A lifetime fan of horror, sci fi, the macabre, mystery, and fantasy, R. E. Lyons digs deep within his soul to write character driven novels that, while influenced by his darker interests, can also be heavily laced with fantasy, romance, mystery, history and magic. R. E. Lyons has lived his life filled with storytelling from generations of story tellers and, as you will notice by his children, the tradition continues with marvelous enchanting stories. Some stories of R. E. Lyons are Ghostly Tales of The Old West, Werewolf's Lament and Birth of a Witch to be found in anthologies from JEA Publishing. Some published works include Novel series of the Werewolf First Moon, and I Will Love You Forever. Rouge Desires was published in March 2018. He is looking forward to growing as a author in print.
Tales of horror
Your first novel was Werewolf First Moon; can you tell us a bit about how it was written and what it’s about?
Sure, Amanda. When I wrote the first draft of Werewolf First Moon, it was called Werewolf’s Lament. I remember at that time, that I was asked if I would write a werewolf short story for an anthology being published for JEA Publishing. The Anthology was later entitled Full Moon Slaughter I had written a couple of short stories for two other analogies, and this would be my third for JEA Publishing. The first two anthology short stories took me a while to write. But this one, the words kept flowing out of me like a steady stream. In a matter of a few hours I had the first draft written. It was like the story was waiting to be told. Needed to be told. I could see what was happening as I wrote it.
I could hear all the sounds, feel the deep emotions. The peace of the woods, the feeling of being on the hunt for food, being one with nature. Then the beginning of knowing something wasn’t right, something was off. But being stubborn, determined to stay on track, to keep all the attention on the hunt, Wilton Wilson would not accept there was anything wrong. All the while, he was beginning to change from a ordinary man into a werewolf. A werewolf that did not care who or what it would kill.
No matter what Wilson would normally do, or who he cared about, the beast within had only one thing in mind. To kill, to destroy everything that made Wilton the man he was. To break his will to where he would crawl up within himself and die, so the beast would be the only thing left of Wilton. No love, no caring, no remorse. Nothing that you could remotely call human.
When I had written the small story and it was accepted, I thought to myself, “That was a nice little story. I’m done with it now. What else can I write about?” But the strange thing was, where I was done with it, it wasn’t done with me. The story kept unfolding in my mind. It wasn’t told completely. That short story was only the beginning. There was more. Much more. It invaded my waking hours, my dreams. The only way I was going to have peace of mind was to keep telling the story.
This is a novel about families, love, and darkness as much as about werewolves, could you tell us a little about Wilton and his family?
Wilton Wilson, and his brother Wilbur, lost their parents when they were young. So they were orphans, forced to grow up without the guidance of any adult. It wasn’t an easy life. They were living way back, deep in the woods with no one else around.
They learned early, that if they were to survive, they would have to work together. Expect no help from anyone else. Through this they had a deep bond between them like no other brothers. Each had certain things that they must do in order to survive. That they were determined to do.
Their parents had taught them when they were little to be very religious, as parents did back in those days of the 1600’s. So they thanked God for all they had and if there was something they couldn’t do on their own, they would ask God to help them. They were taught good and evil. They were to avoid evil at any cost and ask for the protection from evil by God.
What happened in the woods literally tore Wilton’s world apart. Both brother’s really. Wilbur had found a woman that he fell in love with. He quickly married her, bringing her back to the cottage to live there. Wilton, on the other hand, could not forget that he had lost almost everyone he ever loved. He was afraid if he loved another, he would lose her too. So he held off marrying her as long as he could.
With every family, we inherit a few genes from our parents that control our lives. Both brothers were about to learn what they had inherited from their parent in a cruel, horrible way.
Why did you choose to make it a story about a family in Appalachia?
My ancestors came from Ireland. They settled deep in the Appalachian Mountains, where there is a mystical, magical feeling here. When you have lived here for a while, you become closer to the ways of nature. You bond with your family. Depend on them more; feel the loss more should something happen to them. It is a feeling like no other place I have known.
There are many legends here. Some, so strangely told, that you would have to consider them true. For who could make up such tales? Though it is the twenty first century, there are still so many things in the Appalachian Mountains left unanswered. A perfect place for a werewolf.
It’s part of a series you intend to write, how long do you think the series will be? When might we expect the sequel?
To answer that, I would have to know the complete story. As of today, I have not been told the end of the story. I have only glimpsed the beginning. With all the twists and turns that have happened so far, I am not sure there will ever be a end to it. The next installment is being written as we speak. I would expect it to be out in the next few months. I too, am waiting to see what happens to Wilton Wilson.
Rogue Desires is also intended to be a series, this one about vampires, what happens in this book? What brought it about?
Rogue Desires is a story that came about when a friend of mine and I started talking about vampires. We both had enjoyed some stories about them and started to talk about what would happen if the story happened at a different area of the United States and so forth.
My friend told me that she would write down a few ideas, both my ideas and hers. Then I could write a story about those ideas. She wanted to see if I could write a story based on them. She was surprised that I did so well. The rest you can read about in Rogue Desires the series.
To create a good story, I feel you have to take a person or people in a ordinary life and then make something happen. You can’t take a person, have them be placed in a horror or anything else, without showing their human side first. Then throughout the story, keep adding information about their hopes and dreams that made them the way they are. Then if you read about something happening to them, you can feel closer to them. Like you know them. A person that might be in your family or a neighbor. Perhaps a close friend. Someone you can relate to.
