20 Questions with John Lavan

1. So, what’s your book all about?

Familial: Selected Poems (http://apostrophebooks.com/familial) is a book of heartfelt poetry – from a father to his family.

2. What inspired you to write this tale?

My son, Andrew, has Down’s Syndrome and he’s my muse. There’s not a lot of art created from a father’s perspective on family love.

3. Do you have a favorite quote about creativity/inspiration etc…? What is it?

William Blake: ‘To create a little flower is the labour of ages’

4. What things do you keep in your “writing space”? Do they inspire you? Confound you? Hold wires in place?

5. What is your perfect “writing space”?

I work as a management consultant and I travel all around the UK, mostly on trains, so my ‘writing space’ is a railway carriage and laptop. Sometimes the madness of traveling behaviour can be an inspiration – yesterday I was in Wales and a lady berated her boyfriend for going to the toilet at the wrong time! There’s a poem there.

6. If your car horn could play any song, which would it be? Can’t say Dixie.

‘Show me the way to go home’

7. What would you name the first permanent settlement on mars?

Mars Place

8. How tall is the perfect sidekick? Please explain why it even matters.

The perfect sidekick is 1 cm shorter than me. It matters because, as a creative write, I need challenge – but not too much challenge.

9. If you were to mess with the time stream, what would you change? Let’s assume a hundred other people already took care of Hitler so you don’t have to say, “Kill Hitler.”

I’d have a dinner party with Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. I’d seek to make them an item.

10. Let’s say your character has a pet brown bear. What’s the bear’s name?

Baby Bear

11. If you had to give an antagonist an annoying trait, what would it be?

A stutter

12. What kind of car would your ultimate protagonist drive?

One that keeps stalling and backfiring

13. You’ve got a year to travel anywhere. Where?

Nowhere. I need to stop traveling!

14. You just bought a boat with your book fortune. What are you going to call it?

A very small rowing boat – it’s a poetry book!

15. What kind of music, if any, gets you typing the fastest?

Bach’s Chaconne – I wrote a poem about it here – http://bit.ly/SVtQok

16. What’s the punch line to your favorite joke?

I like Daddy Bear best, he gets more porridge.

17. What lyric do you sing poorly, yet loudly?

I can do most of Les Miserables in the car or bathrioom. The lyrics for that musical were put together by poets!

18. You find a portal to another world in your sink’s drain. What is this other world called? And what is the best way to clean the portal so it doesn’t smell like old food?

I’d like a world where people were more conscious of, and skilful with,  language and its effect on the human psyche – we all could use words with tremendous skill to uplift. I’d call it ‘World of WordCraft’. It wouldn’t smell because people in that world would cast wordspells (poems!) to clean it.

19. Where can people learn more about you, your work or any pets you have?

The book Familial is here – http://apostrophebooks.com/books/poetry/familial/ which also has two videos of poetry readings on it, and interviews.

About me: http://apostrophebooks.com/writers/johnlavan/
On Goodreads (please rate and review it!): http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15838108-familial
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/apostrophebooks/familial-selected-poems-by-john-lavan/

And I blog  here – http://poemsfromreality.blogspot.co.uk/

If you want to meet Andrew and a super-hero, please look!

20. What’s next?

An epic poem – I’m half way through writing it. Called – ‘The Little Shaman’

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