Author Interview – J.L. Lawson

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

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!

Tell us about your family?

My wife and I have five kids, all from our previous marriages. We now have five grandkids and we spend a bunch of time on the road visiting all of them as we can. Both of us came from small families, so having so many to keep track of now is a labor of joy. All our kids are successful in their chosen fields. We have administrators and arborists, teachers and techies, house moms, ranch hands, contractors and counselors. And our grandchildren are, naturally, brilliant, beautiful, clever, funny and adorable… did I mention brilliant?

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

Easy chair with one of those lap-desk-type things that has wheeled feet that slide under the chair. That holds my Macbook. I have copious sheets of paper with scrawled notes everywhere, some still in their pads some loose leaf, but all in a nice orderly pile that I know how to find things and nobody else would dare. I have too many “Notes” in my iPhone and I have in-decipherable post-it notes near my chair on the porch where I relax towards the end of the work day—which is every day that ends in “Y”!

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?

My wife: Deborah Jean Hart Lawson. There just isn’t anyone better for me doing this work than her. (I also have to mention that my mom and dad have read all my books, but they admit freely that it’s just because I’m their son—my stuff isn’t their usual fair by a long shot.)

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

It’s the marketing of published work that creates the greatest challenges and forces the most attention and creativity an author can muster. There are now an over-abundance of resources and advice out there. I have my titles at Amazon, B & N, the Apple store has several of them, I have author pages at Goodreads, Bookblog, and others. I manage a Facebook page for Voyager Press—which carries all my titles—and I am writing this now, because I am part of Orangeberry Book Tours and they have connections I didn’t. I have contracted with Substance Books for other branding and marketing efforts for the long haul. I have shown titles at the BookExpo America, I’ll be represented at the Beijing International Book Faire, and I hope to keep that ball rolling with other trade shows as well. I haven’t entered any industry Award programs as yet, but I’m not sticking my nose up at them either. I have a relatively small budget to work with and every expenditure has to pay its way eventually.

Tell us about these new books? What’re they about and why did you write them?

First off, all my books began from An Honest Man—the first book of the trilogy: the Donkey and the Wall. That series led to Weigh Anchor—the first of The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga. That led to a series of short stories that branched off the established timelines of the previous work. I compiled them, massaged them and gave them a unifying plot and cast of characters; so Just A Curtain was born. Out of that came a character, Tera Elphinstone, who whispered to me and cajoled me into constructing her own expanded place among the rest of the Future Histories. That’s the timeline of their production. The why’s?

This is a topic near and dear to my heart and one for which I think I can offer quite a bit of information. Over the last couple decades I have been part of an on-going experiment: Can an Objective Path to awakening produce in an individual the properties and functions of higher centers (those which are responsible for Objective Self-Knowledge and Objective Reason)?

The path I speak of involves the removing of all non-verifiable data and emotions cluttering one’s being. In other words, scrapping everything acquired through blind belief, old wives’ tales, the plethora of “they say”, snippets to volumes of information un-vetted and unsubstantiated which through laziness or convenience has populated one’s mind and heart. At the same time carefully building up a verifiable structure of mentation, an inner construction which allows for the assimilation of verified data and verifiable information about oneself and the real world in which one finds oneself.

This two-fold endeavor has yielded, for me personally, a far more impartial perspective both of my far less cluttered inner world, as well as clearer perceptions of what is transpiring in our outer world—that place where we all must have our daily existence.

So, with our terminology clarified, how to weave such an understanding into a narrative form accessible to others? I chose the medium of metaphor and allegory—those forms which throughout the history of our species have stood the test of time for conveying the deeper meanings of our existence. I began with a simple premise:

“What if there were lineages of highly conscious individuals from the most ancient of times and emergent into the present day?”

That question, for me, would allow for a presentation both: of what would be the properties and functions of a person with higher consciousness, and also how a regular person could come to such a condition for themselves. It is the latter which, through my protagonists’ interactions with others, could become an accessible path for everyone wishing to gain what they may think they already possess, but clearly do not.

It was the follow-up questions, “What would their world be like?” even more importantly, “What would our world be like—the one which we think we know?” that forced me to begin where I did—in the past—and bring the story through the subtly changed present and into a transformed future. Hence the term coined by J. W. Campbell regarding Mr. Heinlein’s epic works: “Future Histories.”

Future History, then, according the sense in which I am compelled to use it, means the results of the aforementioned premise to have been realized in practice, extrapolated into real-time for a new view of man’s relationship to, and place within the greater world—even up to the Type III Civilization as envisioned by Kardashev. That lofty arena of such an accomplishment is one which we as residents of the present Earth are no where near even the farthest horizons. Understandably.

While our societies, to some extent, and most definitely our technologies have evolved exponentially over the last few millennia, the individual, and resultant collective, evolution of our inner worlds haven’t moved forward even the barest distance by comparison. It is the individual who must perforce begin the personal change. Only then will our collective inner revolution gain the necessary traction to propel us in the directions of the ideals set forth in the allegorical Future Histories as presented in the Donkey and the Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.

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…

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Genre - Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook

Website http://voyagerpress.org/

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