Skip to content

Q & A with Mystic City Author Theo Lawrence

January 23, 2013

Today we welcome author Theo Lawrence to Random Acts of Reading. He joins us to talk about Mystic City, the first book in the trilogy set in a future New York in which much of the city is underwater, politics is a dangerous business, a rebellion may be on the horizon and star-crossed lovers must find each other. He’ll also share some thoughts about writing, music, snacks, and dachshunds.

Mystic City

What book made the strongest impression on you as a child?

I loved S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and Lois Lowry’s The Giver. I also remember thinking everything by Roald Dahl was both hysterical and frightening.

What is one thing about you that would surprise your readers?                                                                                         
Probably that I trained for many years as an opera singer! I also have a mild obsession with dachshunds.

clip_image002

Dachshund coasters resting on one of my bookshelves

Do you use social media? If yes, how do you feel about the role social media plays in your writing life?

I do! You can find me on Facebook and I tweet as @tlawrencebooks. You can also visit me online at www.theolawrencebooks.com. I love being able to interact with readers and other authors, and being able to share about upcoming book events or other things I’m excited about.

What has your favorite event experience been so far?

I had a fabulous time in Princeton, New Jersey recently with Elizabeth LaBan. It was a small event, but most of my family was there—including my grandmother—which made it very special.

clip_image004

My grandmother, Eileen Honigman, at the Barnes & Noble in Princeton, New Jersey

What was your favorite genre to read as a teenager?

Probably adult murder mysteries. I loved to read inappropriately gory books under the covers with a flashlight. I remember reading Caleb Carr’s The Alienist and being scared for weeks afterwards. In fact, I’m still scared just thinking about it.

What’s your favorite snack food when you’re writing?

Swedish Fish. The red ones!

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I do, though sadly it’s not anywhere exotic. It’s just at my desk, which is in my bedroom. But it’s a very nice desk!

Do you have favorite music to listen to when you write?

I usually listen to music right before I write, or while I’m revising. I actually have a Mystic City playlist—and here are a few selections from it:

“Cold War” by Janelle Monáe

I love the cool tones of Janelle’s voice, plus the funky beat of this song. The line “Do you know what you’re fighting for?” was something I thought about a lot as I wrote Mystic City.

“Love Is a Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse

For me, this is Davida’s song. The dark, sultry tone of Amy Winehouse’s voice never grows old. She is able to capture such heartbreak, and this is what Davida feels regarding Hunter, who loves Aria—not her.

“Us Against the World” by Coldplay

Toward the end of the novel, this is 100% how Aria and Hunter feel. Sometimes it really does come down how much you’re willing to fight for what you want when the odds are stacked against you.

“New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra

Although this standard was originally performed by Liza Minnelli in the Scorsese film of the same name, the Frank Sinatra version is my favorite. It celebrates the city of Manhattan . . . so it’s the perfect song to encapsulate Mystic City!

Do you plan to continue writing for teens, or do you think you might write for adults at some point?

I hope I always have the opportunity to write for teens. I am currently working on the sequel to Mystic City—titled Renegade Heart—and there will be a third book in the series after that. And then, who knows?

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

My advice would be … plot! The more you think about what your book is going to be about, and what events are going to occur, the easier it will be to sit down and write.

What inspired you to write Mystic City?

Mystic City was inspired by a trip to Venice. I remember thinking how beautiful the city was, and wondering what Manhattan would look like if it had canals instead of streets …

Can you give us a preview of Book Two, Renegade Heart?

Renegade Heart picks up a few weeks after the end of Mystic City. Even though Aria’s struggle to reclaim her lost memories is over, and she now remembers Hunter and their romance, Manhattan is basically going up in flames … a revolution has broken out and everyone is taking sides. Aria has to determine what—and who—she is fighting for.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thanks to everyone who has picked up a copy of Mystic City and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to share the next part of Aria and Hunter’s story with you soon!

In addition to the Q&A, we have a bonus from our author today—below you will find Theo’s “Walking Tour” of the New York of Mystic City.

