Jobs They Love: Romance Writer
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Lucky are they who look forward to Mondays with joy in their hearts! Meet the folks whose talents and passions are happily matched to the jobs they have.
You’ve probably never read a novel like a Lawrence Hall novel. The author is one of a kind: a Black, straight male who whose specialty is writing romance stories. His genres run the gamut from crime and suspense to science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, martial arts and happily-ever-after romantic comedy. Oh, and adult comics.
Hall’s eight novels, self-published in print and on Kindle, include “Vigilante,” “The Vigilante’s Choice,” “The Vigilante’s Assassin,” “The Frog and the Lady,” “Bonnie’s Game,” “Bonnie’s Wish,” “The Midnight Prize,” “What’s Your Password,” and “Wing Woman.” The books are fast-paced and steamy and peopled with highly entertaining, relatable characters – namely intelligent, level-headed and alluring women and flawed but loveable men.
None of his stories follow a typical story arc. While his books may have “all the feels” his rapidly growing romance-reading fan base expect, they are always full of surprises and often hilarious upsets. According to one reviewer on Goodreads.com, “There were twists that I was not expecting. Happiness where it feels like it shouldn’t be. Love in chaos. Epic fight scenes. Shoot outs. And allll the drama that you need.”
His writing style is what the author calls “The Lawrence Hall Experience,” deliberately ensconcing his works in a romance genre all its own.
In addition to the novels, Hall also publishes an ongoing series (15 to date) of adult comic books called Pick Up Sticks. They read like simplistic storyboards for Seinfeld-like stories about sarcastic, self-centered, lust-driven characters who just happen to be stick figures. The series has attracted a separate but no less adoring fan base.
In real life, Lawrence Hall (a pseudonym) is a happily married man, dad to three teenagers, a school teacher and youth basketball coach. He was “born in Philly during the disco era,” collects comic books, and is a video game aficionado.
Ok, obvious first question: How did you ever get into the world of romance writing?
My wife. She’s an avid romance reader and she would spend so much money during the course of just a month buying books that one day I told her, “I can write you a romance novel so that you don’t have to spend as much.” So, that’s what I did, and that’s how I got started writing romance.
Up to now, I think I’d read two romance novels in my life and found them silly, which is ok, but mostly boring. Both books of yours that I read were wildly exciting, very funny, and honestly sexy. Your stories may be far-fetched, but the emotions felt very realistic. How do you achieve this?
I start from the premise that I’m not writing a romance novel, I’m writing a story with real people. So, what is the story and who are the people? That’s what I’m searching for. I’m very big on character development, and the stories have to make sense. Once I have fully developed characters, I think how are they going to get together and how can I weave the romance throughout the story? Because ultimately, my characters are going to end happy and together and the problem is going to be resolved.
So even if the stories are far-fetched, it’s going to end with the couple together, having worked together to resolve whatever issue was in their way, and that to me is the ultimate love story. When they work together as they get together.
Your writing seems effortless, as though you can’t get the words out fast enough from your brain to the laptop. Are you just a natural storyteller?
Ha! I’m glad you think so. I’ll put it like this, my story ideas are effortless, but the actual execution takes quite a bit of effort. I’ve always had an active imagination and would play long hours with my toys with various storylines like, “Can Cobra Commander actually beat the Joes? How can I let Megatron win this round versus the Autobots?” I would always tell myself stories, and now I just use that same imagination to come up with ideas for my novels. But the actual writing process takes effort.
Many of your stories have cliffhanging endings. Is this a device to keep your readers poised for the next book or are you sort of waiting for your characters to work out what happens next?
Short answer? I probably came to a stopping point and exhausted the creative flow I was in. When that happens, I’ll put the story out and move on to the next thing so that I can refill my creative cup and when that happens, I’ll go back and finish the story. It’s not to keep my readers on the hook.
Your writing style has a very cinematic quality. Do you also write screenplays?
Screenwriting is my background, it’s what I went to school for. Every story I write, I do it from the standpoint of having it eventually translate to the big screen. I’m glad it’s coming through in my writing for you to say that.
What with writing the novels and producing the Pick Up Sticks comic books every few weeks, plus keeping up with your followers regularly on social media, and being a husband, dad and teacher, seriously when do you sleep?
Ha! I get maybe four to five hours of sleep a night and then nap during the day. It’s a very odd sleep schedule. I would honestly love to get a solid six to eight hours in every night, but I guess my body isn’t wired like that.
Does anybody in real life know that you write romance stories?
My wife, kids, parents and sisters do, and one of my aunts. That’s about the extent of it. I try to keep the writing as far away from the family as I possibly can. I’ll let you infer as to why that is.