A Conversation with: Lorie Lewis Ham

May 3, 2012

A Conversation with: Lorie Lewis Ham

Musical Storyteller, Author, Singer, Speaker, Magazine Editor-In-Chief

Lorie Lewis Ham

Today, I’m talking with another inspirational, multi-talented, and energetic author. Looking back over 2011, I’m thinking one impetus for my conversation choices has something to do with my own motivational needs—and consequently spring from pure selfishness. Indeed, when I first heard about Lorie Lewis Ham, it was in connection with Kings River Life Magazine[i]. I was immediately impressed, and wanted to know more about the person who had such energy! KRL is a very rich, multifaceted[ii] magazine. To me, an amazing (and successful!) endeavor. Consequently, I’m a subscriber to KRL, and a Facebook friend, but I also visit Lorie’s websites. At Mysteryrat’s Closet[iii], I really like the “in my closet” concept she uses.

Lorie, it was so nice meeting you at LCC 2012 in Sacramento! And thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. I know you are a very busy lady. I want to jump right in with talking about your music. I’m monotone and tone death, so I’m very much in awe of your musical talents. I listened to you on one of your websites[iv], and your voice is beautiful. And even though notes aren’t something I can distinguish, there is a richness and emotionality in your voice that reaches out and touches—even to the “musically challenged.” You also mention your musical travels and musical story telling.

Several questions: What is it like making an album and touring, practically and emotionally (especially since during some of those adventures, you were so young?)

Well it was really the only life I knew from 12 on up to adult, so it was “normal” for me. I love traveling. Though it did at times become boring because we mostly just saw the inside of churches and malls and drove through the country at night. I did a LOT of reading which was fun, played games with my sibs, and ate in a lot of restaurants. A lot of it I liked, but I didn’t like some of the people who were in it—you can learn more about that in my books. Some of the performers were just like any other form of entertainment—they had groupies, chased after young girls and cheated on their wives. It was disillusioning. Yes, we’re all human and make mistakes—I learned that, but at the time I was too young to understand that, so it was hard.

I absolutely love being in a recording studio even to this day—I just released my latest CD last year. I also love traveling—so that part was and is (when I still travel on occasion) great. And we are a very close family.

A connected question is—has either your voice or appreciation of music changed/evolved since those early days?

My appreciation has probably stayed the same-I love all kinds of music as long as it’s good. My voice has gotten lower.

I think it’s very cool, your love and appreciation for music–and that it’s lasted so long. Did I read correctly, you have been asked to sing at book signings? I can’t quite imagine—how did that work?

Final Note

Well my main character is a gospel singer, so I did often get asked if I sang, and then asked to sing. It was fun. Sometimes I’d be asked ahead of time by the person putting on the event and would plan a few songs—some of my own and some Sinatra, since I and my character are big fans. And sometimes I’d just sing Amazing Grace on the spot. Always seemed to go over well and was fun.

Amazing Grace always brings tears to my eyes-what occasions those signings must have been! Another interest you mention is involvement in animal rescue—rats in particular. I’d love to hear more about your efforts/adventures/activities in that area!

When my daughter was in 4th grade she had rats in her class and wanted some herself. At first I protested but gave in, fell in love with them, and just kind of stumbled into rat rescue. From there I went into rabbit, guinea pigs and hamsters as well. It was a lot of work, but well worth it until I reached a point where it was too hard physically and financially. There were times when we had as many at 70 rats in the house temporarily as they waited to be transported to bigger rescues out of the area. My favorite small animal will always be rats—they are so sweet and smart. A spin off character in my latest book, The Final Note, does small animal rescue.

Back to Kings River Life Magazine. What an amazing endeavor that is. And from what I can tell, really successful. Bravo!! What kind of effort and activities are involved in getting your magazine out? And how much time is involved? I know you have a lot of contributors, but still…I can barely imagine all the effort it must be to produce a magazine.

Oh wow, how do I answer? lol. I pretty much wear a bunch of hats. I have to plan the issues, find writers to assign them to (a lot of our contributors are on a month by month basis so have to see if they have time or not), make sure things get in on time, research and write articles myself, promote constantly on social media and email lists, find ways to promote out in the real world too, go to conferences, sell advertising, etc., etc. It really is a full time job, though I am also a mother, still have a lot of animals we’ve taken in, and I have a part time job as a library aide and want to start singing again. Oh yeah, and eventually want to start a new book. But I couldn’t do this without all the contributors and the people who help with things like updating the event calendar.

My turn to say, wow! I seriously don’t know how you do all that. And to quote from your Facebook page, “As a writer, Lorie has published in many venues — poems, songs, short stories, journalist, book reviewer, magazine articles and five mystery novels.” Among everything else you do, five mystery novels! How does writing fit in with your music, inspirationally and logistically—and of course, where do you find the time, given everything else you’ve mentioned!?

Hmm, I guess writing is writing, and inspirationally all comes from the same place. Time–just where ever I can, though I must admit I’ve only written for the magazine for the past 2 years. I hope to change that soon. I have done a little work on a play. But I’ve always just written whenever and wherever I have time.

Before you go, Lorie, what’s on the horizon for you? More mysteries featuring gospel singer Alexandra Walters I hope?

Well, I hope to see the magazine continue to grow and change and hope to write some short stories for it myself, possibly some with Alexandra. The books are done, sort of. I’ve actually been considering jumping the series ahead ten years so Jessica can finally grow up a little, lol, so it’s like something new to a new publisher, and yet fans will still have a connection. I also have a rat rescue character I’d like to do something with, and the above mentioned play.

I hope new people come check out Kings River Life where we have mystery articles of all kinds and much more! http://KingsRiverLife.com

Thank you, Lorie, what an interesting and enjoyable conversation! Needless to say, everything YOU do has worn me out (smile). You are truly an inspirational dynamo. You didn’t even mention the interviews you did at LCC…

[ii] Reviews, interviews, arts, area news, pets, teens, and more—including mystery reviews, mystery short stories, and mystery author reviews.


8 Responses to “A Conversation with: Lorie Lewis Ham”

  1. mmgornell said

    Having cyber-space problems! Posting this for Lorie,

    Thanks for all of the nice comments. KRL has been having some server issues but we are almost back to full force. And as to rats, they really are awesome pets!

  2. Michelle said

    I’ve always believed writers were a special breed and this interview enforces that. I’m a writer and do ferret rescue. Goes with the territory of exploring our world with a different lens. Great interview Madeline. Thanks for bringing Lorie to us.

  3. Unbelievable! And I thought I was busy. Lorie was both inspiration and admiration. But… I gotta say, rat rescue??? I would have loved to hear you burst out singing Amazing Grace at a book signing. Best of luck on all your endeavors, and thanks Madeline for helping us get a close look at this marvelous writer.

  4. mmgornell said

    Thank you, Marilyn, Jake, Jenny, and Gayle for stopping by today! So nice to hear you enjoyed “meeting” Lorie. She’s staying awhile so everyone who wants to, has a chance to meet Lorie. Your comments are very much appreciated!

  5. What a terrific and multifaceted person. I have heard a lot of good things about KRL so will have to make it a part of my reading life, too.

  6. Jenny M Herrera said

    Great interview. Thanks!

  7. Jake said

    Enjoyed interview. Always learn from your participants.

  8. marilynm said

    Lorie is a dynamo–and really nice. We’ve been friends for a long time.

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