Jason Lawson is a fellow New Brunswick author who recently launched his first novel – Recession Proof – as an ebook. What better way to start off a year than launching your own novel and being on my site to answer a few questions?
I’m honoured to introduce you to my first 2012 author, especially since he’s a Canadian author, Jason Lawson!!
Welcome, Jason, and thanks for answering these questions so quickly.
You recently launched Recession Proof on Amazon, how does that make you feel??? Where do you plan to go from here?
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I’d hoped to get a book deal and almost did… The novel was well received by several publishers. A couple said they wished they were publishing that genre of novel and went on to praise the story and characters, not your typical rejection letters, which I’ve had quite a few. In the end I decided against looking any further and went ahead and published it myself. So far the feedback has been great!
Why such unusual male names for your characters and an usual female name? Any history behind each choice?
I wanted the main character’s names to reflect their personalities a little bit. Mortimer Binks is completely off the wall, hence the silly name, while Amanda Higgins, seemed like a normal enough name. Sometimes I scroll through the phone book, looking for odd names that jump out at me. It works.
Do you plan to have this available in print so you can sign your first autograph on your first novel?
I’d love to at some point. I guess that will depend on how strong the sales are of the ebook version.
When did you figure out that you loved writing so much and enjoyed having an audience?
I love telling this story. I have to thank my grade nine English teacher for that. Ms. Hopper. I walked into her class the first day and she told us that we would be participating in a new course, creative writing. The whole year we would have to write everyday. It didn’t matter if it was poetry, stories or just a journal, as long as we were writing. I was furious. At 14, all I wanted to do was read a book, do the report and goof off. I drug my feet, but got into it and that year I won an award for the best written composition in my school. So the seeds were planted. Actually, Ms. Hopper and I have remained close, she helped me tweak “Recession Proof.”
A writer, blogger, funny man, father… who IS Jason Lawson and why is it so difficult to find your history?
I used to be a farmer but I gave it up cause I was making so much money, the income taxes were killing me….okay that’s a bad joke. Now I drive trucks, mostly for construction sites and all the hours behind the wheel gives me a lot of time to dream up new ideas and stories. I have a great family, they’re all characters. I’m just the only one who writes stuff down. They’re very supportive of my writing and I usually run anything new by them first.
You received an Honourable Mention through the Writer’s Federation of NB last year with “The Date”, an excerpt I discovered, from Recession Proof. Do you have any other short stories you plan to turn into a novel? Did “The Date” start as a short story or was it always a portion of a novel?
The novel “Recession Proof” was already written. I just took the chapter of Frankie and company being kicked out of the Japanese restaurant and used it as a short story. It just seemed so crazy, even on its own. When I wrote this book I’d find myself laughing at it, which I found strange until I read a quote; “No tears for author, no tears for the reader.” Then I didn’t feel quite so nuts… I have a few short stories that are just that, short stories. Maybe they’re novel material, maybe not. The good thing is I always have a few ideas for a novel floating around in this noggin of mine.
You work for CBC Radio New Brunswick as a writer, how does working behind the scene’s with other writer’s help you?
There’s nothing better than sitting down with another writer and getting their view on things, their advice. There’s always something to learn. Everyone who’s helped me, every seminar I’ve attended I’ve taken at least one thing away from it. CBC radio is a little different. What happens is I write a commentary and send it to them, if they like it or have the budget for it they call me in and I record it. Then it goes on the air within a few days. Loads of fun, I just wish I had time to do more of them, trucking takes up a lot of my time unfortunately.
Life’s too stressful. We all need a good chuckle now and then. It’s nice to be able to make people smile, giggle and burst out laughing. When people tell me the story kept them laughing all the way through, it makes me feel good. It’s also a great way to get a point across. Some of the tirades I launch in my blog towards politicans are downright ridiculous, but people get it.
You have a history of supporting Laubauch Literacy in New Brunswick, your home province, are you surprised by the low literacy rates of the province while author’s can be found throughout? Besides attending awareness and raising money, do you plan to do anything more to increase literacy rates?
The first year I attended Mill Writes, which helps raise money for illiteracy, I was dumbfounded that such a large amount of people in this province can’t read. What scares me even worse are comments that are written by young people on social networks like facebook. A lot of them can barely spell. Is there something wrong with our schools today? There’s something wrong somewhere. Last year I was a guest speaker at Mill Writes and had a lot of fun doing it. I’ll certainly do it again if they wish, or anything else that would help the cause.
I’ve been finding a lot of your Letter’s to the Editor for our local newspaper, do you read a newspaper with the intention of finding something to write about or does the material just entice you to write?
Writing letters to the editor was something I started doing years ago. It was a good way for me to get some experience. I learned pretty quickly what you could say and what you couldn’t. And I’ve always been a news junkie, especially when it comes to the deranged officials we elect to run our province and country. I still shoot a letter off now and again, just to keep them all straight. Years ago,when I sold my first commentary to CBC radio, the producer at the time asked me, “Do you support any political party?” “I’m completely neutral,” I answered, “I hate all of ’em.” Thank you so much for the interview! I’m totally flattered.
Thanks for reading,