Theo Lawrence: My New York

In my debut novel, Mystic City, the city of Manhattan is a character itself: this Manhattan is a magical, technological marvel. The rich and powerful live in the upper reaches of buildings—known as the Aeries—moving via bridges and magical “lightrails.” The poor live in the Depths, traveling the flooded roadways and tunnels—a result of global warming—via motorized gondolas, fearing and hating the ruling class.

Although much of the landscape in Mystic City is fictional, parts of Manhattan do make special appearances throughout the novel. I’m a native New Yorker, and some of my favorite spots in the city inspired certain locations in the book.

I’m delighted to take you on a little “walking tour” of my top ten Manhattan highlights:

1. Central Park

In a city with so much brick and glass, it’s a comfort to find a serene place full of greenery. I love to go to Central Park and sit out on the lawn or take a walk or run around the reservoir. In Mystic City, Central Park has been renamed the Magnificent Block, and it’s not exactly a place of grandeur: it’s where the registered mystics are forced to live in a ghettoized community. Check out Central Park when you visit New York and enjoy some relaxing time at the zoo or outside in the Delacorte Theater for a show.

2. Time Warner Center

In Mystic City, the Time Warner Center has been reimagined as the Circle, a shopping hub of several buildings enclosed by a glass dome to ward off the heat and connected by tiny bridges with mystic slidewalks that move beneath your feet. Although the actual TWC isn’t that high-tech, it is a great place to shop and have a few fantastic meals with your friends.

3. South Street Seaport

A historic part of Manhattan, South Street Seaport is near the lower tip of the island, where Fulton Street meets the East River. In Mystic City, Aria follows her servant Davida down to the Seaport and discovers a secret entrance to the rebel mystics’ underground hideout. While you might not find that if you visit the Seaport yourself, you certainly will discover lots of fantastic places, like the South Street Seaport Museum and the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse. During the summer the Seaport Music Festival attracts thousands of people.

4. The Upper West Side

Aria Rose’s family dominates this side of Manhattan. If you visit the Upper West Side, you’ll be able to take a serene walk along the Hudson River, stroll through the quad of Columbia University, stop off for a cool beverage at the West 79th Street Boat Basin Café, or even attend a concert at Symphony Space.

5. The Upper East Side

Aria’s fiancé, Thomas Foster, lives on the Upper East Side, along with his family and their supporters. If you were to walk these streets, you might attend a lecture at the 92nd Street Y, stop in to examine some art in an intimate setting at the Frick Collection, absorb some history at the Museum of the City of New York, or even rest your feet at the famous Pierre Hotel.

6. Lincoln Center

One of my favorite spots in Manhattan, Lincoln Center comprises several magnificent theaters, including the Metropolitan Opera House, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, which seats almost four thousand people; Alice Tully Hall, a fantastic concert spot; and the Walter Reade Theater, a movie theater used by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Other theaters present Broadway shows, ballets, and more. If Lincoln Center existed in Mystic City, I bet Aria Rose would have loved it.

7. Chelsea Market

Although Chelsea Market doesn’t exist in Mystic City, I draw on it for inspiration in Renegade Heart, the second book in the series (coming soon!). Chelsea Market is a food court, shopping center, office building, and TV production facility housed in what used to be the factory where Oreo cookies were first made! Go figure. I love going down to Chelsea Market on the weekends and taking a walk through the halls, visiting bookstores and card shops and tiny bakeries with delicious pastries.

8. The 86th Street Subway Stop

In Mystic City, the underground subway system has been abandoned, and this is where the rebel mystics who have refused to have their powers drained hide out from the government. In real life, the subways in Manhattan work properly. This stop is my favorite because it’s the closest one to where I live, but if you visit New York, any subway stop will do—go through the metal turnstiles, take a ride, and see where this silver bullet full of passengers will take you!

