Author Interview: R. Lee Smith

Hello guys, and welcome to our first author interview! Today we’ll be featuring author R. Lee Smith, who writes science-fiction an horror erotica. (Erotica, eh? Yes, we’ve added that and dark romance to the things we’ll be covering in the future!) I’d also like to welcome to our team another review, who is responsible for bringing us this short interview: C. L. Kelly. She’ll be our resident dark romance/erotica reviewer.

-Acanthea Grimscythe


CLK: When writing, what do you do to prepare for a long session? (i.e, music, food, etc.)

RLS: I do have a music playlist for each of my books and sometimes for specific scenes, to kind of keep me in the right headspace when I’m working. I might also turn on movies to kind of chatter at me in the background. I don’t work very well in silence! And of course, I always have a cup of coffee handy.

CLK: Do you like to write in different genres to push challenge yourself?

RLS:  I don’t really pay much attention to ‘genres’. I just want to write the story, whether it’s about raising baby griffins or ending the zombie apocalypse. Trying to stay within your own genre-specific lane is so limiting.

CLK: How much do your readers inspire you? Do their ideas ever make their way into your work?

RLS: I hate to say it, but I don’t really think much about my readers when I’m writing. I think about them a LOT when I’m editing (usually along the lines of “No one is going to want to read this crap”), but I strongly feel that the more you try to please other people and meet their expectations, the further you fall away from yourself and your own vision. So I write for me.

CLK: That’s the hard thing to remember: not writing for people, but writing for yourself. Which book are you most proud of? I know plenty of people love The Last Hour of Gann, but which do you consider your favorite?

RLS: My favorite book is always the one I’m working on at the moment, but each of them stand out to me in their own way. For certain, the book I’m proudest of is Heat. As clumsy as it is in certain places, that book had a hard birthing. I had something like 300 pages written when the computer crashed and I lost all but about fifty pages, some of it appearing as just a few lines hidden in total wingding gibberish. I had to rewrite it mainly from memory, and then offered it up to an ebook publisher, where it sat for two years with only two sales (one to my sister, one to my great-aunt), before it was released back to me with a few choice words to the effect that I would never be a writer. It would be a lie to say I wasn’t discouraged, but after some thought, I figured, heck, I finished a book, that means I’m already a writer. I decided to self-publish, where to my astonishment, I found that I could actually do this for a living after all. I just needed to put my book in the right place at the right time for the right readers.

CLK: Last question: even though you have disabilities, what pushes you to write? I’ve got epilepsy with severe seizures. There are days I just wanna lay in bed all day, but can’t. What is your motivation?

RLS: In a lot of ways, writing is a form of escapism for me. I deal with a lot of chronic illness, weakness and pain that makes it difficult for me to get out and experience the world the way I would like to. But I can make my own worlds and share them with others. My books connect me to the world in a way my body just can’t anymore.

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