Lloyd Jeffries enjoys dark comedies, philosophy, clever turns of phrase, religious studies and thought experiments involving the esoteric and legendary. A decorated veteran of numerous conflicts, he served in the U.S. military and has practiced Emergency, Trauma and Wilderness medicine for more than twenty years. He hides out in Florida with his family and Buck the Wonder Dog.
What inspired you to write thrilling novels?
I wanted to write a novel that thrilled, that inspired thought, and that questioned everything while doing so in a meaningful and compelling way. I believe the thrill comes from the reader, and it’s my job to place them in the scene, to inspire emotion, to squeeze out a tear, or laugh, or sensation of having one’s mind blown.
As a child I was frequently alone and escaped into my imagination for hours and hours. I thrilled in this and discovered I had a knack for it.
A Portion of Malice certainly offers deep storytelling, strong character elements, and a grand concept. How do you live with the storyline and characters in your head while going about your normal day-to-day life?
It’s not a problem, my brain seems to work on things in the background as I go about my day. I combine ideas with the things I do, see, or experience. As a semi-retired medical professional, my day is filled with various, interesting people who are going through tough times. I keep my focus on them and try to live in the moment while giving each patient careful attention.
Sometimes the magic happens, meaning an idea will pop in my head, or I’ll meet someone who is singularly distinctive in their manner, speech, appearance, etc. So, things influence me and get tucked away in the back of my mind for later use.
What was it about your fascination with prophecies, myths, and legends that moved you to pen this book?
I love this question, although it’s hard to answer. I grew up on church pews, which has a way of beating religion right out of you. The upside, I had questions no one could answer. Sincere questions like: if God knows everything, then he knows how I’ll live my life and what my ultimate fate will be. So, what’s the point of living if I don’t have freewill and my path is pre-ordained? Also, if God loves us as His children, why would He allow such a thing as the apocalypse to occur? I never got answers to these questions, so went searching on my own. Thus, A Portion of Malice, Book I in the Ages of Malice series.
How did your upbringing influence your view of religion? Is it playing a role in how you depict organized religion in your book?
There’s a saying, “God, please save me from your followers.” I echo that sentiment because I think religious people often use religion as a ploy for their own ambitions. To hold that against them would be to rage against the nature of Man. I respect all religions and believe they are sacred constructs, not because they bring one closer to God, which so often they don’t, but because they inspire a single human to do better, to think about others, to show love, compassion, empathy, to cast off greed, envy, lust, and jealousy. Religion is a way post pointing to something better, and I love the idea of introspection in the name of improving the Earth, starting with oneself.
Which authors or books have inspired or informed your writing?
Stephen King without a doubt. His compendium of excellent work aside, his book, On Writing, changed my perspective and inspired me to continually improve my craft and tell the truth of the story. Superlative! Highly recommended for burgeoning writers!