That’s the premise of all my stories. Get to know the character, then watch what happens to them.
Now this is the premise of Rogue Desires.
First there is a mother and her daughter living next to a wooded area out in the country with no one living next to them, for miles around. They don’t have much. What they do have, they have worked very hard to get and keep. The father has left somewhere and not been seen since. The only thing they have left is a restaurant that he and the mother had started.
The mother tries very hard not to show that she is missing her husband for the sake of their daughter, who misses her father very much.
Then one night as they are preparing for their dinner at home, a knock comes at their door. When the mother goes to answer the door to see who it is, everything becomes silence. The daughter, worrying about her mother, goes to check on her. What she sees and hears, she will remember for the rest of her life. It will haunt her, as she hears her mother scream out to her, “Run! Run as fast as you can, Lea! Run and never look back!”
So begins the terror that will follow her, until at last, it catches her in Seattle, Washington. A terror that will attack her, her friends, and her family throughout her life. It will not go away! Its full intention is to destroy all that she holds dear.
What’s different about your vampires and this book in particular? Would you say its horror or a cross genre novel that fits in several areas?
To me, horror is when something of the supernatural comes and attacks you. So this would be horror. In Rogue Desires, many things of the supernatural are at play. There are good, evil, love, friendship, loyalty, gore, grossness, loss. The first book is laying out how it starts, as well as things to come. As with my Werewolf series, each book will become darker, have more blood and gore. It is a series you won’t soon forget. It will haunt you for a very long time.
I Will Love You Forever is definitely a very different sort of novel, featuring death, loss, destruction and the search for love beyond the grave, what would you say it’s about as a whole?
I Will Love you Forever is the very first novel I wrote, it came before any of the short stories or novels. It is about a love that will never end. Not even death can stop it. It is a story about a couple from two different countries who find each other when the world has become mad with war that has just ended. The world is filled with hatred for its different races. No one wants to trust, or even like the other. Somehow the world has to change its mind back to love and peace. To realize we are all one people. The human race.
The girl, desperate to make a difference, has left the Philippines, after the Japanese were forced out by the allied forces, to help her country once again stand on their own.
The boy, a only child, has also decided to make something for himself and his family.
By chance, they go to the same collage and fall in love.
It’s about the hopes and dreams of these two, to live and love forever together. But, it’s also about the struggles of this couple, the trials and hardships they face when someone interferes with their relationship. The death that follows, the corruption all about them. Fighting to keep his love and his friends safe after his death. The fight to keep his love from committing suicide to join him. It’s about learning answers about themselves and each other. It’s about forces that control what happens to you after you die. It’s about a love that will stay alive lifetime after lifetime.
Do you consider I Will Love You Forever a horror novel or something more of a novel about loss and love?
There are so many variables in this story. It has a constant of the love between this couple. It has horror in what this man’s ghost must do to keep his love, family, and friends safe. It has corruption, adventure, detective work. There are many things in play here. There are supernatural forces at play. I don’t think you can put it in one classification.
I don’t lock myself into one type of writing. I believe the world is made up of all things that need to be written about. I intend to write what I feel I should write about. I am writing about several books that are not considered horror.
But what is horror anyway? To me, horror is when something bad happens in an ordinary life. It causes pain, sorrow, loss. If you ask a soldier what horror is, he will tell you being in battle with the enemy, watching his fellow soldiers being blown to pieces right beside him. Not knowing when or if you will survive the next minute. Ask a mother or father whose son or daughter has been hurt or killed for no reason. Ask a drug addict about the last bad trip he had when he saw all these weird creatures come after him or had to fight to stay alive. Ask someone who has been bullied so much he would rather die than keep on living. Ask a bipolar person who feels the world is against him.
What do I think horror is? It’s all these things and so very much more. It doesn’t have to be supernatural. It’s something that hurts you so bad you can’t bare it.
You’re also an author whose taken part in a lot of anthologies, can you tell me about a few of your favorite stories and anthos you’ve worked on?
To tell you the truth, I have lost count of the anthologies I’ve been in. I know a lot of them. It is a learning experience that all authors should get a taste of. I have a fondness for the werewolf ones most of all. Werewolf’s Lament which was in Full Moon Slaughter, Poor Man’s Luck which was in Vamps vs Wolz 2, A Witch is Born which was in Season of the Witch, Ghostly Tale of the Old West which was in Strange Dominion - Weird Tales of the Old West.
To me, it was a honor to work alongside of so many talented authors creating those anthologies. Each and every one I was in. I saw each and every one as a challenge to do the best I could.
Book of Dark Stories is a short collection, is it made up of stories from anthologies alone or are there some new pieces in it too?
There are some short stories and poems I had published in anthologies. There are one or two that was not published that I threw in there. I co-wrote a few with Lisa Dabrowski for anthologies that is not in there as well as some more.
Which do you prefer writing, stories or novels?
There is something to be said about being a team creating a book. I enjoyed that very much. I am proud of that. Still, I enjoy having the chance to put a lot more in a novel.
You’ve had a busy year, with four books out and several others in progress, how often do you write?
Yes, I am proud to have gotten four novels out in 3 months. I like to set goals for myself. At the end of last year I set a goal of 12 novels out in one year. A novel a month. I am going to try doing that very thing!
My mind is constantly creating new stories. I am constantly with my laptop, jotting down an idea or writing on the ones I have. I am hoping that people will enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.
How many other books do you have in progress?
I have 34 books started at last count. Perhaps more. Unfortunately, I had more, but lost them from computer failure.