Today Lawrence Boarer joins me on my blog to tell us who he is, why, and what he writes. (I didn’t know him, he came recommended by a friend and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. But you must read what he has to say and judge for yourselves)
Hello Lawrence, thanks for giving me the opportunity to introduce you to my readers. Let us not procrastinate, but start with the interview. I can see you can’t wait to tell us all about you and your books.
To start of with an easy question, can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
That is a great question. As a writer there are few things more annoying than struggling with a chapter. Staring at the page until your eyes are crossed, or straining to squeeze out just a line of text, can be maddening! So, when I overcome such a struggle, I like to celebrate with an outing. I’ll take my best girl (my wife) and head out to our favorite bistro for a martini, and fine dinner.
Okay, sounds like you know how to party and have the perfect company to do so either. But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?
I suspect few authors have had the luck of not suffering from “inspiration loss”. What I do to alleviate that troubling issue are three things. One, I try and feel within myself the moment of creative fatigue when working on a project peters out. That place where my creative juices have ebbed and I cannot squeeze out one more word onto paper. At that moment, I switch to thing two, which is taking a break. I’ll take three, four, or even five breaks during a writing session to go on walks, get a mocha, or just vegetate in front of the television. The third thing I do is work on another project. I often find that when my mind hits rock bottom for inspiration on one project, it ramps up on another, thus allowing me to write on a new plot line, or develop an outline for something new. Using these three processes seems to help me bounce back quickly… thus far.
Right, sounds like you have a winning formula there. Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.
First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
The Lantern of Dern Blackhammer.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
No. I often come up with the title of a project before I start any writing. In my mind it is formed as a general imagery that embodies the heart of the book. The Lantern of Dern Blackhammer is truly what the book is about.
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
As an Indie author I have the luxury of not needing to conform to any particular market. But, if I had an agent, or a publisher who wanted me to conform for marketing purposes, I might alter the genre to horror suspense. That would probably take the least tweaking.
Right with that set of serious questions out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
What don’t you like about writing?
I love the sense of freedom that writing brings me. As an Indie author I am an industry of one. I am author, publicist, marketer, editor, creative director, and book maker all in one person. When I write, I am the master of all aspects of my life. A great sense of completeness fills me and I find the process fulfilling, and invigorating. Also, I love to entertain, and writing provides me an outlet to do that. There are few better feelings than having someone say, “wow, I really liked your book.”
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
Awesome question. This is one area that I’ve railed on ever since I re-entered the market in 2011. For an Indie author there are few inexpensive avenues for marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Path, Goodreads, all are outlets for an author to get the word out about their art, but sales are not won on the field of social media alone. I’ve used Google Ads, and advertised on Goodreads, and used the promote function on Facebook to help boost sales – with little affect. Probably the most attention I got was when I put out a press release. I was able to measure a direct increase in sales right after it hit the media outlets. But, I must say that not having a publicist is a drawback, and one I hope to remedy soon.
Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?
The only interruptions I typically tolerate when I’m in the zone, is from my wife. I can be on a serious roll, churning out page after page of flowing description and dialogue, and my wife will call out, “Can I trouble you for a moment.” The stride is broken, and it takes time to be regained. It’s typically not the same afterward though.
What does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?
I would like to say a goddess of rare elemental beauty, but the truth is that what I would consider my muse is more like a delusional moment. What I mean by that is when I am in the zone, inside my mind, I’m in the story. Inside my imagination I’m in the cave, the castle, flying along on a carpet, or in the midst of savage battle. I see the story played out in a sort of stark, shadow imagery where I feel I’m a presence in the scene.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
My characters? That’s a fantastic question and it might get a little weird in here now (he chuckles). When I’m carried by my muse, the characters that I have generated, take on a life of their own. Inside my imagination their personalities drive them to do things that are in character – so to speak. When I’m writing, these characters are speaking to one another, but never directly to me the author. I’m sort of a fly on the wall of the scene – always. Now, do I get along with my characters? I don’t have a relationship with them like that. As an example, in my first published novel Tales of Mad Cows and Brothels, the deposed noble Leofric de Longnor becomes a murderous rouge with little pity for man, woman, or beast, and thus I don’t really like him. But, on the other hand, the evolution of the character makes him likable to the reader, and me. I’d never want Leofric to come and hang out with me, but I’ll root for him all the way to the end of the story.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
That is a hilarious question. Looking back at my works I’d have to say beer and wine is the beverage of choice, and roast foul as the consistent food. I believe this is the case, because I write mostly sword and sorcery, and historical fiction, and these drinks and food seem the most probable in those settings. As an author, I typically drink two cups of strong, black, decaffeinated coffee in the morning as I begin to write. After that, it’s glasses of water to slack my thirst.
Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
I’d lean toward Internet porn, but that might be too crass. So, my real life excuse would be that I got up at 4:30am to be at work by 7:00am, and worked all day to arrive back home at 4:00am, and I am beat – my mind is numb from work, and I just can’t muster the strength to turn on my computer. This has happened on more than one occasion, but I hasten to say, I don’t beat myself up for it – I just accept it and try and write the next day.
Great! But I would have liked to hear the internet porn story too. Hahahaha. Your real life excuse is a seriously good one, one I am very much inclined to believing. 🙂
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
My one and only passion is writing. I am consumed by the need to tell stories. Why would I want to live behind a keyboard? It is my salvation, my mental health, my sense of satisfaction; in all, my struggle to find my place in the universe. As an Indie author I slave at a day job that is the exact opposite of life. The day job sucks the very marrow of life from my bones. When I arrive home, and settle in behind that keyboard, it is like a liberation of the soul. I am no longer Lawrence BoarerPitchford the professional career guy working for organization X, but Lawrence BoarerPitchford the author who creates worlds of wonder, action, and adventure. A man who brings that ray of light into the battered souls of those people out there who can’t create their own fantasy world, and find redemption in the ones I create.
Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Dirty secrets? I assure you I have plenty, and maybe I’ll tell you a few while at a fantasy convention over a few drinks one day, but what I’d like to chat about here is the struggle. Indie authors rely on word of mouth for their sales more than anything else. Erotica sells off the shelf in the blink of an eye, but it seems that fantasy and other genres are hit-and-miss in the market. The Lantern of Dern Blackhammer is a wonderful work, taking the aficionado of fantasy on a trip to a place where magic is the technology in a world that resembles 19th Century Europe. Imagine Sherlock Holmes’ London, and you’ll have a good idea of what the elf city of Moore is like. The villain is nefarious, who murdered the hero’s father, but the hero can’t exact revenge because he has a duty to his city (Moore) to get the Lantern of Dern Blackhammer first. The lantern is an ancient artifact that has the power to enslave the entire world, and the villain has his eyes set on acquiring it. Thus, the stage is set for a race, and intrigue.
Now comes the sorted topic of coin. My personal fantasy is to leave the day job (like so many others out there I’m sure), and spend all my labors churning out quality fiction for the world to enjoy. In order to do that, I have to make a profit. When Tales of Mad Cows came out in 2000, I thought I had found the answer to who I wanted to be – a writer. Thirteen years later, I’m still furiously working towards that goal. So, I hope that for all those out there reading this will spread the word to their friends and acquaintances about my books and encourage them to purchase a copy of one or more. For the cost of a cup of Starbucks coffee, a person could have a week’s worth of entertainment; travel to the past, or to other worlds.
Also, I hope that those who lust to write, and have said, “I’m too old,” or “It’s too risky to try,” will take a lesson from me and not abandon your dream. Keep working at your craft, and keep moving toward your goal. Take it from me; there is someone out there that want’s to read what you have created.
In closing, I encourage your readers out there will check out my web site www.boarerpitchford.com to see what my books are about.
My historical fiction books are Thadius, a story about a retired Roman General who must solve a gruesome set of murders; and, Sawbones, a story of a Union surgeon who puts down his scalpel to help stop a kidnapping that could alter the end of the American Civil War.
My two fantasy works are, The Lantern of Dern Blackhammer, a story of a motely group of elves and humans who must secure a mighty weapon before it falls into the hands of an evil magician; and, In the World of Hyboria (fan fiction), a story of three heroes out to get revenge on a power hungry wizard who is bent on total domination. These books can be found at Amazon Books, Smashwords, Barnes and Nobles, and on I-Tunes.
That kind of wraps it up, right Lawrence? I would like to thank you for sharing such personal info and entertaining me and the readers with how magnificently you know how to describe the how and why of your writing. Plus, not totally unimportant, you’ve given us yet another set of books to place on our wish lists, or to be read list on Goodreads. I assume they are on Goodreads to be found too?
I am and the books are there too. Thank you Lucy for hosting me on your blog, and I want you to know that your kindness and openness toward we Indie authors makes you an amazing woman! If ever I can return the favor, just ask.
*Blushes* Why thank you Lawrence, *smiles mischievously* and I will find you if and when I need a favor. I was glad you were here and hope you will want to return when you have a new release.