than just retrieving a red dragon scale was about to happen. The weight of it all pressed hard. He was scared.  He felt alone. For the first time since he had arrived in Oomaldee, he missed his home, his parents and (he couldn’t believe he was thinking this, but… yes) even his big sister! He punched his pillow hard once, and then again and again and again.  He stopped only when feathers began flying everywhere.
Why me?  he thought.  There’s no way I can do to this!
You’re right, Andy! You can’t do this on your own. It was his inneru. You need help.”
As his inneru said this, a second amethyst-colored stone landed on his bed, barely missing his head.
Hey, watch it! You almost hit me in the head! Andy said.  As soon as
he had said it, he felt stupid for yelling at no one. Where do these things keep coming from? he wondered. As before, he picked it up and it started pulsing. Then he heard a trumpet blast.
Methuselah has appeared to you, Andrew Ferrin Smithson. It is the sword of your forefathers.  You will become known by it.  It is time that evil is extinguished from the land.  This will be accomplished by your hand.”
My forefathers? What do you mean? Andy interrupted. The message paused.
Your ancestors are from the Land of Oomaldee.
Really?  Andy thought.
It is not I who gives Methuselah, but One far greater. It is given and taken as the times require, the message continued. You have been appointed to wield it for such a time as this.

But I’ll screw this up. I know I will, just like I did when I almost tore the castle down. Whatever kind of evil this message is talking about sounds really bad.  Theres no way I can do this, even with this sword, Andy whined.
Stop! Andy’s inneru interrupted. Andy sat up, startled.
The message continued, Take courage. You do not yet see your own abilities because you have never been tested. You have never demonstrated to yourself or anyone all that you can do. Put your fears aside and trust that you can succeed in the challenges that lie ahead. The message completed and the sphere disappeared, once again, giving no indication who had sent it.
This is not about you,” reminded the inneru.
I know…  thought Andy. Its about all the people in the Land of Oomaldee. It is about the King, Mermin, Alden, Marta, Hans and everyone I’ve come to love here.
You don’t usually think about others first, replied his inneru.
Maybe this is my chance to change that.

The Andy Smithson series continues with more adventures to retrieve secret ingredients needed to break the long-standing curse that
plagues the Land of Oomaldee.

Join Andy in book two of the series,
Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning.
Coming Winter 2013

Since the age of eight, L. R. W. Lee wanted to write a children’s book, but felt she did not have anything significant to share; she sought to change lives while entertaining. A degree in Accounting did not provide riveting fodder for a best seller, so she waited. Over a decade, she founded and grew a company, during which, she worked closely with a mentor from whom she learned uncommon thinking that changed her life. After selling her business in early 2012, she had time to write and, more importantly, something significant to share.

L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and son.

social links 

No comments: