Interview with Lori R. Lopez

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was spawned in a small town called Ripon, located at the heart of Wisconsin. All very innocent-sounding, yet Ripon would become the setting for a horror novel, incorporating local history as well as personal experience. The story takes place on Halloween. I'm hoping I won't be banned from my hometown after finally releasing that book this year. It's entitled TRICK OR TREAT: THE REAPER.
When did you first start writing?
I was always writing and drawing something or other as a kid. Along with reading. I never stopped, but there were times I was writing as a journalist., then songs and Nonfiction. What I really wanted to write was Fiction, and that's what I've been primarily doing since Nineteen Ninety-Eight or thereabouts. Earlier that decade I actually wrote and illustrated two children's books, THE MUDPUPPY and THE FOX TROT. But I've been writing a number of stories and books for teens and adults since Ninety-Eight. Since Two Thousand Eight I've been publishing them, also doing the artwork. I write a poetry column and verse instead of a blog, and I'm still working on that Nonfiction project.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote the original version of THE FAIRY FLY fifteen years before publishing a longer version this year for ages twelve and up. I will also be releasing an illustrated print edition this month. I wanted people to realize that spiders and other insects have lives too, but it became much more than that. The book celebrates books and contains a great deal of wisdom on animals, conservation, and friendship. It's quite an adventure with some quirky characters and a creative style. And I have been told that it made readers view spiders differently, so I am very pleased to be achieving that goal.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I write my own way, on my terms. I have a unique style and my own rules (improvements on existing ones). That was the most important reason to publish my work independently. I like having creative control and freedom. The second reason: I had not found a publisher willing to take a chance on my style after writing for many years, a publisher that I myself would accept tampering with my words. I have since published stories in anthologies and poems in magazines. I still encounter editors who want to change my style, and when that happens I will withdraw the submission after being "accepted".
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has enabled me to publish E-books and be found by readers, and that is always a good thing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love doing it, being able to create and venture to another life, another world. I love creating unusual characters, whether human or whatever they might be. When those characters affect readers, and stay around, become very special to them, that is a big thrill. I have embraced characters as an important part of my life who were dreamed up by other authors. It doesn't get much better than that.
What do your fans mean to you?
Knowing that someone has chosen to spend time reading my words, my tales, amazes me. And when I hear that I have touched their hearts or made them think, it's very sweet. I still can't believe that people are excited to read my next release, my subsequent story or book! It makes me smile. I hope they know how much I appreciate them, and how much they inspire me to write more.
What are you working on next?
Oh my gosh, I have so many projects stacked up in my To Do Pile! Illustrations for the print version of FAIRY FLY, my Halloween novel TRICK OR TREAT: THE REAPER (which will have two sequels), a graphic novel based on DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS (a more layered book), two additional poetry books based on my column "Poetic Reflections", a collection of my artwork (requested by fans), a new short-story collection and much more to come. I keep shuffling things, but eventually I will get to them and the rest of my ideas. Trouble is, I keep getting new ideas . . .
Who are your favorite authors?
Ah, I've had a lot. Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Washington Irving and Maurice Sendak early on (to name a few), then Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman more recently . . . Those are some of the top ones. But my favoritest of all? Lewis Carroll.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am the kind of person who gets up and can't wait to write, to be creative. That is my Reason To Be. Then, of course, there are my sons. They make me laugh. And friends, not to mention the beautiful things in the world like rainy days, trees, and animals (including birds, bugs, fishes and so on). Yep. That's what makes me get up. Oh, and besides that, I don't like to stay in bed late. There's too much to do!!!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing? When am I not writing? Oh yes, then I'm probably doing artwork! Or asleep. If I can find time, I might read. I used to enjoy that. I also enjoy movies. And music. And long walks in the forest. I like talking with my sons. But when I'm doing other things, I'm usually thinking about writing . . . Hmmm, I should be writing now. Or doing artwork.
Published 2013-09-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Poetic Reflections: The Queen Of Hats
By
Series: Poetic Reflections. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 73,720. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2014. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
A collection of very unusual verse, ranging from wacky to dark to narrative. Lori R. Lopez writes her own way, whether poetry or prose. This book contains both in an odd yet artful balance.
