Interview with author Loren Rhoads

I have author Loren Rhoads here today talking about her latest release, No More Heroes.
Loren Rhoads
is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, all published by Night
Shade Books this year. She is also the co-author with Brian Thomas of As Above, So Below and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two.
Welcome, Loren. Please tell us about
your current release.
No More Heroes is the third part of my In the Wake
of the Templars trilogy, which began in July with The Dangerous Type and continued in September with Kill By Numbers. No More Heroes is a space opera/courtroom drama/time travel
mash-up, because I think categories are too limiting. Don’t you?
No More Heroes begins with the media-pirate crew of
the Veracity taking some
well-deserved shore leave. They quickly learn that no good deed goes unpunished
when the Veracity is impounded as a
stolen vessel and Raena Zacari, the former Imperial assassin and the Veracity’s
mastermind, is captured by bounty hunters.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was
called for jury duty three times last year. No lie.
Raena is
understandably paranoid after the life she’s led. She’s so worried about being
on the run in her past that she overreacts when one of her good deeds makes the
galactic news, but it turns out she’s right: there is a conspiracy against her.
I wanted to play with the idea that a paranoid could be right – and even good
deeds might be punishable in the right courts.
Excerpt from No More Heroes:
Raena paid for her new boots and waited for the humanoid shop girl to
hand her a bag with her old boots in it. The clerk’s eyes widened suddenly.
Before Raena could react, a gun barrel jammed into the base of her
skull. She raised her hands slowly. Whoever stood behind her eased the Stinger
from the holster on her thigh.
“Raena Zacari,” an unfamiliar voice said, “I am arresting you for
charges filed on…”
She didn’t wait for him to get the rest of the speech out. She kicked
back hard with her new sharp silver heel, felt it connect in the most
satisfying way. At the same time, she ducked sideways, toward the pistol he was
stealing from her.
The stranger’s gun put a nice round hole in the artwork behind the
Raena turned, raising one hand to catch his gun arm before he could
re-aim. She slammed her other elbow hard up into his wizened monkey face.
She snatched her own Stinger back, tossed it to Coni, and said, “Out.”
The blue-furred girl didn’t argue. The two sales girls minced after her.
Raena got behind the bounty hunter, kicked him in the knee, then jumped
onto his back to add her weight to his head as it struck the shoe counter. That
took him out. She would have pounded his head down a second time, just to be
certain, but the counter didn’t look very sturdy. No sense in getting arrested
for vandalism.
She plucked his gun from his hand, ejected its charge pack and pocketed
it. Then she snatched up her shopping bag with one hand and dragged the
unconscious Saimiri bounty hunter out to the street. She dropped him beside the
garbage incinerator on the curb. She banged the gun hard against the
incinerator to disable it, then flung it down on his chest.
Coni handed Raena’s Stinger back. “Who is that?”
“Bounty hunter,” Raena said.
“But the charges were dropped on Capital City.”
“They never arrested me,” Raena pointed out, “only you, Mykah,
and Vezali. This is something else.”
Raena scanned the street. Other than the people immediately nearby
reacting to the unconscious bounty hunter, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“What do we do?”
“I need to get back to the Veracity
and get myself armed up. Then we need to figure out who put a bounty on me and
if there’s a way to settle it. I should’ve let him tell me what I was charged
with, but his gun was too jittery against my head. I thought he’d shoot me
before he spit it out.”
“What can I do?” Coni asked.
“Comm everyone. Keep them off the ship. If anyone’s looking for me on
Lautan, they’ll loiter around the Veracity. I want you all to be safe.
Why don’t you set us a meeting somewhere for a late lunch, so we can discuss
whether we’re getting out of here all together or if I’m finding my own way
Raena stuck out her arm so suddenly that Coni jumped. A taxi pulled up
in front of them.
Coni followed her into the car. “I’m coming back to the ship with you,”
she said. “I’d feel better if I got armed up, too.”
Raena considered arguing, but Coni was mature enough to understand what
she was getting into. She relented. “If I tell you to run, don’t look back.”
“I trust you,” Coni said.
Raena hoped that would keep the blue girl safe.
What exciting story are you working on
My editor
wanted me to write some short stories set in Raena’s universe, so I’m working
on one called “Drifter” with my good friend Martha Allard. In the story, Raena
meets some of the characters who appear in the trilogy. She’s running from
bounty hunters in this story, too.
When did you first consider yourself a
Last night,
when I discovered the second book of the trilogy for sale at Seriously!
I’ve been writing so long that it’s second nature now, just part of who I am
and how I live. But I keep discovering milestones as an author that I never
guessed would excite me. That was one.
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 to write?
written fulltime on and off for years. Lately, my workday begins at 5 when I
roll out of bed and check my email. I read Facebook and Twitter to see what’s
going on in the world, what everyone is excited about, and try to figure out
what my focus for the day is going to be.
Then I get
my husband and daughter up and off to work or school. After that, I find a café
near school and get my own breakfast, then write for an hour. I like to write
longhand in a spiral notebook, because it’s so portable.
When I’m
done with that, I go home to answer email, find ways to promote my books, and
type in the morning’s handwritten work. I try to get on the treadmill for half
an hour so I can read without guilt.
I usually
grab a little more time to write in the car before I pick my daughter up from
school. Some afternoons I get to write during her afterschool classes. Then
there’s dinner and bedtime and watching TV in the evenings. I’m still
struggling to find something to fill the void left by Jon Stewart.
Since I
spend so much time alone, I have to work to stay connected to what’s going on
in the country and the world.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I love to
research, so I think the internet is the best invention ever. I grew up in
libraries. My mom was a librarian. I love physical books. But researching in a
library used to be limited to whatever they had in their collection. Finding an
answer sometimes meant slogging around from one library to another. Now I can
answer nearly any question that occurs to me by typing it into my phone. How
amazing is that? The trick is to not get bogged down in the research.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I have
wanted to be a writer since I can remember. I took every writing class my high
school offered. I joined the Flint Area Writers at 16, their youngest member
ever at that time. I took all the creative writing classes offered by the
University of Michigan, then went to Clarion and James Gunn’s writing workshop
at University of Kansas. For everything I’ve learned, I keep discovering how much
more I need to know.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
One of the
great things that’s happened with this series of books is that I have
audiobooks for the first time. The
Dangerous Type
came out in September at Audible.
It was the
first time I ever got to listen to someone reading one of my books to me. I was
amazed at how much I enjoyed the experience. The actress does a great job of
individualizing all the voices, with injecting excitement into the action
scenes. I haven’t heard Kill By Numbers yet,
but the same woman is going to read it. I cannot wait.

The sales links:
Thanks for being here today, Loren.
Happy writing!

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