Thursday, October 31, 2013

Interview with Author Gregory S. Lamb

 Gregory S. Lamb
Portland, Oregon

What have you written?
The People In Between:  A Cyprus Odyssey
Family Saga - Historical Fiction
A Ghost Named Manky
Young Adult - Campfire Story
A Dangerous Element
Military Thriller - (currently in the mill)

What is your favorite genre to write?  
Contemporary Fiction

Favorite food:  
Çoban or Mercimek çorbası - Turkish for Shepherd's Soup often made with red lentils

Where would you like to visit? 
The Kingdom of Tonga in the South West Pacific - It would mean tramping on an Inter-Island supply ship - something I've got on my bucket list.

Favorite musical artist:  
Aoife O'Donavan - Progressive Blue Grass Singer/ Song Writer with the sweetest airy voice you'll ever hear.  The original music she performs with the Band "Crooked Still" tells some amazing tales.

Do you listen to music when you write? 
Sometimes - I find music with lyrics to be a distraction

When I do it is Modern or acoustic Jazz Instrumentals

What makes you laugh?
Great question.  When I was a kid I remember experiencing the uncontrollable emotion of laugher when I heard certain types of music being played.  Recently I've re-discovered the joy of listening and have found myself laughing when listening to Old Time American Folk music.
I also find myself laughing at some of the silly things I see my dog, Matisse doing.  He's a Faux French Bulldog (mom was Frenchie, dad a Boston Terrier). 

How old were you when you started writing?
I wrote a play in Fifth Grade...that must have been my first foray into the world of creative writing.  I was a terrible student and really terrible writer until my sophomore year as an undergraduate.  However, I didn't really learn to write until later. 
Believe it or not, writing policy documents in my former career taught me a lot about crafting a story line. About three years ago, I began my second career as an independent author and I'm still learning.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I've been thinking about this question since I discovered the importance of marketing my work. By reading the work of others - both good and bad, I've started to populate my creative writing tool kit with a variety of techniques.
I'm often impressed with the creativity of the work written by young artists.  I don't believe I would have been able to do what I'm doing now without the perspective of my life's experiences.  In recent years, I've come to realize that I'm a collector of other people's stories, which sometimes form the basis or framework of a plot line.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Thank goodness I haven't experienced this plague!  My stories burn in my mind and I'm compelled to write them down - they spill out in ways that sometimes keep me from remaining in the present.  Two things emerge as a result:  I sometimes miss what is happening around me while imagining how I would document an occurrence or emotion that I just experienced. Second, I end up with lots of written material that requires sifting, organizing and eliminating all together.  That is the hardest part for me - As Stephen King points out in his work, "On Writing."  We must learn to eliminate "our little darlings," to keep the plot moving and our readers engaged.

Who is your favorite author?
Jack London - This guy had the credibility of experience.  He wasn't afraid of adventure.  I would be so bold as to describe him as one of the world's first participative authors.  He was a ground-breaking war correspondent at a very young age - long before the popularity we see with today's celebrity journalists.

Best book you ever read.
Why do people ask me that?  It is perhaps the most difficult question for me because I have so many and my answer varies with my mood.  However, two recent novels come to mind: 
I liked the structure of The People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks more than anything I’ve read in the past year.  The story arcs from Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese really grabbed me and I admired the way he structured the chronology and flow into a complete novel.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I couldn't afford college so I worked my way through school as a sail maker.  My world revolved around sailing in competitions in the San Francisco Bay Area and saving money for college.  Kame Richards, the owner of Pineapple Sails in Oakland, California was a generous employer who I admired for his creativity and energy.  He always kept a spot for me on his small staff of employees so that I could make it through college.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Henry Kissinger because I'd want to learn every detail about the path he took to acquire so much influence. Not because I'm interested in becoming a power monger either.  I'd like to go eyeball to eyeball with Mr. Kissinger and challenge him to defend keeping the American public in the dark about his involvement in manipulating international politics.  I'd want to hear what he has to say about the many people in various places in the world who endured and suffered as a result of his political engagements.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Enjoy the process.  Have fun on the adventure ride that you would be creating for yourself as you journey along the trails of your characters.  Manage your expectations and follow your heart and allow yourself to write what you feel matters.




My Website:

My Blog: 

Read about my soon to be realeased novel:  A Dangerous Element

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