The Lawyer’s Dilemma by Lorna Marie
What led you into writing?
I began writing at university. My first book, titled The Judges and Lawyers Companion, was compiled while reporting cases in the law library. I loved reading novels outside of schoolwork and if I really liked the story, I would read it again, which was usually followed by watching the film if there was one! My favourite writers are William Shakespeare, Wole Soyinka, Agatha Christie, Leona Deakin and Clayton Rawson.
How does a typical day look?
My days are usually spent working for a charity organisation where we support our community by providing housing for the homeless. Before the pandemic, I co-ordinate book reading clubs for school-age children and adults. In my spare time, you will find me taking a walk, reading a book, or street pastoring to help the vulnerable in our community.
In what ways do your characters test your abilities?
The Lawyer’s Dilemma shed light on the reality people face when they make wrong choices and, in most cases, it is not their fault. The circumstances that Tom (the main character) found himself in after his parent’s separation had an impact on his life, likewise, Keith’s background revealed at the end of the story why he should not be judged by anyone. Segun’s tragic death in The Plea on Oath was my own way of saying prevention is better than cure as the old saying goes. It could be a conversation that I’ve had with someone about a life circumstance or life experience that spurs me on to an idea, I may ponder on it and then write on it in order to touch other people lives by narrating a story!
What’s your setup?
I sit at my desk. Sometimes I settle down very quickly into writing but not all the time. Some planning of my work is usually the best way for me to start, I scribble any ideas that come to mind, or it could be something that I have been thinking about while I’m out jogging or walking. A good cup of tea or a Ribena drink help things to flow.
What lasting effects have your favourite authors had on your writing and style?
I like adventures, the Famous Five by Enid Blyton, Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers (1836), Nicholas Nickleby (1838), The Old Curiosity shop (1840), Barnaby Rudge (1841), Martin Chuzzlewit (1843), David Copperfield (1849), Great Expectations (1860) and A Tale of Two Cities(1859) and The Pacesetters novel series. Like most authors I write my stories from some typical life experiences that I have seen happening to people, my imagination and creativity helps me to build on it. I may be in the kitchen when an idea drops on my mind and I start to write it down or I may be on the sofa or listening to a good song when an idea flash!
What do you do for inspiration?
I get inspired by listening to a good song. The lyrics soul and inspiration, it is reassuring to and keep life going on. A good song can take up the most room in my heart. Madam Teresa said, ‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless’ A good music does the same thing. I like meeting people and sharing life’s good moments and its trials too – a listening ear, a kind word, and having good laugh which is a cure for almost anything with a goofy smile. I like to see the success that builds up and comes from many small efforts, day on day. I like honest compliment with an act of caring that is always than the noblest of intentions. I like being able to shout, ‘game changer!’ when something goes wrong, and moving on from there. When I hit a problem, I like focusing on new possibilities and scaling through the hurdle of solving problems creatively and imaginatively. When I discover the right word that describes something perfectly it gives me a feel-good factor. Doing small things with love because they are the things that become great things. Understanding that discontent can be the first thing needed to make changes towards future happiness.
Expecting nothing, appreciating everything that God created and the list goes on. I like visiting new places and learning people’s culture and their natural environment, getting to know more about their food, religion and way of life.
What repeating themes do you find yourself pulling into your stories?
I ensure that the suspense drives the narrative and that it keeps legal fiction lovers interested as much as I can. Something has happened and how, where and who is responsible for what had happened. Getting all of that to readers in a pleasurable and entertaining manner. Humour helps to balance the tension created by the crime scene and investigation and a good humour is reflected in my courtroom drama to keep the tension balanced, a good laugh is good for the soul, just reading the questioning during cross-examination is thrilling.
I like my stories to reflect societal values and show the reality of the life that we live. In the Lawyer’s Dilemma, I discussed the impact of heroin addiction on one of the characters and how lawyers conquered various challenges that they encounter during their practice. I wanted to appeal for a change to gun laws in America by narrating a story, one of the reasons why I wrote The Plea on Oath in the first place with the hope that unfortunate stories similar to how Segun died could be prevented to make the world a better place to live in. The story touched on endangerment with a firearm, dealing with grief, corruption, racism, counselling and rehabilitation for people who are addicted to gambling.
How do you wind down?
