Lance Meredith: “My parents encouraged my love of reading.”

lance meredith

Lance described his journey, from his early love of reading to how his parents encouraged him to turn that love of reading into writing. In an interview with i'mBiking, he talked about his book, Guardian, its protagonist, and how he came up with the traits. I can sum it up by saying that he enjoys role-playing games where players create characters.

He tells us the tale of a woman who spent 800 years traveling the globe. Born and raised in the small Ontario town of Chatham-Kent, where he practically lived in the children's library's classics section, Lance Meredith, also known as JL Meredith, started penning stories of adventure and bravery when he was in the fourth grade. An old soul, he tries to sing, and dance, and play, a little each day. He has degrees in political science and psychology.

Please elaborate on your upbringing, way of life, birthplace, and how your interest in writing first arose.

I was born in the rural community of Chatham-Kent in Ontario, Canada. My parents encouraged my love of reading; that, and a vivid imagination, led to my interest in writing.

While writing "Guardian," how did you choose your protagonist, and what are his characteristics?

I created the Guardian in 1986. I enjoyed playing roleplaying games, a type of game where the players create a character and, acting as a team, go on adventures narrated and refereed by a game master. I had two superhero roleplaying games and made a lot of characters with complete backgrounds, powers, and appearances. Guardian was one of those characters.

In June of 2015, I had some time and wrote the first ten pages of an outline. In August, I began writing her story, completing the first draft in January 2016.

The character has a big heart. My readers describe her as strong, sassy, and smart.

What is the concept of superheroes in your novel and why did she roam the earth for 800 years?

Guardian assumes her superhero name during a television interview in the first chapters of the novel. She’s an entity that arrived on earth in the year 1194 while exploring the universe--she’s an infant by her kind’s standards. She happened upon a young mother who died during childbirth in the English countryside and assumed the mother’s form to care for the newborn and save the child’s life. Experiencing humanity first hand, she fell in love and chose to remain. She does not age, so she moves on every few years to avoid difficult questions.

Other newly super-powered heroes (and villains) appear after the inciting incident, the asteroid’s appearance.

What do you want to tell the readers through this novel?

The novel is first and foremost an entertaining read, I wrote it to be a fun, page-turner--a beach-read. There are underlying themes, such as being your true self, and living in harmony with those who are different—which is all of us. One of the great paradoxes of being a human being is that we are all unique and yet, so very much the same.

Before figuring out about the character, Elizabeth, did you have any optional characters who were replaced by Elizabeth? Or, it was just the first and final one. 

She was the one constant character in the book. All of the others were in flux until the book went to my editor. Some characters were cut, some were amalgamated. The character, Jennifer, Guardian’s new best friend and the brilliant scientist that helps her through the book, took some time to come into focus. Some characters I can find their voice quite quickly, others I really have to stop and listen and hope they talk to me.

Do you only enjoy writing science fiction, or do you also have other books in other genres in the works?

The first story I recall writing was a fantasy. I was nine at the time. I have written fantasy, science fiction, horror, and superheroes. Presently, I’m writing two stories; one of them is another Guardian story, and a paranormal detective story.

When did you begin writing, how did you do it, and what gave you the inspiration to do it? Moreover, did you write short stories before this novel?

I read a lot growing up. My first recollection of a story that I wrote was a fantasy story involving a marauding dragon that had to be slain. It was only one page long, and I used up my red pencil crayon drawing the dragon and the battle described in the story. I wrote many more stories after that, particularly between grade ten and the end of my second year of university, after that the writing workload for school became so intense that writing became a burden.

What is your favourite quote that always reminds you and forces you to write and write more? the total number of books you have both written and read.

Shannon Hale provides an excellent quote: “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

Louis L'Amour: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

Guardian Into the Light of Day is my first novel.

Furthermore, tell us about the most powerful books you have read yet and would like to recommend to your readers and writers.

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain is an excellent text for fiction writers.

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