Thank you L.R. Claude for taking time to have an interview with us. We absolutely enjoyed your answers and believe that aspiring and fellow authors will gain some valuable knowledge and experience from your perspective.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
What it took to bring the characters to life… It takes a lot, if you don’t laugh or cry with your characters than neither will the readers.
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I sometimes start with a loose idea but over time my personal requirements and desires for things take over. Chopping wood or working out helps to relieve some anxiety that comes from having tough self standards.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Not the case as of yet, usually I have 10-15 books rolling around in my head at once, the struggle is staying on the current project.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
You can hire editors, designers and whatever else buy you can’t fake emotions.
What are your current/future projects?
I have 15-20 in various stages, some being researched on while some are being edited.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I am so overtaken by my passion to write that I lose sleep most nights.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
Hard to say, there are easier software such as dictating programs but marketing and competition will continue to be a challenge
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I took complete control of my projects; I went solo so keep my own work mine.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
I love the travel, meeting people is often a great resource to find out who likes what about what characters or not like.
If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?
Amazon has been my strongest as of yet but I am still learning, a lot.
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Young adult was the beginning but I have so many that span the genre spectrum that its hard to adhere to one, or even two.
What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?
I am awful about getting hit with ideas, they never stop, I have 1009 emails I have sent to myself stored in my phone, I’ve moved up from sticky notes after finally getting tired of accidentally washing them in my jeans.
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
Let the story decide. It’s like working out, if you just stop when you feel like you’ve met a decent point, you really aren’t improving yourself.
How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
I’ve had the fortune of being complimented on stories that have helped people and that has personally touched me. I really like challenges while writing and truly pouring myself into my books and characters and with that, I can feel myself grow.
How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?
Probably a whole lot, if you cross a cover that is abhorrent you wouldn’t purchase it.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
Nowadays there aren’t any real choices, sure it sort of sucks but there is so much competition that you have to hire reviewers in order to get some form of word out.
Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?
I think there are too many books coming out on a daily basis to bother with sabotaging
With self publishing being so easy these days, do you believe there is an over abundance of books out there and how do you sort through all the hype or copycats?
That’s a huge issue, thousands of books a year and it would be easy to copy an idea, church it up a bit and toss is back out.
What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
Mistakes, you pour yourself into your novel and toil over it, the moment you publish it, it becomes real and you become vulnerable
If you have multiple books published what do you feel is your greatest work, why?
My first one (Glass Screams) was a real challenge mentally, I took on a whole different person but my second (3rd Hand Ranch) was my favorite, I felt like a totally different author and had much more fun with it.
What is the intended audience for you book?
Anyone with an interest, it started out as Young Adult but I have to much to stay within those perimeters
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
I use many details about real people, good and bad, I also enjoy adding Michigan ttidbits as well as historical facts.
If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?
Stay the course, whatever in life it is, it may slip your grasp for a bit but that doesn’t mean its gone.
What makes a good story, why?
Anything that makes people feel, feel alive, exhilaration, sadness, books are an escape from something.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I sort of go with what feels right, same with the characters based on situations
What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)
I am a fan of controversy; I enjoy exercising writing in many different genre and situations.
Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?
I often only sleep for an hour at a time for 4-5 hours a night because I am often up and writing things down.
Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?
Often people’s attributes and characteristics get attention, usually people I admit or despise, depends in what I need
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
Emotions, if you don’t laugh or cry when writing, your readers won’t when reading.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
E-books are insanely convenient but I admire the die-hards that like the smell of the ink and feel of paper on the fingertips
Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?
Passion, love, and hobby I’d someday like to turn into a job
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?
I rough edit but have found that it was much more progressive to hire an editor so I could move onto the next novel
What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?
I am in total control on my own but also feel the lack of support when it comes to promoting and marketing
What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?
I often find motivation in everything around me. Usually the passion to write takes over and if my son didn’t notify me after he got home from school, I’d write from dawn to dusk
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I often have a huge hand in it, I suggest what I want and with those ideas, my designer makes it sparkle
What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?
The endings become tough, you get invested and attached. Submitting to the publisher is the hardest, you really worry about your work being your best.