Moonlake: Hi, I’m Moonlake Ku and welcome to the 3rd episode of Writer’s Awakenings. Today, we have author Lyman Rate with us. Firstly, tell us about yourself and your journey into writing, Lyman.
Lyman: My name is Lyman Rate and I am from Kansas. I didn’t really start writing until 2014 and I did it merely at the challenge of my wife who was my girlfriend at the time. She challenged me to try and write a 50,000 word book during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November) and I felt I wanted to try it.
Moonlake: And what happened to that first NaNo book?
Lyman: That first book become the first book of my military Series – Ghost One and is titled Operation: Jaguar.
Moonlake: Oh great, wasn’t expecting that as most writers usually have false starts. But for you, it seems like your way into writing was a pretty smooth one once you decided to try it!
Lyman: I took time to think about what I wanted to write and I decided to use my military background as a catalyst.
Moonlake: Ah, the write what you know. So when is it that you first decided to pursue writing in a serious way and what are the circumstances?
Lyman: I really looked at it seriously when I finished the first book and was about 2/3rd the way through writing book two. I knew I was enjoying writing and as such I wanted to keep writing.
Moonlake: Now, your journey into writing itself sounded smooth and easy. How about the transition to a writer from whatever job you were doing- are you a FT writer now?, was that as smooth and easy as the journey into writing?
Lyman: I wouldn’t say I’m a full time writer yet. I would love to be, but right now I need my full time job and use that to supplement my writing. So far, I’ve had to make adjustments in my writing schedule to work around my full work schedule, but it’s been manageable.
Moonlake: That’s heartening to hear. What are some of your tricks in terms of time management? A lot of people with a passion for writing and FT job at the same time often cite lack of time as an obstacle for them so I’m asking on their behalf.
Lyman: The key is looking at the schedule you have (be it work, school, etc) and then finding a time when you can dedicate to writing. For me I work evenings and I set 2 hours after I get off work to write. I’m awake enough and wired after work this fits me well. If I can’t write after I get off, I resort to option 2 or 3.
Option 2 is to get up early and write for an hour and option 3 is to stop everything I’m doing 1.5 hours before I go to work and that is my writing time. Having multiple options is huge as it allows me to have another means to still find time to write.
Moonlake: Okay, sounds like a sensible and not hard to implement procedure.
Looking back, how would you have done things differently or would you have done things differently?
Lyman: I’m a pantser, so I write as I go and do very little planning. That being said, there have been times I wished I would do more planning, so I do that when I need it. That is the biggest difference.
Moonlake: Interesting, would love to know more about planning versus pantsing but that will be worthy of an entire interview on its own. So onto the concluding part of this interview: Overall, how far do you think you have progressed from your initial point?
Lyman: From the initial point, I have learned quite a bit about grammar and writing techniques. I have also become very aware of how to write with emotion whereas I wasn’t doing that very much when I first started. My writing style and technique have both improved and that shows in the edits I receive back from the editor each time I finish a book.
Moonlake: On the writing with emotion, have you found a trick that allows you to do them more easily or do you think this is an ability that came to you through practice?
Lyman: Writing with emotion wasn’t easy. Someone finally spoke to me in a simple way that it just finally clicked. They said: “Write like you speak and feel. Make yourself be your character in some form and use their body and voice to mimic yours. How would you feel in situations? When you know, write it out how you feel it.”
Moonlake: I see, wise words. So what have you been working on lately?
Lyman: Currently I am working on my newest series, War of A Thousand Years. It is a fantasy series that currently is projected to be a six or seven book series. This series will follow the Chosen One as she becomes of age, learns about her duties as the Chosen One, and her objective to end the thousand year war that has been going on.
Moonlake: Sounds like an epic, which is my main staple in terms of book consumption. How is that going in terms of publication-readiness?
Lyman: I was fortunate to find a publisher and currently the first book is with the editor for the second round. The hope is the first book will be available towards the end of this year. If not, will be ready and available beginning of 2018.
Moonlake: Sounds great, I look forward to its official release. Now, if we want to follow you, how can we do that?
Moonlake: Okay then, all the best for your forthcoming release and this brings our interview today to a close. Thank you, Lyman, for your time.
Lyman: Thank you very much! It was a pleasure to do it!
Moonlake: Mine pleasure as the interviewer too. Thanks also to our readers today. See you all next time.