MICHAEL LAWRENCE has written a great many books, some of which won't be associated with him as he published them under other names. What names? He's not telling, but he says that he's never had much ambition to see his name (any of his names) in lights. He just wants to 'do stuff'. And he's done quite a bit of stuff in his time. For instance, after leaving art school he became a graphic designer in London, then a photographer there and in Paris and elsewhere, taking pictures for advertising agencies, publishers and newspapers, of food and politicians, of pop stars and fashion models. And he did a lot of work for Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse magazine. He has also been an antiques dealer and a printer (silkscreen and photographic), has co-owned and run two art galleries, made hundreds of paintings, drawings and experimental digital images, and one of his great private joys is writing and recording songs under one of his aliases (see ). Asked why he doesn't concentrate on just one activity rather than go the 'master of none route', he replies:
'I don't care about being master of anything, I simply want to do the best I can with whatever I choose to work on or make. We have just one life, so why limit yourself to a single activity or interest when there are so many others to explore?'
As for the writing side of things, he has won awards, had books translated into twenty or so languages, put in appearances at literary festivals, and been interviewed on TV and radio. In spite of all this he has often said that one of the worst decisions he ever made was to become a writer. Why? Because of the years and years spent alone in silent rooms, staring at sheets of paper or screens, when he could have been travelling the world and being taught to tango (and a number of other things) by staggeringly beautiful women. 'What a waste of a life,' he sighs as he writes The End on the last page of yet another book.
He does say one or two positive things about writing, though; such as: 'In writing I'm interested in history (real and alternative), in chance, possibility, agreeable accident, anything at all that requires me to stretch my imagination. I also like not knowing in advance what new ideas might occur to me by the end of a given day. Publication isn't important to me. I've seen my name (or names) on books in shops too many times to be excited by the prospect of seeing it (or them) again. It's the working out and resolving of a concept that excites me, not the thought of making it available to people I'll never meet.'
That said, he won't be annoyed if the three books shown on this website were to give pleasure to a reader or two. There's more of him in these, he says, than in anything else that he's published. Collectively, they have been many years in the writing and are very personal to him, in all sorts of ways.
If some of the above sounds pretty off-putting, you might like to know that Michael loves to chat to people, especially if the subject is interesting. If you fancy checking this out, he can be contacted by clicking the wizard snap below.
(be not afraid, Best Beloved)