Author Interview: LP Ring

LP Ring author of Long Snake Moan, a Senior Inspector Choi series
LP RING author

Today I’m chatting with LP Ring author of Korean Crime Thriller Senior Inspector Choi series, Ring’s second novel in the series Long Snake Moan is just about to be released in Oct. Available Amazon HERE

Liam, you mention on GoodReads that there are 5 novels in your Senior Inspector Choi series. So, are you a plotter or a pantser? Are these all planned out in advance?

When I started out I knew who the characters were and what would happen to them. I also had an idea of how these events came about and the themes I wanted to discuss within the stories – the crimes being investigated reflect some of my views on society and the importance of a country’s history. However, I freely admit that characters have a habit of doing things I don’t always expect them to do, so it’s entirely possible that Choi and his team might end up not following my plans for them at all. I’ll have to wait and see.

How did you come up with 5 being your ideal series number?

I feel that sometimes a series of novels can go on too far and the stories can become repetitive. Some writers can end up with 10, 15 or 20 novels in a series and the stories and action seem to blend into each other to the point where even hard-core fans are left wondering who was in what story. Also, I’d love to give another genre and character a try before I’m in my dotage – it’s something that we are a lot freer to do in the self-publishing market – so five seems the number at which I’ll have said enough with these people and this situation. I’ll be ready by then for a new set of paintbrushes and a new canvas.

What drew you to writing crime novels?

I was kidded for years by this intellectual snobbery that crime fiction - isn’t as valuable as literary fiction; indeed that snobbery has fallen by the wayside in the last decade with writers like John Banville entering the crime genre. As time has elapsed I’ve realised that the characters in novels like these end up dealing with problems that can happen to anyone in any walk of life.

I’m really interested in social issues and I think that a lot of what irks us about society can be looked at in a crime novel format. Just having these themes within a story will hopefully make people think about issues they ignore on a regular basis. My favourite novel of all time is probably The Secret History by Donna Tartt. She isn’t someone you’d term a crime writer and yet that and her other two novels both feature crimes and criminality as a major motivator.

Long Snake Moan, author LP RING cover designed by Kura Carpenter,
Long Snake Moan
Book 2 in the
Senior Inspector Choi series

What era and city is Long Snake Moan set in?

The novel is set in the modern day in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea is a potentially fantastic subject as it’s a first world country that was decidedly under-developed only 50 years ago. Its history as a former colony as a country riven by civil war also makes it a fascinating study. In addition, its status as a mega-city means that a lot of things go on in it every day – things that can involve an insane number of people. On a more mundane point, Seoul also gets hit by these pretty tough winters sometimes – minus 20 degrees is not uncommon – so choosing the winter as the time of year for the first three in the series gave me the chance to add some claustrophobia to the story.

What part of East Asia were you living in before moving to NZ – is it safe to guess Korea as your novels The Tiger Awakens and Long Snake Moan are set in Korea?

I taught English in Japan for a number of years before moving to South Korea where I taught at a university. That job gave me space to write during the vacations. The winters are long and quite harsh too so there wasn’t much to do outside.

Why did you decide to go the self-publishing route?

I’m my own boss and although that means a lot of extra stuff to do besides writing, I only answer to myself at the end of the day. I had a look at a few publishing companies – quite small, niche ones - and sent off a few query letters (I think it was 4 in the end). I immediately got an automated response from one company that said if you haven’t heard from us in six months, we aren’t interested. It just struck me as incredibly disrespectful, and if the company was going to be like that, even if they were interested in my novels I just wasn’t going to enjoy the overall experience. I’d also seen how people like Hugh Hovey and J.F. Penn had been successful and happy without any publisher backing and thought I’d enjoy the process a lot more just taking care of myself.

What have been some of the hard things to overcome with your self-publishing journey?

Technology can be a major pain. I’m a bit of a technophobe so have found some of that quite tough. I’m using draft2digital at the moment though, and I’ve found that the learning curve isn’t as steep with them. It also gives me a decent ‘time spent to results’ trade off that I’m comfortable with. So I have published two novels so far this year and learned some things along the way.

If you could go back and give yourself tips as a young writer, what would you advise?

Write what you like. Don’t force yourself into writing in a genre you don’t like. It sounds obvious but for example, I’m not a romance kind of guy so my trying to write a romance novel would be absolutely crazy (even though romances are often the most popular sellers in self-publishing). I wasn’t reading the right things when I was younger as well. If you want to write anything - space opera, thriller, harlequin romance… anything, you’ve got to read as much as you can in that genre. You’ll learn how the experts do it and it will gradually filter into what you do. You’ll at least structurally be a better writer for it and have a fair idea of how the experts go about things. You don’t learn to cook or do carpentry from scratch. Writing isn’t any different.

Great advice Liam, Thanks for answering my questions today. I wish you and Senior Inspector Choi all the best for the rest of the series.

Please check out Liam's Latest novel Long Snake Moan on Goodreads.
Or  Long Snake Moan on Amazon
You'll also find him on Twitter: @l_p_ring

Or for more info checkout his Blog LP Ring on Wordpress

And Don't forget his Amazon Author page LP Ring where you'll be able to keep track of the entire series as it progresses.

The Tiger Awakens
Book 1 in the 
Senior Inspector Choi series
by LP Ring

No comments:

Post a Comment