Tag Archives: lrw lee

“Sex Sells” They Say by L. R. W. Lee


Woman looking out window
After publishing the fifth book in my Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy series last month I noticed something that helped my book sells. “What is it?” you ask, leaning forward, spellbound to learn how you a fellow author might exploit this nugget.

I noticed readers consistently report experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as they read the book. In fact, one woman reported she cried…which had her award my book five stars (how strange that seems, we feel hurt and award the author who hurt us with a perfect score…gotta love human psychology, LOL! But I digress).

These responses got me reflecting how earlier books in my series were received. With book two, I remember reviewers commenting on a small portion of the book. Book three had readers sighing and cheering as well but these responses were not as enthusiastic as what I was hearing about my latest release.

I started thinking about the books I enjoy reading…lots of YA fantasy, with a splash of romance thrown in. I love it when an author develops characters who connect with one another in a way that is vulnerable, yet pure and healthy—the characters who experience deep insecurities yet come to a point where they are able to share with one another the depth of their worry and pain without fear of being laughed at, knowing their confession will be respected and held in strict confidence. These are relationships, and in turn books, that get my heart a pumpin’ – I adore them. Put another way, I connect with them.

An example, I think of Air Awakens and Fire Falling. In this series, Elise Kova constructs a relationship between the crown prince and a relative “nobody” who, of course, is not of social status appropriate for him to fall in love with, let alone marry. That relationship is vulnerable and seemingly pure and I find myself rooting for the pair. The Divergent series is another example is Bea and Tobias’s relationship. You feel their pain and cheer their triumphs. And there’s so many more awesome examples I can point to, but I share that to prove my point. We adore these relationships because they touch us deeply, emotionally, many times over.

When I’m writing a particularly vulnerable part of a story, my whole body experiences it. It’s hard to describe the sensations: my heart feels soft, my emotions are raw, and I feel “twitchy” as I approach writing (much like someone before confessing a deep secret). Then once the dialogue begins my whole heart is consumed by an essence of purity for what my characters are truly feeling. Emotion pours out of me until I’ve gotten the scene down on paper. That may sound strange, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Its purity and heart poured out. And these are the scenes my readers have commented specifically about as touching their hearts—they’ve always started this way.

This realization has shifted how I orient as I write, for I see that causing my characters to connect with my readers on this deeply vulnerable and emotional level IS the difference between creating books readers like vs writing a novel readers adore! So, yes, I’m sure the old adage “Sex Sells” is true, but so does the creating of characters who connect with each other on a deeply vulnerable level. Having come to understand this principle I will work to create scenes that tug on my reader’s heart strings like never before.
RLW LeeL. R. W. Lee is the award-winning author of the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series which will span seven books when complete.

She writes to instill in readers life-principles including overcoming frustration, fear, impatience and more. She also weaves throughout her writing her narrative that true success in life comes from pursuing responsibility, diligence, and dignity.

Visit her at her website at LRWLee.com to find out more.

Author Interview: LRW Lee

I am pleased to introduce LRW Lee, a young adult fantasy author to the mix here on No Wasted Ink. Linda writes highly imaginative stories that appeal to young people or the young at heart.

Author LRW LeeHi, my name is LRW Lee and I’m a MG/YA author. I love having fun and laughing. 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.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing professionally in 2011 after selling the company I founded and grew over twelve years. My mentor worked with my thinking about how to best run a company and many of the principles he taught me, both business and personal, transformed my life. I found that as I adopted much of his philosophy, my life became more meaningful and peaceful. This thinking is what I infuse throughout my writing in hopes that those who read my work can catch a glimpse of a more satisfying way of living.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started writing professionally in 2011.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

In this, the second of a seven book series, our hero, Andy Smithson, is back in the land of Oomaldee to retrieve the second ingredient for the recipe to break a 500-year-old curse that clouds the land. Before he sets out on his adventure though, the king and his wizard are taken ill when the Stone of Athanasia, the object that gives the king unending life, is stolen. Andy must choose between his loyalties to the king who he has grown to deeply love, and obediently retrieving the second ingredient.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always loved tales with castles and sword fights and mythical creatures. This book includes the beloved merman, Glaucin, the fun-loving pixie, Spark, the evil King Abaddon, a seven-headed, firing-breathing dragon, and creatures I invented, vulture-men who are part human, part vulture and the Bellicose. As well, it has stone statues that come to life – All the ingredients for a fascinating adventure.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write with a style that is character/plot-driven. I guess you could say I love to write in layers, which is the style my books require. I have an allegorical layer, a narrative of characters in the afterlife, characters in our present world and folks in another world. I love to see how all of the characters interact with and react to each other, driving the plot. As well, I love to laugh and I can’t help but sprinkle humor throughout my stories. Book one had a lot of afterlife related humor (you go to the Terminal when you die, “soul music” was playing and more) as well as just laugh out loud fun with cow farts and the like. I have a ball and I hope it’s contagious. I’ll let my readers discover the humor I added to book 2.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The seven-book series is an allegory about overcoming. As such, the title of each book reveals the steps to recovery from adversity. The first book’s title is Blast of the Dragon’s Fury. That title speaks to the fury one feels when deeply hurt from betrayal. The title for the second book is Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning and it’s a play on words. Venom can refer to a poison or it can refer to malice. The second step one goes through in recovering from betrayal is feeling malice toward the one who hurt you.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are several lessons I hope my readers gain from spending time with me.

1) What does it mean to take a stand for something?
2) What must one be willing to endure when standing on principle?
3) How does one choose between what you hold dear and obedience, if they conflict?
4) How to overcome frustration

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Some of the experiences and lessons are based on my son, but many of the specific happenings I invented.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I name CS Lewis as the first author to significantly influence my life. I remember reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as a child and his style of writing fascinated me. He wrote on multiple levels, including an allegorical level with deeper meaning. After reading that book, I knew I wanted to write an allegorical children’s book one day.

JK Rowling has also significantly influenced how I think about writing. I have studied how she constructed the Harry Potter series and learned much from character development to plot evolution to series creation from her. She inspires me.

I also count Brandon Mull among authors that have influenced my life. I love his imagination and skill at inventing characters and situations that put them through tests that reveal their character.

Morgan Rice is also an author I respect. I love how prolific she is as well as her mastery of crafting conflict. I read her Sorcerer’s Ring series and, particularly at the beginning, I was drawn into the treachery and cruelty and power of the villain. Her craft of conflict is amazing.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

While this may sound cliché and I have never met her, I would consider J. K. Rowling my mentor in writing. Some purest criticize her for poor sentence structure and other faux pas but you can’t argue with her commercial success. She wrote books that grabbed our attention and kept it as she invented a magical world full of danger and intrigue.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

D. Robert Pease. Dale is part of a group of indie authors, Emblazoners, that I hooked up with early on after publishing my first book. I knew him and had seen his work and knew he would do a great job with my books.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Believe in what you’re doing and stick to it. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. And, if there is a reason you are passionate about writing, only you can hold that narrative and see it through.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

First, thank you so much 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 first year since publishing the first book in the series. Secondly, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the adventure and tales of this series, but with that, I hope that having spent a few hours with me, will help you learn from the uncommon life principles I shared in the books, helping you live a more peaceful journey through life.

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.

Venom of the Serpent's Cunning Book CoverLRW Lee
Austin, TX


Cover Art by D. Robert Pease