R. Lee Smith lives in Kansas with family.


202 responses to “About

  1. I would love to read Pool as well – have been waiting to buy it actually – do you have any other projects in mind right now – I do enjoy rereading everything you have written already – there are so many layers and there is so much there that they are always fresh and I always catch something I had missed before.

  2. I was wondering if the rest of your books will be made available in paperback (like The Beautiful Dead)?

    Oh, forgot to say I LOVE your books. Beautiful Dead and The Last Hour of Gann were awesome.
    I’m currently reading Heat and can’t get enough!

    • Someday, maybe, but since I’m self-published, I would have to go through a site like createspace, which not only means learning a whole new system of submission formatting, but also means a pretty expensive product. My books are long (the shortest would still be over 300 pages once formatted to paperbook size) and even if I price them at no profit to me, they would be two or even three times what they cost now. So it’s on my list of things to do, because I prefer paperbacks myself, but it just isn’t a priority.

      As for audible books, I don’t see that happening at all.

      • I hope you’ll get to it. With a price that will profit yourself as well. While The Beautiful Dead was a bit expensive I found the price very reasonable and worth it

  3. I love rereading all your books every few months – audible would be wonderful but I know it would take too many narrators with a lot of talent to do them justice – it would be heaven though!

    • Plus, I’d have to figure out how to pronounce some of those words/names before I could tell anyone else how to do it. I designed the bug language in Cottonwood to be unpronounceable by the human mouth, so…yeah.

  4. I concur! And honestly I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more as well (especially for Gann 🙏)! I love your books so much!

  5. Wasn’t sure where the best place to reach you was, but I just wanted to say I really enjoyed Heat, The Last Hour of Gann, and I just finished Scholomance, which surprised me. I actually stumbled onto a sample of Heat years ago and it stuck with me (because like a dummy I forgot to save the sample so I could go back and buy it later). Once I found it, I devoured that book and then Gann rocked my world. Made me wish there was some sort of illustrated guide to go with your work just so I had something else to pour over when I was done.

    Your world building and characterizations are wonderful, and your thoughts on the process are so cool to read. Thanks for writing gritty, full course meals for your readers to savor.

    • *looks at shelf full of sketchbooks and notebooks* Uh…sorry, no illustrated guide to any of my books.

      But thank you! As I’ve said somewhere on this blog before, world-building is usually the primary driving force behind my books. I create the world and the characters and the plot just sort of happens as a side effect.

      • Lol!! I’d totally pour over your sketchbooks. Speaking of, how do you come up with the design for your characters??? I know you’re big on research, but do you find that in terms of character design sketching it out is your go to, or research and drawing from what you find is? I found myself looking into biblical demons wondering if If I’d stumble onto Horuseps (who I loved a little too much, lol), and looking up lizards to see which ones looked the most like the dumaqi (I’ve probably read Gann 4 times at this point just pouring over the details).

        Um… I mean, in a totally non-obsessive way, of course. lol *winces*

      • A number of the demons in the Scholomance were heavily inspired by various myths and legends told of demonic or monstrous entities around the world. I have always had a great interest in that sort of thing…I was a macabre child…but none of them resemble their inspirations so closely that you’d be able to find pictures of them on the internet (at least, not that I’m aware). Horuseps, for example, is one of the tribe of horuspex, which were oracles in ancient Rome who divined the future from the entrails of sacrificed animals. He calls his children the Hori, (“Men believe them to be female…”) which sharp-eyed readers may note bears a resemblance to the Houri, the “dark-eyed virgins” allotted to matyrs in Paradise, as seen through a decidedly dark glass. However, I try really hard not to draw directly from others’ artistic interpretations.

      • Think my comment got lost, but just wanted to say thanks for answering my questions! Your brain is a wonder. It’s actually kind of infuriating because it’s hard to find work that compares when it comes to world building lol. Just as well, I have deadlines and probably can’t afford another Gann-level obsession. Looking forward to what what comes next. Whatever your next book is, I’m sure it’s unique and absorbing. 🙂

      • Sorry if your comment got overlooked. I try to answer all my mail/comments/etc, but I admit I don’t check my blog/email/messages every day (or even every week; bad R Lee) and sometimes it happens. It doesn’t help that I’ve been so wrapped up in the third part of the FNAFic that I barely leave my head. but in any case, thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I’m glad you enjoyed my books and hope you enjoy the next one, whenever and whatever it may be! (Probably The Bone Tree. The Bone Tree or the Bull of Minos.)

    • Ah, you must have missed that announcement. Yeah…as of this time, Pool won’t be published. I have grudgingly accepted that my fandom is mainly comprised of romance readers. Pool is not a romance. Not even a little bit. And since putting out a straight-up horror novel to be read and reviewed by romance readers is tantamount to painting a target on the book and my career both, I have decided not to do that. I hope you understand, but I get enough flak about my “non-traditional formula approach”, ie gore and inhuman pairings, as it is.

