I’ve never actually met Laura, but we connected because of books. Laura has a great review blog, where she reviews YA novels. She is the author of several novels, including the two she discusses below, and I am really happy that I am able to feature her as my final author for the 2013 Novel Writers November.
Tell us a little about yourself and your books.
My first book, Treason Stops at Oyster Bay, is a middle reader, historical novel, based on a true life story of a 17-year-old girl, who was a spy during the Revolutionary War. Even though it was published traditionally, I could not get an agent to even look at my second book, Quest, so I decided to publish it myself on amazon. What a freeing experience–I realized I can write whatever I like and not worry if it’s commercial enough to get an agent/publisher.
So now, I believe I’ve found my niche–the books I like to write and am inspired to write in the future are written with the young adult in mind. They contain elements of the spiritual, the supernatural, the mystical, with some scientific facts and lots of adventure mixed in.
You’ve done a lot of different things in your life, so far. What made you want to become a writer?
Years ago, the pharmaceutical company I worked for went out of business and I was in no hurry to get another job as an analytical chemist. I remembered all the books I enjoyed while I was growing up and said to myself, “I can do that!” Of course, writing was a harder process than I thought it was going to be, but I was hooked on it.
Are there ways that your former careers have made you a better writer?
I am a voracious reader with a myriad of strange interests. Couple that with my years as a research chemist, violin teacher, physical therapist, and soccer mom. What you have is a person who has a background, rich with different experiences. I think that has helped me write a book that is unique in subject matter–Quest is not your typical sci-fi or dystopian novel.
What are your favorite kinds of books to read? Why?
I am evenly divided between spiritual/mystical books (because I have a true hankering for knowledge in that area) and teen novels. I love the latter for the same reason I love kids’ movies. I think the boundaries of creativity are much more expansive for children’s novels and movies. Imagine a “Harry Potter” book written for an adult audience–it would never happen. In terms of subject matter and characters, there is a much wider range that is acceptable in children’s and teen books.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
I think every author, whether they’ve had some success or not, is an aspiring author. We are all aspiring to write a better book, create more lifelike characters, be more descriptive, hatch a more dynamite plot, etc. So, I am striving to improve my writing, continuing to write the best novel I can come up with, and I would advise any other author to do the same–just keep writing!
Any final words?
I find that it’s an exciting time to be a writer. Agents and traditional publishers are no longer the gatekeepers, deciding who will be permitted entry into the publishing world. With the advent of print-on-demand and the prevalence of e-books and e-readers, the whole industry is in flux and it will be interesting to see where it will be ten, or even five years from now.
Find Laura on the web: