LL: When I was 8, I read C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and I knew I wanted to write a children’s fantasy adventure, but not just any fantasy adventure. I wanted to write one that was also an allegory with a deeper meaning. The specifics were not clear, but the passion was there.
I remember having a sense that I did not have a narrative of deeper meaning to share as I grew up, but I always looked for one. It was when I brought on a partner to help me grow a multi-million dollar company I had founded that I observed that my partner/mentor was teaching me philosophies for business, but also narratives that were significantly changing how I lived my life, making it more peaceful and meaningful.
After selling the business in 2012, I knew I wanted to share the uncommon life principles my mentor imparted to me with readers in the hope that after spending several hours with me, their lives might be better, not just having been entertained, but impacted longer-term. A few of these uncommon principles include overcoming frustration, impatience, fear, and jealousy. As well, they include understanding why it makes practical sense to tell the truth, and understanding that success in life comes from responsibility, diligence, and dignity to name a few. As you can tell, this is my passion to accomplish through my books!
BBB: How did you come up with the idea for your Andy Smithson book series?
LL: I’ve always loved books set in medieval times with castles and sword fighting, so the world of Oomaldee evolved easily in my mind. The specifics arose as I thought through what scenarios might help me create a riveting tale while also accomplishing my objective of imparting uncommon life principles as part of the story line without hitting kids over the head with lessons that killed the story line.
LL: _In Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, I continue to weave a tale of mystery and intrigue as the main character, Andy Smithson, who is now 11-years-old, returns to Oomaldee to retrieve the second ingredient needed to break a 500-year-old curse enacted to punish the current ruler for murdering his older sister when she was 15. Not one to forgive easily, Imogenia’s spirit is bent on thwarting Andy to preserve the curse and naively aligns herself with the evil, scheming Abbadon.
Things go from bad to worse when a creature Abaddon conjures from the darkest magic steals the Stone of Athanasia, the source of the ruler’s immortality, causing the king and his wizard, Mermin, to fall gravely ill. Andy is forced to choose between retrieving the stone to save those he loves or obediently going after the second ingredient. What will he chose? Will he be able to save the King and Mermin?
You won’t want to miss the non-stop action, drama and thrills on this adventure that is Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, Book 2.
Available on Amazon:
BBB: What will readers find most appealing about your character, Andy Smithson?
LL: In Book 2, Andy is an unremarkable eleven-year-old boy—brown hair, brown eyes, average nose, average chin (nope, no whiskers yet) who is flawed like all of us.
Andy comes from an upper middle class family with two overachieving parents and an older sister (aka Miss Perfect) he feels can do no wrong in the sight of their parents, while he is not. He struggles with not being believed when he shares what he has experienced and wishes his dad would accept him for who he is, warts and all.
LL: 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.
Available on Amazon:
If you have not yet had the opportunity to experience the Andy Smithson series, L. R. W. Lee has launched the serialized podcast of the first book Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, Book 1 which is available for free at:
iTunes store - http://bit.ly/1l8u5YP
Author’s website - http://www.lrwlee.com/#!podcasts/c18hh
BBB: Do you have ideas for a third book?
LL: Absolutely! The story just keeps getting better and deeper J. Book 3, Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor sees evil King Abaddon step up his attacks in his quest to regain eternal life and rule that world, becoming a significant obstacle for Andy to overcome in his quest to retrieve the third ingredient needed to break the curse that plagues the land. We also learn more about Andy’s mom and how her past will impact Andy’s future and we will see the spirit of Imogenia begin to doubt how she has been moving against her brother, the living king, as she aligned with the evil Abaddon.
Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor should launch Fall 2014
BBB: Where can our readers find more about you and your books?
BBB: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
LL: Yes. Thank you for your support! It is you that I write for and it is gratifying when I hear feedback from you as I have over the year since publishing the first book in the series.
Also, I am very excited to announce that the free serialized podcast of book 1, Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury is now available on the iTunes store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/andy-smithson/id790958884 as well as on my website at http://www.lrwlee.com/#!podcasts/c18hh
As well, as part of my book launch tour, you have the opportunity to win 9 fantasy adventure ebooks from highly acclaimed authors. To enter go to my website at http://www.lrwlee.com/#!giveaway/chq4.