Spooked
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,060. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Two unlucky individuals find themselves trapped in a haunted house, where the spirits are more than restless. They're very disturbed.
Sleep Of Fools
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,310. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Are dreams fact or fiction? How well do we know what we do as we slumber, when we are most vulnerable? Can we trust our surroundings to be there once we open our eyes? Can we rely on the shadows not to spirit us away? The answers might startle you as the eyelids of possibility are peeled back . . .
3-Z
By
Price: Free! Words: 7,740. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
A trio of short but sweet zombie tales ranging from suspenseful to quirky and weird, and finally a deft blend of humor-laced horror, these stories will entertain and surprise you.
Jar Baby
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,820. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
The creepy tale of a ghoulish baby by Lori R. Lopez. This short story ties in ancient history with modern horror as a museum's mummies rise up for a night of terror and fun at a museum.
The Fairy Fly
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 56,260. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
A Black Widow queen, a big bad Wolf Spider, and a Hit-Mantis are but a few of the obstacles for a spunky little spider who must find his way home through a strange land of giants in this witty fairytale fantasy for kids and adults.
The Fruit Of Thy Womb
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Price: Free! Words: 9,590. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Another unique zombie tale from Lori R. Lopez, the author of "Heartbeat" and "The Lycaning", this time with Fruit Flies and two jaded strangers who learn that they are not as alone as they think.
Poetic Reflections: Keep The Heart Of A Child
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Series: Poetic Reflections. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,740. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2013. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
A humorous and serious collection of poems, prose and song lyrics by Lori R. Lopez, author of CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS and more. Based on her "Poetic Reflections" column, this volume contains the first thirteen columns and much more.
Monstrosities
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Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,380. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A weird boy becomes very twisted while growing up and conducts Frankensteinish experiments on those around him. Chills, suspense, obsession and dark humor await in this novelette by Lori R. Lopez. WARNING: Some content may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Nuance
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,670. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A humorously poignant Cinderfella tale about a spooky carnival and a misfit who discovers the truth behind his sorry circumstances.
Beyond The Stump
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,670. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Occult
The dark harrowing tale of a young woman who must assume her mother's role of Gatekeeper.
Next Door
By
Price: Free! Words: 4,780. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Have you ever wondered about your neighbors? A teen learns the terrible truth about the house next door in this comically chilling Halloween frightfest.
Horrendus
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,280. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Occult
A demonic entity will return at Midnight on All Hallows Eve to claim the lives of a child from each family. A young woman scoffs at the legend and invokes the monster's rage. She must face the truth, that he is real, and stand up to him alone to save her village.
Cereal Box Surprise
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,510. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Occult
A ninety-eight-pound weakling orders cereal hyped by a once-famous athlete. During the mayhem that ensues, he discovers heroes aren't always what they seem. And the prize at the bottom of the box might be more of a surprise. Poor Ned winds up in a horror story by Lori R. Lopez!
The Macabre Mind Of Lori R. Lopez: Thirteen Tormentous Tales
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 65,490. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
A dark and light collection of horror tales from the morbid murky madness of author Lori R. Lopez, along with a poem, an introduction on fear, and a conclusion on why writers write . . . all previously published in anthologies, on websites, or individually as E-books . . . gathered in one spectacularly eerie volume! Horror, humor, and weirdities abound. See you on the other side!
An Ill Wind Blows
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 56,850. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
An unusual nonstop adventure of thrills and laughs in search of a magic stone. The witty horror-fantasy novel AN ILL WIND BLOWS will take you inside the belly of a storm who would be king. There an oddball bunch of nutty characters encounter some of the wildest imaginings of author Lori R. Lopez (DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES,
Jugular
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 14,640. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
"Jugular" is a novelette about a woman whose life has never been normal, from childhood to childbirth. Her mother locked her in a box. Her son is a serial killer. Then things take a turn for the worse and she wakes up dead. Or rather, undead. From there it goes downhill. Way down. WARNING: Some content may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Unnatural
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,250. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
A Thin Man wanders into a world of trouble after the carnival that was his home goes bust. Adrift and alone, missing his sideshow friends, things get pretty freaky when he accepts a job for a doctor who isn't as nice as he seems. The oddities in his barn may bite!