  6. Too Bad. I could tell that Pool was not a romance when I read the snippet of it you provided but I was looking forward to it. I love your “non-traditional” formula approach – your inhuman romantic leads don’t have any human counterparts that could do them justice – the typical human romantic lead just doesn’t hold beans to your nonhuman romantic leads. Its funny because the gore and horror in your stories provide the perfect juxtaposition for some pretty incredible love stories – I love the contrast – it makes them stand out and feel that much more powerful. I love powerful contrasts in all areas of life. When I travel I like to take photographs of the old next to the new, ancient next to modern, etc. One of my favorite photos is of a sheep herder in Amman, Jordan – dressed in traditional Bedouin garb, herding his sheep in front of a brand new and modern stand alone Starbucks! Its also funny at our tribal ceremonials in Northern Oklahoma where I am from when our dancers, dressed completely in traditional clothing are holding a handheld fan to keep cool or are drinking a bottle of chilled water – our drum keeper tries to keep these little things out of our ceremonials but it is a losing battle! lol!

    • Yeah, last time I visited a Pow-wow, I was struck by all those dancers in their amazing ceremonial attire, sitting around tapping at their smart phones. I don’t even have a smart phone (or a stupid phone), so the dancers simultaneously represented the old AND the new while I stood outside the wheel of Time entirely.

      When it comes to my books, well, horror is what I read (and the movies I watch and the games I play), so it’s naturally what I write. Or thought I wrote. Apparently, it’s only horror if the monster eats the love-interest by the end of the book. If they both survive, it’s romance. So whatever, right? I’ll write what I write and the right readers will find me. And for the most part, it’s worked out fine. The only problem is, what’s acceptable to the horror genre doesn’t always overlap with what’s acceptable to the romance genre. Maybe someday, I’ll be confident enough to put Pool out there, but right now, it’s just not a smart move. Anyway, there’s plenty of other books in me.

  7. Oh no, you didn’t do anything. I tried to post a response and the internet ate it, so I came back and posted again. It was probably something weird on my end. Really appreciate you taking time out to respond! And if you heard a piercing squeal in the distance don’t be alarmed, that was just me getting too excited about your next projects (Greek mythology! *squeal*).

  8. Can’t wait for your other books. glad you got to attend a pow-wow although what I was talking about was not a pow-wow which is basically a big party and a modern development. I was referring to our tribal ceremonials which are private, restricted and very controlled and which is also why the drum keeper tries to keep the modern out by forbidding even things like hand held fans and bottled water – instead we have water boys who go around with buckets and ladles and use eagle feather fans! lol! No pictures are allowed and no one can dance without a ceremony and permission, etc. etc. Again, can’t wait for your next book.

  9. I hope you will bear with me as I fangirl out for a minute, because in my old age I have realized that people don’t know how much you appreciate what they do unless you tell them. I stumbled upon your work and found myself reading “The Last Hour of Gann” the week after the election, and it completely saved my sanity. I think I read it pretty much every minute I wasn’t at work or driving. Boy howdy, there are some themes in that book that are very relevant to the cultural moment we’re living in! I’ll resist the urge to write a whole essay in this comment, although I definitely held forth about it at length to my workplace book club (I think I said something like, “it’s like if Diana Gabaldon and Kim Stanley Robinson got together, got really into both horror and zoology, and finally got a decent editor who would rein them in a little…”). Anyway, your book made me feel so much less scared and alone at a time when I really needed it, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  10. I just wanted to pop in and tell you that I got my gorgeous paperback copy of The Land of the Beautiful Dead via The Book Depository!
    I was wondering if you had plans to release The Last Hour of Gaan in paperback?
    It’s my absolute favourite book of yours and I know quite a few people who would love to have it on their shelves.
    You’re an extremely talented author!

    -Melody 🙂

    • Yes, plans are in the works, but the person who is doing it for me is dealing with some personal stuff right now and my books are not (and should not be) at the top of her priority list. Hopefully, all my books will be available in paperback by the end of this year. That’s the goal, anyway.

  11. You are a seriously fascinating, unique, talented author. I love your brain. I know you’ve said you are an introvert and also that we are grown-ups and not in the 2nd grade so it’s a little weird and creepy but I’ll still ask – can I be your friend? I’m almost out of your books (I re-read them and ration the few still-new-to-me ones carefully) so I’m trying to get a handle on what “Five Nights At Freddy’s” is about so that I can read your fanfiction series as well. I like horror and never considered myself a “romance” fan at all – though the way you develop and flesh out relationships in your books sings to me. On my 4th read through Gann (should I admit that? and them admit that I will probably read it 4+ more times…) I discovered the “Pool” sample at the end. I’m sad that one won’t be published. But whatever you publish, or write, that you’re willing to share with the world: I will read it. And enjoy it very much. Thank you!

    • Awwww, of course we can be friends! As long as that means I don’t have to leave the house, make phone calls or, you know, keep in touch at all. And don’t be offended, because honestly, that’s how I am around all my friends. Seriously, there are members of my own family that I consider myself very close to who I haven’t seen or spoken to directly in 10 years. I follow them on facebook; that’s friendship. If you want to follow me on FB, I’m there as RLee Smith. Very, very rarely, I will even post something. However, I enjoy reading about my friends’ posts and comment often. Again, I’m a terrible friend when it comes to actual social interaction. I’m the friend you just hang out with in the same room for hours, watching movies or playing games or typing while listening to music.

      • Also, if you do want me to friend you on FB, be sure to message me also so I know who you are. I get lots of random friend requests–everyone does, I’m sure–but if I don’t know who someone is, I don’t accept them. I’d hate to invite you to friend me and then ignore your request. I’m an introvert; not an asshole.

