Chat with Joshua Lawson

About

Hi, Aadi here. I’m here today with Joshua Lawson from Karina Fabian’s Mind Over Series.

[Aadi] Who or what are you and what are your vitals? (age, sex, species)

[Joshua] I’m Joshua Lawson, and I’m just a garden-variety human. I’m 19 and just finished my Junior year in college, which should imply I’m smart, but I was homeschooled which meant I got to start college early and I really screwed up my last year, which is how I ended up here. Oh, and I’m Catholic, but I messed that up, too – which really is why I got myself into such trouble. Things would be much different if I’d lived what I believed. Fortunately, God gives second chances, and I’m making the best of mine.

[Aadi] What part do you play in the story?

[Joshua] I’m interning at a private psychiatric institution. I thought it’d be my chance to get away from the mistakes I made and bury myself in work, learning from other psychiatrists and maybe working with patients. Mostly, though, I got hired on to be buddy to a patient my age who thinks he’s a psychic. He’s got a bad attitude, which is understandable given his situation, but it means I’m part buddy, part babysitter and part psychologist.

I’m not really practicing psychology. I don’t have a license, after all, but nobody’s really helping Deryl. He hears voices in his head, which would make you thing a dissociative disorder, and he’s really good at acting out what the other patients are feeling. But there are times when he knew things about me – my past, my secrets – that he could not have known, which is freaky.

Anyway, since medications and standard therapy weren’t working, I did something no one else did. I accepted that he was psychic and helped him learn to control his powers. I had no idea how much trouble, and how much adventure, that would get us both into.

[Aadi] How would you describe your book?

[Joshua] Urban fantasy/science fiction. The book takes place in the institution or in Deryl’s mind. In addition to his being psychic, there are aliens trying to get him to do their bidding. If you want to talk reading audience, I’d say 15 – adult.

[Aadi] Tell me about where you live? Who do you live with?

[Joshua] I have a little attic apartment in Rhode Island. My landlady cut my rent in half in exchange for yardwork. Believe me, she’s getting the better end of the deal. Mostly, I’m at the asylum. South Kingston Mental Health institute is a swanky place. It looks like a hotel and the food is better than most restaurants. But really, I’m there 10 or 12 hours a day because I’m taking care of Deryl and trying to help other patients and doing a lot of studying. My new girlfriend, Sachiko, thinks I may be a workaholic, but mostly I’m keeping busy so I don’t think about my past. Besides, Deryl has a therapist he can see during the daytime.

 

[Aadi] In your opinion, what is your best feature?

[Joshua] I know how to listen. My dad is an NLP practicioner. That’s Neuro Linguistic programming, a kind of psychology that depends heavily on language and communication. Listening is not just hearing the words; it’s watching the eyes, noting the body cues and getting into the head of the person you’re talking to. From the time I was little, my dad was teaching me how to do it, and I’ve got a real aptitude.

It makes me a good therapist, but it’s also ingrained into who I am, so I think it makes me a good friend, too. Physically? My eyes. I do a great smoldering stare. I’ve got a good smile, too. I work out, so my bod’s not half bad. I’m kind of the whole package.

[Aadi] What’s the worst thing someone ever did to you?

[Joshua] My girlfriend in college had an abortion. I didn’t even know she was pregnant. It’s not part of the book, but it is why I was in Rhode Island, trying to get my own head and heart together while making enough money to make up for the fact that I’d lost all my scholarships. (I’d almost flunked out because I was so depressed.)

[Aadi] I’m so sorry.

 

[Aadi] Do you have any magical items? Where did you get them?

[Joshua] I’m not sure if this counts, but you know ley lines? They’re like lines of magic or psychic energy that cross the earth. You read about them in fantasy and they’re in movies and stuff. Now, I can’t sense them, but Deryl needed some way to get the strength to control his abilities, so I suggested tapping the ley lines. It worked. Whether that’s magic or mind over mind, I can’t tell say. It was pretty awesome, though.

[Aadi] Okay, last question. If you could change anything in your book, what would it be and why?

[Joshua] I’d have believed in Deryl’s abilities earlier. I’m not blaming myself. After all, he’d been in a mental institution for five years and was having problems even before that, but if I’d thought they were true, I’d have changed my approach, or maybe just accelerated it. Plus, he knew I was playing along. How could he not? He’s psychic, right? Fortunately, Deryl was desperate enough to play along with me, so it all worked out in the end.

[Aadi] Thanks for stopping by.

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