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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Gladys Lawson talks about the inspiration behind her new book, U Murder U (Suicide).
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Gladys Lawson about her life and career, what inspired her to start writing, and the creative process that went into her new novel, U Murder U (Suicide).
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a trained medical microbiologist. I work in the NHS as a senior operations manager covering Pathology, and I am doing a part-time course in international public global health. I write fiction novels under GLL Publishing.
My novels are varied and what people have called inspirational as one thing I do is use serious issues like abuse, exploitation, racism, sex trafficking, suicide etc., to create stories I believe can make a difference and ultimately help people and/or inspire people to help others.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I have always been creative and written short stories and poems. For my first book, I had an idea for a story and started creating characters in my head and something inside me kept saying this is bigger than a short story, write this down, write this down – so I did and my first book ‘Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled’ was born.
When did you take a step to start writing?
Several years ago, I was working full-time in a Pathology laboratory and managing a singing artist and saw firsthand how things worked in the music industry, which was not what I expected. When I decided that I was going to write a book, I thought it best to base it on the music industry and started creating storylines and characters in my head and writing things down. I would literally come home from work buzzing with ideas which I had written in my notebook or on napkins during my lunch break and I would stay up to the early hours writing.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took a few years because I was working full time, managing a singer, and had two young children. I would write during every spare moment that I had but found it took several years from first idea to completion.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
It took over 2 years as it is a very sensitive subject and consists of several characters with different storylines. I wanted to get the story just right so made sure that I took my time with it.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write U Murder U (Suicide)?
My latest release is a book titled ‘U Murder U (Suicide)’ and it is a topic I felt needed to be brought to peoples’ attention due to the increase in the number of young people who have died due to suicide.
What were your biggest challenges with writing U Murder U (Suicide)?
The subject is teenage suicide and preventing it so to write a convincing story I had to do a lot of research on the reasons behind this topic some of which were heartbreaking.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
In U Murder U (Suicide) the Protagonist is Anna Lee Lewis an American living in the UK and who hears dead people, especially those who have died as a result of suicide. I wanted to give people who have died a voice that can be used to prevent others following the same path. I decided to give Anna Lee Lewis the ability to do this and convey the regret of the dead to the living.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
The Antagonist in U Murder U (Suicide) is multifaceted. One person could say it is the person using the internet to lure young people into taking their lives. Another person could say that it is the evil forces surrounding the person. U Murder U (Suicide) is a story that people must read to form their own opinion.
What is the inciting incident of U Murder U (Suicide)?
10 young people take part in a suicide pact in a Central London hospital, and it is discovered that this is the start of several pacts scheduled to take place that must be stopped.
What is the main conflict of U Murder U (Suicide)?
A task force called Talk To Someone (TTS) is bent on stopping more suicide pacts from taking place. They race against time to do this and stop the person behind the suicide pacts.
Did you plot U Murder U (Suicide) in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
Some of it was planned but most of it was by praying that the story would be clear and using ideas that people could relate to. I think I got a lot of ah-ha moments when I prayed because things fell into place. I didn’t want people to think that the book was about committing suicide but about the fact that suicide was killing oneself, hence the title U Murder U (Suicide).
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did U Murder U (Suicide) need?
Yes, I got support with editing. The book did need some editing.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
I would say that people should write about what they know or do a lot of research about the subject they want to write about as this will make their story more convincing. Have a plot, create your characters and be prepared to change things as you go. I believe that your story must mean something to you before it can mean something to others.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I wrote a book titled ‘Blood Borne Connections’ a few years ago.
It is about trafficking young girls from Europe to America and using them as sex slaves. I have had thoughts about using some of the characters for a new book. I also have several other ideas that I want to write about.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I have spent years researching material, validating my research, and then writing books. I have done a full days’ work in the hospital, come home, and taken care of my children then worked throughout the night writing my books. I love writing stores and I am proud of my accomplishments. It has been worth it for me. I go into secondary schools and give talks on my books and working in healthcare as part of a motivational charity. I am currently working on getting my books made into movies and TV drams. My books have been read by people from different walks of life and I have received good reviews. I have been told that the stories have helped people – this is what I wanted when I set out to write them.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
‘Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled part 1’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Despite-All-Odds-Dream-Fulfilled/dp/0993010105 and https://gllpublishing.com/product/despite-all-odds-a-dream-fulfilled-part-1/
‘Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled part 2’ https://www.amazon.com/Despite-All-Odds-Dream-Fulfilled/dp/0993010113 and https://gllpublishing.com/product/despite-all-odds-a-dream-fulfilled-part-2/
‘Truths Lies And Untold Secrets’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Truths-Untold-Secrets-Gladys-Lawson/dp/1609118235 and https://gllpublishing.com/product/truths-lies-and-untold-secrets/
‘Blood Borne Connections’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Borne-Connections-Gladys-Lawson/dp/1622126467 and https://gllpublishing.com/product/blood-borne-connections/ @bloodborneconnections
GLL Publishing Books – www.gllpublishing.com
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