Published Work: Uncharted Waters
J.J. Lawrence is a graduate of Institute for Children’s Literature. View Course Catalog >
Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author John Lawrence!
What are the names of your books? Who is the publisher?
Uncharted Waters is published by Lawrence Bedford llc via Create Space.
Available on Amazon.com
By Executive Order is published by Lawrence Bedford llc via Create Space.
Available on Amazon.com
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
Uncharted Waters, A Journey of Exploration, a YA adventure, is based on my high school, summertime sailing experiences with other teenagers on board a large sailboat.
I chose the route of self publishing via Create Space. I used a diligent application of a marketing strategy to sell the book.
How long have you been writing?
For publication—only the past three years. In high school, my talent surfaced with a favorable review of a writing assignment given to me by my American History teacher. The positive comments encompassed the material and my writing technique. However, science, engineering, and electronics captured my interest and led to a career that concluded in the training and development field for customer service engineers in the medical instrumentation industry. During my career I enjoyed writing white papers, instruction manuals, reports, investigations, and any writing assignment that came my way. Now I dedicate my time to writing novels.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
Reader satisfaction equates to success. Adventure stories allow for drama, comedy, suspense, surprise, romance, and every emotional spice that a writer can possibly use to make a reader beg for more.
What ICL courses have you taken?
I took the basic course for composing children’s literature. [Writing for Children and Teens]
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
Honest constructive criticism from a professional coach will never fail. My instructor always found and complimented the best parts of my assignment while giving advice on areas needing improvement.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
I haven’t yet submitted any assignments for publication.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Join a writer’s group that meets on a regular basis. The eight person group that I worked with for about a year, (I recently moved), meets every other week. In between meetings we read writing samples from our peers. On meeting nights we give the critiqued writing samples back to the owners. Each owner reads their work and peer compliments out loud. Any and all improvement suggestions are between the writer and the person providing the critique. This methodology strokes the ego and improves the skill level.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
Wow! That’s a tough question to answer. After completing my second novel, “By Executive Order” ? life in the U. S. under martial law 12919, a political thriller ? I’ve found that properly sketching out every aspect of the story is indispensable. Characters must be well defined. They have to jump off the page. The plot, theme, and the formula for a three act story must be well defined. In short, write the book about the book that you are about to write. I would give myself this advice when sketching out my first novel.
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
The most valuable thing that I learned from The Institute of Children’s Literature is tenacity. I always keep in mind that the hours of text book reading, writing assignments, practice assignments, reading and analyzing classic literature will be rewarded with successful publication. It is imperative to be consistent and persistent.
How long does it take to go from student writer to published author?
For an inspired person, with above average talent and extreme persistence, it will take about two thousand hours. That would be forty hours a week for fifty weeks. There is more to being a published author than just expert writing. Learning the ins and outs of the entire publishing business is absolutely necessary. Keep up momentum and don’t let a day pass where you do not take a step toward your goal. Plan your work and work your plan AND record what steps you take every day.
J. J. Lawrence is a novelist with an eclectic life style that allows him to interact with interesting people, places and situations. From volunteering as a first aid instructor, and Boy Scout leader, to obtaining his commercial Captain’s papers from the United States Coast Guard, to an extensive career in electronics, including research and development in the medical industry, his insatiable desire to learn and his strong craving to write about life in a positive light, allows him to create interesting and inspiring stories. After raising their children, John and his wife now lead a semi-quiet life in semi-retirement in Connecticut.