Interview with Author Lawrence Parlier – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Lawrence Parlier

Author Lawrence “Ace” Parlier is a writer/poet/musician from Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.  He got his start writing poetry and song lyrics in his early teens alongside his studies of music theory and guitar. After graduating high school, he started the art rock band The Malevolent as its lead singer and principle songwriter. After a few years on the road the band imploded leading Parlier to go back home to Cincinnati burned out on the rock-n-roll life style and in serious need of healing.

There he returned to his writing with a renewed interest and started experimenting with longer forms of expression eventually leading to his debut novel, “Sierra Court Blues”.  Parlier still lives in suburban Cincinnati dividing his time between his writing and his new band Chaos Ritual.  His new novel, “The Frontman” will be released July 2nd, 2020 from Black Rose Writing.

Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book

Lawrence Parlier: The Frontman is about a legendary rock singer, Kerry Vance, who dies under mysterious circumstances at the start of his latest European tour. The official story is death by misadventure, an overdose. But his best friend, Avery Clark, suspects foul play.  As Avery searches for answers, a mysterious woman from Kerry’s past approaches him and tells him Kerry’s death was not an accident and that Kerry, knowing what was coming, had created his own plan to set things right.

Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

Lawrence Parlier: It’s complexity.  My first book, “Sierra Court Blues,” was very straightforward. It was a first person narrative informed by experiences I’d had playing in bands over the years. With this new novel I wanted to test my skills and create something much more intricate and nuanced. This book has a lot of characters and storylines woven together as the complexity of Kerry’s life and that of those he loved is explored.  I had a lot of fun putting it together but it was definitely a challenge.

Ramona: Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason/s for writing a book?

Lawrence Parlier: The idea of becoming a novelist hit me a bit later in life. I’ve been writing songs and poetry since I was a teenager, probably thirteen or fourteen years old. I was definitely compelled, from an early age, to express myself.  It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that the idea of writing a book struck. I had a very good friend and co-worker that I used to regale with tales of having played in bands over the years and all of the silliness, sadness and debauchery that’s intrinsic to that life. He had told me on several occasions that I needed to put all of it down into a book. He said that if he found it fascinating plenty of other people would, too.

I balked at the idea, at first. I knew that if I wanted to do it right that it would take a very big commitment. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task.  During that time, though, I had been studying writing and poetry. I had found some modest success placing poems in a few literary magazines and had been writing lyrics for a short-lived band that I was in. The idea for what became “Sierra Court Blues” started churning in my head.

It wasn’t until after the death of a very good friend and former bandmate that I decided to commit to writing the book. Remembering our time together is what made the plot gel in my head. His passing also made it abundantly clear to me that tomorrow is not guaranteed. If I was going to pursue this project, the time was now.  I had the first draft of it in hand a little less than a year later.

Ramona: What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

Lawrence Parlier: I’m not sure my procedure has been normalized yet. I met the publisher for the first novel on Twitter! The publisher for this book, Black Rose Writing, was suggested to me by a friend who had published a book with them previously.  In both cases, the books were picked up by the first place I’d sent them to. I am intensely aware of just how rare that is and am infinitely grateful.

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Lawrence Parlier: Aside from what I mentioned earlier, I think I’ve just always had this urge to express myself. It’s taken a lot of forms. I find writing novels deeply satisfying in that I am able to create an entire worlds in any way I see fit. The only rules that apply are the ones I create.  Thus far I haven’t gone too far beyond the norm, though the idea has crossed my mind. My next project may very well be speculative fiction.  I think that at the core I was motivated to be able to create something that was entirely of my own imagination and intellect.

Ramona: How many books have you written so far?  

Lawrence Parlier: This is my second novel. “Sierra Court Blues” was published in 2013. “The Frontman” will be released July 2nd, 2020.

Ramona: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotion strongly?

Lawrence Parlier: A writer? Sure. There are tons of projects, non-fiction, journalism or technical writing, where a more logical mind set would better hold sway. Of course passion for one’s work would have to enter the equation somewhere.  I think that for a novelist strong emotion is absolutely necessary. There are two quotes that have stuck with me over the years pertaining to this. The first is; “No emotion in the author, no emotion in the reader.” I’m not sure who to credit for it but it resonated with me and has served me well.

The second is from the venerable Stephan King from his book “On Writing.” There is tons valuable of information in that book that has helped me tremendously over the years but the one that stuck was, ““Talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” That spoke to me and made me feel a lot better about being on the right path.

Ramona: How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

Lawrence Parlier: Writing is easy. Establishing a career requires herculean effort. It is not easy these days to create something that rises above the din. There are a lot of indie writers out there creating beautiful things that go with very little notice. It’s disheartening. One has to set oneself to the task, not take no for an answer and not give up. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities and charge full speed ahead. It can be done but it’s not for the faint of heart.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Lawrence Parlier: Write. Write with a mad passion and total abandon. Do not limit your imagination and don’t worry about any type of technical convention. Just let everything go and write from the depths of your soul. Everything else can be fixed with revision and editing.

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