Friday, December 8, 2017

D. Lawrence-Young ~ an interview and his novel ~ King John: Two Time Loser

D. Lawrence-Young

TITLE: King John: Two Time Loser
RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2017
AUTHOR: D. Lawrence-Young
CATEGORIES: Historical Fiction/War Fiction/England
ISBN: 978-1544111346
IMPRINT: White Stag


Born in the UK, I moved to Israel in 1968 and have now lived in Jerusalem since 1984. I retired from being an English and history teacher and lecturer after 40+ years and now spend much of my time writing historical novels. I’m also a keen photographer and a lousy clarinetist – a fact that my wife and neighbours will agree on. I also write a regular blog about Shakespeare and was the chairman of the Jerusalem Shakespeare Society  from 2008-2014..


Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: I really become involved with the characters in the historical novels I write about. I try and collect as much info as possible about them and the periods they lived in. I work hard to make my novels, readable, accurate and credible. I really hate the modern trend of authors writing their historical novels in the present tense. To me it sounds very affected.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all time favorite song?
A:My  taste in music is quite eclectic.  On the one hand I like classical music (Purcell, Bach, Mozart & Beethoven) while on the other I also love Country & Western as well as Brass Band Music – oompah oompah stuff. Note that probably the reason I like these three different genres is because they all carry a recognizable tune or theme. I definitely don’t like feeble airy-fairy stuff.

Q: Tell me one thing that your spouse does that really endears him/her to you. One thing that annoys you. These can be tiny little things, actually the smaller the better.
A: My wife makes the best open apple-pie in the whole wide world. If she promises to make it, she can bribe me to do anything – even paint the litchen ceiling. As for her annoying me: after a shower, she insists in walking about the house wearing a towel. It looks most uncomfortable to be hugging it to keep it on. Why not get dressed properly!

Q: Did you like school when you were a child? 
A: I didn’t like elementary (Junior school in UK)  when I was a kid because I was always getting picked on and bullied. This changed when I went to high school and became friendly with a clique of 5-6 supportive friends. We had a great time and used to play truant a lot and go around London and have a great time. I’m still very close with three of them even today even though I’m now a British ex-pat.

Q: Favorite color?
A: Maroon. There’s a certain regal flavor to it.

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: Don’t like it. It can harm your health!

Q: How did you come to write your genre of choice?
A: I first stated writing the first of my twenty historical novels simply because I love history. Being an ex-longtime teacher I’m sure also makes me want to put over my knowledge, hopefully in an attractive readable form. This is somewhat surprising as I had the world’s most boring history teacher in high school. Maybe I want to make up for this and ‘teach’ history in the most un-bring way I can

Q: Which element of book writing is the most difficult for you?
A: The element of writing for publication that I really hate is finding publishers. I know they have the whip hand and having to crawl to them, “Please publish my book” I find is very humiliating. I don’t self-publish because I live in Jerusalem – too far from my target markets in the UK, US and Australia. So I have to swallow my pride and beg. There’s no alternative.

Q: What is your favorite part of writing?
A: The writing and research. Self-editing, choosing the best word, phrase etc and feeling that I’ve done a good job. I also enjoy visiting the places I’m writing about and speaking to people there. Example: I had a great time interviewing the Chancellor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge UK when I was writing about Marlowe’s university career there.

Q: Which of your own releases was your particular favorite?
It is a detective story about four academics who set out to see if the Bard really wrote the plays and poems we ascribe to him. I got so excited writing it that I wrote the first draft (longhand) of 95,000 words in just under two months! Is this a record?

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Yes, since I am writing historical fiction and I know what will happen in the end. Example, I cannot write a story about Alexander Hamilton and say that it was him who shot and killed Burr in a duel.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I am now writing a novel about Roderigo Lopez – Queen Elizabeth I’s personal physician. He had to hide the fact that he was Jewish as Jews were not allowed to live in England from 1290-1656. His Spanish/Portuguese background was exploited by Francis Walsingham, QE I’s spymaster, to see what the Spanish enemy was planning. However, none of this saved him in the end. In 1594 he was given the order of the chop as he had annoyed the egoistical Earl of Essex when he let it be known that the earl had syphilis. It is often thought that Shakespeare was watching in the crowd when Lopez was hanged and the victim’s story inspired him to write The Merchant of Venice.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A:Two new books coming out at the beginning of 2018. One, Mistress of Land and Sea, is about Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson’s mistress, and the other is my first crime novel based on my favourite Shakespeare play, Macbeth. Surprisingly, the ‘hero’ is called Malc(olm) Beath!

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  I will fill your answer in as ~ Yes, I do. Here are the links.  

My website:
First blog:
First amended blog:
My second blog:



KEYWORDS: Historical, King John, King Henry II, France, King Louis VII, Civil War, England

Provocative portrait of how King John became ‘Bad’ and a despised womanizer and murderer and lost both his English and French kingdoms.

King John is the only English king known as ‘the Bad.’  However, was he really any worse than the other medieval kings? King John:Two-Time Loser, traces this king’s life and troubled reign from his childhood in France to his death nearly fifty years later in 1216.

As the fourth and youngest son of King Henry II, John is not expected to become king. He is contemptuously nicknamed ‘Lackland’ and is not trained for the monarchy. However, despite all odds, after big brother Richard dies in battle, John becomes King. Now he has to prove himself by being strong and standing up to his French overlord, Louis VII. Unfortunately he fails and also loses much of his French territory. In addition, John is accused of womanizing and of murdering his young nephew, Arthur - a potential rival to the throne. At home, John becomes embroiled in a nasty power-struggle with Pope Innocent III which causes England to be excommunicated.

Following these failures, the barons revolt and John is forced to agree to their demands spelled out in Magna Carta. Civil War then breaks out and John dies alone and unlamented knowing that he has lost both his English and French kingdoms.  


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