· Crazy is Normal a classroom exposť
· My Splendid Concubine, 3rd edition
· Running with the Enemy
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 13
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 12
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 11
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 10
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 9
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 8
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 7
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 6
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 5
· Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposť, Scene 4
· The Improvement of U.S. Public Schools
· Learning Twitter for Authors
· Discover how Amazon changed book cover design
· Authors Finding Readers
· How I sold almost 2,000 books in twenty hours TWICE
· It is Time Ė Relief for Victims of Lone-Wolf Killers such as James Holmes
· Living on the thin side of Black Ice
· Getting Oriented
· Learning to Love and Hate while teaching ESL in the Middle Kingdom
· The Release of The Concubine Saga is another Cheap Marketing Ploy
· The birth of a child called Prose
· The Luxury of Heartache
· Learning from Death
· Putting Cupid's Arrows on Ice
· The Never-Ending Book Promotion Blues
· Walking the Path of Dead Explorers
· LIttle No More
· M. Denise Costello reviews Crazy is Normal
· On Tour: Crazy is Normal, a classroom expose
· Comparing a virtual book tour to the traditional, and why go on a book tour
· ďCrazy is NormalĒ on a Virtual Book Blog Tour
· ďCrazy is NormalĒ on a Virtual Book Blog Tour
· ďCrazy is NormalĒ on a Virtual Book Blog Tour
· Running with the Enemy
Lloyd Lofthouse, click here
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Blogs by Lloyd Lofthouse
5/16/2008 2:32:20 PM
This was an interesting week. On Monday I was waiting for a call from the talk show I was scheduled to be on. I almost missed it. One minute past the scheduled time, I checked my notes. I was supposed to call them. I did. Cable Radio Network broadcasts to 425 markets. Tuesday, I was live for twenty minutes on KGAB-AM 650 out of Denver,CO; Tuesday night I taped twenty minutes with the "Smith and Riley" radio show out of Orlando, FL on WFLF-AM (50,000 watts--I've been a guest on their show before), and on Thursday I was live for twenty minutes with John Carney out of St. Louis, MO on KMOX-AM 1120. Friday, my first Interview was posted on the Internet. That's what I'm using for todays Blog Entry. That Interview.
A Enlightening Time with Lloyd Lofthouse
I recently picked up this book not knowing what to expect from it. After reading "My Splendid Concubine", I have to say it was outstanding. The writing style of Mr. Lofthouse took me to another place that most people never get to experience. I hope after reading this interview you will consider checking out My Splendid Concubine for yourself.
I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.
Explain what a day in the life of an author is like?
Each author is different. My wife is also an author. My wifeís day is different from mine and no two days are the same for either of us. My father-in-law is also a published author (but only in China). When he is visiting us in the States, he works endless hours in his room on his Chinese publications. He has published hundreds of articles on astronomy in magazines and newspapers all over China and is a noted expert there on the subject. He even has a star that he discovered named after him. He works all hours without let up. He only stops to eat and sleep. He even watches television while he is working on one of his astronomy pop-up books.
On the other hand, my wife and I start each day with exercise. Then she usually does a bit of gardening and eventually settles down to write for a few hours and ends the day with more gardening. Since Anchee works to a contractual deadline, her work day grows as the deadline nears.
My work day starts out more relaxed. When I was still a classroom teacher, I wrote weekends and sometimes at three in the morning. Now I wrote whenever Iím free or feel like it.
Since Concubine came out in December I havenít been doing much writing. Iíve spent more time promoting the novel than working on the sequel, "Elegy for a Concubine". If it werenít for the small writing group that I belong to, I wouldnít be writing at all. All of my free time would be going toward promotion. However, since Iím getting chapters from the other writers, I feel compelled to take advantage of the valuable feedback I receive from them. It helps to belong to a group of dedicated writers that support each other.
How long does it take from start to finish to complete a book?
I started "My Splendid Concubine" in 1999 and finished the first version by 2001 when I first attempted to market it. No luck, so I returned to the drawing board and went much deeper into Chinese culture and history. I finished the current published version a few months ago after extensive revisions and rewrites for six years. During that six years, there were several research trips to China and a lot of study of Chinaís history (an ongoing process that may never end). The final revision of Concubine changed the novel from first person into third.
Describe your books in one sentence.
Iím tempted to pull a Faulkner here. He wrote one sentence in the "Sun Also Rises" that ran for sixty pages. Since Robert Hart is not like the main character of Faulknerís novel, I will resist that temptation.
Here goes: ďDue to one devout Christianís bitter sweet love affair with a Chinese boat girl, he learns to understand her culture and people in ways that few from the West will ever attain (even today) for him it was a journey to hell and back.Ē
Whose books do you like to read?
Iíve read thousands of books in my life. When I was in high school, I managed to read two a day--mostly science fiction and fantasy. The one author that stays with me from my high school years is Ursula K. LeGuin.
Later, I read many westerns like Louis LíAmourís work.
This answer could be endless, so I will stick to my favorites. I love James Lee Burkeís work and hope he lives a long time. Iíve read Michael Chabon and have most of his books waiting (Iím about three years behind in my reading. I buy books faster than I read them). John Dunning is another author I admire. Iíve read Lord of the Rings three times--the first time in Vietnam. I also read Riceís "Interview with a Vampire" over there. My favorite Vietnam memoir is "Chickenhawk" by Robert Mason. If you want to taste war without going, I recommend that book. I donít recommend war. Iíve been there. Another author worth reading is Patrick OíBrian. I have all of his Aubrey/Maturin Novels.
