Interview with historical romance novelist W. E. Lawrence

I’m wrapping up the week
with an interview with W. E. Lawrence about his historical romance novel, Chakana.
Bio:
W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business
administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies
distributorship for the past twenty-three years.

Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America,
Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and
their two wonderful children.

W. E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical
romance novels filled with action, adventure, and suspense. He published his
debut novel
Guardian
of Paradise
in October 2014.  His latest book Chakana was published in December 2015.
Welcome, W. E. Please tell us about your current
release.
Chakana – Encounter in the Sacred Valley, is a James Bond meets Indiana Jones
action/adventure story set in Peru just before the start of World War 2.  The basis of the tale is a race between good
and evil to find an ancient treasure that could affect the outcome of the war
before it even begins.  It’s filled with
danger, suspense, some humor, and even a torrid romance.
Synopsis:
In 1940, before the start of
World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a
high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of
the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in
imminent danger.
Fleming joins forces in the
remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave
from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college
professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode and interpret the clues, and
face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.
The group is hounded
throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact
smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are
determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort.  Intrigue, danger, suspense, action,
adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free
world.
What inspired you to write Chakana?
I’ve always enjoyed action
stories with some kind of puzzle to solve. 
However, most of the ones I read lacked the adult element of including
an intense romance with descriptive love scenes.   I wanted to create a tale which combined
components of what thrilled us when we were young with what arouses us as
adults. 
Excerpt from Chakana:
PROLOGUE
Countryside outside Athens, Ohio 1934
    The rumble of thunder sent the horse into a
nervous prance.  The animal jerked its
head and whinnied as James Fleming pulled in the reins to steady his
mount.  “Whoa there, big fella. It’s just
a few boomers, nothing to be concerned about.” 
But when he raised his gaze to study the sudden ominous build of cloud
formations, the certainty of a brewing storm made him decide it was time to get
back to the barn.  With a gentle tug, he
turned the horse.  “All right, Major, you
win.  Let’s go home.” 
     James had enjoyed these lone horseback
outings through the hills and valleys of the countryside and took them as often
as he could.  However, this would be his
last ride.  He would miss America. Ohio
in particular.  He had learned a great
deal the three years he spent there, working and studying.  He even learned things he hadn’t intended,
like riding horses owned by his sponsors who graciously opened their home and
provided him with a place to stay.
     But the time had come to return home.  The winds of war were building between his
homeland of Great Britain and Germany, now ruled by the radical Nazis hell-bent
on avenging their defeat in the Great War. 
His country needed him, and James, always a patriot, would contribute
any way he could.
     He again looked to the sky.  The storm had moved in quicker than he
expected.  Dark angry clouds now directly
overhead made it look as if night was descending.  Gusty howls of wind and more rumbles of
thunder gave sound to the suddenly eerie scene. 
His horse became more frantic by the moment, pressing the need to get
out of the weather as soon as he could. 
Although unfamiliar with the shortcut through the valley and having been
warned by the ranch hands that the territory contained dangerous marshland, he
decided to take the chance.
    Entering the valley, his heart beat
faster.  After little more than a hundred
meters, the trail narrowed but he pressed on. 
Clouds linked together and the low whistle of wind made the hair on his
neck stand on end.  Thank God, it hadn’t
started raining …yet. 
     Then a sudden crack of thunder crashed
over their heads.  The horse bolted.  Using what he’d been taught, James fought the
reins and had his mount under control in a matter of seconds.  He exhaled, then stopped to regain his
bearings.  The animal had only traveled
another dozen meters, but his relief was short lived. 
   The ground beneath them began to
quiver.  When he tried to turn the horse,
the earth sucked at the animal’s hooves like quicksand.  Again, his heart raced.  He had to get out, but the horse, now in full
panic, reared back and threw him. 
Falling backwards, he landed hard in the swampy marsh.  As he lay stunned, he heard the horse
struggle to gain its footing, and then gallop away to freedom.
     The horse escaped, but James was not so
fortunate.  Sinking, he tried to scramble
out but the marsh restricted his movement. 
The more he struggled, the faster he went down.  When up to his waist, he stopped.  This couldn’t be happening.  This was supposed to be his last day in
America.  He couldn’t die like this.  But the wet mud and the tangy smell of
rotting vegetation made it all too real. 
     Nearly panic stricken, James turned his
head and caught sight of a fallen branch sticking up out of the marsh like an
outstretched hand.  With trembling
fingers, he reached out and grasped it. 
After he pulled himself closer, he slung an arm over and hung on.  He tried to relax so he could catch his
breath but each time he started to sink, he had to wiggle upward to keep his
head above the marsh.
     Soon, the wet mud and exhaustion began to
take its toll.  Though it looked hopeless,
he began to shout.  He shouted as long
and as hard as he could.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m kicking around some
ideas about a political espionage thriller. 
Again, I want it to contain the same elements of action and romance as
my previous books.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I really don’t consider
myself a writer just yet.  I feel that a
true writer has to have attracted at least some sort of reader audience.  So far, I‘ve just been piddling around.
 
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
write?
I have recently retired
from being a business owner after twenty-five years.  Now, I would enjoy being a full-time writer
if the ideas and opportunities keep coming. 
My normal day would be to write and brainstorm in the morning and do my
reading in the afternoon.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never learned to type
and I can’t spell worth a hoot.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never thought much about
a career as a child.  Like a lot of boys,
I dreamed of becoming a professional football player.  Unfortunately, I was too short, too skinny,
and too much of a slow white boy to make that happen.
Anything additional you want to share with the
readers?
Just that I tried to make
my books fun and entertaining.  There may
be subtle hints of a political message in the stories, but nothing that takes
away from the tale …I hope.
Links:
Thank you for being here today, W. E.!

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