Reading vs. Writing

Illustrated ManDo you remember the first book you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

One of the first grown-up books I remember reading was Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. The poetry of the language blew me away. I learned that things could be lovely and terrifying simultaneously.

What are your five favorite books, and why?

  1. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  3. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
  4. Owls Hoot in the Day-time by Manly Wade Wellman
  5. The Adventures of Dr. Taverner by Dion Fortune

They all share the belief that this is another world beyond what we can see, a world of beauty and danger. I try to bring that kind of depth to my fiction.

Sirens CoverWhat’s the story behind your latest book?

I wrote the story that opens Sins of the Sirens as a gift for Brian Thomas. It was meant to be a standalone story. He surprised me by writing a second and third chapter — getting my succubus Lorelei possessed by a human soul. After that, I had to write what happened next. We kept trading back and forth until we had a book and then some. Lost Angels really is only the first half of Lorelei & Azaziel’s story. The second half will be out in November as Angelus Rose.

What do you read for pleasure?

I read everything: magazines, horror novels, kids’ books, YA, histories of graveyards, and travel guides.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

The kindle app on my phone.

Describe your desk.

A whirlpool of chaos. If I spent as much time organizing as I do reading blogs about organizing, my desk would look amazing.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on a farm in mid-Michigan — without cable TV, a home computer, or video games. It gave me a lot of time to read and daydream. It helped that my mom was a librarian and never censored anything I read. I was able to fill myself up with stories.


When did you first start writing?

I started telling myself stories when I was 4 or 5 and my mom still insisted on naptime. I didn’t start writing them down until I got a typewriter for my birthday in 8th grade.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I came up through zine writing and publishing. Any venue to get the word out is a good venue.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?

Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest: the unholy trinity of social media.

This interview was initially published on Smashwords on 2014-03-02.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm also co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel. In addition to blogging at, I blog about my morbid life at
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