Going for a walk or jogging is healthy and enjoyable. It is an opportunity to reflect, keep my eyes away from the screen and breath fresh air. You can leave all your worries behind you. It keeps me relaxed and a good way of stress relief. I also like cycling and just be on the move getting a breath of fresh air all the way.
What sort of challenges do you regularly overcome while world-building?
As I write legal fiction, World-building isn’t at the forefront of my stories unlike Fantasy or Sci. All my stories are set in the modern era in a typical city-based environment. As a result, I haven’t faced any challenges.
What are you reading at the moment?
I have two books in front of me now, the first one is a fiction titled ‘The Day it Rained Forever’ by Lynette Greenfield, I have literally just finished it. In the words of the author, ‘’I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’’ This book is a fascinating fiction, drama novel that, while written beautifully, may also make you feel uncomfortable, as it tackles the violence and unpleasantness of gang rape. The author narrated how Alia Cannes, a psychologist and writer, who lives a normal, simple, working-class life, finds herself in a terrifying situation one evening when she agrees to accompany a man at a bar to his hotel room. There, she is confronted with more than she anticipated and her night turns into a living nightmare, but that’s where the violence ends. Then comes the compassionate, loving guidance of Erik, who reaches into the darkness to the sufferer Alia, offering hope and helping her in her silent search for a life free from the memory of her past and the violence she endured. The aim of the book is to help survivors find the courage to speak out. The author remained sensitive to the subject, so no use of vulgar language has been used.
The second book which I have just begun is a non-fiction titled, ‘How to avoid a Climate Disaster – The Solutions We have and the Breakthroughs We Need’ by Bill Gates. Bill Gates in this book shares what he’s learned in more than a decade of studying climate change and investing in innovations to address the problems, and sets out a vision for how the world can build the tools it needs to get to zero greenhouse gas emissions.
What’s the most useful advice you could give to an aspiring author?
Keep on writing, the more you do it, the better you become at it. ‘The heard word is lost, the written letter abides – Vox audita perit, littera scripta manet.’ Take criticisms constructively, they are meant to make you and
not break you. Read books from existing authors because learning is a life-long journey. Don’t be discouraged if you are turned down by major publishing companies! Never give up, keep your focus and keep your creativity burning inside of you, keep your ink flowing through your pen. Writing is a lot of hard work, so be ready to give it what it takes to achieve your goal. Take each day as it comes. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean and so write daily if you can. Lastly, speak to the right people and learn from your mistakes. Good luck!
Tell us about the book you’re promoting.
The Lawyer’s Dilemma is a legal fictional story about a Law Attorney who practised his profession passionately but had underlying emotional issues regarding his paternity, according to the story he was told by his mother, she was gang-raped and consequently, she did not know the paternity of her son who grew up to study Law. He was very passionate about his career but neglected his wife and his 2-year-old son. His wife who was a nurse was battling with heroin addiction which deteriorated due to a prolonged post-natal depressive disorder and attempted suicide. The Attorney walked out on his marriage leading to his young son being taken away from his wife by social service.
Thirty years later his son had grown to become a menace and notorious criminal with a record of all manner of conviction ranging from theft, rape and murder. His defence attorney and his team were strong were a strong team. The case is a defining moment in Attorney’s prosecuting career, He is not someone who is easily coerced into plea bargain by the defence, but when he received the shock of his life that the accused person was his own biological son whom he had abandoned almost three decades ago, a plea bargain was inevitable. He must now find a way to prove his son’s innocence. This is the most challenging trial in He’s career; the murder victim – is his son’s half-brother, unknown to the Attorney, his late wife remarried after their divorce and gave birth to a son, a successful accountant.
The story reached the climax with the verdict following two separate courtroom thrillers with dramas. I wrote this book to commemorate three decades of my graduation with my Law Degree in 1989. I wanted the story to comfort Lawyers and to recognise their struggles and hard work and dedication through the practising of their profession and I showcased some difficulties and challenges that (prosecutors, defence lawyers and judges) may sometimes encounter in their sojourn in life.
In my additional notes I referred to the invisible virus COVID-19 epidemic outbreak as a plague, I likened coronavirus to cyanide but that the former had claimed more lives on planet earth within a short space of time for more than a poison could do. In the mystery thriller the victim suffered respiratory failure compounded by lactic acidosis because cyanide is rapidly lethal, likewise was COVID-19, as it became more rapidly lethal when it locked and knocked the world down to sickness and in need of healing in the year 2020. A story for our generation to tell the unborn.