Time Lapses Differently In Prison

Marcus Lessard Author Interview

The Forever Young Prisoner follows a curious inmate who tries to uncover a hidden mystery of a prisoner that does not age. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Locked up for over 2 years in Colorado penitentiaries, I deemed it on par to an obligation, as an aspiring writer, to write a novel or short story set in the unique setting which is prison. Time lapses differently in prison. Six months may pass, a year, or five years, but the same white walls, orange scrubs, and iron bars remain ever the same. In prison, “time” is a subject on everyone’s mind: time left to parole, time down, length of sentence. But in the moment, in everyday life, it is an abstract thing. There are no deadlines, no workweek, no foreseeable future, no change. Prison. Time. Suddenly, I had the premise for a story.

How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists? Or can they be the same thing?

They can indeed be the same. They were certainly for me, while writing The Forever Young Prisoner. With only a sketchy outline of a basic plot, I just wrote. Usually, the shocking plot twists popped into my head no earlier than one or two chapters in advance of their place in the novel. Inspiration is sometimes a funny thing. The deeper I advanced into the novel, the more familiar the characters and setting became. With that familiarity came a wellspring of potential plot-lines. As the characters came to life, so did their stories. Sometimes, plot just happens.

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

Impulsiveness can be a problem for anyone, but tends to be a big problem for the incarcerated. Goal setting, looking at the big picture, and maintaining a vision, are things convicts often tend to struggle with. Prison helps along those lines because it provides a framework of constancy. Henry Heck, The Forever Young Prisoner, had a vision, which every day over the course of his 100 years behind bars he repeated, out loud. Our words, what we say, has incredible impact on who we are and where ourlives end up. That’s the theme of the story: the power of words.

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

I’ve titled it Fairy Tale Girl. It’s about a flighty, fair-haired young woman who inhabits a house on federal lands in the middle of nowhere, central Missouri. Living all alone, she is never quite that, as she hosts and harbors the wayfaring spirits of the dead. An escaped convict finds his way to her remote residence. Raised on fairy tales and ghost stories, and naive to the point of otherworldliness, she harbors him, too. His first-person narrative recounts the discoveries and adventures he shares with his gracious and mysterious host. The novel should be available sometime in 2024.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Facebook

130 year-old Henry tells all!
Unless the Guardians of the Mysteries of the Clock have the final say.
Henry Heck is the mysterious prisoner locked away in the depths of Providence State Penitentiary since the Great War for crimes unknown. Rumors suggest he hasn’t aged a day.
Tommy McConnell, inmate #176543, a rollicking, dumpster-diving addict with nothing to lose except his own self doubts, sets out to investigate the Legend of the Forever Young Prisoner. He will require the assistance of both the living and the dead.
A cellmate introduces Tommy to the paranormal. Vivid dreams, synchronicities, and ghosts ensue.
Tommy’s behind-the-walls investigation into the top-secret, mystical tale of the Forever Young Prisoner will present challenges even more harrowing and high stakes than prison life itself. Will Tommy find his man, become a better one himself, and live to share the fathomless secret of Henry’s agelessness with the world at large? Or will the devious and ever defiant Guardians prevail?

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 April 15, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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