Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Larry C. Johns, age 74.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Las Vegas, Nevada
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life etc.).
B.S degree University of Arizona (1966) major French, minor English history. Juris Doctor degree University of Arizona (1968). Married 52 years (Mary Pratt Johns) four children, eight grandchildren. Licensed to practice law in Nevada since 1968, now semi-retired.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Working on a trilogy, novels about mystery/legal cases based upon fifty years practicing criminal and civillaw.
In 2008, after practicing law for forty years, I began writing about my most significant legal case,The Baneberry Disaster ,A Generation of Atomic Fall out ,published by the University of Nevada Press (2017). The Baneberry vent on December 18, 1970 is a true story that needed to be told and I was, as noted on the jacket, “the one to tellit.”
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When The Baneberry Disaster was accepted for publication by the UN Press in October 2016.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I spent twenty-five years in a lawsuit against the Atomic Energy Commission seeking justice for the widows of two Nevada Test Site workers who died of leukemia after they were exposed to radiation from the Baneberry event. I believed their story needed to betold.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Baneberry underground nuclear test vented and spewed nearly seven million curies of radiation (twice the amount from Three Mile Island) into the atmosphere and exposed workers to its radiation. Baneberry was a catastrophe well known in Nevada at the time, but now nearly forgotten.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style genre that you find particularly challenging?
Practicing law and writing legal briefs must be fact-based compelsbut regrettably can be devoid of rhetorical flourish
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know,or events in your own life?
The Baneberry Disaster is based upon documented facts ,my personal experiences of those of the characters,and is sourc1ed in every detail.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
The events in The Baneberry Disaster are all personal and my travel associated with the court proceedings.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The University of Nevada Press selected the vent of the Baneberry device on the morning of December 18, 1970.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The Atomic Energy Commission and the United States Justice Department engaged in a cover-up and, as counsel for the Justice Department proudly proclaimed to the media: The government “was prepared to spend as much money as it takes” to win the case and deny the widows compensation for the deaths of their husbands. The Department of Justice is still fraught with the same hubris and determination to squelch opposition to governmentconduct.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I enjoy fiction novels by Clive Cussler. My favorite writers are those I grew up with whose works I never tire or rereading: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, Miguel de Cervantes, and Joseph Conrad. All offer unparalleled insight into human nature, as of course does Shakespeare.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The University of Nevada Press.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
At my advanced age, it would be rather presumptuous, I suspect. Yes, James Michener re-launched his writing career at 82 with the Eagle and The Raven, but he was James Michener!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned how difficult it is to write and much more difficult to write well.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Were I cast as the lead character probably Matt Damon or some newer version of him.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
My project was tedious and fact-based which took the fun out of writing. It took eight years to complete the manuscript and I was still working so writing was a diversion. Write, edit, re-edit and re-edit until you are satisfied it is worthy of sharing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Reading is much more fun than writing. Intersperse your writing with reading to the extent possible.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I rarely read just one book at a time; usually two or three. I recently pulled from the New Books section at the library CountryMusicUSA(50th Anniversary Edition) and Founding Martyr, The Life of Dr. Joseph Warren, and am rereading Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy ,a book I purchased in 1962 when was taking my first Philosophy/Logic course as a college Freshman.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Although I had read many books, the first book I checked out of the Las Vegas Public Library when I was six or seven was The Secret Garden followed not long after by Oliver Twist.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Poetry makes me cry, repartee with friends, family and colleagues is the fount of laughter.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
William Shakespeare to unscramble the controversy about the authorship off his work and explain his philosophy.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Golf and chess.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Turner Classic Movies. Download interesting information on the internet.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
No food in particular, the color blue, and classic country music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read, play golf, listen to music and watch television.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
As a Christian I shall prepare my soul and “wrap the drapery of my couch about me and lie down in pleasant dreams.”
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I shall be cremated so no headstone and since “humility is endless” have no message to impart. I was fortunate in my family connections and a few treasured friends.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, comments and special offers?
I do not have a blog, just a email address and am on facebook. I use my emailaddress:firstname.lastname@example.org