  12. I am flattered and totally happy just to receive such a kind reply because I’m sure you get a lot of fans seeking contact – actually that seems like a pretty awesome, honest way to interact. I sent a fb message but it will probably show up in the message request folder instead of the regular message folder. And thanks again!

      • You are totally not 🙂 – I have a much younger sister (millennial) who keeps me up to speed on all this stuff :). There are so many aspect of social media now to keep up with, and the fb “message request” folder is so easy to miss…

  13. We’d rather you write than spend time on Facebook. It’s a real timesuck, but you should keep up with your friend requests. We’re your fans, and it’s the quickest way to let us know a new book is available. I’ve read them all now and re-read most of them. Eagerly awaiting the next book.

  14. I’ll just keep rereading what you have written and wait with baited breath for your next book! But I must be honest, I can’t wait for more! Reading other books not written by you is like having water for chocolate!

  15. Ms. Lee, I can not thank you enough for writing Last Hour of Gann. I believe you are the first, (and only), writer to make an AD/HD Aspie (i.e. Asperger’s Syndrome of the Autism Spectrum), female the protagonist of a Dystopian story – or possibly any story written ever. The character of Amber perfectly described me (although I am not as gifted verbally), my daughter, and my sister. Your story gave me hope that whatever the future brings, my daughter can handle it. I just have to have faith. Unfortunately, faith is one thing that does not come easy to those of us on the Autism Spectrum. Nor does friendship, social norms, conformity to group social norms or laws (especially ones that we deem irrational and illogical), or blind faith come easy to us either.

    Unlike my sister and daughter, words do not come easy to me. I can not express fully to you how much the character of Amber, and the positive (but realistic) way you portrayed her, meant to me. I am crying as I am writing this. That is how deeply I am touched.

    Thank you for giving me hope in my daughter’s future, and faith in her abilities.

    On a slightly different note, thank you for writing Cottonwood. I used to be a lot like the protagonist, Sarah. I was a County Social Worker exploiting any legal loophole I could find to help out the abused kids on my caseload. Whether it was finding money for more psychotherapy, shoes for gym class, or a sleeping bag and toilet paper (because after high school, they emancipate and are homeless), I fought like crazy to get the kids’ needs met. Suffice it to say, I was quite unliked by my superiors. We fought not just because of how I found ways to provide necessities to the kids on my caseload, but I fought with my superiors constantly about their own discriminatory views, as well as the discriminatory practices of the Agency. Replace “alien bug people” with words like Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, or African-Americans, and you would have described the Agency pretty perfectly. And, kinda like Sarah, I was constantly reprimanded for having a positive attitude and working hard.

    Going back to Last Hour of Gann, I want to personally thank you for normalizing feelings of helplessness, uselessness, being a burden to others, and depression that people feel when they are dealing with a chronic illness, or healing from a serious accident. And, thank you for including situations when a person constantly re-injures themselves, too. Amber always got hurt by pushing herself too hard to help others and/ or trying to save others from harm. She never was hurt on purpose to gain sympathy from others. I really appreciate your candor on this blog about your own chronic health issues. As someone whose right limbs are more metal than human, and who easily re-injures myself constantly, I want to say thank you. Thank you for letting all of us see that our health issues don’t define who we are, and that we are not alone.

    Sorry for writing so much. Believe it or not I have spent months trying to cut this down and rewrite things more succinctly. Unfortunately, this is the best I could do.

    Thank you again for all of your wonderful stories. Thank you for being you

    • I rarely know how to respond to compliments of any sort, but wow, your message has truly left me at a loss for words. Still, I have to try, so let me start by saying I’m both proud and humbled (a surprisingly easy contradiction to achieve) that you could be so moved by one of my books. As a writer, the highest praise I can receive is to hear that a reader saw herself/himself reflected in one of my characters. So thank you for reaching out to me. Having grown up noodling around with words for fun, I think I’ve come to take many of the pleasures of writing for granted, whereas the pleasures of publishing reveal themselves constantly. One of the most unexpected of these has been the singular privilege of getting to know my readers and hearing about the impact, great and small, that my books have made in their lives. Thank you again (and again and again) for taking the time to write to me. It has been an honor to share my worlds with you and I hope to do so again in the future.

  16. Thank you for your response. I think everyone wants to read a story about a protagonist like them. Thank you for being brave enough to fill that niche!

    Talking about being brave, it is nice to meet another “girl gamer.” But, I am not brave enough to play FNAF. I enjoy reading your fanfiction about it, though. Any time you want to play a Valve game on Steam, I’ll happily join you. But FNAF is where I draw the line. Chuck E Cheese in the 1980’s was just too traumatizing!

    Please know that you touch your readers hearts, even if we don’t all tell you.

    Take care and I look forward to reading where ever your muse takes you!

  17. I’m not sure if this has been answered, does anyone know if there will be a sequel to The Last Hour of Gann? I’m tired of reading it over and over! I LOVE that book!

    • Glad to hear you liked it, but no, there are no plans at present to write any sequels (with the possible exception of a set of Lords of Arcadia novellas. Maybe. Still weighing the possibilities on that one). Just as a general rule, when the story is part of series, I release it as Part One/Book One/Volume One of a series and when story is done, it’s done. And that one’s done. Believe me, I ‘m a little sad too.

