Interviews

Interview with Novelist and Poetry Author P.J. Lowry

Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites.

My name is P.J. Lowry, and I reside just outside Toronto, in that beautiful great white north known as Canada. I have a BA in English language and literature from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I’ve been seriously writing and self-publishing novels and collections of poetry since 2005. I am also a lead writer for River Comics, as I’m currently writing eight different titles for this indie publisher, from Superheroes to historic icons like George Washington. I’m making some really groovy stuff for RC that is totally badass.

You can connect with my work and with me on social media at the following URLs:  

What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started?


I have multiple blogs, as I post material on WordPress, Tumblr, and even Open Diary which thankfully reopened a few years ago after a four-year hiatus. I was on OD since 2000 and had over 4000 entries when they closed up shop. It broke my heart, but I welcomed it back with open arms and I’m happily writing there again. My blog on Open Diary is titled “Fear and Loathing in Steel City” and my username is Peter_24601. It’s a bitchin blog, one that I enjoy updating as often as I can. Any kind of writing is good to keep the fingertips warm for momentum.

As for my actual books, I’ve been writing fiction and poetry since I was twelve. I wrote my first full novel when I was fourteen, but it was bad, so very bad. No one’s ever going to see that book, not while I’m alive at least. It’s on a five and a half-inch floppy, so good luck accessing that relic.

My writing thankfully has greatly improved, and I have many works posted on Smashwords, Kindle Direct, i-tunes, Scrib’d, etc. When you google P.J. Lowry most of those accounts will pop up. You can access my comic books at rivercomics.net. I like to jokingly refer to it as our all you can eat app with all the comic books you can consume for $1 a month! I dare you to find a better deal in our industry, cause you can’t!

What is your favorite food?

I am a big foodie, and for me food makes the world go round. What is more fun than sitting at a table with people you love and sharing a meal together? Talking about your day, finding out what’s going on… there’s nothing better! I’m that guy who can sit down with anyone in a cafeteria or pub and easily strike up a conversation with him/her while breaking bread. I’m a huge social butterfly and I totally get that charm and charisma from my Dad. He is the most outgoing and friendly person I know, and that rubbed off on me.

But I’m avoiding the question, which was to list my favorite food. If I had to pick just one, I’d have to say roasted chicken with potato salad on the side, and coleslaw with gravy too. That would be my go-to meal if I had to pick just one. When I’m in the mood for something spicy, a good jerk chicken makes a nice, sassy substitute.

What foods do you crave all the time?

Whenever I’m writing, I like to have something on hand to nibble. I like having something small around to chew on while I’m pondering something, or at a crossroads with whatever I’m writing at the time. I love to write with a big cup of tea or a soda-like Dr. Pepper. Those are the things I crave whenever I’m writing.

What is your favorite comfort food?

When I attended Memorial University, I ended up staying in St. John’s for almost ten years. During that time I became immersed into the local cuisine, and one meal from Newfoundland is my hand down all-time favorite comfort food: Jiggs Dinner. My sisters-in-law made an amazing Jiggs Dinner, which consisted of boiling a decent amount of veggies in a huge bot with a huge piece of salt beef. The flavor of the beef goes right into the veggies, and side that with a bread pudding and cover all the beef and veggies with gravy, and you what you have is heaven on Earth. You’ll never see me eat turnip and cabbage faster than whenever I had Jiggs Dinner. It’s amazing!

If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?

I haven’t tried yet, but I want to learn how to make beef wellington. It looks very intimidating. I’m going to be taking some cooking classes. One day I will attempt to make the wellington, and if successful… you’ll see pics on social media and my blog.

What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?

The writing. The ability to put down words and share those thoughts with the world. I’ve been a writer since I was twelve, and I have no intention of stopping no matter how little or how much success I find. I like using these words to connect with people, fellow writers, and even bloggers. To connect with the world, and when my days are done I hope that the words I leave behind will connect with and inspire future generations. So my favorite thing about writing is the connection it brings. The ability to share a story with those who I might never meet and tell them a story.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?

Just keep writing, it doesn’t matter if you write a whole chapter, a paragraph, or just a few tweets. Any words are better than none. Keep your fingertips warm and just keep going. If you get stuck with one project, put it down and work on another. When you feel that momentum coming back, then you can go back and take another crack at that one you’re stuck with and try to get it back on track. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re going, as long as you’re moving forward you’re going in the right direction. Just. Keep. Writing.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to play games online to stimulate my brain. I play World Of Warcraft and I also play chess online with people all over the world. I like to read, watch television and watch a ton of movies. I also like to hang out with my kids and do fun things with them like check out a movie, go to the dome for a ball game, etc. Your kids are only young once, so spend as much time with them as you can before they become too cool to chill with their parents. That day is coming, so get ready for it.

What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?

Motivation comes from many places. Sometimes I look at a picture differently and a idea can just pop into my head. Some days it’s the dream of being a wealthy author and buying hundreds of classic cars like Clive Cussler. Sometimes my motivation comes from my bills arriving and giving me a well needed kick in the arse cause I don’t want my cable to be disconnected. There’s many ways someone can be inspired, so find one that breathes life into your fingertips.

How do you attract new readers?

