A small town, tarnished paths… and murder. Author E.V. Lohring weaves this tale of mystery and intrigue in his debut novel, Fear of Normal. While it is his first published novel, there is much more to come. Lohring has been creating and chronicling stories and ideas for almost two decades. Lohring discusses his novel Fear of Normal, his writing style and advice for new writers and gives us some information about what he’s up to next.
When did you first know you would become a writer?
“I have wanted to be a published writer since about the age of nine. I wrote various short stories and poems throughout the years in school, tried to be more serious and skilled in college, but didn’t feel my work was good enough until much later in life. Although I have been creating serious works for the past 20 years or so – work that I consider worthwhile – it was only recently that I was able to self-publish my first book. I have several more works ready to go. I am simply waiting to complete some final edits and to have fitting book covers produced.”
What are some of the challenges you have faced during your writing career?
“The biggest challenges are the demands of life. Working full-time, having a spouse and children, family obligations, social obligations, all take away from my time to create and complete my work. I have finally reached an age where I can focus on my writing more and hope to complete the many efforts I have been working on for so long.”
Can you tell us about your book, Fear of Normal?
“Fear of Normal is a compelling murder mystery which intertwines a decades-old murder with current deaths in a small Tennessee town. It also examines the struggles and theological wrestling of the main character, a young pastor who must examine his own views of God, religion, good and evil. The characters all have their own tarnished pasts, and the story confronts the mentality of small town America, the coded words, familiar attitudes, local biases which persist, and the isolation that often comes about for the people in the town.”
Do you have a personalized writing style or unique way of putting together a story as a writer?
“I like to have a theme or device which guides my writing. “Fear of Normal” was inspired by Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song “I Am a Town.” I used the lyrics of the song to guide the novel. All the lyrics appear in the book, in order, sometimes with entire chapters between them. It caused a few awkward and challenging passages but it was an interesting guide and challenge for me.”
What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
“If you choose to be a writer then you must keep at it. Write as often and as much as you can and don’t be afraid to pitch what doesn’t work. I have written complete books only to trash them and start over. Good writing doesn’t always come quickly or easily. “Fear of Normal” was an idea that began in the mid-1990s and did not reach completion until 2013.
Another book I hope to publish soon is based on an idea I had in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until 25 years had passed that I was able to incorporate the relevant references, a theme which I laid over the main story, to bring the book real depth and interest. Writing takes time. Be patient. Study other writers – good and bad – and allow them to help you develop.”
Who would you say is your favorite writer?
My favorite writer is Ursula K. LeGuin. I have collected and read most of her works. Her ability to tell a story and paint a picture of character, place and events in so few words are fascinating and impressive. As I read LeGuin I imagine an artist drawing a beautiful picture with only a few strokes of a pen or brush, the images full and complete even though they are spare in their make-up. I try to imitate that style, creating a thing of beauty and depth without being heavy-handed or overly descriptive, something which often bogs down the writing.
You mentioned a book that you’re currently working on, can you give us any details about it?
“The Storms of Jupiter – I placed the fear and concept of death as the template for the story. Actual crimes and deaths, along with scientific facts about the planet Jupiter, were referenced to flesh out the theme of the main character being a helpless victim of fate.”
Author E.V. Lohring can be found on Facebook. His book, Fear of Normal, can be found on AMAZON. Be sure to keep an eye out for his upcoming novel The Storms of Jupiter, which is scheduled to be released by the end of 2017.
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