Featured Interview With Dan Lawton
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Aside from my writing, I'm a copy editor and copywriter by day for an advertising agency in New Hampshire, where I reside, and I love it! I live in central New Hampshire and haven't ventured too far throughout my life. I'm a sports lover and vegetarian by choice and a dad. I unassumingly make myself laugh every day. While I'm an introvert, I'm not shy; I just often don't know what to say. Most importantly, I'm happy and thrive on positive energy and good vibes, and believe people need to find their own happiness. I love life.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My story is unique in that I didn't particularly enjoy reading for most of my childhood. The books we were forced to read in school failed to connect with me, so I soured. It wasn't until college when I began seriously reading for pleasure. As a writer, I've been doing it since before I was a teenager. From poems to songs first (even though I can't sing!), to eventually a movie script for a scriptwriting course in college and short stories, which eventually turned into full-length novels.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite authors are John Hart and Harlan Coben. I'm more of a "book" guy rather than an "author" guy, with the exception of John and Harlan. Otherwise, I'll read whatever sounds good and aligns with my interests at the time. I read what I write—literary suspense, thrillers, mysteries, contemporary family life, etc. John Hart has been my biggest influence. He writes literary suspense—a beautiful juxtaposition of literary writing with fleshed out characters and descriptive writing, and suspenseful plots. I try to write like he does.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Green House is literary fiction. I always incorporate a suspenseful plot, so it's a literary mystery. Further, it's a psychological analysis and shroud in romance. Admittedly, it's dark and with a slow pace, and the focus is on the mental health of the main character, Girard—to identify him as a protagonist or antagonist is difficult to do; he's both in many ways. Mental health, depressive thoughts, alcoholism, grief and loss, healing, and hope are all parts of the story. Symbolism is a huge part of the art of the work too, which is represented by flowers in Girard's greenhouse (also a green house; the title is two words intentionally). You'll have to read it to understand, but there's seven flowers, the colors of which represent different emotions, which tie into Girard's story.
The story is deeply personal. At the time I began writing it, I had a close relationship with someone who experienced mental health issues, which I struggled to understand. As a writer, the best way for me to understand was to put myself in their place—as a character with these same issues. That's where the general concept game from. Later, a larger concept about the green house and the flowers and the symbolism came to life and connected it all together. Because there are so many moving plots and a theme about something larger than oneself at play, it took me roughly two years to write. For the first time, I found myself with serious writer's block for about a year. I was putting my daughter to bed one night and the idea for the flowers came to me in a flash, so I ran into the other room, jotted down my notes, and off I went.
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles