Wednesday 15 April 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Lawrence Oliver

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with Lawrence Oliver.

Lawrence N. Oliver struggled in school. He has dyslexia and he hated reading, especially aloud. So, his father bought him a copy of The Foundation and The Hobbit. He can’t remember which was first but he fell in love with the genres. He'd always had a vivid imagination and a daydreamer’s attention span, they'd have called it ADD were he in school today. Even now he catches himself staring out of the window thinking about his characters, their misadventures and the other worlds they inhabit. 

As he grew up it was life, responsibilities and procrastination that had kept him from ever putting any of his daydreams down on paper.

One day he found himself home alone with a few days off work. He was reading a book, sitting by the window in his overstuffed cliché suburban recliner. It was just good ole' space opera, high adventure, the good guy is always good and always right in the end kind of stuff. Nothing wrong with that but he kept finding himself drifting from the book, looking out the window thinking of a different story. One that was a little more in keeping with the accounts of conflict he’d grown up listening to. What he knew and had read about points of view and good people making bad decisions in impossible situations where no matter what you did it could end up wrong and people could die. But if you didn't do something you and your fellow soldiers would be the casualties. Things aren't black and white, even the good guys screw shit up and sometimes the good guys aren't really the good guys at all, again depending on your point of view. 

So he put down the book he was reading and he started writing.

What kind of stories do you write?

Futuristic, action/ adventure that takes place on other worlds and the dark expanses of space in between them. Gray areas, Flawed characters and humor are things I like all of my stories to have. 

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve always had an overactive imagination, even to the point of distraction. I was always staring up at the clouds or out of a window when I should have been paying attention. Stories running through my head of characters and places I’ll never see. Now I try to focus my imagination and commit the stories and characters to the page. I want people to read my work and say “wow, that was good. I want more.” I love building worlds and telling stories. That and I’d like to get to a point where I can do what I love for a living some day or at least supplement my income significantly.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

From The Last Marines my space opera novel.

“Where to?” the pilot asked grudgingly.
“The hell we are. They’ll shoot us down.”
“No, they won’t, I’m an emissary,” Corbin said with a grin, motioning toward the cockpit with the muzzle of the pistol.
The pounding persisted outside the hatch. Damn. He hated to make Hammer’s day any worse than it already was; she seemed alright. Corbin kept a close eye on the pilot as he took the copilot’s
seat for himself.
“That hatch gets opened from up here, it won’t be good for you either.”
“I don’t give a damn. Emissary or whatever, what makes you think they won’t blast our asses out of the sky?”
The shuttle slowly lurched up off the pad, but it wasn’t more than three feet up when Hammer stepped in front of the cockpit. Her blaster leveled at Corbin’s head. He knew she wouldn’t fire.
Either because they both knew the shuttle was armored, or because she knew he wasn’t worth anything to the alliance dead.

Instead, she shifted her aim to the pilot’s head and fired two bolts.
“What the hell!?” The pilot ducked down as far as she could in her seat. “You said they wouldn’t shoot. She just to tried to burn me out.”
“She knows it’s armored. I think she was sending a message,” Corbin said uncertainly.
“Really aho, what made you think that? Fucking message . . . What message? ‘We shoot hostages!’ What the hell?”
“I think the gloves just came off. All you need to know is that they won’t really shoot us down.”
“Oh, okay. Well if you say so, I should just take your word for it. You hijacking me being such a great character reference and all.”

Tell us about your latest project

Short stories. A fellow writer, blogger and publisher I know encouraged me to try them out as a way of promoting my major work. I’d never written a short story before, ever. I didn’t think it would be for me, hell even my grocery lists run onto the back of the page sometimes. But I gave it a shot and now I’m hooked. 

From the Ashes will be the third short story I’ve had published since I started writing shorts about eight months ago. It’s a post-apocalyptic anthology available on Amazon. My contribution is The Two Waters. Climate change didn’t just melt the ice it caused thousands of undersea volcanos to erupt over decades raising the sea floor and truly flooding the world. Pockets of humanity survive on floating mega cities and walled mountain top city states. But there are threats greater than the people know, creatures that would have this world to themselves and enslave or slaughter what is left of humankind. 

What is your favourite cake?

White cake with white frosting eaten with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

A classic for sure! You can keep in touch with Lawrence at his website, check out his books on Amazon and follow him on Facebook.

Join me next week when I'm joined by Stacie Eirich. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round! 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find all her books on Amazon. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop

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