Fantasy Sci-Fi Support Group Author Interview of Tyler R Lee
Author bio: Tyler R Lee (born 1989) grew up in the small town of Wetumka, OK. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from East Central University in Ada, OK before moving to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. From a very young age, Tyler enjoyed writing above most things.
As he made his way through school, he absorbed as much literature as he could, and found he felt most at home with fantasy and science fiction thanks to works like JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and RA Salvator’s Legend of Drizzt series. By the time he made it to college, he had already started on his own collection of short stories and more than a couple of novel ideas. Anxiety and nerves would keep Tyler from sharing with anyone for some time, until October of 2017 when he published his first novel, a fantasy adventure tale titled An Unlikely Company, the first book in the NetherGate Trilogy.
When not writing, Tyler enjoys doing voice work for several projects, running D&D games with his fellow tabletop nerds, gaming, and relaxing with either a good book or a number of great podcasts.
Book title: An Unlikely Company
Genre: High Fantasy
Synopsis: For nearly a century, the country of Oriod has been at peace. However, dark tidings now threaten to tear it all apart as an evil organization known as the Order of the Fallen Light seeks to free their imprisoned master from her cage in the Nether. Woden, a prideful half-orc, Baelor, a surly dwarf, Jokkoa, a whimsical goblin sorceress, and Amrynn, a paranoid elf and her tiger companion are thrown together by chance. With more than a bit of reluctance, the four loners stumble upon this evil plot and discover they may be the land’s only hope, much to their annoyance. At the request of the wizened wizard Grindor, the unlikely company set out to find the four artifacts that defeated the order in the past before the enemy finds them first. However, not only do they have to contend with the dark forces hot on their trail, but also with the complications brought on by their own mistrust in each other. The dark mages, goblin raiders, zealot cultists, and territorial elementals may be the death of them all, if they don’t kill each other first.
Publish date: October 3, 2017
Author Interview Questions: (Please answer the question about your book cover)
Do you have a pen name and why? Tyler R Lee. I don’t like how my first and last name sound together. So, I use my middle initial. Also, it’s a nice homage to favorite authors JRR Tolkien and George RR Martin.
Very nice homage to them. What other writing have you done? I love writing short stories. I’ve had a couple published on Aphelion-Webzine, and I add voice over to several of them on my storytelling podcast, Tales from the Fireside.
Doing voice-overs sounds really fun and a great way to explore yourself and characters. What’s the story behind your book title? An Unlikely Company is the description for what I consider the main group of characters. They have next to nothing in common, and don’t like each other very much. They are, indeed, an unlikely company.
Clever twist on words. How do you develop your characters? I try to make characters that, despite their abilities or the fantasy world they inhabit, have a sense of reality about them. They must be flawed, they have problems. I can’t create a “perfect” character. They are all oddballs or damaged in some way. And that makes them relatable. That makes them entertaining and easy to cheer for, or to hate.
Sounds like you made them more relatable. Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing? Much of my writing is inspired by events that happened to me. It doesn’t translate exactly, but events in my life, my childhood, dealing with depression and anxiety, pain, happiness, it all gets typed out and molded into the story.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book? Quite simply, Do It! That is literally the first step. Beyond that, don’t force anything. Granted, you can’t simply wait for the “best” time to write. You have to sometimes sit down and do it. But, let it come naturally as you write. Move forward from a difficult scene, come back later. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re your own worst critic.
Wonderful advice, Thank you. How did you go about developing your cover artwork? My cover artist was done by one of my absolute best friends, Nicole Cerritelli, known as Bored Barista on Facebook and Twitter (go find her). She’s an amazing artist who brainstormed with me on my cover after she read the book. I wanted to showcase the five main characters in some way, showing them separately, but still coming together as a unit, and she nailed it.
It’s a very creative cover…not too much and not too little. Nicely done! If you could only take three books with you through an interstellar portal, what would they be? The Hobbit (favorite book), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and The World of Ice and Fire (great encyclopedia on the world of A Song of Ice and Fire).
Who are your five favourite authors? JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, RA Salvatore, George RR Martin, and Edgar Allen Poe.
Oh you have two in common with me! I have been a fan of Poe’s for decades (won’t say how long that’ll give away my age) and RA Salvatorre is one I can reread a hundred times. What is your favourite quote?
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
What’s your favourite line from a book?
In Game of Thrones, first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, Bran asks his father, “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” Ned replied, “That is the only time a man can be brave.”
I know for many, that quote touches them deeply. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? I love gaming. Video games have always been a passion of mine. It’s one of my favorite forms of storytelling. Dungeons & Dragons is a close second, and is a big part of my life. I also love voice acting, and am hoping to make a career out of that if at all possible.
You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? Drizzt Do’Urden from RA Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt series. He’s a kind soul born of a hateful society, journeying through a world that judges him because of what his people have done. He’s agnostic in a world where the gods make themselves known, not because he doesn’t believe, but because he does what is right and what is kind because he knows it to be right and kind, not because of what a deity tells him. He’s also a badass ranger with lightning fast reflexes, almost unbeatable in combat, and has loyal friends who are also badass.
I’m actually rereading that series now. I absolutely love it. Thank you Tyler for coming by, do you mind a little quick quiz for the readers?
Favourite thing to cook: Chili
Silliest saying: “No Worries.” It’s “silly” because my anxiety constantly has me worrying about everything.
Best holiday spot: My couch. I like to stay in.
Most played song: Probably…Lola Montez by Volbeat
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser?: Little of A and a little of B. I usually have a rough outline. But I let my characters tell or show me where they need to go.
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: I prefer fantasy, but I love both.
Best superpower: Enhanced Equilibrium. The thing that allows Spider-Man, Daredevil, and those types of heroes have so much control over their movements.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Guest star on an episode of Critical Role.
It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the Lounge today! Tyler thank you and I’m sure the readers are thanking you too! Readers, if you’d like to follow Tyler more below are his links!