The Story Is My Story

John Lockton Author Interview

Odyssey’s Child follows a teen who struggles with finding a purpose to live after his mom dies and an old sailor helps him learn about himself and life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Ethan struggles with finding a reason to live at the start and grows into a stronger person by the end. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The story is my story. My mother died tragically when I was eleven as in the book, died differently than in the book, though like the book I blamed myself for her death. An uncle with a small boat in the Caribbean took pity on me. The book is the story of the two month, 1,500 mile voyage, for me a voyage of recovery from trauma and of finding myself and my future, just as for Ethan in the book. On the boast were three people as in the book, my uncle, Johnson, a wonderful black sailor, and Oliver in real life, and me. All the incidents in the Caribbean occurred as written. In writing about Ethan I was influenced by The Alchemist, a young man who journeys far as a seeker only to find what he is seeking within himself. I tried to repeat the theme of overcoming tremendous adversity, growing strength and wisdom in the fight, and in the end uplifting the reader to a renewed appreciation of the joy of being alive.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I am a great fan of Life of Pi and decided to take my Caribbean voyage as a thirteen year old and turn it as far as possible into a Life of Pi in the Caribbean. For that I needed the equivalent of a tiger on board and George was created. And why would George, a rich and socially prominent man, stay two months on a boat with a boy he didn’t know? He had to fall sexually in love with him. Then to add tension, a struggle between two men for the soul of the boy, I enlisted Johson as the boy’s protector and Geoge’s rival. Finally I locked the three on board through love and hate in a way that none could escape the voyage, as locked together as the boy with the tiger in the middle of the Pacific. This stage set I watched to see what would happen. The book almost dictated itself.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book, the second of a planned series of three, is The Child of Lot, a murder mystery. Set in the California eugenics movement, carrying the eugenics to its grotesque consequences in Germany, then following lingering tentacles of eugenics wrapping around a New England prep school. A boy, Ethan at an older age, must survive merciless bullying at the school, find out why a man dies trying to ride a horse that couldn’t be ridden, and then survive those trying to kill him to prevent him revealing the murder. The book is an education on eugenics and it’s horrors, an inside look at a very real repressive New England pre school, and a salute to determined courage and the power of love.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

For fans of Life of Pi and The Alchemist, an unforgettable, spellbinding literary epic, brimming with excitement and magic that will have you laughing and crying in the joy of being alive that is the Caribbean.

When Ethan Carpenter fails to get help for his mother as she lays dying he is blamed for her death, cast out by a father who hates him, and finds himself adducted to a small sailboat in the Caribbean. The man who holds him descends to the darkest of evil with the boy his prey, as dangerous to Ethan as the tiger in Life of Pi. Like Pi, Ethan must find a way to avoid the man and his evil on an extended voyage, a two month, 1,500 mile sail the length of the Caribbean. But unlike Pi he must fight a second tiger within. Selfblame for his mother’s death has taken him so far into himself that the real world seems an illusion, suicide the only answer. As the evil increases he is pushed toward becoming part of the very evil he is fighting. Can he overcome the man while finding a way out of the darkness that is his life? The boy’s odds dim as the voyage becomes a frightening odyssey with the killer ocean storms, predators of the deep, and fantastical and deadly characters on shore as Homer told it of old.

The boy’s only hope is a black sailor who befriends him and tries to protect him. A knock-down physical and psychological battle rages between the two men with the heart and soul of the boy the prize and murder at play. Even in the violence the sailor’s wisdom and humanity shine through, taking the story to an exploration of life’s deeper meaning. And like The Alchemist, the sailor leads the boy through a series of events, each with a life lesson, in a personal journey toward finding himself and his future, a narrative of inspiration and self-realization. Lush, evocative, and totally human the story reminds one that life is worth living and the search for one’s self is the most important search of all.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on May 30, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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