I’m trying to use free websites like Wattpad, Booknet and a few others to offer some of my works for free. The goal is to get readers so hooked up my stuff that they’ll want to pay for it and help me earn a little cabbage. It’s working a little bit. I’m also very active on social media, and try to be as user friendly as possible.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

You mean besides the previous reference to Clive Cussler and his classic cars? My Dad has all of Cussler’s hardcovers, and because of that I’ve been reading his works since the 80’s. On the back of every hardcover a big picture of Clive with a classic car from decades ago and he looks amazing in them. I love Clive’s writing, and the amazing adventures of Dirk Pitt, but it was seeing Clive with all those expensive cars that convinced me writing might be a decent career worth pursuing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as cool and successful as Clive, but I’m trying. Mr. Cussler passed away a short time ago, and I have a few of his books. My favorites are Cyclops and Inca Gold.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I don’t mind reading any genre, especially if someone recommends something they enjoyed reading. If I had to pick one, I would say I’m a sucker for a good suspense or mystery. I’m a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. I’m actually creating and writing a comic book based on Sherlock Holmes, so I’ve spend the last year reading a lot of Doyle’s work, and going back to all those amazing stories is the best research I’ve ever done. Zero arm twisting required.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading a few pretty interesting books. Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace is about President Truman and the events leading up to the dropping of the atomic bombs in Japan. It’s a very fascinating read, and I love reading books about history. Another book I’m reading is Don’t Burn This Book by Dave Rubin, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I recently got a copy of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins but I haven’t started it yet. I think I’m going to pick it up after I finish Neverwhere.

What is your favorite movie that was based off a book?

One of my favorite books of all time is Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, which later become one of my favorite movies called Field of Dreams. In my opinion, it’s a true classic. Kinsella wrote amazing baseball books that would make great movies. I hope they make a movie about Magic Time, which was another great Kinsella novel.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to a lot of music from all genres. What I listen to depends on what kind of mood I’m in and what I happen to be doing. If I’m cleaning dishes or tidying up the house, I’ll have something heavy put on like Metallica, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, etc. I don’t mind listening to other genres like country, pop, classic rock. When I’m writing, I can’t listen to any of them. The only music I can listen to when I’m writing is instrumental only, music with no lyrics. If I play anything with lyrics, I ended up singing along, get horribly distracted, and no writing happens.

Here’s a great tip for all the writers reading this: movie soundtracks. When I’m writing, not only will I listen to film scores, but I will pick scores that match the genre that I’m writing. For example, if I’m writing a western then I’ll listen to the soundtracks of films like Tombstone, Unforgiven, etc. If I’m writing a fantasy, I’ll listen to great fantasy soundtracks like The 13th Warrior or Lord of the Rings. If you can find the right film score that compliments your work in progress, it can and will make an enormous difference in your daily word count.

Who are your top three favorite authors?

Besides the two I’ve already mentioned, those being Clive Cussler and W.P. Kinsella, another writer I really like is Gordon Korman. Gordon was one of the first authors whose works I started to consistently read. I remember eagerly reading his Bruno & Boots series when I was in grade four, enjoyed each story, and laughing at the wild adventures of those crazy boys. I haven’t read any of his recent works, but I have all those older books I used to read when I was younger. Another writer I really like reading is Tony Parsons. I’m more of a fan of his earlier works as well, such as his Man & Boy books. I found so fascinating to read because I was in the middle of a divorce when I first picked them up.

If you could have super powers what would they be?

My favorite hero growing up was Superman, so that’s the powers I’d want. The ability to fly, super strength, heat vision, etc. It would be amazing to be Superman and save the world whenever necessary. Bullet proof skin kinda helps too. Just saying.

What is a typical day of writing look like for you?

I am a nocturnal writer, so I do all my best work at night. Somewhere around ten or eleven at night (when there’s nothing good on tv) is when I’ll start working on my projects. I’ll spend most of the evening working on comic scripts, novels, poetry and other things. Usually I’ll get exhausted and end up crashing in bed around five or six in the morning. I will then wake up somewhere around one or two in the afternoon, and after having breakfast I’ll work again until five in the afternoon. I’ll take a break until eleven and start the process all over again. That in a nutshell is how I get my work done. It’s very chaotic but it seems to work for me.

What is something about yourself most people don’t know?

I suffer from an autoimmune disease known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was diagnosed with this brutal ailment in 2012, and have been trying my best to work around it. The best way for be describe A.S. is that it’s like arthritis on crack. It’s very painful and the treatments I take only treat the symptoms, not the disorder itself. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy because some days are okay but there are others when I need a cane to walk. It’s an illness that isn’t well known, but if you’d like to know more about it, you can find some more information at this site: https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/ankylosing-spondylitis

What projects are you working on right now?

I am working on a lot of projects, so many that I don’t know how I juggle most of them. Something ends up getting neglected and I end up feeling bad about it. At the moment I’m working on three novels, two non-fiction projects, one new collection of poetry, and several comic books. The only way I can do this is by making a weekly schedule and sticking o it. So my plate is kind full, but that’s alright. Keep those fingers busy and keep writing.

Any other information you would like to include to our readers?

To anyone who has taken the time to read this, thank you for putting up with my long winded answers. This is nothing compared to what kind of a chatterbox I am in person. Scary thought, I know.

To those who have read my work online or purchased any of my works, I offer my sincerest and most humble thanks. When something is sold, I notice it. When someone leaves a note on Wattpad or any other reading site, I see that too. My love language is words of attrition, so if you want to make me feel good, leave a note. I love seeing them and will often reply to them as well. There is also so much more to come! I’m working on some amazing projects that I am very eager to finish up. Thank you for your patience, it shall be rewarded!

Thank you P.J. for such a great interview!

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