Mark Lawrence is a bestselling author, the winner of several Hugo awards and the winner, with his own literary imprint, of The Man Who Knew Too Much, which includes a memoir about a former boss.
The new memoir, titled Toxic, was published on September 26.
Here, he shares with Business Insider how toxic culture works and how men can be empowered by making changes.
READ MORE:Read more from Business Insider:The Man Who Know Too Much is a memoir of a former executive who once commanded a $1 billion media empire and was one of the few men to be named CEO of the world’s largest technology company.
But Lawrence also writes about how his early years as an entrepreneur were dominated by “toxic masculinity” that often resulted in a culture of entitlement, sexism and bullying.
“We were a little bit of a mess,” he says.
“We had a lot of entitlement and bullying in the workplace, and it’s been a huge burden to deal with.”
I wanted to be able to say that in a way that I didn’t have to talk about my experiences because it was part of the process.
And I didn [think] I would be able, I just wanted to say, ‘It was my fault, it was my problem, it’s my failure.'””
The book is also the first in a series of memoirs to focus on a single topic: masculinity.
Lawrence’s first memoir, Men, published in 2006, dealt with issues of violence and rape and he is currently writing the follow-up to that.
“It’s been the biggest thing that’s been holding me back,” he tells Business Insider.
“I’ve been working in tech for seven years now and I’ve done a lot.
I’ve been a tech editor and a CEO and I’m not a very big company person.
I’m an entrepreneur.
So it’s taken a lot to break through to the point where I can actually say, “Yeah, this is what I do.””
I can’t even think about writing the next one without thinking about it and saying, ‘Oh my God, this happened.
“He was very much the ‘alpha male’ archetype that men like to be like.
I was an alpha male for most of my life.
I think he’s the one thing that you can be proud of being in that position.”
For more stories from Business, take a second to sign up for our newsletter.
More stories from the US and around the worldFrom my father to the future of my familyI’ve written this book because I want to write about it, Lawrence says.
I want the book to be a place where I’m able to share with others my own experiences and that it’s okay to be vulnerable and feel that way, and that I’ve learned to live with it.
“But it also speaks to how we can help men, and we’re able to change the world in ways that are much more empowering, and in ways where we don’t need to be afraid to make changes.
And so, yeah, I want it to be that way.”
And then, if it becomes my legacy, it will be the one that I am most proud of and the one I’m most grateful for.
I don’t want it be something that I take for granted, or something that everyone else is talking about or that people think is so easy.
I just want it as a source of validation and affirmation for my own life.
“Read the full interview with Mark Lawrence here.