Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Author Interview – J.L. Lawson

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What books did you love growing up?

My first book read for pleasure, not a school assignment, was The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Understand, this was all before the advent of the Internet and worldwide web. I quickly followed that with his LOTR trilogy, once I could find a bookstore that carried them—and read them all a few times before finally getting my hands on The Silmarillion. By then I had also encountered authors of science fiction, Asimov, Vonnegut, Heinlein, Dick, as well as lesser know writers but with interesting stories none-the-less. I joined a Book-of-the-month club and explored a grand variety of titles in many genres. Then came high school and college and exposure to classics, authors whose works have stood the test of time—and I most definitely have my favorites among those, having taught most of them later as a Literature and Composition Educator.

But the book I most loved both as a teenager, then later as a collegiate, and even now as full-grown person is the first book I ever picked up to read for fun—The Hobbit.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s going to have to remain a tie of sorts, and not a pretty one. I adore Jane Austen, revere Dickens, am spellbound by Poe, thrilled by Heinlein, intrigued by Asimov, relax with Stevenson, chuckle with Rowling’s and Geary’s witches, gulp with Collins’s Games, and thoroughly enjoy rereading my own novels—and that’s not narcissistic. It’s satisfying and reassuring that my stories and characters can still move me to laughter and tears, excitement and sorrow.

What book genre of books do you adore?

Simple: Science Fiction. I fell in love with the realm of the possible futures for mankind and the other lives those characters encountered out in space. The new technologies, the forecasts of changed political, social and personal standards and interactions. What’s not to love? I mean other than it’s pure imagination. Oh, wait. That’s a GOOD thing!

What book should everybody read at least once?

The Complete Works of Shakespeare! Just kidding…sorta. Actually that’s a great question and I don’t really think I was kidding after all. Since it is only my personal opinion and I am not currently King of the World or anything to force my choice on the masses, I’d suggest: (besides the Bard’s plays and sonnets) The Diary of Anne Frank. And I’ll offer a simple reason. This is the honest honest reflection of an adolescent girl—always valuable when tempered by reality—and her reality was set upon one of the gruesomest stages ever erected in modern history. Her surprisingly hopeful and resolute accounting of her life, her dreams, aspirations and the cold reality of her existence cannot be undervalued for its efficacy in exposing the human condition, the disgust of war, and the revolting prejudices and shame born from ignorance.

Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?

Honestly? I think it takes a deft and creative hand to force pleasure out of a great many non-fiction titles. That being said, I have certainly encountered my fair share of truly engaging and entertaining authors in that broad category. But to be more specific, and I know I’m going to get nasty feedback for saying it: Swift’s Gulliver Travels. I’m sorry, that tome puts me to sleep every time—and I had to read parts of it every year, after the first complete read through my first year of teaching. I don’t miss that about being in the classroom one whit.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

You’re obviously assuming I won’t have written it ahead of time. I don’t think I’m kidding—at least a rough draft of my worst qualities, most onerous mistakes, poor judgements and untenable predicaments that will hopefully serve as a cautionary tale to one and all. Beyond that, should my obit say anything laudable, it would have to be that I married and spent all my remaining years with a remarkable woman who is my wife. Although I wasn’t a great father, I have amazingly wonder children and naturally brilliant grandchildren. And lastly, that I have no regrets that once dead my books received the proper attention they deserve!

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I suppose that premise has some merit. Although there are always qualifiers. For instance, while I grew up in north Texas, the suburbs of Dallas actually, my family spent most summers either traveling for its own sake, or traveling to go camping. Before I was twelve I had been to all the lower forty-eight save a few of the Great Lakes states. Always coming back to the insufferable summers of Texas seemed an unjust punishment for having such grand vacations. But I suppose it wasn’t so tortuous as to make me flee—I still live in north Texas, way out in the cross-timbers country and still travel far and wide only to return to the Texas furnace year after year. Something’s gotta be wrong with me. Writing’s a good therapy but it hasn’t shed light on that particular twisted nature of my psyche just yet.

The Elf & Huntress

The Elf & Huntress is the beginning of a long and winding trail from power to obscurity, from infamy to glory for a naïve lass from the highlands. On a simple off-planet assignment she’s dragged screaming into an underworld she couldn’t have fathomed existed. A scarred and liberated prisoner, she rises to become the feared Captain of the Lascorii Secret Services, avenging nemesis of the vilest pirate plaguing the worlds underwritten by the Seranath Trade Guild, with a hand-picked crew—and one diminutive, rather officious Seranim Guild Agent who learns for herself that Wish is the most powerful thing in the Universe…

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Genre - Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure

Rating – G

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