Monday, March 4, 2019

Lace and Blade 5 Author Interview: Lawrence Watt-Evans

From lands distant or nearby, familiar or utterly strange, historical or imaginary, from ancient times to the Belle Époque comes a treasury of luscious, elegant, romantic fantasy. Come with us on a journey through time and across boundaries, inspired by the longings of the heart and the courage residing in even the meekest person.

The release date is Valentine's Day 2019, but you can pre-order it now:

Print: here (Amazon) or here (Barnes & Noble)

Deborah J. Ross: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you come to be a writer?
Lawrence Watt-Evans: I became a writer because after a writing assignment my second-grade teacher said I might be one someday, and when I got home that day and told my parents I thought I might like being a writer, it became the only occupation they ever tried to talk me out of pursuing.
My parents convinced me that it wasn’t a likely way to make a living, though, so even though I kept writing I figured it would just be a hobby — until my stories started selling, and I couldn’t find a decent day job. I wound up making my living as a writer for thirty-some years.

DJR: What inspired your story in Lace and Blade 5?
LWE: I don’t really know what inspired “An Interrupted Betrothal,” exactly. I’d been thinking about how little say women have traditionally had in who they marry, and it grew from that.

DJR: What authors have most influenced your writing?
LWE: I’ve been influenced by dozens of authors, from the most famous (e.g., J.R.R. Tolkien) to the most obscure (e.g., C.L. Hales), but the ones who probably contributed the most to my stories for Lace and Blade would include Baroness D’Orczy and Rafael Sabatini.

DJR: What’s the most memorable fan mail you’ve ever received?
LEW: Memorable fan mail — there have been a handful of people who wrote to tell me my stories had changed their lives for the better, and it’s hard to forget that. When someone says one of my novels turned him into an avid reader, or even saved him from suicide, all I can do is marvel — I’m just trying to entertain. The people who have sent me drawings of my characters and creations have been delightful, too, if not as overwhelming.
On the other hand, there have been at least two loons who wrote to me multiple times. One was trying to convince me of his bizarre theory that Stan Lee was a Nazi, the other wanted to recruit me into a scheme to defraud a couple of publishers. And the one person who sent me fan fiction based on my Ethshar series got so much wrong I felt a little heartsick that he had so completely missed the point of my stories.

DJR: How does your writing process work?
LWE: My writing process changes all the time; I can’t really describe it. I write whenever and however I please, which varies from one project to the next.

DJE: What have you written recently? What lies ahead?
LWE: These days I’m working on the Tom Derringer series, about a professional young adventurer in a 19th century that isn’t quite the one in the history books. These don’t make a lot of money, but I really enjoy them. I’m writing the third and have plotted up through #6.

DJR: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
LWE: My advice to aspiring writers is, don’t listen to advice. Do what works for you. Write the story you want to tell in the way that tells it best; don’t try to please an editor or fit a marketing niche.

DJR: Any thoughts on the Lace and Blade series or this being its final volume?
LWE: As for Lace and Blade, I love the premise; must this really be the last?

Lawrence Watt-Evans, who is inordinately fond of pink flamingos, has been a full-time writer for almost forty years, with fifty novels and well over a hundred short stories to his credit, mostly fantasy, science fiction, and horror. He’s best known for the Hugo-winning short story “How I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers,” the Obsidian Chronicles trilogy, and the ongoing “Legends of Ethshar” fantasy series. As of this writing, he lived in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

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