Ten questions with JT Lawrence

I'm a bit of a fangirl when it comes to JT Lawrence, and I'm so excited to read her new book. We dig a little deeper into her life . . .

Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or did life step in and change your plans?

Always! I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon.

What was the first book that you wrote?

When I was 11 I wrote a book about an evil parallel universe school where some sinister force was slowly taking over the teacher’s brains. My school was called Meredale Primary, so the book was called ‘Weredale’. It had a high body count. Some things don’t change.

Out of all your books that you've written which has been the most well-received?

This is tough to answer, because they have been successful in different ways. ‘The Memory of Water’ has been downloaded over 44,000 times and is still a #1 bestseller in Dark Comedy in the Amazon UK free store. ‘Grey Magic’ is the most consistent seller and made me the most money. ‘The Underachieving Ovary’ has touched the most lives. ‘How We Found You’ got onto the top 100 Dystopian list in the US store which made me shoot little hearts out of my eyes, and I’ll always have a soft spot for ‘Why You Were Taken’ because it’s the book that pushed me into becoming an indie author.

Out of all your books, which one did you enjoy writing the most?

Writing ‘The Underachieving Ovary’ made me laugh (and cry) out loud (my husband always says I laugh at my own jokes), but ‘Grey Magic’ pretty much wrote itself, which is my favourite kind of book to write.

Do you have a specific place to write?

I walk to a coffee shop up the road. I don’t even have to open my mouth and there’s a coffee spinning on my table.

What's your cure for writer's block?

I have the opposite of writer’s block. I’ve got around ten books lined up to write, plus there are story seeds everywhere I look. I have a rapid release strategy planned for my urban fantasy series next year, so that means writing and releasing four full-length novels in 2018. Yikes!

Your favourite books?

Don’t get me started. How long do you have?

But seriously, I once read a William Boyd book and I didn’t write for a year afterwards. ‘Any Human Heart’ is an absolutely perfect novel, so I thought, what’s the point of writing anything else?

You can have dinner with four authors or literary characters, who do you choose?

Joanna Penn; JK Rowling; Stephen King; Michel Faber.

When you're not writing, what are you doing?

Running my author business, my book-dealing business and looking after my home-made gremlins. I have 3 kids under 6.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Short answer:

My days are full of barely contained chaos, constantly on the brink of mayhem.

Long answer:

In the morning I feed the baby, wrestle my toddlers into clothes and send them to school. I work on Pulp (my book-dealing business) till 11 when I go out to write for 2 hours. I’m back by 1pm to feed everyone and juggle my kids, Pulp, and my author business. From 3 – 4pm I write again, then I take the baby for a walk while I listen to self-publishing podcasts. Then it’s proper parent duty: feed, bath, snuggle, and when they’re finally snoring, I have a glass of well-deserved red wine and do some proper uninterrupted work from 8 till 11. Feed baby. Collapse into bed. Read with my eyes shut until one (or two or three) of the kids wakes me up at 2am. At 6am I feed the baby … and rinse and repeat six days a week till infinity (or that’s what it feels like). Habits and structure are imperative when you have so many young kids (and an ambitious publishing schedule). Without them, I wouldn’t get any words down and my life (and brain) would probably implode.