Jukebox Time got a chance to interview Richard Lohrey in regard to his book Knight School (The Atlantis Wars). We got insights into his book, advice for aspiring writers and much more!
Q. Welcome to Jukebox Time! How are you doing?
A: Doing very well, thank you!
Q. Please tell us about your wonderful book Knight School (The Atlantis Wars). The title is wonderful!
A: The story for the entire series (Knight School is the first book of the five planned) came to me while I was thinking about an old childhood memory. When I was a preschooler, I was told that if you held a seashell up to your ear, you could hear the ocean. For some reason, I believed every seashell had a counterpart located somewhere in the world and that you could use them like walkie-talkies. I then thought what if someone was given a message they heard from a shell? Would they follow it? That was how the first part of the idea evolved.
Second, I’ve always had a fascination for King Arthur, medieval combat, martial arts, chivalry and of course knights. I thought about all the trials and tribulations a person had to go through to become a knight in the first place—and I thought about the period in my own life when I experienced a great many trials and tribulations … high school. And what if the trials and tribulations of training to become a knight coincided with the trials and tribulations of high school? Hence, Knight School.
Q. Kindly share some insights into your writing process. Do you follow any rituals or discipline in order to stay creative?
A: I very much abide by an idea expressed by Stephen King in his treatise On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft), “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot.” I’ve always found that reading helps me stay creative in my own writing, not to mention the pleasure I get from literature. I also write regularly. Sometimes the amount of time varies depending on other activities such as editing, marketing, etc., but as Regina Brett says, “A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.”
Q: Any advice or tips for aspiring writers?
A: I assume that if you’re an aspiring writer, you wish to earn money from your writing, make your living writing and/or be recognized as a writer. If that’s the case, then read a lot and write a lot. Be disciplined about both. I think if you have the passion and ability to write, doing those two things as King suggested will help a great deal. Another thing is be aware that writing doesn’t always involve writing. Live your life! Life experience always finds its way into a writer’s work and adds depth. Sitting in front of a TV or watching streaming videos is not going to make you a better writer. It may spark some ideas, but I believe quality writing comes from living a quality life.
Also, be brutally honest with yourself. Are you a good writer? You don’t need outside validation—deep down you already know. I think writing classes, workshops, etc., are all well and good and may help refine or improve your writing but in my opinion, you either have the ability or you don’t. If your one and only dream is to become a professional athlete but have little to no athletic ability, it ain’t gonna happen! The same goes for writing in my opinion. If you love writing but aren’t very good at it, that’s okay. Write because you love writing. Do it for the pure joy of doing something you love.
Now, if you do have the passion and ability, prepare yourself because being a writer is not all love and cupcakes. For every James Patterson, there are hundreds of thousands of James Goingnowheres. Writing/publishing is a very competitive business and to make money from it, let alone a fortune, is rare indeed.
Above all else you need patience and persistence. Writing is a tough road. Be prepared for frustration, heartache, more frustration, euphoria, more heartache … It took me eight years to go from when I first conceived of Knight School to publication. You may get lucky out of the gate, but don’t plan on it.
Q: What’s next? Which book or projects are you working on now?
A: I’m working on book 2 in the Atlantis War series. Book 1 covers freshman year at Strongthorne Academy (a.k.a. Knight School). Book 2, Thorgills’ Revenge, covers their sophomore year. Thorgills the Beater, as he’s known throughout Atlantis, is an enemy general who seeks revenge on one of the main characters who humiliated him on more than one occasion the previous year. It’s chockfull of adventure and provides a more in-depth look into the main characters. I finished the first draft and am currently working through the first round of edits. There will be a second round and then I’ll give it to a copy editor for review. I’m also working on converting my first book into a screenplay at the request of a film producer. I have a business book in the works as well. More on that at another time.
Q: Finally, as we ask all our guests on Jukebox Time, do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with the world and our readers?
A: I see the world differently and I apologize for any inconvenience.
About the author: Lohrey grew up in Northern California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature. His love of writing began at the age of nine when he published his first collection of short stories, albeit distributed exclusively to family members. In addition to a comedy romance novel and several screenplays, Lohrey spent over two decades writing professionally in advertising and social media. When he’s not writing, he’s either scuba diving, cooking, studying martial arts or convincing his wife to see movies she would normally avoid at all costs.
The book is available on Amazon!