Author Interview with J.L. Lawson

justacurtain

I’m hosting an interview today with J.L. Lawson, the author of “Just a Curtain”, a literary coming of age story. Enjoy the interview!

Author Interview

Please tell us about yourself.

Besides what you may read in my bio on any of the various outlets for my titles, on Amazon, at Voyager Press, Goodreads and others—

I am a father, a grandfather and a “Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life” kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers’ travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.

My wife and I have five kids, all from our previous marriages. We now have six 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?

Tell us about your book.

Just A Curtain chronicles the life of a young man orphaned at sixteen to continue his family’s ranch in Wyoming. He inherits a small empire which through his own determination and vision, transforms into a multi-national corporation that spins off products for the benefit of all humanity. His endeavors coincide with a viable space colonization program already underway led by others. Through collaboration Mars becomes a viable new Earth for resettlement.

Along the way the reader is introduced to the mental disciplines and spiritual determinism that fuels the main characters’ drive toward social justice and a broader world view for humanity in general.

It is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in [my] other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.” That being said, if one wishes to read my titles in the order in which they were written: The Donkey and the Wall trilogy 1 – 3, Curious Voyages… Saga 1 – 7, Just A Curtain, The Elf series: Huntress, Elhehrim, Rehuin, Niederwald etc.

However, as an inclusive chronology: Just A Curtain would rightly be inserted between books three and four of the Curious Voyages…Saga, with The Elf series following the last book of the Saga.

Just A Curtain is the wildcard. I have placed it between Storms and Locks & Gates of the Saga because the events that finally play out in Storms offer solid background for the events that progress and arise in Curtain.

In the same vein, The Elf series’ initial protagonist—Tera Elphinstone—is introduced in Just A Curtain. And her Elphinstone cousins figure prominently in the last two volumes of the Curious Voyages… Saga. Note: her own story doesn’t really begin until the events portrayed in the rest of the Curious Voyages saga have played out. That’s why The Elf series is left to last.

What inspired you to write Just a curtain?

Actually, this book was written inside out. That is to say I wrote six short stories—the final six chapters of the extant novel—and published them as “Six Leaks A’Leaking.” They highlight the dominant ways we as people are drained of the energies necessary to do anything more than barely get through our daily lives, let alone strive for anything higher. After a lengthy camping/road trip with my wife last year, I realized that those six stories begged a champion, a character amongst those included who could offer the antecedent direction for what were already herculean endeavors. Hence: the coming of age story of Dashiel Drummond as the first part of the book.

How many hours per week do you spend writing?

Every day from around seven-thirty until around four. I sit down at my laptop, cover the previous evening’s email, find where I left off the day before and relax. The characters then take over for the next eight hours or so and I chuckle, shed a tear, hold my breath and sigh at everything they attempt to do—and sometimes accomplish. Then I get up go down to the smoking porch, open a beer have a smoke, and start “pre-writing” for the next day. I prepare dinner for my wife and myself, check the weather forecast, go to sleep, get and do it all over again.

The only interruptions to my routine over weeks and months at a time are, holidays, grandchildren’s birthdays, urgent household matters and: annual vacation travel. (I’m looking forward to when that latter is going to resume.)

If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?

Samuel Clemens, George Carlin, Robert Heinlein.

Twain, for the simple reason that in my estimation he had one of the most brilliant minds America has produced. His insights into human nature, wry observations of our heights and depths of spirit and innovation, and his unflagging wit in the face of a very difficult personal life, should commend him to everyone’s choice for discussion.

Heinlein, for much the same reasons as Twain, regarding his struggle through adversity, but more so for his canny ability to blend societal-political-spiritual-technological science into simple tales of interest, insight and adventure. Who wouldn’t want to have a pint or two with himself as a companion?

The late George Carlin had that rare spark of skeptical curiosity and silver-tongue that set him apart from his contemporaries to such a great extent that, like Clemens, we shall not see another like him for a long while I’m afraid. That he was a self-proclaimed wordsmith, and I’d add of the highest order, propels my admiration of his body of work that much farther. Although he, virtually, exclusively utilized the stage as his vehicle of choice, his authorship of the vast amounts of material presented in that arena clinches his right to the title of “Author-Summa-cum-Laude.”

What are you working on at the moment?

I am in the midst of The Elf series at present,–the fifth installment actually: The Elf & Erin’Los is its working title. There maybe perhaps a dozen, or not, of those before I’m done with them—-each is only a couple hundred pages; the first three I wrote in nearly as many weeks earlier this year.

Then life decided I’d had too much time simply writing and brought other urgent activities my way. Let’s see, where was I? Oh…

I would like to think that once my readership gets beyond the few hundred it is at these early stages of release, I’d be amenable to responding to specific suggestions or requests for expanding certain characters’ lives adventures, etc. Or even continuing the Saga beyond the seventh generation of Livingsons—that actually does appeal to me to great degree.

About The Book

Curtain coverTitle: Just a curtain

Author: J.L. Lawson

Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age

“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director

Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson’s other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.

Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential—from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.

Author Bio

DSC04684I am a father, a grandfather and a “Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life” kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers’ travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.

Links

 At Voyager Press:  http://bit.ly/VPJust-Curtain

At Amazon: http://bit.ly/Just-Curtain

At B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-a-curtain-j-l-lawson/1114139417?ean=9781481889292

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