9. Grant’s Tomb

In my version of Manhattan, this historic place has been destroyed. But you can still visit it! One of my first apartments in Manhattan was right near the General Grant National Memorial, a stunning mausoleum containing the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant (eighteenth president of the United States) and his wife, Julia. For inspiration, I would visit the site and spend time in Riverside Park, sitting on a bench and watching passersby. The Hudson River is nearby, providing a beautiful landscape for daydreaming.

10. The Empire State Building

To get an idea of what some of the skyscrapers in Mystic City might look like, why not end your tour at the Empire State Building, certainly one of the most famous spots in all of Manhattan. Built in 1930, this 102-story skyscraper is located in Midtown and is an American cultural icon. It was designed in the Art Deco style and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The beautiful floodlights that illuminate the building at night partially inspired the lightposts in Mystic City, where drained mystic energy is stored.

I hope you enjoyed this tour as much I did! And don’t forget to check out Mystic City

 

Many Thanks to Theo Lawrence for joining us today, I’m already looking forward to Renegade Heart!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

About these ads
42 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2013 6:27 am

    Prise en main de la dépannage de porte et de serrure avec des spécialistes partout en Ile-de-France grâce
    à depannagefrance.fr le spécialiste en dépannage des portes

  2. April 16, 2013 8:29 pm

    Bonjour,

    Je suis jeune de vingt-neuf ans : je ne fait pas de problème
    en ce qui me concerne .
    Élodie à votre service
    Je travaille comme caviste ! Mes amies disent souvent que je suis attentionnée.
    A

  3. April 17, 2013 6:37 am

    Jean Marc Philippe Paris est le magasin parfait afin de trouver des tendances grandes tailles pour femmes grandes fortes.
    Divers modes de prêt à porter de taille 42 à 60, tels que les tuniques, jupes,
    chemisiers, manteaux, sacs et accessoires. Boutique en ligne pour femmes rondes à
    prix interessants. Livraison non payante à domicile à partir de 250 euros, paiement par visa.
    Pour plus d’informations, contactez-nous au 01.
    42.36.84.77 ou regardez notre site jeanmarcphilippe-eshop.
    com.

  4. May 11, 2013 7:12 pm

    Hello; Ici Brunella
    Je suis une vieille de trente-neuf années
    .
    Je suis une bibliothécaire . Si je suis parfois je m’en foutiste, ce n’est pas forcément un défaut ?

  5. May 13, 2013 5:18 am

    Afin de benficier d’un soin d’implantologie d’une qualite superieure optez pour un technicien dans le domaine. Un prix performant avec un délai satisfaisant de soin vous sera offert auprès de centre d’implantologie Etoile.
    Des chirguciens en implantologie vous gardent un acceuil personnifier et sympathique.
    Tres performant ils pourront repondre à tous vos souhaits.
    Parcourez sur le site parisimplantdentaire.com pour
    toutes informations.

  6. May 15, 2013 6:48 pm

    you are in reality a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing.
    It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done
    a great process on this topic!

  7. May 16, 2013 8:36 pm

    hey ! Ici Agathe
    Je suis agée de 47 ans j’assume totalement mon age .
    Mon métier, secrétaire . Mes amis racontent souvent que je suis une vraie mère poule.

  8. May 19, 2013 8:12 pm

    ça va ? Je suis vieille de 33 ans .
    Je me nomme Noémi.
    Je galère comme professeur de collège . il semble que je suis curieuse.

  9. May 20, 2013 8:13 pm

    Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

  10. May 24, 2013 12:24 pm

    bonsoir Je suis une vieille de 35 printemps .
    Ici Geneviève
    Mon métier, caviste . On dit souvent de moi que je semble blagueuse.

  11. May 24, 2013 9:13 pm

    je suis Denise
    Je suis agée de 26 ans , je n’ai pas de problème en ce qui me concerne .
    J’ai repris mes études pour etre aide comptable ! On dit de moi que je suis
    rigolote.

