Today’s guest, R.L. King, is here to chat about her Alastair Stone Chronicles Series (Book 1: Stone and a Hard Place, and Book 2: The Forgotten).
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author and game freelancer for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular
roleplaying game Shadowrun. She has
contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks, as well as one
full-length adventure, “On the Run,” included as part of the 2012
Origins-Award-winning “Runners’ Toolkit.”
Her first novel in the Shadowrun
universe, Borrowed Time, was
published in May 2015.
When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a
software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her
spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and
her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending
conventions when she can. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers’
Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and a
member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
Welcome, R.L. Please tell us about your
My current release is The Forgotten, Book
2 of my urban fantasy series. Dr. Alastair Stone, British mage who moonlights
as an Occult Studies professor at Stanford, meets a young man who’s looking for
his missing sister, and together the two of them discover a conspiracy
involving a malevolent supernatural enemy that has managed to infiltrate the
world for several years while almost no one has caught on to its existence. The Forgotten is the first book of a
trilogy-within-a-series, though each book is a fully self-contained story.
What inspired you to write this book?
despite the fact that this is Book 2 in my series, the original version of it
was the first one I wrote, several years ago. It was inspired in part by a
Chuck Palahniuk short story about rich people who played a game where they
pretended to be homeless to get away from their boring rich-people lives. The
concept of homeless people who were more than they seemed intrigued me. Since I
was looking for ideas for a book featuring Dr. Stone, I thought this one would
work out well, and it did.
Excerpt from Stone and a Hard Place:
voice was trembling, female, and sounded terrified. It took him a moment to
identify it. He stared as Megan stirred again, draping her arm back over him.
was on the other end sounded like they were on the verge of hysteria. “Dr.
Stone, is that you?”
me, Mrs. Bonham. What’s wrong? Is something wrong?” He sat up a little,
propping himself up on his pillows. Megan’s arm slid down over his stomach, but
he didn’t even notice that she was there.
here,” she quavered. “Something’s…happening.”
was fully awake now. Carefully, he moved Megan’s arm and sat on the edge of the
bed. “Calm down, Mrs. Bonham, please. I’ll help you if I can, but you have to
tell me what’s happening.”
don’t know,” she sobbed. “It’s like the whole house hates me. Noises—cold
Iona there? Can you put her on for a moment?”
was a shuffling sound and then a different voice spoke, sounding almost as
frightened as Adelaide Bonham had. “Dr. Stone? This is Iona.”
took a deep breath. “Iona. What’s going on? Is Mrs. Bonham—”
not imagining things, Dr. Stone,” the woman said. In addition to sounding
frightened, she sounded like she couldn’t believe what was going on. “I can
hear them too. The noises. The feelings. It’s horrible, Dr. Stone. Something’s
What exciting story are you working on
The next book in the series is called The
Threshold, and it continues the story begun in The Forgotten. Actually, the next three books in the series (for a
total of five) are already finished and in various stages of editing. The
project I’m working on now is another Stone Chronicles novel called Flesh and Stone, which sort of serves as
Dr. Stone’s “origin story” and explains the circumstances under which he
decided to relocate from England to the Bay Area.
When did you first consider yourself a
think I’ve considered myself something of
a writer since I was a kid. I’ve always been pretty good at writing, and it was
always a compulsion—I had to tell stories, or they’d bounce around in my head
and drive me crazy. I began to consider myself a “real” writer when I finished
my first novel. Even though it was fan fiction and I posted it on my website
for free, it was still a solid, 130,000-word effort and people told me they
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your
work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time
don’t write full time—though I wish I could! Maybe some day if my series takes
off and generates a good income, I might consider it, but since my day job is a
technical writer for a large database company and I live in the Silicon Valley
where prices are fairly insane, it wouldn’t be practical to quit. I fit my
fiction writing and freelance work around my day job and spending time with my
spouse and my cats, which usually means I write during lunch hours, after work,
evenings, and weekends. When I’m actively working on a novel I write whenever I
can, but then I have to take time off afterward to “recharge” before I can do
it again. Fortunately my job allows me to telecommute, which saves me a lot of
What would you say is your interesting
have a really hard time writing on laptops, or in less than optimum conditions.
I’ve never understood (though always envied!) how people could take their
laptop down to the local Starbucks and spend the day typing away surrounded by
people, or write while sitting in an airplane. I pretty much have to be alone
when I’m writing, or I get distracted. The exceptions are that it’s okay for my
spouse to be somewhere nearby as long as he’s busy with his own stuff, and I
like it when one of my cats curls up on or near me. But no other people!
As a child, what did
you want to be when you grew up?
mother used to tell me that when I was a very small child, I wanted to be an
undertaker! I don’t remember that, but it sounds about right—I was a weird
little kid. When I was somewhat older, I wanted to be a cartoonist, but that
didn’t work out because I write a lot better than I draw.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
love hearing from readers! You can reach me on Twitter at @Dragonwriter11, or
in email at email@example.com.
And a huge thank-you to every reader who bought one of my books, and to Lisa
for letting me blather on her blog!
Stone and a Hard Place (Book 1)
The Forgotten (Book 2)