  18. Greetings and salutations!
    Wanted to drop by and tell you how much I’m enjoying your FNAF fiction. And to thank your family for convincing you to post it.
    I could go on and on about how much I’m enjoying it, buuuut I kinda already did that on the other site. *blush*
    Seriously, I really love it and I’m looking forward to further installments. It’s wonderful and awful and dark and beautifully written.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Hey, and thanks for stopping off here to leave this comment, so I can actually reply to it! Fanfiction.net just barely posted your comment yesterday, although I got the notification several days ago. Love the site and all that, but they have lost dozens of comments into the Abyss of Lost Data. It is so discouraging to see only 60-70 comments on that story when I have over 200 notifications of comments in my inbox. I know I’m not the only person with this problem…but I’m the only one I care about, so…

      Anyway, enough about my and my ego. Thanks, sincerely, for your remarks. I’m really glad so many of my readers have been giving that book a shot, especially since it’s the sort of thing that I would never try to publish otherwise. I get enough grief over how dark my books get without throwing in a straight-up child predator. Not to mention Ana’s drug use. Double-not to mention the fact that it’s a million pages long. Seriously, I do not know when to shut up. I think I have a problem.

  19. Hello!
    I’ve been a fan of your writing ever since I read The Last Hour of Gann in January of last year (which I found through Smart Bitches Trashy Books). I’m sure you get this all the time, but your writing is truly phenomenal, and you’ve had such an impact on my life. It’s no small feat to write a book that can distract a person from something that otherwise consumes her life. And your writing has been more than a distraction–it’s brought me to another plane of existence entirely and given me no choice but to forget my own problems, at least while I’m reading. My boyfriend will never forget the day he came to my house and found me bawling on my bed as I read Cottonwood.

    I’m still reading through all of your work, and currently working on your FNAF Fanfic. The fact that you’ve made me ship the heroine with a robot bunny is beyond my understanding.

    Thank you so much for the service you’ve provided. You have inspired me to finally write my first novel, which I am now querying agents about. I can only hope that, someday, I might be able to provide a similar service to others that you have provided me!

    That being said, I have been dying to know–firstly, any plans for audiobook versions of your stuff? I’ve been desperate to make some people read your books, but many of them can only read in audiobook format.

    Secondly, can you please settle this debate between me and my friend? How on Earth do you pronounce Saoq?

    Thanks again, and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. You’re amazing!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and support! I’m thrilled to be credited as one of your inspirations! If you’d like an author’s spotlight on this blog for my tens and tens of loyal followers to see, please let me know! Now, to your questions!

      Nope, no plans to release audiobooks. Not only do I have no idea how to even do something like that as a self-published author, I can only imagine it would be a nightmare for the voice actors to have to struggle through the names in works like Olivia or Gann.

      As for the proper pronunciation of saoq, remember that you first need a bifurcated trachea and a resonance chamber, and then that it’s a tonal language so how you say it changes its entire meaning. As a human, the closest you can come is to pronounce ‘sao’ to rhyme with cow, and ‘oq’ to rhyme with hawk, then blend them together into ONE syllable: saoq. Hope that helps!

  20. I adore your books, even more your world-weaving, building, and the ingenuity of its creation. I hit up Heat this past Summer, fell in-love with Kane (A serial killer/rapist) at that and was hooked. I went onto the Scholomance and was breathlessly taken away. Regardless of how horrible it was, I wanted to go there myself, and endure the horrors. I’m a horror lover more than I am a romance lover and I it has been a blast discovering your writing (There is only so many times I can rewatch The Ring before the creep disappears). It reminds me of the time I bought a long black wig and scared my mother half-to death while she did the dishes. Or as a horrible child, placed fake roaches around the house for my parents to find at night. Love and horror goes hand-in-hand for me and I’m glad I’m not the only one. I turned my sister onto your books and since then we have been buddy-reading them together. Although I have read, and know, that you won’t release Pool, I hope that someday you write another book like the Scholomance. It was brilliant, And I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to read your Five Nights at Freddy’s fan fiction when it’s done (I refuse to get hooked until then. (I know better) I learned that lesson with George RR Martin and Rothfuss). Until then, I will wait patiently for your next release. As I will wait patiently for the DLC of Dark Souls III and for Alien Covenant. I hope you write for the rest of your life, because this world Needs you, at least us weirdos do. Happy Horrible, Spring’s Eve.

    • So sorry for the long silence. I try to answer all my messages, but some stuff slips by me.

      Ah, Dark Souls III. Loved it even more than Bloodborne and I friggin’ LOVED Bloodborne. The creature concept design in that series is beyond amazing. And then there was RE Biohazard, which came out of nowhere and actually made that franchise awesome again! RE was my childhood and what they’ve done to that series is almost Sonic-levels of fail, but Biohazard, you have redeemed it!

  21. I just wanted to say that I cannot even comprehend your thought process and how many worlds you are able to make. Huge fan. I started with land of the beautiful dead, and now I’m working my way through. That one though, that one just shocked, entertained and kept me reading way into wee hours. Your writing is so far out of my norm that I surprised myself how much I love your books. Thank you for keeping this brain thinking, guessing, smiling, cringing and all in all a big fan from a little ways away in Western Australia.

  22. Just wanted to say, I just finished The Last Hour of Gann like 20 minutes ago (after reading it obsessively the past 3 days…seriously, I was up all night and didn’t even notice until the bleary sun stung my gross, unshowered body), and holy tits of Mary, it is literally one of the best books I have ever read, and I read a lot. I am one of those people that (begrudgingly) has a soft spot for a love story, but at the same time, fucking loathes sappy, half-baked romances. Which basically roots out like 95% of the ‘romance’ genre, because I’m a stickler for realism and character development. Your book was pretty much perfection in that department.

