Interview with Lauralynn Elliott!, xkcd, and ROW80

Part Two of my guest post on Istanbul at Beth Camp's blog is up!

Meanwhile, I have a treat today - an interview with Lauralynn Elliott!

Lauralynn's the author of thirteen books, including paranormal romances, romantic suspense, and this book that's on my wishlist:

Her short story, The Beast in the Mirror, is available for free!

On writing

What's your earliest memory related to writing?

When I was somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, I wrote a story, on notecards, about a girl named Angel. The funny thing is, I didn't know how to spell Angel, and I ended up spelling it Angle. LOL

Who inspired you to write?

You know, I'm not really sure. I just naturally wanted to do it.

Do you have a favourite writing-related quote?

Well, I kind of like "It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot. Because I always wanted to be a writer, and I gave it up for so many years. But when I came back to it, it wasn't too late.

Where do you do most of your writing? What do you need to help you write? Tea or coffee?

I've finally got my office fixed up the way I want it, so that's where I go. It kind of has a beach theme. I like to snack a little when I write. It seems to make me relax. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

Which scenes are hardest for you to write?

The scenes where there's not a lot going on. Kind of the in-between scenes that connect the exciting ones.

What's the weirdest thing you've researched?

I don't know that this is weird, but it's what I researched the most. I had to research the Amazon rain forest because one of my books is partially set there.
[That sounds interesting!]

Do you have stories that might never see light of day?

Yes! I wrote a story that hit a little too close to home. It was cathartic at the time, but I have no interest in publishing it.

On characters

Do you have a method for creating your characters and their names, and what do you think makes them believable?

My characters sort of pop into my head and need to be heard. The names just come to me most of the time, but occasionally I have a hard time naming one. I guess what makes them believable is that they are like me or people I know.

Would you like to be one of your characters, or do you the writer torture them too much?

Since most of my stories are paranormal, I don't think I would want to be one of my characters. I would be too scared if I really met a vampire or ghost.

Have you secretly chosen actors to play your main characters?

Actually, I do that sometimes, especially my male characters. My very favorite character is from my book, Haunted Lake. I had a really hard time finding an actor that I could picture, but when the new version of Beauty and the Beast came out, I found my John in Jay Ryan. He has a scar (on the show), and his voice is kind of raspy. Perfect for John!

On publishing

How's the indie/self-publishing journey been so far? Do you have any advice for others who might be attempting that route?

It was very satisfying and lucrative in the beginning. There were a few months that I could have made a living as a writer from just one novella that really took off (Guardian Vampire). But as the market has become flooded with indie authors, it's much harder to be found. Readers have to wade through a lot of authors. I think you have to be persistent and just not give up if you're serious about this. Treat it as a job. And make sure your books are edited well. My later books are edited much better than my earlier ones.

Getting a good review from which author would make you freak out the most?

Well, it would be Stephen King, of course, but I don't think he reads my books.

When not writing...

What do you do when you're not writing?

I work full time, love to play computer games, go to church, and love hanging out with family and friends. I love going out to a good action movie with my husband and eating lots of popcorn.
[Full time! Now that's inspiring, to those of us contemplating the indie route]

Which is the most embarrassing song, book, movie or TV show that you love?

The movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The original one where people dressed up in turtle suits. *blushes*
[Aww, I love that movie too!]

Who is your favourite author?

Stephen King
[He's one of mine too!]

If you could invite three people from any time period to dinner, who would you choose and what would you serve?

Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. I would order pizza, because I wouldn't want to waste time in the kitchen.
[That's a great reason!]

Where would you most like to travel?

Oh, this one is hard. Maybe Scotland.

I'd love to see the Highlands. Thanks for being here today, Lauralynn!

Read all about Lauralynn's books here, and find her on Amazon here.

Lauralynn's also been a sponsor for ROW80, which reminds me that I didn't realise last week that it was the end of Round 3!

No matter, because I'm still going, still typing up Captive of the Sea, and working on the September X. I think I might be getting into the dreaded middle of the story, judging by the sudden increase in square brackets (for items that require research) and underlined words (which indicate that I know this isn't the correct word, for flow and form and anachronistic purposes, but I just can't think of a good one at the moment!).

Next round of ROW80 starts on 7 October!

Meanwhile, this is a lovely thing I learned about this week on xkcd (and if you're not regularly reading xkcd, you're missing out!)

Are the leaves changing colour where you are?

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