As a small child, I lived on a cattle ranch in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, a ranch without indoor plumbing or running water. My grandfather was a trapper, a hunting guide, a fence-building contractor, a rancher, a cowboy, and whatever other occupation was needed to support his family. One of my favorite memories, and now one of my children's favorite memories, is listening to my father's stories of living in the isolation of these beautiful mountains, stories such as riding ten-miles into town on horseback twice a week to pick up the mail when he was barely ten-years-old and hunting for elk and deer so the family had meat for the winter. This rugged life-style was an important part of my formative years, and is a huge influence on my writing.
I was the only girl in a family of boys - lots of boys if you count all my brothers' friends - so I was definitely not a girly girl. I spent a lot of my childhood herding cattle, bucking bales, building fence, and helping not-very-bright heifers birth their calves. I spent many summers riding around with my father when he worked for the Forest Service. My one childhood regret was I never got to man a lookout tower to watch for forest fires.
I grew up reading westerns and Alistair MacLean thrillers, then moved on to other espionage stories and mysteries. I like action, so when I picked up the proverbial pen - which is actually my iPad - and began to write again after a decades-long hiatus from the creative writing I enjoyed as a kid, I began by writing action. I write about boys and men of honor, courage, and commitment. Men who face the challenges life barrages them with and come through the other side maybe changed but still whole, with their sense of humor and their souls intact.
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Joe Taught Me Thatby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Sep 13, 2015Suspense Teen & Young Adult
Marcus Grey's Sonby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Jul 18, 2016Suspense Mystery Contemporary Romance Teen & Young Adult
Hackettby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Feb 22, 2017Crime Fiction Suspense Mystery Teen & Young Adult
Drum's Dream v3.2by L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Dec 18, 2018Suspense Teen & Young Adult
Half-caste: The Gifted Seriesby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: May 26, 2020Suspense Action & Adventure Teen & Young Adult
The Collective: A Boone Hunter Bookby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Jun 21, 2020Suspense Mystery Action & Adventure Teen & Young Adult
Guardian: The Gifted Seriesby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Dec 06, 2021Action & Adventure Fantasy
Shifter: The Gifted Seriesby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: May 27, 2022Suspense Mystery Action & Adventure
GeoSpringby LK ReinmillerPublish: May 07, 2020Advice & How To General Nonfiction
GeoSummerby L.K. ReinmillerPublish: Oct 09, 2022Advice & How To General Nonfiction
I don’t know that favorite would be the right word, but it is one I will always remember. My brothers and their friends were the popular guys in a small high school. The good-looking jocks all the girls wanted to hang out with. Sounds like a girl’s dream, right? But I grew up with these guys, and every single one of them — think the entire football team and the entire basketball team — considered me their little sister. So when we went to the rodeo dances in the summer, every time a good-looking cowboy asked me to dance, one of my “brothers” would cut in. Protecting their “sister” put a serious cramp in my dating life!What do you love the most about westerns and Alistair MacLean thrillers?
The good guys are GOOD guys. And the almost always win. I’m not a big fan of anti- heroes. I want my heroes like Superman or John Wayne. Some flaws are fine. They add to the interest of the story, but I don’t want my heroes to be bank robbers or art thieves.Since how long have you been living on a cattle ranch in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon?
I lived on a cattle ranch until I was almost five. I remember so much about it, like no running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. I remember long walks to the outhouse, snow in the winter and buttercups in the summer. My parents and grandparents sold it just before I started kindergarten.
Then, when I was in junior high and high school my grandfather worked for a rancher and I spent my weekends and summers working with him. Bucking bales. Feeding and watering cattle in the middle of winter when we had to break ice off the watering troughs. Getting up at two in the morning to go help the heifer with their first calf. Riding the hills of eastern Oregon in the fall, looking for strays and early calves, rounding them up, and driving them down through the hills and draw and along highways to winter pasture.Would you like to share with your readers one of your father’s stories of living in the isolation of these beautiful mountain?
When my dad was little, he and my grandparents lived in a place called Bridgecreek Flats up in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. It was about ten miles through the mountains to the nearest town. Twice a week, when my dad was about nine or ten, he would saddle one of their horses and ride the ten miles to town and back to collect their mail. By himselfHow did you come up with the plot idea of your book, Marcus Grey’s Son?
In truth, I often come up with a character’s name first. Then I spend a lot of time deciding what this person would be like. I decided Teller Grey would be a young Marine from a large family. Then I thought of ways to make his life miserable … well, maybe complicated would be more correct, but interesting.
I read a news article about a young woman who had given up college to raise her two younger siblings when her parent were killed. I liked that idea, an older sibling giving up a dream to care for younger siblings. Then I threw in a bunch of cousins, a nasty CPS worker (no, I do not think all CPS workers are like this horrid woman), and let the story unfold.
I tend to let the story tell me where it wants to go, and the twist at the end of the book is where Teller Grey’s story wanted to go.Who inspired the character of Ruel Black in “Joe Taught Me That”?
In some ways, it was my mom. Her mother died when she was just eighteen months old. When she was about three, her father remarried because he thought she needed a mother. Boy, did he mess that up! Her stepmother could have been the original model for every wicked step mother in every fairy tale.