  12. May 25, 2013 4:00 am

    Un sourire lumineux ça se redresse.
    Votre dentiste est autorise a se changer en un pur
    seducteur.
    Pour les gens qui ne veulent pas voir la marque des evenements sur ses dents,
    il est propose de suivre des prises en charge d’ esthetique dentaire 93.

    Pour le cas des facettes en ceramique elles sont utilisees pour
    voiler la faiblesse.
    Au moyen des facettes, on s’introduit dans la partie de la chirurgie
    esthetique.
    Le service necessite une observation et le prix est
    assez consequent.
    Adoptant les memes comme les faux ongles,
    mis en hauteur des dents et dissimulent les anomalies, pareil que les dents felees.

    Cette technique est de meme adopte pour faire disparaitre
    le trou constate sur les dents de devant.
    L’ensemble de l’intervention s’adopte en une unique seance et le soin se preserve
    approximativement une dizaine d’annees.
    Pour ce qui a en tete un sourire ardant, precise par un email remarquablment blanche, ci-apres les suggestions
    Les système et substances existants ne stoppent de croitre tout en considerant votre dentition.
    Des outils de blanchiment a domicile ainsi que des soins en cabinet dentaire sont des recettes qui sont utilisables.
    L’approbation aux therapies orthodontiques est penibles a endurer de meme pour les jeunes et les grandes personnes.
    Cependant l’issu de ce genre de therapies ne sont plus a justifier

  13. May 27, 2013 3:37 am

    Hello; J’ai trente-cinqA .
    je suis Zoé
    Je suis ambulancière . Je suis plutôt d’un caractère souriant.

  14. May 27, 2013 6:06 pm

    Je suis agée de 35 années !
    je suis Dorene
    Mon métier: modiste ! Mon naturel est plutôt réservé.

  15. May 27, 2013 9:34 pm

    ça roule ? Je suis une jeune femme de vingt-neuf piges .
    Ici Fleurette
    Je suis webmasteur ! Il est dit souvent de moi que je parais pète sec.

  16. May 28, 2013 1:40 am

    Je souffle mes 37 bougies dans un mois .

    Je porte le joli nom de Sophie.
    J’ai repris mes études pour etre assistante RH ! Mon caractère est plutôt timide.

  17. May 28, 2013 4:52 am

    bonjour

    Je porte le joli nom de Arlette.
    J’ai 30A .
    Mon travail technicien qualité ! Il est dit parfois de moi que je semble timide.

  18. May 28, 2013 12:14 pm

    I visited multiple web pages except the audio quality for audio songs existing
    at this site is actually wonderful.

  19. May 31, 2013 12:39 pm

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  20. May 31, 2013 2:44 pm

    J’ai 28 ans .
    Ici Delphine
    Mon occupation principale, mère au foyer … Mes amis racontent que je suis revêche.

  21. June 18, 2013 7:35 pm

    Je suis vieille de quarante-neuf piges , et j’assume totalement .
    Jacquenett à votre service
    Je suis viticultrice . Mes amis racontent souvent que je suis je m’en foutiste.

  22. June 18, 2013 9:02 pm

    salut,bonjour,ça va ? Mon nom est Villette.
    Je viens de fêter mon vingt-neufième anniversaire. Et tant pis si on
    ne le dit pas .
    Je bosse comme décoratrice . Il est dit de moi que je semble un drole d’oiseau.

  23. June 20, 2013 3:58 am

    Je viens de fêter mon 37ième anniversaire. !

    Je porte le joli nom de Camille.
    Mon occupation principale, éleveuse de chevaux . On dit de moi que je
    parais drôle.

  24. June 20, 2013 12:51 pm

    Je suis vieille de quarante et un berges tant
    pis si on ne le dit pas !
    Mes parents m’ont appellée Mirabelle et j’aime beaucoup ce prénom.

    Mon occupation principale, attachée commerciale . Je
    suis plutôt d’un naturel réservé.

  25. June 20, 2013 6:47 pm

    Salut la compagnie, Je suis une jeune femme de 28 années .

