Interview with Elvis Lawson

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was called "The Monster in My Closet". I don't remember much about it, but I'm pretty sure that it was a horror story about a monster that was in my closet. I was 12 or 13 and I was pretty proud of it. I am sure it was terrible, but I had finished it. I never even showed it to anyone and of course it is long gone. A few months after I finished it I was at my local theater. They had set up a VHS rental section (that shows you how long ago it was), and as I was looking through the new videos, I saw a movie that was called "Monster in the Closet". I was very upset. How could someone steal my very original idea? I haven't thought about that moment or story in a very long time, but it is pretty funny. It was the first of a very long list of coincidences where I come up with an idea only to see it done by someone else. There is a scene in my book "First Light" that falls under this as well. I wrote that scene years before I had even heard of the movie with a similar scene.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't recall the exact first story, but I do know the first two stories that had an impact on me. The first was "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. This had a particularly big impact because of the ending. Not the brutality, but the surprise. It was the first time i can recall thinking of how cool it was to surprise the reader. The second story that had an effect on me was "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. This one was all about the tension and terror. It showed me how you can create those feelings without the blood and gore. I don't particularly follow that idea now since I tend to use the bloody element in my horror stories, but I still appreciate it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. To Kill a Mockingbird - I grew up in the south in a very racist environment. At times it seemed like I was the only one that didn't care about people's race. This book really hit home for me and also shows that not all good stories happen like we want them to.
2. The Book Thief - My Grandmother is Jewish and her parents were from Hungary and Austria. I have always thought about how much some of my ancestors friends and family had to endure. Coupled with my aforementioned sensitivity to race relations, this book really hit the right spot. Oh and also it it incredibly well written.
3. The Harry Potter series - Most of my favorite books aren't considered literary classics. I really just love good stories. This series really hits that note for me. A well developed setting with characters that are frustrating as much as they are liked.
4. 1984 - Not much to say except that anyone that hasn't read this is really missing out.
5. Jurassic Park - This one was simply fascinating. I love learning things and this one really showed how a writer could interweave interesting facts with great adventure.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly Young adult and horror. I like books that try to tell fun stories and don't try to be the next "great American novel". While some young adult and horror books could and will become classics, i find them to usually be less pretentious.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad. I prefer the experience of reading on paper, but read most of my books on either my iPad or iPhone.
Describe your desk
My lap. I have a nice desk in both my work office and my bedroom, but I do the vast majority of my writing on my recliner. It certainly isn't the most efficient though.
When did you first start writing?
I first started when I was an early teenager. I stopped writing for a very long time though as I got into other creative outlets like photography. I came back to writing in my late 30's.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As everyone knows, getting an agent and a major publisher is a very long and tough process. For those that really want or need to make writing their career, this can end up being worthwhile, but the vast majority of those that even get selected end up selling virtually nothing and not getting more than a couple of books published. While I would love to have writing be the only thing I did for a living, it isn't something that I need. More than anything, I want to write stories I like and perhaps have others enjoy them too. Indie publishing gives me the opportunity to get my stories out there and let people enjoy (or hate) them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The thrill of the story. I plan out most of my books from start to finish and in a series I might even have several planed out. Despite the planning, when writing i just go with what I feel like should happen next. This gives me the same thrill of reading a good story because even though I know the main plot points, each twist and turn and each conversation is a surprise.
What are you working on next?
I am writing the next book in The Chronicles of The Sevenths series. I will take a break soon to write a different story, but i haven't narrowed down my choice just yet.
Published 2016-09-03.
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Books by This Author

First Light
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,210. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Darrell Johnson wasn’t sure what to make of his new found ability to see the future, but when he saw a man kidnap a young boy, he knew he had to do something. He enlisted the help of his two best friends,Marie Clarkson, an incredible hacker, and Gavril Darzi, the smartest guy he knew. Now they need to worry about more than saving the boy, they need to make sure they all get out alive.