Thursday, May 30, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome BD Lawrence!

Please welcome BD Lawrence and listen in as he talks about his fantastic One-Armed Detective series!

What was your inspiration for the story?

I think part of it stemmed from being a youth worker in a church youth ministry for eleven years. I’d heard about sex trafficking and had heard how the average age was decreasing. I had also written a short story some years back about a one-armed detective (inspired by a friend of mine who had one leg) where I used the Hollywood portrayal of a prostitute. I liked the character so came up with a book idea for the one-armed detective. In this I wanted to show what sex trafficking really is. I was also inspired to use those books to both spread awareness of sex trafficking and raise money for an organization that fights this scourge. I donate half of my earnings to a local organization that fights sex trafficking.

Tell us about your road to publication.

I started writing back in the mid-nineties. During that time, I wrote five novels. Two of which I was able to get published electronically. This was before Kindle and before the popularity of eBooks. Sales were abysmal. I also wrote a lot of short stories and had about twenty-five of them published in print and online magazines. I took a hiatus from writing for about ten years due to my full-time job. I had started An Angel and a One-Armed Man, then titled Save the Girls. When work settled down, I felt called to pick that story up again and finish it, thus starting my One-Armed Detective series.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?

I wanted to write under my real name, not B.D. Lawrence. However, I discovered that Brian Lawrence dotcom was taken by a wedding planner. Therefore, I needed to come up with something else. Several authors I read use letters, so I thought that might be a good approach. Hence, B.D. Lawrence. And was available.

Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?

Once I had the first book done, I knew I wanted to write a series called The One-Armed Detective
series. Since getting back into writing, I’ve been trying to learn the business of publishing and marketing and most of the experts say a series is the way to go. We’ll see. I enjoy the characters and the situations, so plan to continue this series.

If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would you choose and why?

I’ve thought a lot about this. I think there are two secondary characters that are fascinating and have an interesting back story. One is Chester Henderson, the right-hand man to Calvin Rockport. The other is Sara Hanley, a former trafficked woman who has stayed with Rockport helping other trafficked victims. Chester lost his daughter to sex-trafficking. He’s a Christian, but he’s African American, which gives me some pause. I think I could pull off a story about Sara, however, it would be difficult to write about her background and keep the novel clean. She was a manipulative foster child lost in the system that did some bad things before getting caught up in trafficking.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

I’ve always been a fan of superhero stories. My favorite superheroes are the ones who don’t have special powers, like Batman and the Punisher. The themes of justice, vengeance, and redemption appeal to me. Finally, I love putting ordinary people into situations that cause them to become heroes. These three things pointed me to crime fiction. Finally, I’ve always liked the private detective stories, especially the noir fiction detectives. I like to play around with the sub-genre and put my own twist on it.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

For my first novel, I wrote a wonderful ten-chapter outline. When the book ended up being around thirty chapters, I stopped doing full outlines before writing the book. I use a technique I call “scene ahead”, where I write out the next five to ten scenes, write the scenes, then repeat. This gives me the flexibility to make changes, add characters, etc. I develop characters as I go. I’ll write notes about the major characters, but many come to me as I’m writing. I may be an oddity in that my favorite part of the process is rewriting. I enjoy first draft writing, but I always look forward to going back to the story and revising it. I think part of that is due to the length of time it takes me to write a novel due to limited writing time. And part of it is how I write first drafts. They tend to be the action and the dialog. My second draft is where I layer in more detail.

What is your advice to fledgling writers?

I have two pieces of advice. The first may seem trite, but it’s so true. Write. Just write. There are many people who say they want to be a writer, but they never write anything. If you want to be a writer, then write. It doesn’t matter what it is. Could be journal entries, could be articles, short stories, just random thoughts. But to be a writer, you have to write. The second piece of advice is find a critique group. Don’t rely on friends or relatives to give you feedback. You need real feedback from other writers. I started in online writing groups and through those learned so much. I’ve done a few live writing groups as well, but more as short-term workshops. Either one will help you improve.

What is your next project?

I’m working on two things right now. I have a collection of novellas and short stories set in the fictional small town of Marble Hill, Iowa. What’s unique is that all the stories are fictionalized accounts of true crimes. I’m working on a new novella. Once I finish that, I will put them all together into a collection. I’m hoping to release this in the summer. The second project is a new series with a new private detective named Jake Sledge. This is my ode to the old-time private eyes, with some twists and variations on the common tropes. It’s also set in a fictional town called River City, Missouri. And yes, there’s always trouble in River City. Jake is a big man, ex-NFL player. He wears a fedora. His partner is even bigger. But unlike most PI novels, Bobo, his partner, is the gentle one and Jake is the one that tends to skirt the moral boundaries. The first novel is called Chilled to the Bone: A Jake Sledge Mystery. I’m aiming for this fall to complete.

One-Armed Detective series blurb:

Lefty Bruder is a former St. Louis County Police detective who loses his right arm in the line of duty. He has always had a soft spot for girls trapped in sex trafficking. His former lieutenant arranges a private investigation license for him after his accident and convinces Lefty he has a calling to help rescue trafficked girls. A Vigilante and the Two-Armed Man is the story of how Detective George Bruder becomes Lefty Bruder. This novella also includes a short story titled The Finger-Snatcher and a One-Armed Man. This is Lefty’s first case as a one-armed private investigator. His friend, Holly Day is murdered, and he is determined to find out who killed her and why.

An Angel and a One-Armed Man tells the story of Lefty’s rescue of a runaway teenager named Angel from Iowa. In this story, Lefty meets Eileen Seager, who becomes a partner and good friend of his.

Angel has a friend who is sent to Phoenix. In The Coyote and a One-Armed Man, Lefty goes to Phoenix to rescue an autistic girl sold into sex-trafficking as well as to Mexico to rescue a twelve-year old girl stolen by a highly placed cartel member.

Author B.D. Lawrence brings the cruel world of sex-trafficking to light with his One-Armed Detective series. He is currently working on book four where Lefty and Eileen help a family who lives in Navajo Nation try to find their daughter who Lefty suspects has been sold into sex-trafficking.

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