Ask the Author: J.R.H. Lawless
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m an intersectional pot pourri of an author who writes in UK English, in a large part because that’s where I lived when I started writing seriously, even though I was born and raised in North America (but not in any of the countries that may come to mind as part of that continent). I’ve lived in five countries on four continents, and became an immigrant at the age of 6. I’m now a lawyer and have, among many jobs, worked as secretary general of a parliamentary group at the French National assembly in Paris, which have both been valuable sources of inspiration for the political and the humour sides of my SF novels.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
ALWAYS GREENER and the just-released RUDE EYE OF REBELLION are the first two novels in THE GENERAL BUZZ, my dark Science Fiction comedy series. Set in the corporate-run 2070s, the two books follow the misadventures of Liam Argyle, a well-meaning fool of fate who tries to use his position in the corporate world to help folks and make a difference. But since he’s the host of the omni-connected world’s hottest new reality show, The Grass is Greener, where contestants get ocular implants broadcasting 24/7 and compete to convince everyone watching that they have the worst lives and are the future’s biggest victims, he gets drawn in to a corporate machine that exploits misery and destroys lives, the exact opposite of everything Liam’s principles would have him do.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
When I started writing the manuscript that eventually became both of these novels, I was living in the rural UK, by a crumbling 12th century abbey, working from home while taking care of our newborn daughter. But when needed I was also commuting to the French National Assembly in Paris. That clash and the first-hand experience of how the power structures of our modern societies work, and of all the personalities that go along with them, was both a major source of inspiration and a large part of my drive to write. I needed to write a cautionary tale about how ridiculous but also how dangerous the path we are heading down is, and how urgent it is to do something about it.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
While I live for the Pratchett-esque wordplay and tongue-in-cheek metaphors I’ve tried to lace my rather dark SF narrative with, my absolute favourite part of both ALWAYS GREENER and THE RUDE EYE OF REBELLION has to be the quirky etymology footnotes that are a staple of the series. I use them to explore some of the more fascinating, revealing, and sometimes absolutely hilarious shifts or even complete reversals in meaning hiding in the origins of some of the words we use every day.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett were a major inspiration for me, since they showed me how much fun you can have with the language and the form of your work, while at the same time enhancing and strengthening the impact of the substance of the story behind the laughs.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
I’ve mentored multiple newer authors through the SFWA mentorship program and other venues, and if there’s one single bit of advice I always give, it’s to keep working on the thing you’ve got bubbling away in your brain. Keep working on the thing, finish the thing, do what you can to send it out into the world when you’re ready, then keep working on the NEXT thing after that, without waiting to hear back from the world on the previous thing. That’s the only way to keep improving your craft and have the best chance of getting your words in front of your readers’ eyeballs.
Purchase links and Twitter are here:
And a special mention of the Rude Eye of Rebellion NetGalley page, where we’d like to encourage as many folks as possible to pick up a free review copy of the novel, while they still can!
Website : https://lawlessauthor.com/