Q & A with TW Lawless

Why did you decide to write your book?

I’ve always been a writer but life got in the way. The long held ambition was to write a book and that opportunity finally came in late 2011. I’ve always had a passion for the written word having studied journalism, creative writing and screenwriting.

Who/what inspired you to write?

My main character, Peter Clancy, was a major source of inspiration. I’ve had the idea of writing a book about a flawed character for a while. I like characters that have to wrestle with their inner demons along with outside forces that are gathered against them. My wife, Kay, was also a major source of inspiration. When she wrote her book, The Lornesleigh Legacy, it all finally came together for me.

What was the most rewarding part of the writing process?

Creating inspiring and off beat characters that speak for themselves and who get themselves into situations that they have to overcome is enjoyable. I like characters that have layers and a background story. One-dimensional characters are boring. I also like twists and the unexpected in a story. 

What are your top tips for writing a book?

Discipline is important. You have to have discipline to write even when you’re not feeling your best. You only get better when you write every day. Planning your plot and characters is another essential while also allowing enough leeway for the unexpected. Accepting criticism without taking it personally is a good survival tip.

Which books/authors have inspired you?

Graham Greene: I like how he set flawed characters against a background of evil, for example, The Power and the Glory and The Quiet American. Hunter S Thompson: I admire his offbeat characters and the first-person stream of consciousness. As for thriller writers: Ian Rankin, as he has a stark and uncompromising approach. I like his characters having to struggle with work politics and personal issues and bending the rules at times to achieve their objectives.

Why did you decide to self publish?

I wanted as much control of my product from its creation to its marketing. It’s a steep learning curve at times but it’s my learning curve.    

What do you hope your readers get out of your book?

I want the readers to be entertained most of all. I also want them to be confronted, educated, shocked and even have a laugh. In the book Homecountry I wanted to show a side of Australia that people don’t usually see, the dark, sinister side and in a place not usually visited by authors – North Queensland. I wanted to set Homecountry there as I was born and raised there.

Would you consider writing another book?

I’m not going to stop writing. Currently I’m working on a book that again has Peter Clancy as the main character this time set in the Marvellous, Murderous Melbourne of the late 1980s. I’ve planned a series of at least seven books with Peter Clancy as the main character.

Do you have any other tips for new authors (i.e. book launch, research, marketing etc.)

You need a compelling story and a professional editor for a start. You do not want to look like an amateur. My latest mantra is that marketing is everything. You have to learn how to market your book. A great book that deals with book marketing is The Self-Publishing Marketing Guide by Debbie Higgs. Read it over and over.