The author of the novel Odyssey’s Child, John Lockton will be answering a few questions I have for him. He recently released his novel and I wam doing a giveaway for the novel on our Instagram page right now. You can find us here.
How to Participate in the Giveaway
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I asked John Lockton questions about his novel and what inspired it. You can read the interview below.
What inspired you to write this novel?
John Lockton: Perhaps because my life has been one of adventure and drama, I have always been interested in novels of excitement that explore the adventure of being alive, and from early adulthood have wanted to write novels about my extraordinary life. My first wife encouraged me. Impetus was lost when she jumped out of a window of the Waldorf Astoria in front of me. Couldn’t grab her in time. A sad novel awaits about that.
Then after a number of years a second wife encouraged me. She died three years ago in a horrible example of malpractice at the leading hospital of Northern California. Another sad novel. Now engaged to a lovely woman, and in retirement, I determined to finally complete what I have started too many times. My new book, Odyssey’s Child, is the first in a series of three. The second book, Pomford, is ready for publication, and a third book is in the offing. I find myself writing with joy. The stories have been gnawing at me for years, demanding to be told. Now that I am growing old, hard to admit it, I find in writing I can continue the adventure and drama that has been life.
What made you choose the Caribbean as the setting for the novel?
John Lockton: My soul has always been entwined in sailing, and I made sailing a central theme in Odyssey’s Child. Was there ever a time I wasn’t in love with sailing? I don’t think so. I have some Danish blood and perhaps there’s an old Norseman hiding there.
My first sailboat, a Beetle Cat, came to me at nine years old, a boat almost as wide as it was long. Wasn’t supposed to be able to tip over. Did, not scaring me but joy that the boat was unsinkable and could sail half full of water. After that many other boats and many other near sinkings. The amazing voyage in my book, across the Caribbean at thirteen years old in 1951, was part of a life direction already established.
Which books would you say inspired you to write this novel?
John Lockton: All the terror filled trials at sea and the odd and remarkable people in Odyssey’s Child actually existed. I lived them all in my 1951 voyage and later voyages. For the antagonist, the evil man locked with the boy on the boat, the equivalent of the tiger in Life of Pi, I studied extensively the causes and effects of a man’s attraction to boys, a matter of headlines today. What caused a wealthy and socially prominent man to hold a young adolescent he doesn’t know on board a small sailboat for a two month voyage and what goes on inside the man’s head?
The results of my study will surprise the reader. It did me. In the end the story is uplifting. How could you have anything but an uplifting ending in the beauty and joy of the Caribbean? As in The Alchemist, one of my favorite books, I wanted the boy to find himself and his future.
Why did you choose the theme of wandering the sea for the novel?
John Lockton: My life has mimicked my sailing, constant changes of direction, moments of high drama. As in the book my mother died tragically when I was eleven. Went to Harvard Law School intending to be a trial lawyer and practiced successfully at a leading Wall Street firm.
One litigation partner I worked with committed suicide. Less than a month later I discovered the other partner I worked with comatose in his office, the burdens of a major case too much for him. Wrong kind of adventure. Then House Counsel of a major corporation where I had to deal with my discovery that the corporation had been bribing Congressmen to gain contracts. Then President of Moody’s Investor Services when Moody’s proclaimed New York City bankrupt.
You may recall the headline, “Drop Dead New York.” President of Dun & Bradstreet International and personally involved in spiriting employees out of Iran when the Shah fell. Cloak and dagger stuff, not my cup of tea, with two of our people ending on the hangman’s noose. President of Warner Amex Cable Television (now Warner Cable), winning cable franchises in major cities of America and having to find a way to get people to pay for TV previously delivered free, and also in at the start of MTV at Warner.
Executive Vice President of Pacific Bell at the beginning of cellular radio then viewed as a “rich man’s toy.” Head of an international cellular corporation with operations around the world including a drama filled partnership in China with the People’s Liberation Army. Then a number of drama filled startups in Silicon Valley. Always tacking, tacking, tacking upwind against the storms of life, seeking new challenges and new adventures. And always, whenever possible, sailing and exploring the Caribbean.
I hope you enjoyed the interview! You can check out John Lockton’s novel on Amazon here: Odyssey’s Child