I was born in Upstate New York. My family didn’t have a lot of money so my older brother and I were encouraged to use our imaginations to entertain ourselves. And use them we did – climbing trees and creating tree forts, using a quilt for a matchbox car city, making puppets and putting on shows, and much more.
I went to college and got a degree in Accounting. However, most folks frown on “creative accounting”, so I put my imagination on hold. My business interests eventually led me to founded and grow a successful company which, with my partner, I sold in January 2012, leaving me time to imagine and write for the first time.
I live in scenic Austin, TX with my husband, my daughter who is a Longhorn at UT Austin and my son who is in high school. The Sound of Music is my favorite musical. 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 also love Ansel Adams prints, as well as all manner of kinetic art.
2. Describe your desk/workspace.
I work at a glass-top table in the upstairs loft area of our home, with a view overlooking a lake. My table has lots of papers semi-neatly arranged in piles (I know what’s where – I really do!) and several books, including a couple Harry Potter books (for inspiration) and some reference books.
3. Do you have a favorite quote?
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
4. What are you currently reading?
I just finished the last of The Beyonders trilogy by Brandon Mull.
5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Nothing is fixed or permanent. Everything can be changed, just change your story about it.
6. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
I have a few:
King Solomon, because he was the wisest man to ever live.
Harry Potter because he’s such a dynamic character. He went through so much and came out the other side having learned much and being a better character as a result.
George Washington, because he was so selfless, despite being offered so much power. He acted in the best interests of the country at all times.
7. What are your top three favorite books and why?
Harry Potter series (I know that’s 7 but I liked them all), because I love to study how JK Rowling constructed her works but also just to enjoy!
The Hobbit, because innocent characters are challenged to put aside their comfortable lives and go on a quest that significantly enlarges their world, making them better for it.
Indian in the Cupboard, because it sparked my imagination when I was a kid. I loved that book!
8. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
I loved several. Indian in the Cupboard, Charlotte’s Web, Chronicles of Narnia, Secret Garden. In every case, these books captured my imagination and transported me to another world.
9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I love weaving in subtle humor. Most times it’s through word play.
10. Do you write full-time or part-time?
11. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be and why?
Visit Narnia, or Lyrian now that Maldor has been defeated (The Beyonders). Why? Because these are cool worlds.
12. What is the craziest thing you ever did? This could be as a writer or any other time in your life.
Went white water rafting down the New River in Kentucky (a grade 4 or 5 rapids out of 5) where I also jumped off a 3 story-tall rock. That was intense! A close second is going on a hot air balloon ride! That was fun!
13. Did you feel like a celebrity when you held your first published book?
No. I think the moment of celebration was just after hitting the Enter key after uploading the final changes to the book with the publisher. I knew this was the version that would be published for all to read. That was a meaningful moment for me.
14. If you could have a star like on Hollywood Blvd, who would you want to have your star by?
This can be an actually star on Hollywood Blvd. or someone you just admire.
15. Is there anything in your life you wish you could do over and why?
Honestly, no. I would not be the person I am today if anything was done differently. Only the person I am today could have created the work I have.
16. Who has been your biggest support or inspiration?
My aunt has been my biggest supporter. I had her read an early draft and she absolutely loved it! She’s been a vocal cheerleader since. My biggest inspiration has been my mentor. He taught me so many narratives that significantly changed my life. What’s more, he lives out what he speaks. He is a man of integrity and I honor and respect him for being who he is.
17. Could you share about any current writing projects?
Ten-year-old Andy Smithson is magically brought to the Land of Oomaldee while he is doing dishes one night. Unbeknowst to him, he is there to break a 500 year old curse. Andy learns that his quest is the Dragon’s Lair to find an ingredient critical to breaking the curse – the scale from an elusive red dragon, the fiercest of all dragon species. Andy nearly destroys the castle amidst adventures battling fire-breathing dragons, fighting vicious vulture attacks, escaping people-eating giants and more. I had a lot of fun interjecting humor throughout the book in the form of fart jokes that appeal to middle graders, but also more advanced word play for adult readers. One example, when Andy is faced with crossing a raging river, he speaks of overcoming the “current” problem. I love doing word plays like this.
You’ll find these throughout the book, particularly in the prologue.
18. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?
You can find me at my website at http://www.lrwlee.com
19. Where can people find your book?
Both the eBook as well as the paperback are available at Amazon.com or you can get the paperback and other gear, like T-shirts, at my website at http://www.lrwlee.com.
20. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Just that authors love to hear what you think of their work. It’s a vulnerable business inventing something and then putting it out there for the world to critique. Please tell me what you think by posting a review at Amazon.com, even if you don’t buy the book there. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Read, Review, Refer reward program on my website where you can get a free copy of the next book.
Also, I’ve started the second book in the series, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning that I hope to have out winter 2013.
I am passionate about helping others embody new ways of overcoming frustration, fear, impatience and similar situations. As a result, I have included on my website discussion questions for parents to work through with their kids.
Thank you so much for visiting me on my blog. It is SO great to have gotten to know you more!