Please welcome author L. R. W. Lee, author of the Andy Smithson fantasy adventure chapter book series. Her second book, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning launches today! To celebrate, I’m interviewing the author with a 5 question Q and A interview and giving away some books!
Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, Book 2 by L. R. W. Lee
Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning is the continuation of L. R. W. Lee’s well-received debut novel Blast of the Dragon’s Fury and the next offering in this seven-book Andy Smithson allegorical, fantasy, adventure series for middle graders.
Eleven-year-old Andy Smithson returns to Oomaldee to retrieve the second ingredient needed to break a 500-year-old curse. But Imogenia’s spirit, bent on thwarting Andy to preserve the curse, is now in league with the evil, scheming Abbadon. Things go from bad to worse when a creature Abaddon conjures from the darkest magic steals the Stone of Athanasia, the source of Hercalon V’s immortality, causing the king and his wizard Mermin to fall gravely ill. Andy must now not only locate the second ingredient, but also retrieve the stone. Will he make it in time to save the King?
5 Question Author Q and A
1) In 5 words, can you describe the world of Oldmadee?
Medieval, adventurous, diverse, magical, foggy
2) What books or authors influenced you in writing this book (Andy Smithson: Venon of the Serpent’s Cunning)?
C. S. Lewis was my earliest influence with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Thereafter, JRR Tolkien, Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull and JK Rowling have impacted my writing.
I’m noticing some interesting intersections and wondered how they came about to all be included:
Sir Gawain (from King Arthur) – The King fancies himself a “modern day” noble King Arthur. As such, he has decorated much of the castle with statues of the various Knights of the Roundtable. But these aren’t just any stone statues, they come to life and help flesh out the plot, many times in humorous ways.
Mermin (reminds me of Merlin); both wizards – In Book 1 of the series I mention Mermin is Merlin’s brother. He is an endearing 500+ year old wizard who is minimally competent at his craft and speaks with a lisp. I invented Mermin for several reasons 1) I felt the King needed a faithful sidekick to make his character show fully 2) as a bit of humor. I intentionally modified Merlin’s name to trigger that image, but made him softer.
Kappa (creatures in Asian folklore) – I included Kappas in book two because they are water creatures and much of the quest takes place in a sea. In crafting the narrative for each book, I look for mythical creatures that move the story line along convincingly, while also educating my reader to their existence in folklore.
Glaucin (Roman gods) – I mutated the name of Glaucus, a Greek sea-god, born mortal and turned immortal upon eating a magical herb. It was believed he commonly came to the rescue of sailors and fishermen in storms, having been one himself. Thus in the series, this character’s personality is one who comes to the aide of the characters in aquatic environments as needed.
Stone of Athanasia – Back in Medieval times it was common to practice Alchemy, the predecessor of modern medicine. Practitioners attempted to transform inanimate substances into metals like gold and animate beings into creatures that would live forever. This is not the Sorcerer’s Stone of Harry Potter fame, although it serves a similar purpose. Its full name is the Stone of Athanasia, a very cool name is I do say so, for the word athanasia means deathlessness or immortality. Before naming it, I had heard of “euthanasia” but not “athanasia”. I remember looking up the antonym of euthanasia and discovered a new word that stuck for this series.
Methusalah (from the Hebrew bible of the oldest person to have ever lived) – You hit the nail on the proverbial head, for I borrowed the name from the Biblical record, as the sword’s history is that it has been around for ages and is something of legend in the world of Oomaldee. It seemed to be a name that would have a deeper meaning for those familiar.
As well as the usual assortment of gnomes, dragons, pixies, fairies, trolls, werewolves, changelings (shiftshapers) and ogres – These creatures, like others mentioned above, I use to move the plot along in ways that fit the nature of each.
Oh I must mention a couple of my favorite creatures I invented – herewolves and therewolves. This was meant to be a humorous play on the traditional werewolf that is overused.
There are also vulture-people – These creatures I invented from vultures that live around our home here in Texas. I was watching them circling, hunting for breakfast one day and got the idea to make them bad guys based on how creepy they make us feel.
And there’s also Abaddon, the main antagonist. The name Abaddon is a name used for Satan in the Biblical record and it fit.
3) Did you pull any personality traits from your own children in creating Andy Smithson or any of the characters?
Guilty as charged. Many of Andy’s challenges we experienced with my son and Madison, Andy’s older sister, resembles my daughter closely. So, while my daughter has read the first two books of the series and complains about the similarities she recognizes, my son has not read it. I think he doesn’t want to know what Andy does for similar reasons.
4) Do your kids help you in any way with your writing process?
My son has made a few suggestions now and then about something he thinks I should consider including.
5) What’s next and how many books do you plan to write for this series?
The Andy Smithson series is planned to span seven books. I’m working on book three, Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor that should be released in Fall 2014.
Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, Book 1
As far as Andy Smithson knows, he is a more-or-less ordinary 10-year-old boy, neglected by his overachieving parents and annoyed by his pampered older sister. What he doesn’t know is that he is also the latest in a line of rulers of the land of Oomaldee and the one destined to save that kingdom from a curse put on it 500 years before Andy’s birth. Andy is magically pulled into Oomaldee while washing dishes one evening, and the adventure begins–an adventure that includes fire-breathing dragons, a lisping wizard, flying horses, people-eating giants, and many new and delightful friends.
The story has plenty of exciting moments and a great deal of humor, from fart jokes and silly wordplay to more subtle humor that should appeal to adult readers. Delightful characters, exciting moments, and plenty of cool extras.” SP Reviews
Chapter Book GIVEAWAYs
To win a signed copy of Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, Book 2, please enter this Rafflecopter:
To enter this 9 book giveaway, please go here.
There are three prizes:
Grand Prize: All 9 ebooks
Second Prize: 6 ebooks
Third Prize: 3 ebooks
L. R. W. Lee is the author of the Andy Smithson allegorical, middle grade (4th – 7th grade) fantasy adventure series that entertains while teaching uncommon, life changing principles. You can find her on Twitter or on her website.
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