When I was earning my MFA, I focused on twentieth century American writers. I admire Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I wrote a paper on both of them.
Currently Iím focusing on the writers that belong to another writers group I recently joined, the IAG, Independent Authors Guild. Right now Iím reading "The Confederate War Bonnet" by Jack Shakely. When I finish his historical, I will write a readerís review and post it on Amazon and on my own Website at
I have a page there for new writers. War Bonnet is about a chapter in the American Civil War I was unaware of, and Iíve read dozens of books about the Civil War and never heard this story. Itís excellent. Iím only half way through Shakelyís novel and it has already earned five stars from me.
Do you follow any rules when writing your books?
Discipline; to stick with it even if that means getting up at three in the morning to write. Never give up. If you give up, it wasnít meant to be.
I recently finished reading My Splendid Concubine and enjoyed it very much. I have to admit that I did not know much about Sir Robert Hart. Can you explain what you were feeling when you wrote My Splendid Concubine.
Concubine started out as a love story and it grew wings and become a novel of discovery--one manís journey to discover and fall in love with a culture alien to his own while retaining his own religion and beliefs. I donít know how he did it but he did. Thatís what makes him a unique individual--a man worth knowing about.
At the beginning of the book in the foreword by Anchee Min it was mentioned that it took you 9 years to complete this book and that it was a labor of love. I could definitely tell that from reading "My Splendid Concubine". So do you feel like you have accomplished what you wanted with this novel?
Yes. The feedback Iím getting from bookstore owners, readers and reviews is telling me I achieved my goal.
I read that you have a second home in Shanghai, China. I know from reading My Splendid Concubine that I got to read what it was like living in China for Sir Robert Hart but what is it like living there for you and your family?
China is an amazing country and culture that most people in the West do not understand. The stereotype of China that is alive and ďsickĒ in the West today is one that has carried over from Maoís twenty-seven years as the brutal Modern Emperor of China. Todayís China is not Maoís China.
Today, China is a thriving, capitalistic market economy that is driving a country ruled by the largest political party in the world (seventy million members)--a party that has term limits and an age limit for the elected officials (something we donĎt even have in America and we should have it).
I suggest that everyone in the West that does not know the China I know erase the stereotype lodged in their brains and start to read. Read "My Splendid Concubine" to discover what Robert Hart discovered; read "China: Portrait of a People" by Thomas Antoni Carter (thereís a link on my Website for this book--a true masterpiece); read the May/June issue of Good magazine but do not believe what the Dalai Lamaís prime minister in exile says in the interview with him; read this monthís National Geographic special on China; read this issue of Poets&Writers magazine--they have a piece on the literary scene in China. After you have done your homework by finishing this list, travel to China and stop in Shanghai first.
Go to Peopleís Square and walk from there to the Bund down the pedestrian mall. Visit the stores and mingle with the people. The next step would be to spend a few weeks visiting the rest of China with a focus on the minority groups. The way China treats its minorities is a model the rest of the world could follow. Forget about all of this free Tibet trash and Western propaganda that twists the reality about Tibet. Most of it is wrong. Afterwards, you will return home a changed person. Sure, the government in China can be harsh but that will change with time. We in the West must be patient.
What has been your best experience so far though this whole process?
My continuing education about China. Iím sure if I hadnít met and married Anchee, I would still see China as most Americans and Westerners see that country through eyes clouded by the past. It is sad that so many people are being kept in the dark by a misguided mass media. Iím glad there are magazines like Poets&Writers, Good magazine, and National Geographic.
What is on your bookshelf?
More than a hundred books begging to be read. If I could do without sleep, I might be able to catch up. Iím sure you donít want me to list them here. Iím already long winded enough.
What new projects are you working on?
The sequel to "My Splendid Concubine", "Elegy for a Concubine".
"Better a Dead Hero". This novel is about my experience in Vietnam as a field radio operator in the United States Marines.
"The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova". This novel uses my knowledge and experience of the night club scene in America. I was a maitre dí for a few years in a multi-million dollar nightclub. I draw on that life experience in writing this novel. I also use my years as a self-educated card counter in Las Vegas. I inherited my dadís love for gambling and like him I control it. He once picked eight winners in a row at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California, but he only gambled small amounts so he never won that much. After he died, my mother lived off of his winnings for more than a year.
Again I want to thank you for your time. I will remember this book for a long time.
Thank you for interviewing me and reading "My Splendid Concubine".
For anyone who is looking for an amazing and wonderful book to read than check out "My Splendid Concubine" at http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/. Also feel free to contact Mr. Lofthouse at lflwriter.sbcglobal.net. He was so nice and a wealth of knowledge.
Posted by Cheryl at 5:00 AM
Labels: interview, Lloyd Lofthouse
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More Blogs by Lloyd Lofthouse
iLook China - Monday, February 21, 2011
Time Well Spent - Friday, May 23, 2008
Serving in Vietnam Earned Benefits - Sunday, May 18, 2008
FIRST INTERVIEW - Friday, May 16, 2008
MEASURING SUCCESS - Sunday, May 11, 2008
Another Week On the Promotion Road - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The Choices We Make - Wednesday, April 30, 2008