Please welcome W. Lawrence (@SyncingForward) to the blog today!
What name(s) do you write under? If you write under a pseudonym, what helped you choose that name?
W. Lawrence. My real name is William Sturtevant, but 40 years of experience has taught me there is no end to the amount of butchering somebody can do to my last name. Thanks to Jennifer Lawrence, everybody can spell my middle name and that’s how W. Lawrence came to be.
Where are you from?
San Francisco, California. I left when I was 18 years old and since then I have lived in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.
What is the name of your most recent or upcoming release?
Can you give us an idea of what the story is about?
Syncing Forward follows Martin James who is unwillingly injected with a drug that slows his metabolism to a crawl and causes him to experience years in a matter of days. Martin watches his wife grow old, misses his children growing up, and watches history unfold in an unsettling manner. As the story progresses, his two daughters cope with his condition in very different ways. One becomes his caretaker while the other does everything she can to find the antidote to stop Martin’s relentless drive to the future.
What genre is it?
I will pigeon-hole it into science fiction, but I do that reluctantly. Syncing Forward is a thriller, dystopian, speculative fiction. I never set out to write a science fiction novel, but you simply cannot write a book about a man who travels decades into the future without talking about technology. However, the larger picture here is a love story of the family, about how far we are willing to go for the ones we love.
Where can we find it?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Bowker, Book Depository, and a handful of other dot coms. It is available in print and ebook formats.
When did you start writing, and when did it turn professional?
This is my first published novel. I have written some short stories in the past for gaming websites, but really this is a brand new activity for me.
What is your writing process? Do you use an outline, fly by the "seat of your pants" or some other method?
For Syncing Forward I flew by the seat of my pants. I had to. The story was pushing its way out of me and I was typing like a mad man, then going back for multiple rewrites. My next book I am outlining due to the complexity of the storyline.
What or who inspired you to being writing?
Syncing Forward was inspired by a lucid dream I had about three years ago. I wish I could say I came up with the plot on my own, but this one was given to me.
Did you hire or use an editor prior to publishing?
Yes. C.S. Lakin did my manuscript critique and proofreading, and Rachel Starr Thomson was my copyeditor. Both were fantastic to work with.
Did you use a graphic artist to create your cover art? If so, what helped you decide on the cover(s) of your books?
Lasse Perala is an artist from Finland who I found on Deviant Art. After the first cover I commissioned received poor reviews, I was hesitant to hire a new artist, but Lasse did not disappoint.
The cover itself is a broken clock face, representing how time is broken for the main character. The ocean plays on the word syncing/sinking (which is a theme in the book), and on the back cover you can actually see that SYNCING is reflected as SINKING in the ocean waves. The structure in the background ties in very generally with the story.
What have you learned on your journey from writing to publishing that you think should be passed along to those interested?
I have learned not to be impatient. There are so many different tasks to accomplish for publicizing your work, but there really is an order to it all. I managed to do it all back asswards and it caused me to waste a lot of time and money with nothing to show for it. Best to get a plan together and get advice from people who are more experienced than you.
I know some authors set writing goals, such as so many words per day. Do you set any goals for your stories?
For Syncing Forward I set goals of scene completion as opposed to word count. I made a note in my calendar that this or that scene had to be completed within X number of days. I tried a word count goal, but found I lost a lot of emotional ties to certain parts of the story when I focused on word count.
Do you have a favorite character of your own and what makes him/her your favorite?
Amara. She’s the oldest daughter of Martin James and tremendously dynamic. Amara is terribly flawed. Brilliant yet emotionally stunted, she can’t accept her father’s fate and grows into a tragic yet dangerous character. Writing her took a toll on me because she became very real, and I wanted so much more from her. But in the end, I decided that she had to become a result of the choices she made.
Do your characters "talk" to you?
Often. Realistic dialogue is important to me, so I would frequently sit and have conversations in my head so that they played properly on paper. My new manuscript is going much the same way, but decidedly lighter.
Who controls a story when you write; you, your characters or a combination?
It’s a combination, but I have to say that most elements of Syncing Forward were decided by the characters themselves. Choices and consequence play a large role in the story, both on a character and macro level.
Do you have any projects you’re working on now?
My new manuscript is a brain twister for sure. If you read Syncing Forward and think it has some twists, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. I’m going to yank the readers sideways quite few times. Syncing Forward has a rather somber tone; the next novel is going to be fun.
How do you juggle time between all your responsibilities?
Poorly. My wife is ready to kill me because there are items that have been on my to-do list for years. There is a certain irony about a man unable to spend time with his kids because he is writing a book about a man unable to spend time with his kids.
How do you feel about publishing in a digital age?
It’s a double edged sword. I love the ease in which I can publish, but there are millions of titles to get lost amongst. Standing out is by far the largest hurdle- to think I actually believed I was finished once I published!
Do you have any blog tours or upcoming events we should know about?
Just yours for now. I finished up three book signings at Barnes & Noble, Moravian Bookstore, and the Quadrant Bookstore and now I’m taking a break to focus on my day job.
How can we connect you?
I post interesting articles weekly on my site and have ordering information for bookstores and media kits for bloggers. I’m also on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from the readers!
Would you ever travel forward in time if you knew it was a one-way trip?
Mr. Martin James has no such desire, but after being injected with a mysterious drug against his will, Martin hurtles through the years. This cruel twist of fate forces him to watch his children grow up and his wife grow old in a matter of days. Only an elusive group of scientists have the ability to stop his nightmarish journey; the very people who injected him in the first place. And while Martin James hopes to find a cure before everyone he loves is gone, others are uncertain if his journey can be stopped at all.
W. Lawrence weaves a future history filled with the best and worst of humanity, highlights the blessings and curses of technology, and pushes the limits of faith and hopelessness. Above all, Syncing Forward is a tale of one man's love for his family, and their devotion to saving him from being lost forever.
Where to purchase Synching Forward
W Lawrence was born in San Francisco, California, and moved two dozen times before settling in Pennsylvania with his extraordinarily patient wife and two precocious daughters. He wants a boy dog. He works in the world of corporate security as an investigator and professional interviewer/interrogator.
Lawrence is obsessed with 5K zombie runs, comes home empty-handed from hunting turkeys, and loves non-fiction books about pirates. He has no problem reconciling that his two favorite shows are Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.
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