Interview with Michael J Lawrence

What are you working on next?
The sequel to The Aphrodite Conspiracy. The new book picks up where the current one ends so readers will be able to immerse themselves back in Matthew Palmer's story without a break.
The Aphrodite Retribution is well under way.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ones that inspired me... Clive Cussler, Desmond Bagley, Ian Fleming, Alistair McLean and Julian Savarin. Ones that I read now for pleasure.. Mark Gimenez, Jonathan Kellerman, Julian Savarin, Dan Brown and Clive Cussler... I'm a sucker for a good adventure story.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
For the last decade or so it's been making sure my son gets his butt off to school! HaHaHa! No, it's not just that... I've always been an early riser. Life is for living and spending it in bed means I'm missing out on opportunities to enjoy new stuff.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
That depends on whether or not my clients need my time. If they do, then I'm often presenting to an audience on Communication Skills or maybe doing one-to-one interviews as an MBTI Coach. If they don't... Then the open road beckons and either my motorcycle or my dog get a good run.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Sometimes by accident. Reading reviews and searching for new stories. Other times by recommendations.
What is your writing process?
I know I should be more structured, but often inspiration will strike without warning and I just have to get it down either on paper or on my laptop. It happened once on a motorway and I struggled for twenty miles to keep the dialogue in my head 'til I could get to the next service area and write it down. I sat there for an hour and a half as the chapter unfolded.
How do you approach cover design?
With help! Is the short answer.
I am no artist, so I need the help of someone who is. I have a friend who designed the cover of The Aphrodite Conspiracy, he read the book and I asked if he could come up with a couple of cover ideas. My favourite one is the existing cover, even though my wife thinks it's a bit gory and the story isn't.
What do you read for pleasure?
Thrillers, adventure stories, crime.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm an Apple fan so it has to be my iPad or my MacBook Air. Trying to read on my iPhone just makes me cross-eyed!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Honestly? The best for me is getting up close and personal with buyers and readers. At a local village show I sold thirty-odd books in a couple of hours. I did a similar thing at my son's school and sold a load more. The Aphrodite Conspiracy is in paperback too, I hasten to add.
Describe your desk
Eight feet across with twin-screen PC, two printers, MacBook Air, massive sound amp and mixer with quality speakers, an A4 notepad and two telephones. To one side I have The Concise Oxford Dictionary, The Synonym Finder, 'The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes', 'How To Write A Damned Good Novel' and 'The Authors Guide To Publishing'. Also currently my motorcycle helmet, as the Bluetooth system is on charge and a large glass of red wine. :-)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Kingston, Surrey. I don't think the place influenced my writing as much as being around people who wrote. My father wrote stories but sadly never got published. It was the sixties and self-publishing was mostly unheard of. My uncle wrote, and still does at the age of ninety! He currently has several self-published books available.

Kingston-On-Thames is still 'home' for me though, even though I haven't lived there in years. I often ride back as I love the river and Richmond Park which is the scene of a gun battle in The Aphrodite Conspiracy.. so I suppose it has influenced me in some ways.
When did you first start writing?
In 1987. I had just been through a traumatic divorce, was living on my own with no job as the company I worked for collapsed. One Sunday there was a writing competition in a national newspaper so I sat down at my typewriter and started bashing away. I didn't win, but the seed was sown...
What's the story behind your latest book?
Matthew Palmer is living the dream aboard his own charter yacht in the sun-drenched Mediterranean. All that is missing is the right girl to share it. A chance meeting with a mysterious heiress almost kills him as he rescues her from the depths of one of the most dangerous wrecks in the world. His investigation into her subsequent disappearance sees his boat destroyed, him shot and deported back to the UK having lost everything he worked so hard for. Betrayed by both his friends and the police, Matthew is hell-bent on revenge and determined to clear his name but somebody is leaking lethal information. Another assassination attempt on the flight back to London sucks him into a conspiracy of kidnapping and extortion that claims the lives of two of his favourite people before Matthew can extract his revenge.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The never ending search for an agent/publisher that doesn't have a slush pile of unread manuscripts ten feet high!
Then, after I thought harder, the joy of seeing my book not only in print, but available to the world via digital media without NEEDING the aforementioned agents and publishers to get it there.
I'm still hopeful of a publishing deal though to make it go global and I won't stop trying.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To entertain. If my stories are bought to read on holiday and those readers enjoyed escaping into the world of Matthew Palmer for however long it takes them to read it - then I am truly happy.
I have had readers write to me and tell me the story moved them to tears in places and to laughter in others and that they couldn't put it down... My joy is complete! :-)
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without them I would be writing just for my own enjoyment. To evoke different emotions in readers through narrative alone is hugely rewarding and I am grateful to everyone who buys a copy of my stories.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Considering it was over fifty years ago, I am a bit surprised but yes.
I was a huge fan of W.E Johns and the Biggles adventures when I was a kid. Someone bought me a pictorial version of one of the series I hadn't read so I set about turning it into a novel rather than a comic style story. I was only about seven I think.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Honestly, no. It was the sixties... there were few televisions, radio was a bit dull (as a kid) and if you wanted entertainment you read. We had hundreds and hundreds of books at home and I read them from an early age. One of the most impactful books I read then, and still have on my bookshelf is Dale Carnegie's 'How To Win Friends And Influence People.' A ground-breaking book, the principles of which have seen me through a forty-year career in sales and business development.
Published 2014-05-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Aphrodite Conspiracy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 111,340. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Holiday » Adventure
Matthew Palmer’s world is about to be shot to pieces - literally. A millionaire's wife goes missing in Cyprus and Englishman Matthew Palmer is in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong girl.. "Mike Lawrence's premiere novel moves along at a cracking breakneck pace, a real exciting page-turner that puts recent James Bond novels to shame." Graham Rye - Editor & Publisher, 007 MAGAZINE.