    That being said, I wouldn’t even want to classify your amazing novel as a romance, because that feels like a slight, an injustice. I consider your work a shining beacon of not only romance done right, but a masterpiece of literature. Sure, it ain’t Camus or Hawthorne, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t brilliant, vibrantly complex, symbolic, and meaningful. Your grasp on people (whether they’re lizard or ape people) and their nature is so profoundly, perfectly understood, and it really gives me hope for the future of this blighted species, because let me tell you, my whole life, I’ve seen nothing but Scott and Nicci and all of their enablers in my fellow human kin. Your book taught me something very, very important, and that is to forgive, or, if nothing else, to be compassionate. Because if I were in Amber’s place, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t have flayed Scott three times over. And that, right there, makes me no better than him.

    People may say your book is bad because it’s too rapey or misogynistic or whatever other kind of pea-brained, weak inanity you’ll hear from the same kind of bitches that gauge a book’s value on whether or not it has a shiny little pseudomedal on it or if their halfwit talk show clone recommends it. To those people, though, I say, they simply aren’t mature enough to grasp it and should go back to reading Fifty Shades and fuck themselves with their electric toothbrushes.

    Sorry if this is long-winded and caustic, I’m a bit of a rambler, but long story short, your book wowed me, and I fancy myself having pretty high standards. I think it’s a crying shame you’re still self-published, because frankly, you write better than most of the authors I’ve perused at my local bookstore. Thank you for being you, and for writing such an epic novel. It will stay with me for a long, long time.

    Fair winds.

    • Wow. Just…wow. After reading this, I should have an amazingly witty response, but all I can think is, who can read Fifty Shades and think MY books are rapey? FSoG is the rapiest thing I ever read in my damn life.

      Anyway, thank you so much for your aggressively encouraging words!

      • You are very welcome. I am not usually a complimenty type of person, but you really got one out of me. And I totally agree on the 50 Shades thing. I guess the inane logic is that 50 Shades is BDSM, therefore, it cannot be rape. Or something.

    • Hey, Tamara, what do you have against electric toothbrushes? I wouldn’t be caught dead with 50 Shades. I agree with your assessment of LHOG. I read it continuously for three days, sleeping only when I had to. Good thing I had two devices to read on so I could swap the out when the battery died.

    • Tamara I loved your review because I agree with everything you say – I have been praising The Last Hour of Gann ever since I first read it about 2 years ago and everytime I’ve read it again since – it is amazing – a true epic – I love all of r lee smith’s books – have you read Heat, the Lords of Arcadia series, Scholomance, Cottonwood, Land of the Beautiful Dead yet – they will all blow you away – I have been searching and searching for something of equal quality – but haven’t found anyone as good as r lee smith and nothing as profound and well written as her books are – I keep rereading them every few months waiting with bated breath for her next book to come out and trying to find her equal but haven’t yet.

      • I am on the final 4% of The Land of the Beautiful Dead. Oof. Very, very different from The Last Hour, but a beautiful story nevertheless. Once again, R Lee Smith displays a very good handle of human nature, and love. Jesus. My stomach is all knotted up, dreading what I’m sure you know of. I’m definitely going to read all of her books, but which do you recommend next?

  23. R Lee Smith, if you have Facebook, or a way to go on Facebook, can you search up “Interview with an Alien from area 51.” I hope you find the video I am referring to.

    It instantly reminded me of you and I thought that if you wrote a spin-off of that video, it would just be such a fantastic story-line!! Gah! I want to read this imaginary story already!

    • Hmmm…can’t find it on FB….or more likely, I’m just not familiar enough with Fb’s platform search engine. Is it a Youtube video? I might have better luck finding it there.

      • Yes, if you search the same thing (Interview with an Alien from area 51), you will be able to find it. It should be the first result or the second. It’s only about 4-5 minutes long, and it’s about an alien answering some questions.

        You’ll have to watch the video to understand what I’m going to say next (So watch it first).
        If you just imagine the video to be real, I can see you writing about that so this is what I cooked up in my brain as a result:

        Say, the alien has a very long life span because he’s an evolved life form, and he comes back to the past to observe the old earth for whatever reason. And say, the person interviewing the alien is a girl (you can probably see where I’m going with that) who works in journalism. She tries to tell the world about what the alien from the future is saying but, of course, the government does not allow it. So she’s on the run with the alien to spread his word out there, blah blah blah, things happen aka love, blah blah blah, public panic increases because people learn about the alien and maybe nuclear war breaks out. People kill each other and exactly what the alien was saying is what happens. He tries to protect the girl, or maybe the science he knows in the futures allows him to help mutate the girl into a being similar to him. Their evolved form allows them protection from the nuclear chemicals being used, and they watch humanity kill itself. They go back to the future and lived happily ever after.

        Okay, kind of silly and I don’t know if that’s what you would have imagined, but I guess the whole point of my message was to let you know that I thought of you when I watched that video 🙂

        P.S. If that inspires you to write a story, please let me have a sneak peak of it (LOL!).

  24. Hello!

    I will be reviewing 2 of your books on my site LoveStoryReads.com soon but I wanted to pop on here and check out the website of this amazing epic unheard of writer that I stumbled upon. I saw some questionable comments on here, and I get it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I felt a strong urge to comment before writing my review.

