L.R. Claude is still new to many things, but he hit the ground running and published 3 novels in his first year and has found great success so far. He enjoys spanning genres and topics when he writes and truly enjoys creating whole lives and worlds for his characters.
3rd Hand Ranch Book Synopsis
3rd Hand Ranch deals with the harsh reality of young women, who deal with bullying. A rancher and his wife invite four struggling young teens to their farm for the school year to find their footing with themselves and their inner strength, as well as a much needed environment, in which they can learn to trust others. The lovable troublesome dog, Banjo, is well adapted to read the cues from the girls and helps to comfort in times of need also. A gripping and laughable book that has found a home on many shelves already.
How did your book come to life?
I am a single parent and have been slowly gathering the steam to become a full time author, It continues to break my hear having to hear that there are people out there ashamed to be who they are.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
I must say Banjo. I added so much love to the little rascal. I had myself smiling pretty good when I re-read the novel. My first book was from a young girl’s view point, and I received glowing reviews. I hope to keep up a strong pace to continue to publish book after book.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
I have gotten strong compliments on my books already. Many people have caught me around town and told me about how they laughed or cried, and how they felt as if they were really in the books and rooting for the characters. It is utterly amazing how I have gotten such warm responses already.
Are your characters’ experiences taken from someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have lived many lives. Being a single parent and dealing with many hardships in my life , I have felt equipped to be a novelist. The timing finally opened up to allow me to finally begin to exercise my author’s voice. Some of my novels are stories I felt needed to be told, while others’ are written with deep hope that they might help and give someone some strength right when they need it.
How do you start writing a new book? What comes first? The characters? The story?
Often I get an idea in my mind and then my brain unleashes the obsession, I hardly sleep and I will fill notebooks with ideas, then it’s a matter of piecing together the puzzle
Without giving away details, Can you describe one interesting scene in your book in less than two sentences?
All of the girls were sitting in a hay bail circle, and the the rancher’s wife devolves why she was so desperate to help. This scene secures their trust in one another and joins them emotionally.
List three adjectives that describe your book as a whole:
passionate, realistic, emotional
Who inspires you?
I have taken inspiration from many corners of my life. My baby sister has kept a strong head on her shoulders, while my son has shown me what unconditional love is, and that I’m capable of it.
Where do you find your ideas? Does something trigger them? Do you carry around a notebook in case inspiration strikes?
Sometimes I will get a spark of an idea somewhere, and then it clouds out any other thought in my mind. I email myself dozens of times a day from my phone. My email box is just a chaotic mess, much like my mind. :/
Have you written your entire life? Have you always considered yourself a writer?
I have always written, from song lyrics to poetry. However, through high school, it was only for myself and for the twelve years after high school, I was just too busy to write. Between college, my son, and an ailing mother, I stay busy. I write now while my son in at school and have become fairly comfortable.
If you could visit a place for research, where would it be?
I travel a bit now for writing research and public relations. I have plans for international travel to Ireland and Australia in the future if I’m lucky. I always leave a signed copy of a book in every hotel I stay at. The idea is: whoever finds it, gets a gift, and I hope it brightens their day. Maybe they’ll even pass it on.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
“Village Heights” is due out near the end of February. It is a satire novel about the life of a small group of trailer park residents. It has ample comedy, but also equal parts sad tragedy and drama.
Where did you grow up? How did your hometown (or other places you have lived) inspire your writing?
I travel as much as I can with my son, we’ve visited the south and I absolutely love Spanish Moss when it fills in the trees of the bayous, I love southern cooking and hospitality. I also love the northern state, the fall colors, the white washed winters. I am an outdoors man and I’d say growing up in Michigan, this is where my heart is.
Do you like to travel? If so where is your favorite city?
I loved New Orleans food, I loved Chicago street vendors, I loved the Arizona highways and the Nevada mountains. I loved the beaches of South Carolina and the road around the Mackinac Island that my son and I biked. I truly have been lucky to get to travel and incorporate each place into my books.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My son is my co-pilot on this magic carpet ride of life. My mother is my best friend and my youngest brother and my baby sister have also been supportive.
State 5 random facts about yourself.
I love chopping wood
I am a certified radiographer and boiler operator
I love to be outdoors
I love to cook
I love physics and sciences
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing with my son. I gave up TV almost 8 years ago and have put my spare time into my family and careers. I love being with him outdoors. We track animals on the farm or work on his advanced mathematics. I love chopping wood all summer for warm winter fires to write by
Have you ever sat and just watched the people go by?
I love people watching, I’m naturally observant and watch for ticks or small things that most people don’t notice, I like to add some of those traits to my characters. I can often make fairly accurate judgments of people by observations, most people are pretty predictable.
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