Some Thoughts with ... K.R.R. Lockhaven

25 Feb 2023

The Author/s

K.R.R. Lockhaven

K.R.R. Lockhaven

K.R.R. (Kyle Robert Redundant) Lockhaven writes humorous, fun fantasy books with a pinch of social satire.

He lives with his wife and two sons. Together they conjured a bearded dragon who rules over a hoard of sand and devours crickets by the dozens.

When not writing or raising kids, he works as a firefighter/paramedic.  

The Interview

Welcome to a new post on my favourite section of the website. Today we are accompanied by K.R.R. Lockhaven, writer and author of the Azure Archipielago series.

Let's dive in!

1.- When did you start writing?
When I was around ten years old, I wrote a series of stories about a world of sentient jelly beans that existed through a magical portal. I went on to try and emulate Dragonlance, which was my absolute favorite, in Middle School. Looking back, my story was so close to the Dragonlance books it bordered on plagiarism. I took a really long break from writing fiction when I got to High School. I thought that my fantasy writing would diminish my popularity, so I stopped. A terrible mistake in hindsight, but I was very insecure. I started back up in my late thirties and haven’t looked back since.

2.- How it was the process of finding a publisher for The Marauders, The Daughter and The Dragon? Could you tell us more about the pitching process?
I was kind of done with the idea of querying. I had queried various books I’d written nearly 100 times, without so much as a nibble. I self-published The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex, which went much better than I expected. At that time, I would have been happy with one reader, but I got a few more than that, and even picked up a few (very few) fans. But one day I saw a tweet from Dan Fitzgerald talking about queries being open for Shadow Spark. I had MD&D all ready, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The pitching process was the usual query—a short synopsis followed by begging and pleading, and the first few pages of the book. They got back to me in five minutes requesting the full manuscript! They said the line that hooked them was, on page one or two, where Robin says, “Can I peck his f#@%ing eyes out?” I sent the full book, and eventually signed a three-book contract with them.

3.- How did the idea for the Azure Archipielago appear?
I have always been fascinated with pirates and sailing ships. I wanted to create a fantasy world around that kind of tropical, nautical vibe. I also wanted to write a story about the fraying relationship between me and my dad. The two of those things coalesced and formed the basic bones of the series.

4.- I find interesting the blend between more casual elements, and some that you can say are well thought and worked. How would you say it worked?
It’s so hard for me to say how it worked. I think it probably works really well for some people, and not so well for others. I tried really hard to balance the dramatic elements with fun and humor. The book I wrote before this series, The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex, was full-on humor. Pretty much everything in it was played for a laugh. With this series, I wanted to write with a lot more heart. I wanted this struggle between father and daughter to resonate with people, but I can’t resist having humor and fun in my books, too. I hope I was able to walk that line effectively. 

5.- Governor Pratt and his movement of “humans first” seems like an analog to what a certain USA president did IRL. Could you talk us a little bit more on which were your intentions behind this character?
Yes. The comparisons are undeniable and intentional. I didn’t want it to be “in your face,” but I wanted the climate in the League of Islands to have a similar feel to the US. The main conflict in the book is based on my IRL conflict with my dad. He embraced a…certain candidate and ideology right around 2016. This was the start of a huge division between us that lasted for years. I believe writing this book was cathartic. It allowed me to get past my anger. Today, my dad and I are doing much better. We’ve come to an understanding that works for us. I think a lot of people went through similar things in the past few years, and I hope this book can bring them some peace.

6.- Let’s talk about the capybaras. Why those are such prominent animals in this Archipielago?
I just love them. To me, they represent serenity and kindness, two things I (and my characters) strive for. Their vibe really works with the vibe of the Marauders. They seem like they just want to live, let live, and enhance the world around them through being chill and kind. That might be a lot of personification, but that’s the feeling I get from them.

7.- I saw that you have prepared book trailers for both of your books. How would you describe the process of creating them?
I think making the trailers might be more fun than writing the books! My family and I had such a good time with them. The first one was just some costumes and silliness, but in the second, as you know, I tried my hand at LEGO stop-motion. That process was difficult, but fun to learn. I became a student, studying lighting, camera techniques, and animation. I don’t think the final result is very high quality, but I hope it gets the idea of fun across. Since then, I have delved even deeper into the world of stop-motion. I’m now creating a longer, more intricate movie for a future project I’ll talk about in the next question.

8.- What can we expect from K.R.R. Lockhaven in the future?
In the immediate future, I’m doing a cozy fantasy Kickstarter! A book I wrote called Mrs. Covington’s will launch on March 14th. It’s about a small found family as they try to run a failing, capybara-themed pub. I’ll drop a link to a pre-launch page here, if that’s okay…
Other than that, I’ve got book 3 of the Azure Archipelago coming out next year. And after that, I don’t know yet 🙂