    Wow. That’s literally what comes to mind when I think of the 2 books I have read in the past week of yours. I read “The Last Hour of Gann” followed by “Land of the Beautiful Dead.” LOTBD becoming a new favorite of mine forever.

    Thank you for writing these works and inviting us readers into your world for a short time. You could have selfishly kept these stories to yourself but I’m so grateful you didn’t.Both are very long AND I LOVE THAT SO MUCH. KEEP WRITING LONG EPIC NOVELS PLEASE. Okay.. sorry, excitement.

    I first read TLHOF. I had no idea what to expect. I just wanted something different and stumbled across it on Good Reads. I won’t lie part 2 was not my favorite part. Nothing to do with your writing but I’m just a person who doesn’t do well with many names I can’t pronounce being thrown at me all at one time and there was a lot of that here. You could skip part 2 and the story would still continue wonderfully.

    TLHOF was a whirlwind. It had everything you could think of.. action, romance (slow burn at that which is the best kind!), fantasy, erotica, science, swords, survival, religion, lust, angst, and yes, rape. RAPE. I said it. It’s not a taboo people. It happens. It’s not suppose to be easy to read. It’s suppose to make you angry, upset, and uncomfortable. R Lee did this perfectly! Why people get upset about that, I don’t understand. Sex is a big part of all cultures, even animals. Why would you think lizardmen would not be curious of sex with a female? They are men.. and animals.. they are living.. and they have these female alien prisoners. They want to have their fun and their curiosity is peaked. Point is, it was a raw element in the story and if you were uncomfortable by it, you could have easily skipped over it and moved on and summed up those paragraphs as so-and-so was raped.

    ANYHOW, I enjoyed this story. I was wrapped up in the survival of the characters and then in the romance and then back and forth. I cried, I laughed, I even put the book down and wished things to happen to certain characters, and then I cried harder. The book felt like 2 books.. not to spoil or give too much away but once they were in the mountains living in the cave (if you know what I mean) it felt like a different story from then on. Not bad or anything, just different and then when everyone was back together it felt like the first book again. The second half of the book is definitely more gritty and violent so I will say that as a warning to readers.

    Bottom line.. I truly enjoyed this book. I will be rating it a 4/5 on my blog when I do post the review.

    So after reading TLHOF I was curious about your other works and the synopsis of most seemed a bit out there (I’ve never really read much scifi romance/ interspecies romance / etc. you have taken this virginity of mine!). Reviews matter and the reviews for “Land of the Beautiful Dead” really excited me and so I read it.

    Man, did I love this book.. LOVE. Please write more like this. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the humor, the angst, and the kind of surprising romance that made my toes curl many times. I loved Azrael. I loved Lan (most of the time).

    This book is a slow burn romance in a time where sex is used as a way to barter these 2 very unlikely different people find themselves falling in love without trying or wanting to. He’s a zombie/undead king of sorts if you want to label him and she’s just a plain Jane farm girl reminded often of how beautiful she is by many in the book.. but not Azrael. He finds her beautiful, always.

    R Lee made me cry, laugh, want to kick something, and cry harder than I thought over a zombie/girl romance. Truly. I balled my eyes out like a baby and I don’t care who knows it. She made these two characters perceived by all as “ugly” in a world where they were surrounded by undead beautiful and flawless individuals, beautiful. I found myself overlooking the scars, bones, and rings that made Azrael’s body and find myself just smitten with him and dare I say I found him.. sexy, desirable, and a hundred other words to mean the same. This is talent you talented creature.

    The only thing I didn’t like about this book was why she initially went there. It just seemed unrealistic to me.. she came off kind of dumb from that initial moment. But as I read you find out she isn’t book smart at all but she isn’t dumb. She’s resourceful and she has a huge heart. She worries about all the living and none give two shits about her. But at the same time this is a huge part of what made Lan.. Lan. It gave her something to live for when she felt she had no purpose in life.

    Bottom line.. I truly loved this book. I will be rating it a 5/5 on my blog and labeling it as a favorite when I do post the review.

    I enjoyed both books. I recommend them to whomever is looking for something different to read. I would recommend “Land of the Beautiful Dead” over “The Last Hour of Gann” simply because I truly got so wrapped up in the story and it made me feel so much and I would like others to experience that.

    And I have come to realize this post is far longer than I expected to write but oh well, I mean every word.

    P.S. If you write another similar to “Land of the Beautiful Dead” I will be the first to buy it. 🙂

    • Wow. No lie, I came home from the hospital today after unexpected surgery and this was an awesome thing to come home to. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave these comments. I truly do appreciate the support and encouragement.

      • !!! I’m so glad. I truly meant all I said. I noticed their are many typos but my urge and excitement to write this kept me from proofreading. I suppose this is why you are the writer and I am not. hehe.

        I look forward to reading more of your works. But seriously.. “Land of the Beautiful Dead” .. I felt that story in my heart. My heart ache in those final chapters. It was so beautifully written and the prologue was the icing to the cake. Part of me was bummed to find the story did not have a sequel simply because I did not want the story of Azrael and Lan to end.

        I hope you feel better soon and wish you a quick recovery. x

  25. Great review! I’m sure over the years I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books and TLotBD stands alone was the best book ever!! For all the reasons you mention!

  26. Pingback: Review: The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith – Rough Draft Book Blog

  27. I just left a well deserved sparkling review of your book Land if the Beautiful Dead. I couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste it for you. To say I was completely impressed is an understatement. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in decades. I’m sure whoever reads the review at Amazon will be completely shocked since I’m known to be a voracious reader that delivers well deserved scathing reports on complete drivel. Since I am sick again this morning, and probably looking forward to yet another hospital stay chock full of drugs, I will be reading probably everything you’ve written in short order to brighten my life. Hospital nurses have taken to ignoring my phone now that they know I bite and only read on it. Thank you so much for giving me an escape to my impending boredom and current and continuing nausea. If you have any suggestions for other equally good authors please let me know. I tend to burn through books at one a day. Yours took two since Lan is such a difficult but interesting personality. I’m actually really happy about that since I unintentionally speed read. I hope you write many, many more books. When my kids are older I’ll make them read them in the hopes they will love them as much as I do. Ooh! They just sent me a copy:

    Land of the Beautiful Dead

    November 23, 2017

    This is not an easy book to read. It is full of conflict, sex and pain. She offsets all the bad with a growing love and hope at the end. The fact that she has well above average college level writing technique takes it from a good story to an epic journey. I cried at the last chapter. That never happens as anyone who knows me can tell you especially since I am known for giving well deserved scathing reviews. This book is one of the best I’ve read in a decade since poorly written soft porn with no plot became the norm. I didn’t find one typo not there on purpose, one scene that hadn’t been carefully thought out or any blatantly stupid pandering to the current fad. If all her books are like this I will read every single one and wait impatiently for the next to be written.

    • Thank you very much for your support and encouragement! I haven’t spent much time in hospitals as a patient, but the time I HAVE spent has been more than enough to teach me the value of escapism. And if you can’t hitch a ride with a magical morphine bison, then read a book. I’m honored to have been your way out.

      I feel weird recommending books, because I read more horror stuff and apparently write romance. So I recommend authors like by Stephen King, HP Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman (I would anything by them; Dean Koontz and Peter Straub are also pretty good, but their books seem to hit and miss with me). As for individual books, The Road by Cormack McCarthy is phenomenal, but bleak as hell (brutal and unrelenting are hallmarks of all his books, which I like, but others may not; No Country For Old Men was another of his, as is Blood Meridian). House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, creepy af, just really builds and holds an atmosphere.

      If you’re looking for Other-normal romance, I can direct you to my friends Tiffany Roberts or Bridget Blackwood, both of whom will surely be able to lead you to other talented writers.

  28. Hi, just wanted to say that I absolutely love all your books. I can’t wait till the 4th book in the FNAF Fanfiction starts to come out but was wondering if you have anymore books coming out soon?

    • Okay, first, sorry to take so long to answer you. I’m terrible at checking this blog.

      As for your question, I just barely finished Tooth and Claw and published it last month. I have a number of short stories floating around my computer and if I can put enough of them together to make a decent collection, I might put something else out this year, but right now, I’m focused on the fanfic. New chapters should be coming soon!

  29. Hey! Just wanted to pop by on your blog. Loved your books, they are my absolute favorite in all the world, completely and totally. Especially Land of The Beautiful Dead. Ugh, my heart strings…

    I kinda wanted to ask you two questions that have me (a writer) curious. How do you world build? Is there a process you have? Steps? Questions you ask yourself? I guess what I’m really trying to say is– how do you build a world without dumping all this exposition on the reader’s head?
    The worlds you create are introduced naturally to the reader and gradually grow larger and larger, without feeling suffocating or confusing at all. It a wonderful and immersive feeling. I wish I could write like that.

    Also second question, totally off topic ha, is your FNAF fan fiction a romance? I started reading it and I saw the tags, and Ana seems interested in Bonnie, but I wasn’t sure. Is their romance? And if there is, is it between Bonnie, Freddie, or another character? I’m sorry I’m asking. I should just read the damn thing, romance or not, but I feel a little scared to dive into the deep end without knowing first haha.

    Anyway, I saw your most recent post and congrats on Dobby’s adoption! And I know how you feel. A few years back, I went to the Humane Society (a no-kill shelter) to adopt a cat and the lady there wasn’t the parting type.
    Told me and my Aunt we couldn’t get certain cats for certain ‘reasons’ (oh- these two are brothers they need to stay together, oh he’s declawed, of she’s too old, blah) And when I applied online for a cat, one lady (who lived 100 miles away) said she needed to conduct a home visit if I really wanted to adopt one. When I told her where I lived she wasn’t too keen on getting in her car and making the trip, ha. I was willing to, but she wasn’t. And she wasn’t willing to let me adopt without a home visit. Ugh.

    Anyway, I ended up going to my local kill shelter. (yes bad I know) They were having a two for one special on kittens for twenty dollars. I bought my cat for twenty fricking dollars. Shots, neutered and all. Geez they were practically giving them away. I still have her and god– she sometimes ACTS like a twenty dollar cat. She’s my little garbage baby.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you put out next. I’m a loyal fan until the end! And I’m looking forward to your FNAF post in June! Maybe I’ll be caught up by then haha. ❤

    • How fortuitous! Here I am, sternly telling myself to stop lazing around YouTube and do some blogging, trying to think of something to blog about, and you drop this on me. Heck, I can talk about worldbuilding all day and night and then some, so if you don’t mind, I’ll answer your first question in a blog post.

      As for your second question, yes, although I hesitate to call Everything Is All Right a ‘romance’ (I think of it as horror first), it does have that element, and in Book Four, we’re going to start seeing that Strong Sexual Content I promised in the trigger warning. I realize that tag may have led some readers to expect a lot more boot-knocking, but the FNAF fandom demographic is considerably younger than my usual readers, and probably pretty evenly split between those who do NOT want to see sex of any kind, let alone the explicit flavor, in their FNAF fanfictions and those who, to be brutally honest, are probably only reading it for that reason. In either case, it’s important to put that tag out there so people know what they’re getting well in advance.

      And as for your shelter story….”Too old?” Who the heck refuses to let someone adopt an animal because said animal is ‘too old?’ Senior animals need the most love at shelters, in my opinion. I actually prefer to adopt seniors whenever possible, because they, like me, understand and appreciate the simple pleasures of sitting around the house all day watching Bob Ross and snacking. But I hear you. In the Great Dog Quest of 2004, we visited dozens of shelters across two states and overwhelmingly, the no-kill shelters were really just a thin disguise for pet hoarders. Like, I’m sorry to all you totally upright no-kill shelters out there, I’m sure you exist, but the ones I saw involved way too many animals in pretty sorry condition operated by someone who clearly did not want to let any of them go and were very vaguely hostile to potential adopters. On the other side of the coin, kill-shelters seem by and large to be mostly $$-driven. Large dogs barely get a chance and small dogs are ridiculously over-priced. I still believe in supporting my local shelters, but dang people, you could make it a little easier.

      Anyway, thanks so much for dropping by! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my books (so far) and appreciate your support. On to my world-building blog!

      • Wow, a whole blog post! I kinda feel special now! Ha, this made my day. And it’s funny cause I was just on YouTube too, thinking about how I should be busy revising my next chapter instead of just laying in bed–with the computer up to my chin–watching some girl attempt a dutch braid tutorial. (its safe to say I’ll never know how to braid hair, mine or anyone else’s)

        Anyway, If you ever need something to blog about, just ask me. I have a TON of writing questions. Just– waaay too many. Sometimes I try to ask other people (friends/family) about these sort of things, but they either have no idea what I’m talking about or they don’t really care, lol. So I’m just happy you’re here to save me.

        Also thanks for writing me back! We introverts got to stick together! (in the safety of our own beds, a thousand miles away, and over the internet ha.)

  30. I think what I love best about your books is the sociological aspect. That’s what elevates a mundane horror/creature book into a suberb slide into an alternate reality. Thank you so, I’ve got everything of yours I can find, and The Last Hour of Gannon’s my favorite. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  31. Hey, R. Lee. Smith. Just wanted to say that Land of the Beautiful Dead and The Last Hour of Gann are masterpieces. Don’t get me wrong, all your stuff is brilliant (Kane is a character I honestly won’t ever forget lol i love that psycho face ) but those two are just my all time faves. I’m always like, “read land of the beautiful dead, it’s like beauty and the beast… with zombies!” Or “read the Last Hour of Gann it has… sexy lizards…and stuff!” What I’m trying to say is that I can’t really do your work justice in a synopsis, but I’m still trying to get people to read your books.

  32. I know you’re bound to be tired of hearing it by now, but I’m compelled to say it – +1 voice to the chorus of people who would love to read Pool someday! I just finished (and loved) Gann, and I loved reading The Descent/Deeper by Jeff Long, so the thought of a cave creature book from you is really amazing no matter what genre it is.

  33. Could you pretty please consider printing The Last Hour of Gann in paperback like The Beautiful Dead (which I bought as well!) some time soon? One of the things on my bucket list is to own 100 of my favourite books. I’ve read the e-book for Gann 5 times already! It’s definitely one of my most favourite books. I know it’s super big and would be costly and you might even need to split it into 2 books, but I must have this in my hands regardless of price (make sure that it would profit you too!).

    • That one is next on the list, actually. I know I’ve been saying for over a year that I’m going to get all my books up on CreateSpace, but this looks like the year that I actually make it happen. I’ve got someone working on it as we speak.

      • OMG YAASSS!! Thank you ❤ I'm super excited for this. Where will you be announcing this so I know when it releases?

      • Just ordered it! $18.00 is nothing though.. I’m surprised, but I guess you know what’s best. Thank you so much ❤

  34. I am so lame. I just discovered LotBD is available in print. How I didn’t know this escapes me. Of course I bought it since it’s my favorite book ever! I rarely buy dead tree copies of books any longer but this is one I couldn’t pass up even if it did cost me price of five Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Thanks for making a print copy available.

  35. Hi! I’m in the beginning-middle of Last Hour of Gann and love it so far!! But I was wondering, do you have like any specific character or sketches of Meoraq? I’ve read your description of him a couple times, and have even googled “lizard man” but am struggling to put a “face” on him.

    Anyhow, if you do and could share it that would be great! If not that’s cool too. I’m relatively new to your work, Heat being my first read from you, but your work is excellent so far thank you!

    • I’m not quite confident enough yet to share my personal sketches of Meoraq. However, if you join up over at the R Lee Smith Book Club on Facebook, they have a whole album full of ‘inspirational’ pics of many of my characters from all my books, and I pop on by from time to time to comment on my favs.

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