FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston, MA – N. Lawrence Mann follows up on the critically acclaimed suspense novel, “Full Breach,” unleashing the second installment of the Blue Warp series. These paranormal thrillers find their core identity in the “Addiction Fiction” subgenre, with “Coma Dreams” (LPS Publishing, September 15, 2018) its latest addition. Stunning action, unexpected sci-fi themes, and realistic addiction-based events make for an unusual blend in a book series meant to be a gateway to conversations about addiction, and an apology to those Mann hurt in his past.
Struggling with inner demons after the loss of his child, Retired Air Force Colonel Brett Stafford is in search of missing pieces in his life when he is involved in a single-car accident and slips into a coma for six months. Using his newfound—and unrefined—ability to heal, Brennen Reynolds attempts to revive the colonel on the day his life support is to be terminated. Brennen is only partially successful, as the person awoken is not Colonel Stafford. This colonel is dangerous. Pressured by time, Brennen and his friends must try to piece together what went wrong and how to reverse the process before further tragedies occur and the colonel loses himself forever.
N. Lawrence Mann is the author of the Blue Warp book series and a lifelong reading fanatic. His works are largely described as suspenseful, but frequently incorporate components of fantasy, science fiction, and humor. As a recovered addict, Mann provides a unique perspective in his books that blends the psychological and physiological effects of addiction. Mann spent many years working as a songwriter, creating soundtracks for independent films. His first novel, “Full Breach,” was a International Book Award Finalist. Visit him at nlawrencemann.com to learn more.
LPS Publishing | September 15, 2018
Paperback | ISBN: 978-0-692-93995-6 | Price: $ 15.99
EBook | ISBN: To come | Price: $2.99
In an interview Nelson can discuss:
* “Addiction Fiction” as genre and why it matters
* His writing process: the addiction scenes come first, the mystery unfolds after.
* How writing fiction is like songwriting
* N. Lawrence Mann’s own relationship with addiction and how writing has helped him
* His writing process: writing as lived apology
* Blending supernatural elements with a mystery plot
* What is the “Blue Warp?”
An Interview with N. Lawrence Mann
You have addiction in your own background—how has your own recovery story influenced your writing?
Well, if it weren’t for that decade of my life, I probably wouldn’t have ever committed to writing at all. If fact, writing was (and continues to be) a way to make that time period meaningful. Instead of attempting to block it out, I incorporate it into the narratives I write and use it as a reference whenever I need the reader to understand what it is to be puppeted by addiction. For instance, in the first book, our protagonist, Brennen, is at a time in his life where any choice he makes that doesn’t involve quitting drugs is the wrong choice. In this second story, he is struggling with how he perceives his world after quitting, which is a time period rarely talked about in many recovery stories, and is one of the most difficult stages. To write accurately about it in a way that conveys this to an audience, that life experience (as bleak as it was) can be a great asset. Legal thrillers are usually best when voiced through the experiences of a writer with legal experience, whether that experience was as a lawyer or judge. It’s the same with me, except my life experience is a decade of addiction. You could say that I hold a doctorate in poor life choices.
How do your books fit into the “addiction fiction” genre?
Thinking about my work in terms of a genre classification of “Addiction Fiction” helped me to stay on track when writing stories. As mentioned earlier, I want to be able to make meaning of the darker days of my life. To accomplish this, I want to be sure that at least one central character in any given story is battling inner demons stemmed from addiction. Whether it’s alcohol, prescription meds, street drugs, or gambling, I want to make sure the addicts are represented. These books embody that 100%.
What is unique about your writing process?
I spent a lot of time, mostly my twenties and half of my thirties, in front of a computer and a mixing board, working for very little return as a songwriter. Writing stories was a natural progression for me. Since it was no longer feasible to spend money on expensive recording gear, I found a way to get the same creative satisfaction working on a laptop where I can pick it up any time, anywhere. Although it has been liberating to write in a new medium, I still approach my stories the way I approach a song. In fact, I no longer see a difference between the two. You start with a tempo and a beat (a plot), add a bass guitar or synth bass (central character), your rhythm and lead guitars (secondary characters), you make them work together through intros, verses, choruses and bridges (story points and subplots) and add your reverb, distortion and other effects (story enrichment), and you have yourself a book.
Dreams show up as important plot and character motivators in Coma Dreams (and its title focuses on them as well!). What inspired this different take on moving the action along in a thriller?
Dreams, as common as they are, are largely unexplained. The opinions about the meaning of them, and the purpose behind them, have been interpreted through various cultures and sub-cultures since humans began to contemplate them. In my humble opinion, they may be jigsaw pieces to a larger, perhaps infinite puzzle: How exactly the human brain works, what its true potential is, and how it is connected to the universe/multiverse. If it is true that we only use 10% of our brain’s potential, then it is easy to understand why we don’t have a concrete understanding of dreams. If we keep fitting the pieces together and add a few more percentage points, zoom outward to see the puzzle as a whole, we may look back and see that dreams were merely the beginning stages of advanced communication between human beings—evolution knocking from beneath the depth of our consciousness. Of course, I could be entirely off base (and am comfortable with that), but the concept of it was just too rich to pass up without including it into the storyline of the series. Besides,with Brennen’s experiences in the first story, it was only natural that dreams were to play a bigger role in this one.
What is your take on the relationship between science fiction and culture?
Good question—and one that probably deserves much more page space than we are allowing today. I always loved the concept that what is improbable in ten years may be inevitable in a thousand. In other words, science fiction allows us to keep ourselves in check with a far searching eye. That same optical muscle that helped us evolve through our measly 3 plus million years by remembering star patterns at various times of the year is the same we use when thinking of alternate realities, or the realities of the future. I think it’s a muscle that needs to be flexed and science fiction is a way of doing that. It was great revisiting Back to the Future in 2015 to see what they got right and wrong—as it pertains to our current culture—when writing it back in the mid ’80s. There was a surprising amount of accuracy.
So if any given current culture can aspire to the wonderment of its science fiction, or heed the warnings of it, then perhaps the more secure it can be. In a healthy culture, life and art should have some flexibility to imitate each other.
What do you hope readers will take away after reading “Coma Dreams”?
It would be great if people would, after reading it, put the book down and re-examine their ideas as to the nature of reality—if only for a moment.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, the story revolves around the human condition. There are good people who have done bad things. There are people who have caused others pain through no fault of their own. There is forgiveness to be asked for. So I would say that if this story makes just one person to concede that time on this planet is short and release an old grudge, or perhaps call an old friend whom they have been estranged, forgive someone or allow themselves to be forgiven, this story will have been well worth the time.
What the hell is the Blue Warp?
Good question. You came to the right person. The Theory of Relativity (our best explanation of the very large) and Quantum Mechanics (our best explanation of the very small) don’t get along. At all. Like Scott Barrett from the first book says, “Until the two are reconciled, all cosmic bets are off.” In other words, we can’t completely discount the possibility of the impossible just because we don’t currently have the capacity to understand it.
Within this disconnect lies the Blue Warp—the possibility of an infinite consciousness by which we are all connected. The Blue Warp is a proposal—both a “what if” and a “why not” that are tapped into and personified by addict, Brennen Reynolds.
That’s the short version.
So, yeah. There’s that.
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A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.