Rae Lori is a writer of romance and adventure tales set across a range of genres. Her latest work ‘City of Simplicity’ is due to be released on 15th June 2015.
Citizen 52701 once had a life that is now a distant memory in her dreams. All that remains is the name she carried over from the time before the change: Lyn. As a by-the-book law enforcer of a newly controlled futuristic society, everything is available at one’s fingertips. Except the one thing that matters most of all.
A renegade is on the loose, moving under the shadows to stay alive. His one goal is to find the wife he lost when the change took over the city. The problem? She is one of the enforcers eliminating renegades who get out of line. He’ll risk everything to try and bring her back to him. No matter who or what he has to take down to do the job.
To celebrate the release, I’ve asked Rae to come along and answer some questions about her work:
If you could ‘borrow’ a character from another fictional setting (page or screen) to use in your own work, who would you borrow and what would you do with them?
Ooh that’s a tough one. I have a few characters in mind that I’d love a chance to rewrite their endings or give them more to do. I’d probably borrow Dr. Karen Jenson from Blade. I feel like there’s so much more of her story to tell even as Blade continues to fight the vampires. Her cure would be a great weapon and her gun skills would only improve over time making her a great kick-butt character. I have a fan fiction that I started some time ago featuring her. Hopefully I finish it someday!
Your work straddles a number of genres — fantasy, dystopian, romance, science fiction. I’m seeing more and more indie authors doing this. I think it’s because we’re not constrained to having to ‘market’ and have the freedom to just write what we like. Do you think if you had opted for traditional publishing, you would have been able to stay in one genre box?
Oh gosh no! 🙂 In fact, I’ve often thought that because I used to be published by small presses years ago. I’ve always loved a variety of genres myself whether reading them or writing them. It was a bit of a pain because I had to find different houses for different story genres and I often wondered if the overlap was there for my readers. Now, like you mentioned, indie publishing offers so many different great genres for readers who love reading all kinds of books. And I think that definitely allows me to tap into that reader base, offer a nice sample plate of genres and let the reader pick and choose what sounds great. The cool thing is readers know what they like and, since genres were mainly for bookstore placement, without that constraint there is more of an option for those who need it. I love it better that way.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work? And the toughest criticism?
Hmm, the best compliment would have to be from some new readers who contacted me after reading Cimmerian City. Since the book dealt with the pharmaceutical industry and experimentation, it really hit them hard because they were exposed to that industry due to their health situations. So it really touched them on a personal level and that really hit home to me how stories can really impact the reader. Someone they never met. It’s pretty amazing.
My toughest criticism…there were a few toughies actually! One was from a reader who I know consider one of my good writer friends and she gave me feedback on an old story of mine. She mentioned how there were aspects I didn’t really touch upon. There some plot holes, it didn’t turn out as she planned and the potential was there but didn’t really reach the heights it could have. Another was from a friend of hers which was my very first steampunk book and it became a big wipeout because the culture of the heroine didn’t ring true. I think that one hurt the most because I definitely wanted to be true to the culture and character, but I flubbed it! Seeing where I went wrong now, I know what to do the next time I approach it!
What advice would you give any newbie writers out there?
One of the biggest ones I’d tell my class when I taught novel writing is to give yourself permission to write crap. The day I heard it from another writer, it stayed with me because many writers try to write perfect that very first draft and the magic comes in the rewrites. Also, definitely learn the ingredients of story writing. Although the format for writing a story may be the same, the beauty comes in how the story is told and what the writer conveys to the reader. We all have different experiences and outlooks which makes such different but fascinating stories. A writer’s voice will eventually find the reader who really hears them.
Do you write to music? If so, how do you find it influences your writing style?
Oh definitely. I’m a huge chillout/ambient fan so I have my fave artists I listen to if not Groove Salad (an internet radio station). Depending on what I’m writing, I’ll listen to a soundtrack that fits the genre in my head. Like for instance if I’m working on my spy suspense story, I’ll listen to the soundtrack or music from the show La Femme Nikita to get me in that mood. I think doing so helps me to really convey the atmosphere and character’s feelings to the reader. I like to think of myself as a movie director and the reader is my movie going public. Which works because my dream has always been to tell stories visually.
You also do graphic design. Do you think having a visually creative background helps with writing description and creating literary settings?
I like to think so. 🙂 Since I was young, I loved movies and the way they conveyed so much in so few scenes. I always liked James Cameron movies because he’s the closest to doing what I like to think of as novel storytelling on the screen. I also learned a great deal in media design school which included a lot of visual storytelling through animation. My team and I even got to animate a short film which we won an award for! I also love to create music videos for shows and tv characters and couples that I love watching so thinking in visual terms helps me to present the story like a movie in one’s mind. It also helps when crafting my covers so I get to say something that visually covers what that story is about and present to the reader so they know what type of story I’m telling. I think it works!
Rae Lori is an award-winning author of romantic and adventurous tales with a range of genres, settings and time periods. Using her love of film and visual storytelling, she strives to mix the two with the art of the written word to tell her stories.
Her manuscript, Hotel Sunset, won an Honorable Mention award in the 73rd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Her chapter contribution on worldbuilding in speculative fiction won the 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Award Winner in Writing (Adult Nonfiction). Her novella, One Evening in London, was awarded Winner of Best Romance Novella in SORMAG’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Awards. Throughout her writing career, she has garnered credits writing movie reviews, fiction and articles on the comic book and film industry. Under various pen names, she has written books, novellas and short stories that run the genre gamut of science fiction, fantasy, short roman noir, paranormal romance and many more waiting to fill the book pages.
Check out more of Rae’s books on the web!