Friday, 7 September 2012

Interview with John Lavan

Happy Friday, everyone! Let's top the week off with an interview with poet John Lavan who's here to talk about his new book, FAMILIAL.

Hi, John! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a management consultant who recently became a published poet: An amazing paradox! I started writing poetry to my new wife about seven years ago. I realised I was quite good at spell-weaving and I now read and write poems avidly. I decided to write a poem every day. I tweet poetry on twitter a lot. You’ll find me as @Toltecjohn.

Tell us about FAMILIAL. What’s the book about?

Many poems are inspired by my son, Andrew, who has Down’s Syndrome. It’s like his birth – and life – have opened all kinds of feelings – which I can express as poetry. It’s great to know a man can feel! So my poetry is generally about family & hence the title – Familial.

How did the idea of the book come to you?

The feeling of love in relationship between son and father is not explored much in literature. Poetry’s a great vehicle for my inner and outer search.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

A pantser. I set off and the poem expresses. I edit maybe twenty times from when I have a first draft on screen – looking for rhythm, meter, rhymes, structure, alliteration, imagery etc. A poem is never finished.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The first creative expression.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A mac or ipad.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Casting spells with words.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

The word pantser.

LOL! Well, you learn something new every day, right? ;) Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: obligatory, air freshener, and moderator.

In the first clinch, he used the car’s obligatory air freshener as a testosterone moderator.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...


Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Apostrophe Books have been great as an e-book publisher. We got on with the job quickly and Familial was in the stores eight weeks after we connected on Twitter. Such intent!

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

I blog at and 
The page on Apostrophe Books’ website is

‘Familial’ is available from:
and will soon be available from 130+ other retailers, through

You can also find out more about Familial on Pinterest and on Goodreads.

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