A big thanks goes out to Lawrence Ambrose for answering my questions.
Check out his novel- Black Widow Syndrome, it is great! I loved it!
Let’s start with getting the formalities out of the way-
Tell me a little about yourself, age, location, family, etc.
I grew up primarily in the Midwest, though we moved around a lot – living in NYC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago, and eventually in sunny California. I’ve heard that frequent moving can raise one’s I.Q. I hope so. 😉
What is something you’d like to share that most people don’t know about you?
I’m pretty outspoken, so people already know what I’d like to share.
What books have you published and/or had your works featured in?
I’ve had a couple of short stories published in Liberty Magazine.
What has been your favorite story or novel to write and what inspired you to write it?
I enjoyed Black Widow Syndrome the most so far. It had me on the edge of my seat as I wrote, since I didn’t have much of the story worked out. My second favorite in terms of enjoyment was the Moira/Lorilee DIVIDED WORLDS series.
I have read your novel, Black Widow Syndrome, it has been one of my favorites of 2015. What inspired you to write it, and/or how did you come up with the idea?
I tried to think of a gruesome but thought-provoking act that might fit in the zombie/vampire genre, and the idea of females eating their mates (black widow, praying mantis) came immediately to mind. I liked the allegory to current problems in human male-female relationships.
Also, I loved the character of Meredith, such a strong woman, how did you come up with her character?
When I decided to bring the Black Widow virus from Mars, I needed a mission with astronauts. I thought a woman astronaut would be pretty cool (one of my other characters – Lorilee from the Divided Worlds – has aspirations to be an astronaut). As most good characters do, she came to life on her own fairly quickly.
What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Writing-wise? I think that would be BLACK WIDOW. But I think my greatest accomplishment is simply educating myself and improving my self-awareness (and awareness of others).
Have you had any disappointments that just really got to you? If so, would you care to share what it was and why?
I’d list my divorce as one of my major failures/disappointments, along with a sometimes prickly relationship with my sons (that has improved over the years, thankfully).
I always assumed I would be a great writer and fabulously successful, so I’ve been slightly disappointed in both cases. (
Who does the covers for your books and do you help in designing them?
I do most of my own cover work (I can hear the groans of professional graphic artists as I write this ;-). I’ve hired some people to help me on three or four occasions, but usually end up modifying their stuff until it’s almost unrecognizable as the original art. That happened with Black Widow.
What author(s) inspired you the most to become a writer and at what age? What was it about them that inspired you? What would be your favorite book(s) by that author?
No one inspired me to be a writer. I literally grew up with that notion planted firmly in my head. I’m not sure where it came from – except that I loved to tell stories. I think I’d credit my grandfather more than anyone, who loved a tall tale.
I remember the first novel that truly impressed me: Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. That blew me away at seven years of age!
Are there any new authors that have become favorites of yours?
I’d say my favorite new author – off the top of my head – is probably Suzanne Collins of THE HUNGER GAMES fame. Of course, she’s been writing for some time, as most “new” writers have. I liked Laini Taylor a lot (DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE). Kim Harrison is pretty cool.
What characteristic of your favorite genre do you feel is most important when writing? Or the most fun for you to write?
I prefer psychological thrillers involving some form of self-discovery and featuring plenty of action (though not necessarily of the exploding car variety).
Would you ever consider writing in a different genre? If so, what would it be and why?
Well, I guess I’m one of those annoying authors who enjoys writing in almost all genres. I do favor “speculative fiction” themes, however. I’ve written about a man struck by lightning who wakes up to a different life, a gay guy who discovers he’s truly straight (my best novel that everyone seems to hate), a dysfunctional couple, YA/NA adventures in my DIVIDED WORLDS series, and a shapeshifter ex-Special Forces woman, so…?
When writing, how much research goes into your work? What has been the most interesting thing you have had to research? What has been the most fun thing in your research?
Research is a total pain in the ass. It’s also one of the best brain-stimulants around. I spent hours of research just to write the first few pages of BLACK WIDOW. One of the most fantastic things about being a writer is how much it forces you to learn. Right now I’m immersing myself in conspiracy theories in order to write OPERATION INDIGO SKY. It’s mind-boggling sometimes how much you have to know to write even the simplest thing, so my hat’s off to Andy Weir (THE MARTIAN), despite some critical scientific errors in his novel.
How do you come up with or what inspires you to come up with the ideas for your novels, novellas and short stories?
Thought-experiments are a great story-generator for me. I think: What if X happened? That’s how I wrote HYPER, MY FAVORITE LIFE, QUIET THUNDER (in the works), among others.
What are you currently working on and what else do you have planned for 2015?
OPERATION INDIGO SKY, LIFE OVERBOARD, and QUIET THUNDER will likely be my next three novels.
On a more personal note –
What are some of your likes and dislikes in movies, books, food, drinks, activities, music, etc, or anything else you would like to let us know about you?
I like movies and novels which provoke thought in an entertaining way. I don’t like slow-paced, “artsy” movies.
I see food as a means to an end – my physical and mental health – so I usually minimize quantity in favor of quality. I write songs and play many instruments in a mediocre fashion, and probably would’ve been a professional musician or rock star in another life.
Name a favorite and least favorite memory from your childhood and from your adult life.
Favorite memory was hanging out with my cousins and grandparents growing up (in Minnesota region). Also, getting married. Least favorite: death in the family.
If you could change anything about your life, past or present, or both, what would it be, if anything?
My number one priority would be to be a better father and husband. I would also change my writing habits from foolishly undisciplined as a youth to those of a serious writing professional (which I am now).
What is the best thing a fan has said to you? The most funny thing? The worst thing?
The worst thing was calling my writing “crap.” The best thing was that my writing was “hallucinogenic.”
Where can fans find and contact you on the web? Blogs, websites, etc.
Virtuallylove.com is my website. I occasionally post an article there. You can contact me at Lawrencej63@gmail.com.