Andy Smithson is an allegorical, middle grade (4th - 7th grade) fantasy adventure series that entertains while teaching uncommon, life changing principles. We had the opportunity to conduct an interview with the Author L.R.W. Lee.
How did you begin to write your first fantasy story? What inspire you into the writing for middle grade?
On one level, reading fantasy adventure novels inspires me to write. I enjoy the worlds others create and I want to add my own twist for my readers. At another level, I write because I am passionate to share uncommon principles that made my life significantly more peaceful and meaningful with my readers. In so doing, I hope to introduce them to these principles so they can lead more enjoyable lives as a result. 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, dignity to name a few.
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Which is the one most life changing principle you had ever held? How did it translate into writing for these young adults through your books?
I would have to say the life principle that changed my life the most was overcoming frustration. We all get frustrated from time to time and it sucks a lot of emotional energy from us. I came to understand that frustration is my belief that my situation should be different somehow. When I came to understand and accept that situations in my life should be exactly as they are because most times my choices created the present I live in.
I will never forget when that realization finally got through to me. I had been extremely frustrated about something and when I could finally get that my current situation was what I had created, my whole body relaxed.
Now, when I observe I am becoming frustrated, I tell myself, things should be exactly as they are and I keep telling myself that until I can relax and be okay.
Do you think you will write (or consider to write) in other genre(s)? If yes, what will it be and why?
At this point, I’m two books into a seven-book series. It’s hard to say what I will do once I complete this series. At some point I may choose to branch out into other genre, but for now, I’m loving my journey in middle grade fantasy.
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My story is character driven and, therefore, I craft the key characters as I invent how I think they need to grow and mature in a given book. I touched on many of the concepts earlier, but I would say Book 2 has Andy learning what it means to take a stand for something he believes strongly, including suffering punishment, as necessary, as well as respecting authority and more.
Using a few sentences, who should read your books and why?
The Andy Smithson series is a coming-of-age fantasy adventure for middle graders. The main character, Andy, is ten in the first book and he will grow to be sixteen by the time the series is complete, so for now it is focused on 8 to 12 year olds, but as the series progresses, it will reach into the young adult age group of readers.
If our readers would like to find more information about you and your books, where can they find them?
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
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.