Hi friends! So I’m back again and I’m so sorry for being inactive lately. I’m very busy since I’m preparing for my graduation in College. (Ohhh Yeaaah! >_< ) Last 2 weeks ago I had this opportunity to interview Oftomes Publishing’s one of their newest author Mr. Joel Lawrence. It is my 3rd time to interview an author and still it feels like the first time. Receiving the answers of my questions pumps adrenaline to my blood. The anticipation and waiting kills and excites me at the same time. Without further ado, here is my interview with Joel. ❤ ❤ ❤
- I know this is cliché but first tell us something about you because you know that Author Bio is mainstream.
I’ll try to make each answer to this question unique and fun. I’m a catholic aries vegetarian who likes to watch Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. My favorite song is the Gary Jules cover of Mad World, my favorite food is refried bean quesadillas and Spanish rice, and my favorite city is Carlsbad, California. I have a more detailed bio on my website, Joellawrence.com
- What made you choose writing novels as a profession?
I like to create things, and I love reading, and I always kind of thought, hey, I could eventually do this. It boils down to that right brain left brain debate. Yes, I know it’s sort of a myth, but the idea of analytical vs creative personality types is certainly accurate. Game design was my first choice, but I always kept writing in the back of my mind. One of my professor’s gave me a huge compliment and asked if I’d ever published anything, and this was before I’d even attempted my first full-length novel. So a dream from childhood resurfaced and I went all out and gave it a shot, and after a lot of learning, here I am.
- Every writer experienced rejection when going to publishing companies to another. What kept you motivated and stay positive to still go on and pursue your dreams?
I told myself I would keep writing as long as I was getting better. Every day, week, month. Every book. If I was learning and improving (at a noticeable rate), I told myself I’d keep doing it, and figured I’d eventually produce something worthwhile. The day finally came, but there was lots of doubt along the way. Improvement as a motivation might not work for everyone. It didn’t always work for me. I got burned out a lot. Doubting yourself is hard, rejection is harder, and even people with thick skins who can take the honest critique (that’s vital for improving) still need a ray of light once in awhile.
- How do you enter the writing cave?
A fun way to word this question! To me, I like quiet when writing. I listen to music before I write, not during. I also started eating a lot of smaller meals instead of a few heavy meals, so I keep a high level of energy up throughout the day. I try to minimize internet use, especially during heavy writing. I drink coffee, list most writers, but not every day, and I try not to get too addicted to it so during those drained out mornings when I really need it, it gives me a big boost!
- We all have our own image for the characters of the books we read. But this one really makes me always wonder, how do you imagine your character while writing? Care to share who portrays them?
Another fun question, because I do think about this a lot through the entire process, but in different ways depending on character, and how far along I am. The main character in Tears of Time, Eden, is modeled after a girl I know—personality wise, only partially, and initially, as I prefer to start with composites of several people, blend them together, and let them morph into their own character as I start writing. But physically, Eden exists as a real person, and you may see her in some promotional work in the coming months depending how smoothly those ideas pan out. So in that specific case, I always had a physical image to draw off of. But that’s a unique situation. Saul, for example, physically is maybe partially inspired by a couple of friends, and David is a completely unique creation.
So I always have a strong image of them in my mind, and it’s great to use during a first draft, but I try to scale back my descriptions after the first third of a novel, because readers will very very quickly develop an idea of how a character looks, and that’s unique to each person, so it can be jarring and repetitive for them to be wacked on the head with a heavy description after the first few chapters.
- How does it feel now that your dreams for your novel/s are now coming into life?
Awesome! I feel great, honestly. I sleep less, have more energy, need less coffee. Weird, I know, but this past month i’ve been wired. There’s a lot to learn, for me, about social media and promotion, and trying to balance that with working on the sequel, but it’s a fun challenge, something I welcome, not a depressing cliff to climb like the submission process hahaha.
- Any memorable memory, event, lesson, or experience you wanted to impart on us your readers and friends during your journey to publishing your book?
Let me just say, to fellow readers in particular, who tend to be extremely creative people—make time to experience life. It seems obvious, but for those with a similar mindset to myself, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a project and forget the need to step away and reenergize. Not only that, but all artistic endeavors, whether music or game design, or painting or blogging or photography require life experience, travel, seeing new faces and places, experiencing new things. I base a lot of dialog, characterization, and scenarios on personal experience, as most writers certainly must, and that’s something that should be renewed as much as possible to broaden the pool of experiences from which to draw from. Again, simple, obvious advice, but important just the same.
So first of all thank you for Benjamin of Oftomes Publishing to letting me know about the opportunity of interviewing one of their newest Author Joel. For Joel Lawrence, thank you so much for answering all the questions. It feels like I went to London myself and talked to you personally. I’ll never forget this. Write more okay?
Check out the 5 cover reveals of Oftomes Publishing by clicking the image below. Tears of Time by Joel Lawrence is also right there and a blurb is also provided. 🙂