The Amazing And Intrepid Lawrence Tuckerman

Craig Leener Author Interview

There’s No Basketball on Mars follows an autistic teenage boy who gets recruited into a top-secret mission to Mars. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Autism touches all of us — our immediate families, our coworkers, and our dear friends. It’s a disorder that’s very close to my heart. I have a dear friend who lives 1,500 miles away in Dallas. She has a neurodiverse teenage son — really quite an extraordinary young man — and she and I talk often about the challenges he faces and the achievements he celebrates.

When I first felt the calling to write a young-adult novel, I sat down for breakfast at a diner in Hollywood with a YA librarian. I was seeking guidance and a path forward. That librarian told me to consider including an underrepresented main character in my story, and I immediately thought of my friend’s son, and in that moment, the amazing and intrepid Lawrence Tuckerman was born.

What research did you do for this novel to get it right?

I read everything I could get my hands on regarding space travel to Mars and neurodiversity. I also did supplemental research on Vandenberg Air Force Base, the University of Kansas basketball program, medical testing devices, algebraic mathematics, the writings of Carl Sagan, and what goes into making great sushi.

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

The theme that rode shotgun alongside me as I wrote the book’s first draft was that of inclusiveness. Young folks on the spectrum are often overlooked and are faced with difficult challenges. I believe it is vitally important that we support these kids, and that we do so with an open heart.

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

I’m currently hammering away at the sequel to There’s No Basketball on Mars. Look for the moon to play a prominent role in the story. Of course, the great sport of basketball will make a cameo appearance in the new novel as well. I plan to publish in fall of 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Lawrence Tuckerman is a fan of probabilities — well, any numbers and math, really. It’s an interest that goes hand-in-hand with his autism. It’s also how he met his best friend Zeke, who is off fulfilling his dream of playing basketball at the University of Kansas. Now Lawrence expects his life in Los Angeles to become even less social and more
routine — just the way he likes it. He plans to finish high school as he pursues his own far-off dream of manning Earth’s first mission to Mars . . .

Then the improbable happens: Lawrence is recruited for a top-secret mission of cosmic proportions! The whole operation relies on him realizing the full potential of his 1-in-6-billion mind—without freaking out. The rocket-science math is a no-brainer, but is he made of the right stuff to manage the communication and cooperation of a team effort . . . without his best friend?

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 June 12, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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