Saturday, April 19, 2014

Author Interview with W. Richard Lawrence

I'm excited to introduce you to one of my long time friends! Richard Lawrence (or Mr. Lawrence as I've known him) and his wife were two of my speech and debate coaches in high school. I knew then that he'd written a whole line of homeschool science curriculum, but I was very excited when I heard that he's recently released a Christian Suspense!

Mr. Lawrence, thanks so much for joining us today! Please tell us a little about yourself.


I live in northern Colorado with my wife, Debbie, who works as my sounding board while I’m putting my fiction stories together. Debbie and I have backgrounds in electrical engineering and have written 12 award winning science books together. We also ran a science supply company for several years. After a publishing company picked up our books we shut down the business. I then decided to try something different, which I have found I really enjoy – writing fiction. I now write complex high-tech stories filled with distrust, deceit, murder, treachery, faith, love and at times, the ultimate sacrifice.
 
I come to the table of writing with a little different background than many authors. I grew up in a military family which means we moved a lot. I spent nine years in Germany and three in Hawaii, plus I have lived in several different states. By the time I was seventeen, I’d lived in seventeen different places. Once I moved out on my own, I worked as a technician in the Army before going to college for Electrical Engineering. After twenty years in the high-tech world of integrated circuits, I left the engineering field and became an author. This background has given me a unique perspective which I believe comes across in my writings.  


What made you decide to become a writer? 

Some people say they have a story that just has to get out. And that is partially true for me as well. But there has to be more to it than that. Writing a novel requires an author to write the story then go over it time and time again to make it just right, spending months if not years on that first book in the hopes that someone will read it and find enjoyment in it.

For me, when I left the technical world I wanted to do something as challenging as computer programming, but more entertaining and rewarding. I wanted to produce something others hopefully will also enjoy. I also wanted to weave Godly lessons within my stories in a natural way. I try to show Christians as real people, not perfect but trusting God. We don’t have all the answers to life and we go through trials and suffering. That’s not ungodly, it’s what Jesus said would happen. Writing provides me with the means, challenges and rewards that I am looking for to put these messages across.

Also I spent much of my childhood moving around the world and I always made up stories in my head as we traveled. This is a habit I never really broke. So I have hundreds of stories waiting to get out. Writing novels is an enjoyable way to tell them.  

Where did the inspiration for your latest book come from?  

That’s hard to say. I come up with the premise on the way home after church one day. I was thinking about some of the people I’ve known in my life who blame themselves for the bad things in their lives. In some cases they may be right, but in many, these bad events happened to them while they were children and through no fault of their own. But because of these events they feel they aren’t good enough to receive God’s love or any kind of love or kindness. They almost look for ways to destroy their lives.

I wanted to write a story that I hope shows that we can’t control what is done to us, but only how we choose to respond. I wrote about a girl that had a very rough childhood through no fault of her own. I wanted to show that she could be loved by God and by a friend/boyfriend. I hope I have succeeded in Fatal Transaction.  

That answers the spiritual part of the story. The action or thriller part came to me from my background running a business and my past as a computer programmer. Running my company, I learned a lot about the way credit cards are processed and some of the weaknesses in the system. I learned that the card information stays on the card reader until the end of the day. It’s encrypted but still there. I started with this as the premise for massive credit card number theft. The story is possible given the right circumstances.

After that I just needed to put the two pieces together. 



Wow. That sounds like a great premise. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
 
I try to make my characters live their faith not just speak it. Experience has shown me that I’ve had the biggest effect on those around me when I didn’t know I was being observed. I have seldom changed people’s minds through lengthy discussions about God and what’s right or wrong, but by them observing me trying to live a Christian life.

When I have my characters talk about God with a non-believer, sometimes they win a point and sometimes the other person wins the argument. I know some authors show Christians always winning, but that’s not life. We must have faith that God is in control and can use even our fumbling attempts at witnessing for him to achieve his purposes.

In many cases we may plant the seeds but they may not grow until that person faces a crisis in their life. In Fatal Transaction that is what it takes to change the heart of my main character, Sara.

That's so true. So, what are you working on next?

I just finished my first pass on the sequel to Fatal Transaction. It takes place a little over two years later. Sara is paroled to the FBI where she helps solve computer crimes. She’s engaged to Derry and when she finds out she can’t have kids because of her past, she plans revenge.

Terrorists are working in one of the Government agencies and Sara is one of the suspects. When an FBI agent is murdered all the evidence points to her. She runs and together she and Derry work to uncover the truth. When they discover some of the terrorists’ plans, they need help. And the only place to get that help is from the man that destroyed Sara’s life.

To save the lives of thousands she must overcome her hatred, but can she do it?   

Sounds great! Thanks so much for being with us today! 
 

 Also don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in this week's giveaway! Check out all our prizes on the Prizes Galore page!