Book Nerd Interview
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I wouldn’t say that there was a defining moment, but I loved reading ever since I was young. One summer, I remember making a chart with all of the books I read, and giving myself a “gold star” after I’d finished each one!
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Probably that I have a performing arts background—I trained as an opera singer for many years, and performed in various shows and operas.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
I learned to push myself to be the best student/writer/human being that I could be, but I also learned the ability to move on—sometimes, there is only so much you can do for a certain paper, project—or even novel! It’s important to work as hard as you can, and then start something new, I think.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
In your new book; Mystic City, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
Mystic City is set in an alternate version of Manhattan, where global warming has gone unchecked and magic is real. It is the story of Aria Rose, the daughter one of the city’s political icons, and her coming-of-age story as she struggles to realize true love and the difference between right and wrong.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in Aria?
How “good” of a soul she has, has strongly she believes in justice and equality for everyone in Manhattan. I didn’t set out to write an overly political story, but I think those themes shine through because as I was writing, it became apparent that Aria had strong opinions about them.
For those who are unfamiliar with Hunter, how would you introduce him?
He’s a sexy guy with a good heart. He’s had a tough life—he is one of the mystics who has magical powers, who have been exploited in Manhattan, their powers drained and used to fuel the city as a source of clean energy. He has a past with Aria that he doesn’t want to expose, and he wants to protect her (and himself) from getting hurt. I think Hunter represents the sort of person we’d all love to have in our lives: someone strong, caring, thoughtful, and … easy on the eyes!
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Treat others how you would like to be treated.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would probably introduce Aria to Harry Potter because … why not? Everyone wants to meet Harry Potter!
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I try not to lie … but it would probably be, “Did you eat ALL of those cookies?”
What’s your most missed memory?
It’s hard to say … because if it’s missing, I can’t remember it! :) One of my favorite childhood memories, though, is spending time with my sister and playing together. When she was in college and high school, I’d moved out of the house and didn’t get to see her as often … now she lives in Manhattan and I’m happy we get to spend time together.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
Memorable good: A summer season performing at The Forestburgh Playhouse, where I had loads of fun, sang great songs, and made many friends.
Memorable bad: Working at The Gap when I was sixteen. No explanation needed.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My therapist, of course!
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
This morning. It’s always important to tell the people you love how you feel about them—live with no regrets!
Do you remember your favorite teacher?
I have too many to name. But the ones who were kind and encouraging are the one that stay in my mind.
When was the last time you cried?
When my uncle passed away.
Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I can’t recall, but it likely involved being buried alive—one of my greatest fears!
Where can readers stalk you?
On Facebook, my website (www.theolawrencebooks.com) and my new obsession, Twitter: @TLawrencebooks
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
Dystopian stories are not a rare breed but there are few that stand out from the rest. The story that Lawrence has created will captivate readers right from the beginning. It promises to be an amazing trilogy with its thrilling and engaging story of love and loss as readers trail Aria through her tussles to recover her lost memories. As her memories become clearer, it will end readers’ misery wondering what it will uncover. Although there are countless clues to her memories spread throughout the book, putting them together and trying to figure them out made for great storytelling. Lawrence’s writing style is breathtaking. The world-building that he puts in an alternate Manhattan is absolutely beautiful. The way he describes the upper city and the Depths are filled with richly detailed descriptions. The attention to detail he puts not just on the setting, but also onto his remarkable characters is just beyond great. Mystic City has everything a great book should have and book two will certainly follow the same pattern.