When my mom was six or so, neighbors finally told my grandfather how his wife treated my mother. By then, he had two children by this woman, and rather than throw her out, he started shuttling my mom from relative to relative.
I think this background in my family inspires a lot of plot points in my stories. I already had the name Ruel, so I created around that name a boy who lost his father and was sent to live in a very foreign environment to the woman who never wanted him.What is the significance of the title of your book, Drum’s Dream v3.2?
I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me that. Without giving away too much, Drum Ryderwood always wanted a family of his own. His first dream was to have a mom and dad who loved him. Never going to happen. His second dream was to be the kind of father he never had. That was denied him (no I’m not going to tell you how). So he stopped dreaming, but a miracle happened and he was given his third dream I’m not telling you what the .2 means. You have to read the book to find out.How did you begin writing the Boone Hunter series?
Again, a boy in foster care. No mother, crappy father (and just to keep the record straight, my father is a great father). I already knew Boone was going to be … well, I don’t want to say specifically, but I knew he was going to be a hero. As I wrote, the story of The Collective and its evil counterpart Malfaisant, developed along with Boone’s personality and past. Then I threw in a couple of sci-fi elements just to make it interesting. My husband liked it so much he was bugging me to write a sequel, which I have started. So it became a series, but I didn’t want to label it Book 1, Book 2, so I just called it Boone Hunter in The Collective. In case I take forever to get the sequel written.What is the toughest criticism you’ve ever received? What was the best?
I’m assuming you mean about my writing.
Toughest? I took an early manuscript to OryCon, a fantasy sci-fi festival with a lot of workshops. It was very early in my writing and was seeking the feedback of already- published authors. In a face-to-face critique session with a couple of writers, they told me my writing had a good strong voice but I was making a lot of mistakes like info dumps and portraying my MC unrealistically because teachers would step in if what happened to my MC at school happened in a real school. Since it was a story about people who turned into dragons, I truthfully didn’t put much stock into that criticism. But I have also since realized that they were trying to improve my “literature”, and I just want to tell a story. But I haven’t worked on that story since, which makes me mad at myself. So it is still in my files. Maybe someday.
Best? When a woman read one of my books and liked it so much she left a review that I was now one of her favorite authors!What challenges did you face while writing your book, Half-caste: The Gifted Series?
I made the decision, good or bad, to write the whole story in first person present tense and without contractions. That was the biggest challenge and took the most editing of any book to remove all the slip-ups.
And I wanted Cale to be a truly good person, a person who would give up everything to fulfill his quest. Not that he didn’t get overwhelmed many times and think about quitting. But I wanted him to have a very pure heart even while committing many atrocities to do his duty.Of all the books you’ve written, which one was the hardest to write and why?
Probably Drum’s Dream v3.2. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo, which gives the writer 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. Research is allowed ahead of time, and I had all my research done for a story. A few days before the start, this idea popped into my head that I should write a very different story.
So instead of a leisurely 30 days to write my novel, I had to both research and write. And I knew the topic would be controversial and I wanted to write it in such a way that even those who might disagree with the premise would find it interesting enough to read. And maybe it would make some people think. I didn’t specifically write it for that purpose, but the plot just lent itself to it.
But other than that the story flowed tremendously fast. I actually wound up writing almost double what was required.Do you encounter writer’s block often? If so, which book of yours did you get stuck on the most and what are some things you did to get your brain working again?
Once I had to pause a story partly because I wasn’t sure how to get from point A to point B, but it was mostly because a volunteer job took up such a tremendous amount of time. I left my poor MC at the top of a cliff for over a year. That is actually the next book I plan to publish.
In The Collective, I got Boone to a specific point and knew where I needed him to wind up but was blank on how to get him there. So I wrote the ending. Then I made a timeline of what had to happen between where I stopped and the ending I wrote. That made it possible to finish the story.If you could describe your journey as a writer in 5 words, what would they be?
Pardon the swearing but “One hell of a rush”.How are you spending time during quarantine? Do you miss going out?
My other job is designing and teaching needlework. So I spent a good portion of the last few months converting several sets of instructions from older classes into e-books. I also shopped for covers for Half-caste, The Collective (new cover), and my next book coming out. And wrote and edited Half-caste and two other books I have almost ready to send to beta readers.
Except for missing going out to breakfast and an occasional dinner, I missed not seeing my kids much but I work from home so much it didn’t really affect me.How long have you been with AllAuthor now and how have you been enjoying it?
I joined AllAuthor a couple of years ago, but I didn’t really do anything with it. That volunteer job I mentioned kept me very busy and the rest of my time was filled with my design job. But a fellow author who is an online friend and one of my favorite writers, suggested I look into it more. So this past spring, while I had some extra time on my hands, I did. I sort of dipped one toe into the water, so to speak. But when I got started and saw the features available, I took the plunge and joined.
I very much enjoy the Review gifs and the Add quote/Book teaser. And I really like the mockup banners. It’s great to see my book covers in different settings. Because of the tweets you send out, I have also gotten more active on social media, promoting my books. The regularity of your promotion of my books has pushed me to do more regular promotions on my own.
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