Friday, November 15, 2013

Author Interview – J.L. Lawson @J_L_Lawson

Image of J. L. LawsonLast book you purchased? Tell us about it.

It was the final book of the Witchlight series by Debora Geary. Here’s the review I sent her directly:

Okay.

I picked up “A Modern Witch” out of curiosity. Six days later, and ten novels of pure spell-binding obsession, I find I have a distinct difficulty forming the words for this review—from an author with even more and longer novels under his belt that is a little embarrassing.
It’s like this: You walk the same steps to your job everyday, knowing that there aren’t but a handful of people who will ever really know what you do and how you do it. Then the toe of your shoe catches something in the path that wasn’t there the day before. When you look closely at what tripped you, you find it’s the root of a tree that had been sneakily inching its way into your path all along. Then it hits you like a ton of bricks: Even if not another living soul knows the particulars of the toil and tears you struggle through to make what you do something worth while, a tree with the drive to seek deeper earth and brighter sun most certainly does!

That, is what finding “A Modern Witch” series and the integral Witchlight trilogy is to me. A stellar reminder that insubstantial rays of thought and storms of tears can become something solid and beautiful through the words of a gifted writer. Characters aren’t just descriptions and dialogue. They are vital people with their own lives and unspoken history. Conflicts of plot and subplot aren’t literary devices. They are the victories and failures of individuals, daring and shy, for whom you care deeply, even love.

The world in which such magic such as this truly exists, makes stumbling down the ordinary path of my days an ineffable joy.
Now get back to work!”

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

That’s not actually an easy question to answer directly. I love Tahoe; always have always will. I also really liked living in the San Lorenzo Valley south of the Bay area. Perhaps my favorite residence was the shortest: Orca’s Island in the San Juans above Seattle. My wife and I have stayed on that island more often and longer than almost anywhere else we’ve traveled and visited—always on holiday, not as actual residents. We love the town on East Sound, the State Park, Mt. Constitution, and island hopping on the ferries. I’d love to build a bigger sailboat than the one I built last year and ease right into that life. I’ve thought about permanently relocating there many, many times. Who knows. Perhaps if this writing thing gains even more traction than it has already, we may be checking out real estate on an island after all! But then my heart comes alive when I’m in Santa Fe.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to discover?

Absolutely!

Next question.

How much of the book is realistic?

That’s not really a fair question of a science fiction/Fantasy/Future History writer. But as it’s not entirely off the tracks—An awful lot is very realistic. I can only offer this caveat by way of example: if there was a train, or ocean liner, or Broadway show, or event of any kind referred to in my books (only up to the present day, naturally) then that arrival/departure, showtime, described appointments, etc. most certainly occurred as stated. For my first five books I scoured everything from 1864 forward that had any perceived touch to my characters, their actions and world events—from the price of gold on a certain date in 1864 to who the Oslo newspaper interviewed concerning the theft of “The Scream” during the Lillehammer Olympic Games. From the first rail line into Tahoe City from Truckee in the latter nineteenth century to what delayed the first reorganized Oriental Express run from Venice to London in the twentieth century. From when the first toilet was invented and debuted into popular markets to the astounding absence of toilet bowl plungers until a few decades later… (still find that disgustingly anomalous.)

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?

Life experiences: Yes.

People I know: No. There can’t help but be composite characters, in my opinion, in anyone’s work of fiction and there will inevitably be hints of what is already familiar to the author. But fashioning characters from acquaintances as Chaucer was reputed to have done? No.

How important do you think villains are in a story?

That entirely depends on the genre and the author’s intent for the story to be told. Would Star Wars have suffered without Darth Vader? Yeah. Would Of Mice and Men been any less heart-wrenching without Curly’s wife… questionable. And not that all antagonists are necessarily villains. In the real world where struggle is part and parcel of life, it’s not always imperative to put a face on the troubles a character must endure. Sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw.

An Honest Man

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Metaphysical/Fantasy/Action Adventure

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook

Website http://voyagerpress.org/

Weigh Anchor

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook

Website http://voyagerpress.org/

The Elf & Huntress

The Elf & Huntress is the beginning of a long and winding trail from power to obscurity, from infamy to glory for a naïve lass from the highlands. On a simple off-planet assignment she’s dragged screaming into an underworld she couldn’t have fathomed existed. A scarred and liberated prisoner, she rises to become the feared Captain of the Lascorii Secret Services, avenging nemesis of the vilest pirate plaguing the worlds underwritten by the Seranath Trade Guild, with a hand-picked crew—and one diminutive, rather officious Seranim Guild Agent who learns for herself that Wish is the most powerful thing in the Universe…

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook

Website http://voyagerpress.org/

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