The Lycaning
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,570. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
PARTS 1 & 2: This is not your traditional wolfman tale. An inventive and original take on a horror classic, THE LYCANING creates a new breed of the monster and a society transformed by a Werewolf Apocalypse. It is at the same time a story about love and sacrifice. PART 2 delves deeper into the origins of character and plot. Secrets are revealed. Werewolves, humans, and were-zombies clash.
The Wraith
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,140. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A woman becomes intrigued by a brooding figure in one of her poems. She thinks she sees him everywhere she goes, an elusive presence. Is she going mad or is he really stalking her? Find out the twisted truth in an eerie tale that begins and ends with the haunting verse from which the phantom emerged.
Some Thing
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,870. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A tongue-in-cheek tale about a man who drank the water, another man and his bazooka, and a lady with a loaded gun. Brought together in a showdown between paranoia and reality, three once-ordinary lives will never be the same. This horror fable is based on an actual environmental hazard along the Mexican border and the potential for disaster.
Bad Mood
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Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,750. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A fictional small town in Wisconsin is the scene of widespread craziness that affects both animals and humans in this humorous sci-fi thriller. A mysterious corporation could be the culprit. Follow three misfits who may be the only "sane" ones left as they search for answers to the infection spreading around them.
Macabre
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,900. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A young woman's dream of independence is challenged when her parents depart and she must face her Night Frights. But she is never completely alone, for always the rickety windmill's presence haunts her. And what is in the house with her, playing games, chewing the furniture? Will she ever be able to outrun her fears?
Bloodpath
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,260. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
After striking something in the road with his truck, a man follows drops of blood through the forest to a mysterious settlement. Will he be able to save the young woman held prisoner by a primitive band of creatures with large feet? Find out in "Bloodpath", a short story by Lori R. Lopez (DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS).
Fossil
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,200. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Wellsby Manor has a history of bloodshed, built upon the grave of an evil entity who tormented and ate Stone Age humans then infected the soil for ages. His brutal presence inhabits the mansion, terrifying and slaughtering its occupants. Tobias Pallberry now intends to conduct a seance to contact the spirits of the dead. Those who attend must face a wild night of fright as The Bone Man awakens.
Dance Of The Chupacabras
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 101,930. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A dark and humorously scary novel, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS (TOME ONE of the TOME TRILOGY OF TRILOGIES) will take you on a fantastic and eccentric adventure through a shifting desert world in Northern Mexico as two brothers stumble into the roles of heroes and attempt to rescue a young girl kidnapped by El Chupacabras.
Out-Of-Mind Experiences: Thirteen Tales
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,220. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
This diverse collection merges an array of genres such as horror and humor, modern and mythic, historic and supernatural. Sometimes gripping, often quirky, these tales are always inventive and thought-inducing. Journey through a broad spectrum of fictional adventures from angry cows to psychotic pets, through portals of terror and gateways of myth and fantasy. There is something for everyone.
Creep
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,690. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
What terror lurks behind the fence in an ordinary neighborhood? What manner of monster will you see if you peek through a knothole? Something ugly. Something angry. Something with a very large appetite. Take a peek, go ahead. And then run back the way you came!!! You do not want to reach the end of the fence . . .
Bedeviled
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,450. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2011. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A delightfully skewed series of disasters as an ear demon hops from head to head, leaving chaos and twisted lives in its wake.
Heartbeat
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,190. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
After the Zombie Apocalypse, civilization adapts to troubled times. But can the living and the undead co-exist in peace? A zombie defender must question his principles when a hunter becomes infected by the zombie plague and threatens the boy's mother in "Heartbeat".
Unleashed: Tail One
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Price: Free! Words: 4,800. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Would the tormented pet of a psycho, after witnessing countless abominations, begin to exhibit disturbing behavior? Find out in "Unleashed" what happens when a cat is driven over the edge and beyond the brink.
Chocolate-Covered Eyes: A Sampler Of Horror
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,380. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2011. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Six uniquely eerie tales and a poem by Lori R. Lopez involving zombies, an abused homicidal feline, a gateway to Hell, a haunted amusement park, an ear demon, a possessed windmill, and oh yes — a box of chocolate-covered eyes. Take a bite out of fright! You know you can't resist . . .