Interview with T.R. Lemke

Describe your desk
It is a cheap, rickety,teetering, piled wasteland of bills, documents, scribbled on scraps of paper, post it notes, and other random bits of office detritus. There is also a pretty quartzite rock and a small screwdriver that somehow arrived here from who knows where. It is loosely organized by the geologic method, meaning that the most recent activities/documents are most likely on top. At times there have been some upheavals (document avalanches, whiskey spills, etc.), so this is not a hard and fast truth. But whatever I'm looking for, it's in there somewhere. Sadly, I'm not joking.
What is your writing process?
I chew on my writing. A lot. I drive an unfortunate amount of time to and from work and other more fortunate activities. As i'm in the truck, a song will come on, and for some reason, a scene pops into my head. it grows slowly, over long commutes until it's pretty fleshed out. Once it gets too big, i have to write it down, ASAP or else it feels like i'm going to lose it. I've written on napkins in my truck, paper plates, emailed myself (in a parking lot, I'm not a terrible person!). I can't count the times I've still been writing at 1-2 a.m. , exhausted and dreading the morning, but I just have to keep going or else it's gone.
After I accrue enough of those scenes, I start connecting the dots. Not a huge outliner unfortunately. I'm just not that organized.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a marginally rural zone north of Seattle. My parents had five acres of pasture and woods and the neighborhood was made up of a bout 10 houses all encompassed by woods, so I roamed a lot as a kid. It was a great place for my imagination to wander as I had pine cone wars with my friends, or camping in the woods in the summer time.
When did you first start writing?
We had an assignment in 3rd or 4th grade I think. We had to/got to write a story. We even got to use these fancy new things called computers and print them out and have them bound, which was the coolest feeling in the world for me!
This is just after my mom had given me my first fantasy novel, The Enchanted Sword, which I had loved. It may or may not have been the most age-appropriate book in the world, but I was fascinated with it. So much so, in fact, that I actually stole the main character's first name for my own story. Now Valder had different adventures in my book, but it still involved an enchanted sword, "puddles of crimson blood", and dragon-slaying. This apparently horrified my teacher, but my mother absolutely loved it. Still has it to this day. She encouraged me to write more and so I did.and I was hooked.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently working on three right now, so. . . I'll pick the shortest one. Amos is a warrior who is fighting with fifty three other soldiers to hold the Gerheim valley and stop the Endracian brutes from ravaging the small village on the other side. He's been awake for two days straight now and as they lose a battle of attrition, he rehashes some of the regrets of his life with his best friend, Aleksandr fighting by his side, hoping to survive until reinforcements come. It's called Through the Tall Grass.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm impatient and a control freak.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Watching the story grow as it comes dripping out of my head. It's a raw, barely concocted scene when I start, but as I continue to write and refine, the story starts to grow and shape itself, until there really is only a few ways that it can expand from where it sits on the page. Each character starts to make their own decisions, based on their own experiences and personalities, not me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkien, of course! His writing's so clean and his world-building skills were amazing. Even his backstories had backstories! One of the godfathers of modern fantasy, for sure.
Robert Jordan: because of whom I spent many sleepless nights, reading instead. His webs of connections and his rich descriptions were always enchanting. His unhurried pace made him feel like the uncle who never quite got to the point, but you were enjoying yourself so much, you never really cared.
Brandon Sanderson: whose plots and storytelling keep you turning the page.
Brent Weeks: His gritty style and his dialogues are always so sharp, so engaging.
Jon Krakauer: His succinct, matter of fact retelling of real adventures makes you feel like you were there on the Eiger Nordwand, ice axe not gaining any purchase in the ice wall, nostrils freezing, fingers numb. Real pit of the stomach type stuff.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I've described myself before as a martial artist who writes, but unfortunately still has a day job. I have studied Taekwondo and Hapkido since 1999 and I am a 3rd dan black belt in Taekwondo and 4th dan black belt in Hapkido. When I'm not training, or working, I'm probably hiking or rock climbing with my wife, or motorcycling. I also teach intuitive archery two nights a week.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Food and coffee.
Published 2015-12-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Backlash
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,330. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
In the depths of a country-wide famine, a desperate and impoverished shopkeeper apprentices himself to an assassin to survive. The price is cruel, but the life he begins to forge could be remarkable.