Where Honesty Never Ends.
Greetings! The Review Board here to gain greater insight into the mind of October Author Spotlight, Robert Jackson-Lawrence. The navigator of the journey will be Mr. Controversy. So without further delay, Mr. C., take it away!
1. Thank you for sitting down with us at The Review Board, Mr. Jackson-Lawrence! We are very excited to have you! How old were you when you discovered your gift of writing?
I used to write a lot of stories, both at school and out of school. I think the first one I remember was a story called Super-Tooth vs Dr. DK. It was a superhero story. I must have been 7 or 8 and I remember my teacher reading it out to the whole class!
After that, I remember the stories got longer and darker, taking on more of a horror and science fiction slant in line with what I was reading.
2. WOW! What was the first thing that you have written, and did it give any indication that writing was going to become a big part of your life?
Erm, see question 1 lol!
3. LOL! How important is it to you to have extra eyes on your work, in order for your works of art to flow seamlessly?
Very important, I wouldn’t consider publishing now without having a few other people read what I had written. I remember when I first published Knightfall, I did it without hiring an Editor first (I know, I know, rookie mistake). The early reviews all commented on grammatical and editing errors, and when I had the report back from the editor there were mistakes on almost every page!
I recognise that I am blind to my own errors when writing, regardless of how many times I read through it, so having other people look through is vital. I now have a small group of beta readers who give me honest feedback, as well as a great editor who fixes all the stuff I can’t.
I’m always open to feedback though, so if anyone has any thoughts or comments on what I have written please let me know!
My writing style has been heavily influenced by what I have read over the years. I started Knightfall in about 1995, and during that time I was reading a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Terry Pratchett.
With regards to the style and format of Knightfall, that has been very strongly influenced by television. Knightfall is written like a television show, split into 10 chapters (episodes) and then each chapter then split into scenes from the various character’s viewpoints in chronological order.
5. A great and creative idea, indeed! “Knightfall” has quickly become one of my favorite series! How did you come up with such an intriguing premise?
Knightfall came from a dream I had in about 1995. I woke the next day and wrote down as mush as I could before I forgot it. The dream covered most of the first book; the lab, the attack, moving to the other world, the Road Trains and the people on them, all the way up to the Regent’s death in Island City.
The original plan changed a lot after that – in the first sketch of the story, Alexander wants Ben to repair an ancient Mech so he can use it to destroy the Southern Baronies. How I’ve grown!
6. Growth is often a tool that is amazing to have! Seeing the times in which we are living, do you believe that a “Knightfall-esque” situation and scenario is feasible?
Maybe! I seldom turn on the news without seeing updates from one conflict or another all over the world. Contrary to what many readers believe however, Ben isn’t in the future, and he finally works out where he really is in the third book (New Light) if you haven’t read it yet.
7. I have my copy, and will dig right in soon! With Benjamin Knight as your protagonist, do you see a bit of yourself in him?
He has all the same awkwardness and shyness I had at 15, but sadly I don’t have his genius! I’m sure, in the original dream, I was the protagonist, and I changed it to someone else as the story was written. I put bits of myself into the various characters of the book, all apart from Carl who is basically my Dad!
8. I greatly appreciate that type of inspiration and innovation! Do you have any books that you keep close to your person that you enjoy reading?
I hate to admit it, but I seldom read a book more than once. This isn’t because I haven’t enjoyed them, but more that there are so many new books coming out every day that I will never get around to reading all the ones I want to, let alone reading books a second time.
For writing help and advice, I often talk to fellow authors and have several useful pages in the bookmarks folder on my computer.
9. Fantastic! Do you have any other writing projects that you are working on currently or in the near future?
After finishing and publishing Book 3 of the Benjamin Knight series, I finished and polished my 8 book series for younger children (PUPS! – The Adventures of a Third Grade Werewolf) and I recently published the first in my new series X-Calibur (titled The Return). This is a science fiction series with elements of Arthurian legend mixed in.
I plan on writing one or two more of the X-Calibur series before finally writing the 4th book in the Benjamin Knight series (Oracle), due for release in 2015. It is slowly simmering in the back of my mind at the moment, the details finally bubbling to the surface. It will tell the story of The Piper and what really happened to all the children in Gerlder’s Ford…
10. I cannot wait to get into more of your books! What advice would you offer to all writers who are looking to take the Leap of Faith in the realm of writing and publishing?
Just do it. Keep writing, try to write whenever you can, and write what you want to write. Don’t try to second guess what is popular, because by the time you have something finished, it won’t be popular anymore! Just tell the stories you want to tell and have fun doing it.
Don’t be scared to take the plunge and make your work available. It’s never been easier to publish your work for the world to see, and don’t be put off by bad reviews. You will get bad reviews. Guaranteed. But you will also get great feedback on what you have written and you might just make someone’s day.