I’m way behind in doing interviews. Blame it on #FourHorsetober and the dozens I did during the month.
But it’s time to get back on the horse. This week, R.J. Ladon is joining me. She, too, is part of the 4HU, but I couldn’t squeeze her interview in during the month. My apologies to her for the delay.
Interview: RJ Ladon
What is your quest?
To cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring! When I was young (8-9ish) Gary Gygax purchased our family Arabian horse ranch. He gave my siblings and I, “Dungeons and Dragons” books and modules. He even played a short game with us noobs so we could understand what D&D was all about. I learned from him that some of the most interesting and entertaining stories, creatures, and environments come from your mind. Years later, I learned who that Gygax fellow was, and how important he was to my journey, er quest.
What is your favorite color?
Yellow, no blue. You know the adage “write what you know”? Well, I had to sacrifice many children to my Nerf Guns to make the “foam dart scene” come to life. I try to learn the “how” of the things I write about. The hands-on experiences of the SCA and Rendezvous groups have been excellent. Write what you know–if you don’t know–go learn, go experience. (Rob’s Note: I really appreciate how my SCA experience helps me add touches to my writing, especially with medieval materials and food).
What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?
Would that paint brush be male or female? Where do I start. My biggest challenge was, and to some extent still is–finding time. The only way for me to get over this copout was to schedule time into my busy day. In effect treat writing like a job–you have to do this or you won’t get paid.
What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?
I’ve been told my scenes are easy to read and understand. Like watching a movie inside my brain. Not sure that is a success or not but it makes me happy.
- Favorite Muppet? Sweetums
- Crunchy or Creamy? sure
- Favorite Sports Team? I don’t have time for sports.
- Cake or Pie? Cake
- Lime or Lemon? Why not both
- Favorite Chip Dip? Hot salsa
- Wet or Dry? TMI
- Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? https://www.tartanic.net/ Drums, Bagpipes and Belly Dancers – what else do you need?
- Whisky or Whiskey? Not without Tango and Foxtrot
- Favorite Superhero? The Tick
- Steak Temperature? How about some chicken?
- Favorite 1970s TV show? Fantasy Island – no M*A*S*H
- Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Yes please. All seasons have their merits.
- Favorite Pet? Too many to choose from–someone would get jealous.
- Best Game Ever? Blood of Heroes!!!! (Rob’s Note: Somewhere, my friend Pavel is smiling at this response. Then he’s punching an angel and saying, “The level of violence in this heaven is too low).
- Coffee or Tea? Tea
- Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Wait…is there a difference?
What question(s) would you like to ask me?
I understand you are a wealth of knowledge of the Myth and Culture of Renaissance and Medieval time periods. Where did you learn this information? School? Books? Other? Please explain.
Rob’s Answer: Yes to all of it. I loved Bullfinch’s Mythology as a kid and prowled through every Arthur thing I could find. At around 10 I read Tolkien, then stumbled on Susan Cooper’s The Tide Is Rising series. Somewhere along the way I realized that reading Beowulf and epic poetry out loud was magical and amazing.
So when I had the choice of what to study in grad school, I chose Anglo-Saxon England. Not only was wallowing in Beowulf, the Wanderer, Anglo-Saxon riddles, and all the rest fun, but there’s good solid historical evidence hidden in them. That meant reading more and more myth and legend to find small nuggets of cultural gold. I still do that.
And yes, that helps me build worlds, both because it gives me extra tools and because it’s so much fun. Shijuren is a deep, rich world that I’ve barely started to show to all my readers.
Tell me again where we can find your stuff?
- Coming soon: The first book in the Bloodstone series, to be available in 2019.
- My short “The Felix” can be found in “Tales from the Lyon’s Den: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe.
- Two short stories “Gwen’s Gamble” and “The Poppet” can be found in “Sha’Daa Toys”
And where can we find you?
- Liberty Con 2019– May 31st to June 2nd at the Read House in Chattanooga Tennessee.
Do you have a creator biography?
My name is RJ Ladon. I’m a Design Engineer by trade. I’m also an author. I have contributed one Military Science Fiction story to the best-selling Science Fiction Anthology ‘Tales from the Lyons Den: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe’, and two horror stories to ‘Sha’Daa Toys’. Currently, I’m writing ‘Bloodstone’ a Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel. ‘Bloodstone’ will be the first in a series, and released in early 2019.
I’m a native of Wisconsin, where I still live today, with my husband, daughter, two adult sons, and a menagerie of animals. I also maintain a vast garden, and a fruit and nut orchard.
Thanks to RJ for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.
Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.
Have a great day.
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels
- Website: www.robhowell.org
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