Friday 11 March 2011

Ten Quick Questions and Answers With Lawrence M. Schoen

Today I'm interviewing Lawrence M. Schoen. Lawrence is a Hugo nominated author, small press publisher and editor, founder and director of the Klingon Language Institute, and Chief Compliance Officer at a medical centre providing mental health and addiction treatment services in one of the largest cities in America.

Lawrence’s second novel, BUFFALITO CONTINGENCY will published by Hadley Rille Books and launched on March 19th at Lunacon where Lawrence is this year's guest of honour.   

1. What’s the best piece of writer’s advice you’ve ever heard?

Write More. Suck Less.
Also up there, and a bit easier to implement: Ass In Chair.

2. What’s your star sign?

Depends on what system you're using.

My zodiacal sun sign is Leo.
My i-ching star sign is 5 or Tai Chi.

3. What star sign should you be?

Honestly, I've never given it any thought. Maybe you can suggest one after I've answered your other questions.

4. What’s the best short story you’ve ever written, and where can we read it?

I'm not a big fan of superlatives like "best" or "worst" because I don't think the human mind is meant for such narrow thinking. 

But you want an answer, so I'll say that I'm very, very proud of a short story that came out in January of 2010 entitled "The Wrestler and the Spearfisher." It's one of my rare ventures into Fantasy. And, since it's eligible for a Hugo, I'll happily email a PDF of it it to anyone who asks for a copy. 

5. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Hmm. I'll have to say the time I spent working graveyard shift in a warehouse in Compton, CA filling palettes with cases of plastic household nonsense that you see in stores having Dollar Day events. My brother got me the job right after I'd dropped out of college, and it made me realize that I needed to get back to school, which I did, sticking around until I had my doctorate.

6. What’s the elevator pitch for your new novel?

Stage Hypnotist the Amazing Conroy is blackmailed into using his pet buffalito to smuggle liquid gravity from an alien crime boss whose grandson dies in the middle of his act, leaving Conroy to deal with his hypnotized ghost.

7. Didn't I see you in Lightspeed?

Yes, but not for my fiction. I had the great pleasure of writing a short piece of nonfiction about alien language to accompany an Ursula K. Le Guin story. 

djw -- here's the link to the article.

8. Whose blog should we be following?

Jay Lake's. He's all over the map, indefatigable even when he's exhausted, poignant, insightful, amusing, and instructive. And I'm not saying that just because we're both members of the guild of Bearded, Once-Divorced, Middle-Aged, Writer Guys of Unusual Size.

djw-- and a link to Jay Lake's blog

9. What’s the best meal you ever ate?
Impossible to say. I'm married to a former chef, and I write first person POV about a protagonist who's a self-proclaimed foodie. My wife and I are constantly on the prowl for new culinary experiences (and I get to insist it's all research for the next book). 

10. How can we get our stories published by your small press, Paper Golem?

Write brilliant novellas (20-40K length). I'm always reading for the ALEMBICAL series. I hope to continue publishing it for years to come. One of the novellas from the last volume is currently up for Nebula Award. Yours could be next!

Thank you so  much, Lawrence. Readers, find out more about Lawrence on his blog


  1. Cool; 2 new blogs to follow. Great interview, Deborah.

  2. Jay Lake's posts are inspiring. Check out this one about rejections and hitting the pro-time, Milo. And my favourite post about psychotic persistence.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to an author I hadn't yet discovered. I look forward to reading his work.

  4. I'll have to head over -- it's always good to learn about publication, eh?

  5. Hey Lawrence; hey Deborah! Great interview! Wow, Lawrence, you write and publish. Cool. Your book sounds very interesting. Is it an ebook or a paper book?

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Cool interview, guys. I have Sweet Potato Pie on my to read shelf.

  7. Thanks stopping by. And you know if any of you ever fancy being interviewed, you only have to ask.

  8. great interview. Love the best writing advice ;)

  9. Awesome interview! Such a nice, quick way to learn more about other authors.

    I gave you a shout-out on my blog :)

  10. Lynda-- Yes. The advice says it all really. I'm a sucker for advice, but all I need to do is -- apply butt to chair.

    David. Thank you so much. I'm experimenting with interview styles. And thanks for the shout-out. That's a classy touch, I wish I'd thought of it.

  11. "Write more. Suck less."
    Brilliant. Thanks for the great interview!

  12. Hi guys, great interview :) What an intriguing pitch!



  13. Great interview, I love the "Write more, suck less". That's got to be the funniest and most concise, and true writing advice ever.