Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?
RL. I sure do. I don’t think I’d stop sometimes, if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve got a body and that it gets tired, hungry, thirsty, and sore from remaining in the same position too long.
Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.
RL. I wrote a book last year that is now complete except for some editing. I’m not yet sure when it will be published, but I hope soon. It’s about an old actor, devoted to his wife, who made a few mistakes during his younger years. He gets a chance to redo those years, but discovers all he really wants to do is get back to his wife.
Q. When did you begin to write seriously?
Q. How long after that were you published?
RL. It took me eight years to write some books that were publishable.
Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?
RL. I don’t believe that will happen.
Q. What makes a writer great?
RL. Since writing is very much a craft (plus inspiration, of course) I think the major factor is wanting—no loving—to write and doing it until you get good. I’d add one thing to that: nothing you write is sacred. If it’s not exactly what pleases you, throw it away and rewrite it until it does.
Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?
RL. It is never the same for me. The book I wrote last year unfolded itself within a year. My first two novels took me over 10 years to get right. My memoir, North of Hollywood, took only about a year. I really can’t say what the whole process looks like. I think if I knew that—and this is speaking only for me—I wouldn’t be a very good writer.
Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?
RL. I came from a very dysfunctional family. It was often painful at the time, especially during my teenage years. So, that was certainly a factor. After that, I spent most of my life as a professional actor; my show business life, as a theater actor in New York, and a Hollywood actor, living in Los Angeles, has had a big influence on my writing.
Q. What’s your down time look like?
RL. I read, exercise, meditate, and spend my most joyful times with Linda and my children and grandchildren.
Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?
RL. I have been a playwright (as well as an actor) for most of my life. I prefer writing books now. As to the genre of my writing, some people call it fantasy, but I do like to try to make it as a literary as I possibly can.
Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)
RL. I think life is meant to be joyful. But in order for that to be the case—again, speaking for myself—I have to constantly practice kindness, forgiveness, and the continual understanding that God loves me no more than He loves everyone else.
Don’t miss Part I of this wonderful interview.
MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! December: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) January: Molly Gloss. February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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