Interview with Lillah Lawson

What do you read for pleasure?
Short answer: everything.

Longer answer: I love to delve into series of books, with worlds of characters and lore to get into - the kinds of series that create spinoff books and anthologies and companion tomes. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, Tolkein - of course Tolkein - and my most beloved series, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. All of the above are in my group of favorite authors, along with Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Stieg Larsson. I also love African American literature, both fiction and non-fiction. Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou are all among my favorites. From the classics, I adore F. Scott Fitzgerald (my favorite book of all time is The Great Gatsby), Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Pearl S. Buck and Edgar Allan Poe.

I also read tons of poetry (T.S. Eliot) and even YA/children's (give me Roald Dahl any day). I like it all, I read it all.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I like the Kindle Fire and Nook equally.
Describe your desk
Cluttered, dusty and unused.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in the south, that was only about ten miles north of a much more liberal-minded city. I got both worlds simultaneously - the small-town, conservative, Christian-minded working men and women, and the progressive, musically and artistically inclined hippies, too. I grew up straddling that line and never really stopped, though I'll say I'm much more of a liberal gal than I am a country gal these days.
When did you first start writing?
When I was 8 or so. I wrote poems before then (my first one was an ode to Garth Brooks, much to my humiliation), but my first real "work" was a short story I wrote about a Princess who saves herself. It won a writing contest sponsored by the local newspaper and when I saw it in print, I was hooked.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Believe it or not, editing. I find the process of writing the initial draft very rushed, convoluted and disorganized. I can't always get my thoughts right, and I feel like I'm thinking faster than I'm typing. But going back to edit, finding whole paragraphs you wrote in a frenzy, that you don't even remember typing, and thinking, "this is brilliant" - or finding a passage that isn't quite good enough, and finding the words to level it out - those are great moments.
What are you working on next?
A sequel to Aroha! Several people asked, so I'm delivering.
Who are your favorite authors?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Anne Rice, Margaret Atwood, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Alex Haley, Judy Blume, Witi Ihimaera, Alan Duff, Katherine Mansfield.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Cycling, hiking, baking, taking care of the little dude, obsessively cleaning, watching bad sitcoms and BBC dramas.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
One of the first novels I ever read was Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, and it had a profound impact on me. I was only 11 at the time, so it totally shook me up and introduced me to all kinds of different lifestyles and attitudes I hadn't encountered. It was a fantastic book and it really shaped me in all sorts of good ways.
Published 2015-09-08.
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Books by This Author

Aroha
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 152,260. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist
A coming of age story about the pain of a love gone wrong, a young woman's literal and figurative journey back to herself.