Meet Me Mondays

Meet Me Mondays
Meet My Author Friends...Make Them Yours

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Please welcome Laurie Larsen to the "Meet Me Mondays" spotlight.  She's the 2010 Eppie Award Winning author of Preacher Man, a multi-published author, the Treasurer of the Central Illinois Heart and Scroll Chapter, and my mentor/my friend.  Oh, and she's also a busy mom and full-time Project Manager at a large corporation.

Q1: So Laurie, please share, as the author of Casey V (Young Adult), Preacher Man (Inspirational Romance), Legacy of Lies, Momentary Lapse and Whispers of the Heart (Women's Fiction), what motivates you most to write?

I’ve always loved to read and write.  One of my favorite past times is to get swept away by a great story, whether I’m writing it or reading it!  What motivates me most to keep writing book after book is the desire to do something all my own.  As you mentioned, I’m a wife, a mother, a career woman.  I’m always doing things for others, by the nature of my various roles. And I love all those roles!  But writing is for me.  It allows me to use my creativity and talent and skills to create a story all my own.  And if it gets published, and therefore shared with others who enjoy it as well, then that’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Q2: With five published novels under your belt, two additional works under submission, what can your fans (both present and future) look forward to next?

I have begun submissions for my latest manuscript, a contemporary romance.  Inner Diva is the story of Monica, a play-by-the-rules wannabe actress and Carlos, a hot Hispanic reformed bad boy.  They are total opposites with nothing obvious in common.  However, as their relationship develops they realize that each is instrumental in helping the other achieve their deepest personal dreams.  Inner Diva is a little bit hotter on the sensuality scale than any of my previous novels.  Although far from erotic, I really let loose and opened up the sensuality levels for this book!  The pages sizzle with Carlos and Monica’s passion for each other.  I hope to be able to announce to my readers a new release soon! 

Q3:  If you were to choose one of your five published titles to suggest to a new reader of your work, which one would you choose and why?

As a writer, I think I have a touch of ADD – each of my books have been very different as far as genre.  Of my five books, I’ve published one contemporary romance, two mainstream fictions, an inspirational romance and a Young Adult romance.  Although each one has a different target audience and genre, I believe the tone and voice for each of my books are consistent.  Having said that, when I meet someone new to my writing and they ask which one they should start with, I usually tell them:  Preacher Man.  My fourth book was the one that made me “an award-winning author.”  In March of 2010 Preacher Man won the Inspirational Romance category of the esteemed EPIC award, and I took home a trophy – a highlight in my writing career, and a moment I’ll never forget. 

Q4:  Your first book, Whispers of the Heart, was released in 2000, what sage advice can you share with new authors beginning their journey?

Stay true to yourself, while understanding the market.  To write the best book you can write, you have to draw on your unique talents and write what really speaks to you as an author.  But in order for it to be published, your work needs to be able to fit into a line or a genre that publishers are acquiring.  Sometimes that differentiation is clear, and sometimes it’s darn murky.  But finding a satisfactory resolution to both is where the best and most successful authors will reside. 

Q5:  For those of us in the business, many of us know what it's like to work with a critique partner.  Do you have a story to share about a great cp relationship you have/had?

I don’t really have a story, but just some guidelines to follow when you’re trying to match up with a critique partner.  It’s sort of like finding a spouse.  Don’t commit to one just to say you have one.  Wait till the right one comes along!  A critique partner should be someone you have a mutual respect for – you should respect their advice, and they should have a respect for your work.  They need to be able to point out things about your work that need changes, and they need to be able to communicate those changes in a way that leaves you feeling clear and comfortable about them.  Effective communication with the right amount of tactfulness is a vital skill between partners.

Q6:  What about a horror story?  (ha ha)

If a critique makes you want to curl up in a ball, cry and never go near your manuscript again that’s a horror story!  And that’s the wrong critique partner for you!  Be careful about giving over your work, just like you’re careful about giving over your heart!

Q7:  As authors, we have to be our biggest promoters ourselves, plugging away at blogs, interviews, appearances, etc. For the readers just meeting you today, please describe in a brief paragraph why they should read your books. 

In my books you’ll meet ordinary people who meet up with extraordinary circumstances.  Every day life with just a touch of worst case scenario.  Stories that will live on long after the book is closed. 

Visit Laurie’s website for news, a journal, photos and giveaways! 

****Prize Alert**** One lucky commenter will receive a variety pack of Laurie’s promos (bookmarks postcard, notepad).  Comment by Friday, February 4 at 9pm CST.


Laurie Larsen said...

Thanks for letting me visit your cool blog Kienna! I loved your Up On the Rooftop and I look forward the the release of Prince at the Corner Bakery!! Best of luck to you!

maryschiller said...

Nicely done, Kienna! I was familiar with Laurie's work but your interview brought out some new information. For instance, I didn't know that she was working on a steamier novel. Can't wait to read that one! And I didn't realize that "Preacher Man" was the book that was nearest and dearest to her heart. Makes me want to read that one, too. If only I had an infinite amount of time....

Anonymous said...

Hi there :) Loved the blog, and it's good to meet you Laurie. Sorry I'm late to the party, it's the story of my life.

Inner Diva sounds exciting, I love me some hot Latino lovin' ;;)

Kienna Riley said...

OLIVIA STARKE ~ You win the author promo pack from Laurie Larsen, I will contact you off-blog to obtain mailing info! Yeah YOU :)

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