    Je m’appelle Rosemarie.
    Ce que je fais : hôtesse de l’air . Si je suis parfois un drole
    d’oiseau, ce n’est pas pour autant un défaut ?

  26. June 20, 2013 6:55 pm

    hello, Mon nom est Melusina.
    Je souffle mes quarante-deux bougies dans un mois
    .
    Je voudrais devenir pépiniériste ! Si je suis parfois curieuse, ce
    n’est pas forcément un défaut ?

  27. June 26, 2013 9:56 pm

    bonsoir Ici Charlotte
    Je viens de fêter mon 44ième anniversaire.
    .
    Mon métier, hôtesse d’accueil . il parait que je suis attentionnée.

  28. October 11, 2013 6:44 am

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an edginess
    over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this
    increase.

  29. October 22, 2013 11:36 am

    I rarely write responses, however after looking at some of the responses
    here Q & A with Mystic City Author Theo Lawrence |
    Random Acts of Reading. I do have a few questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Could it be only me or does it seem like a few of these remarks appear like they are left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting at other places, I’d like to keep up
    with anything fresh you have to post. Would you post
    a list of every one of your public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  30. January 18, 2014 11:04 am

    Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam
    responses? If so how do you protect against it, any
    plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so
    much lately it’s driving me insane so any
    assistance is very much appreciated.

  31. February 27, 2014 2:58 am

    I am now not sure the place you’re getting your info,
    however good topic. I needs to spend a while finding out much more or understanding
    more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  32. March 2, 2014 9:51 am

    Run by French Canadian Demian Geneau and family, they
    have a possible 1 hour gyros meat calories wait for their food?
    Everyone knows how to bond the relation and this is why customer satisfaction holds the key
    in a successful kitchen. Artist Point’s rustic elegance lets its
    scenic backdrops provide an air of romance with a natural environment, featuring
    the restaurant’s landscape murals and windows which showcase views of Bay Lake and Silver Lake Falls.

    In exchange for the help provided by you, your employee gives up his or
    her right to sue you for the accident.

  33. March 13, 2014 4:44 pm

    Moreover, you cheap hiring cars under 25 years old simply want.
    The voyage is mostly over water but will take less than
    four hours.

  34. March 29, 2014 12:58 pm

    The raw is tough so it will support the structure will be up and ready to go
    in next to no time, and will require far less
    effort and labor than would a traditional structure.
    With time, Steel Buildings and Steel Framed Buildings
    to provide spatial solution in different sectors. Even in Japan, with its advantages this zamil steel
    building india pvt ltd should be the focus of any crew that
    is planning or actually building a structure.

  35. April 28, 2014 10:07 pm

    A better way to look at a carport. If you have enough space to park and move the car without hindrances or difficulty.
    More powerful heaters needed to warm larger spaces, such as metal
    carport, be sure to build a lean to carport single slope carport,
    the carport became 9mx6m carport a place of relative protection.
    1 Choose a size, style and design of carports
    and garages. Other than providing covered storage for
    any type of carport roof is suitable for your location, and suitable for the existing house.

  36. July 8, 2014 11:59 pm

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!

    It’s the little changes which will make the largest
    changes. Thanks for sharing!

  37. August 23, 2014 10:22 am

    Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site and detailed information you offer.

    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated
    rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and
    I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  38. September 9, 2014 1:48 pm

    great points altogether, you just won a new reader.

    What could you suggest in regards to your put up that you just made some days in the
    past? Any sure?

  39. September 16, 2014 5:11 am

    At this time it appears like Movable Type is the top blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your
    blog?

  40. September 16, 2014 10:16 am

    For most recent information you have to pay a visit internet and on world-wide-web I found this web site
    as a best web page for hottest updates.

Trackbacks

  1. On Music, Candy, Creativity: A Q&A with Mystic City Author Theo Lawrence | Everyday eBook
  2. Giugno 2014: anteprima Mystic City di Theo Lawrence | Wonderful Monster

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: