Life is an Adventure: An Interview with Ron Lamberson

What is it they say about word-of-mouth referrals? How important they are? I can attest. That’s how  author Ron Lamberson and I “met.” Ron reached out in March 2023 regarding an interview, and he’s been waiting patiently ever since! During that time, he’s been busy writing (among other things) and will be releasing the third book in his popular The Kilimanjaro Club Adventure Series later this summer (read on to find out when). Readers and reviewers enjoy Ron’s books, calling them “action-packed,” “well-written,” “thrilling,” and “a treat for readers interested in travel, romance, and murder.”

Welcome, Ron!

Christina: Your first series features The Kilimanjaro Club, which is “a global network of covert adventurers.” Traveling is something you enjoy very much, but where did the idea for this club originate?

Ron: The initial inspiration was from The Adventurers Club, an amazing nightclub that was part of Disney’s Pleasure Island in Orlando. I loved the interior design, the bizarre characters (club members) who provided entertainment in the club, and the idea of an organization filled with eccentric people from all over the world. The Kilimanjaro Club is its own beast, but my love for The Adventurers Club spurred me to write about it. 

Christina: Readers Favorite said of the first book, A Grave Invitation, “As a plot-centered story, it has a powerful twist that makes the story an appealing must-read for lovers of thrillers and suspense.” How do you go about creating an engaging plot line? What about the twist–how difficult is it to make it believable?

Ron: I wrote A Grave Invitation without an outline—something I no longer do. I really get lost, in the zone, when I’m writing. I wrote 250 words a day and somehow the plot fell into place as I was writing. I attempted the same approach with book two, The Poachers of Immortality, and it was a bit of a nightmare. I had to rewrite the second half of the book, with the help of an outline, to make it work. 

As far as twists go, I spend a lot of time testing them in my head. Would a character take this action? What would a reader question? What seems too far-fetched? There will always be readers who don’t believe. I think it’s fun to force a little suspension of reality. It’s part of why I read. I want an escape, but I don’t want a reader to get thrown out of the story by something preposterous.

Christina: You switched gears a little with your latest book, Heavy Metal Moon, which is Book 1 in The Last Intergalactic Punk series. The book description asks, “Will heavy metal save humanity? Can blistering punk conquer a blood-thirsty alien gangster?” Music can do many things, but save humanity? Maybe. Can you comment?

Ron: Oh, I think music can do anything! There are a few key story elements missing from the blurb that might help answer those questions. That’s why you have to read the book! Heavy Metal Moon is light sci-fi. It’s a comic take on a space opera. I see it as a mix of Guardians of the Galaxy and Saving Private Ryan, with a much less talented group of characters. 

Christina: BlueInk Review compared your work to that of Lee Child and J.D. Dudycha. How did that make you feel? Do you have any other authors you’d love to be compared to?

Ron: Those were mind-blowing! I’m humbled by any comparison with a successful author. Two authors who have always inspired me are Stephen King and Christopher Moore. Very different writers, but so effective. I fell in love with Stephen King because of his characters. They always feel relatable. Christopher Moore is just brilliant. The crazy plots, or sometimes lack thereof, and incredible characters sweep you into another dimension. 

Christina: Every author’s journey to publication is a little different. Will you share some insight into yours?

Ron: I graduated with a degree in creative writing and envisioned myself moving to New York and magically getting published. I moved to New Jersey, got a job in publishing, but soon realized I needed to do something different. I continued writing off and on, but didn’t sit down to write a full novel until 2010 or so. I wrote for a half-hour every night, and a year later, I had a book. That first book was an initial version of A Grave Invitation. I hired one editor and did everything else myself. I sold about 50 copies to friends and relatives. I had a full-time job, two small daughters, and no time to market. I wrote a second novel, The System, in 2012 and followed the same approach. I kicked around The Poachers of Immortality for a few years until I met Kirsten Jensen, a book consultant in Denver. She worked with me to revise the two Kilimanjaro Club books, find professional editors and designers, and properly publish my books. I learn something every day. One of my primary focuses now is to fine-tune my marketing efforts. I’m finishing up the third installment of The Kilimanjaro Club series, which is set to release August 1.

Christina: You once served as an HR professional. What did you learn from that career that you apply to writing?

Ron: I learned how to create villains. While there were certainly good things I experienced over my career, I saw the wicked underbelly of humanity, too. I worked with some people with very few scruples, gigantic egos, and poor decision-making skills. It was disheartening. It is a blast, however, to create the villains. I enjoy writing them the most. 

Christina: When you’re not writing, you’re “struggling to learn guitar, attending concerts, and avoiding injury on the tennis court.” How is the guitar coming along? How many concerts have you attended? How often do you play tennis, and do you prefer singles or doubles?

Ron: Thank you for asking! I have been playing guitar steadily for about twelve years. I continue to improve, but I don’t practice as often as I’d like. I’ve reached the point where I can play the vast majority of songs, to some degree, that I want to learn. It’s a lot of fun. My wife and I love going to shows, so we see anywhere from eight to twelve a year. I think I’ve seen at least 100. I like to play both singles and doubles, but I rarely win playing singles. I play in a 4.0 league with a great bunch of guys. We don’t take it too seriously. We’re all too old for that!

Christina: I personally have an affinity for soft rock from the seventies, but you have an aversion to it. What about it is so offensive to you? How does pop music from the eighties rank? Finally, as a fan of Toto, what did you think about Weezer’s cover of “Africa”?

Ron: I completely respect your musical tastes! For me, I must have some trauma linked to the music of artists like America or Cat Stevens or Bread. My wife can predict it right when a song starts to play. I’m a huge fan of 80s new wave and some hair band rock. Eighties pop is a little hit or miss. Most of it I enjoy. I thought Weezer’s cover was excellent, but Toto’s cover of their song, “Hash Pipe” was even better! 

Christina: What is your literary kryptonite?

Ron: If you’re asking what throws the breaks on my writing process, I’m pretty fortunate. I don’t get writer’s block. Like just about every writer, I can find all kinds of things to help me procrastinate, but I find a way to get back in the chair every day. Once I’m in front of the computer and that document is up, I just fall into the world I’m creating. There are certainly times—almost always when I’m doing something other than writing or in a place to do writing—when I question myself, when I experience imposter syndrome. A weak day of sales. A harsh review. Those things take me a bit to get over, but I don’t dwell on them for more than an hour or so. I’m easily distracted, so my self-doubt gets lost rather easily.

Ron can be found in multiple places!
X: @RonLamberson
Facebook: @ronlambersonauthor

Thanks to Ron for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author or artist who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you would like to be featured), feel free to leave a comment or email me via my contact page.

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