Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Break Out the Bubbly & the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Laurie London's Debut Novel BONDED BY BLOOD

Thanks for joining me on the veranda, Laurie. I can't wait to learn all about your debut novel, BONDED BY BLOOD
Thanks for having me on today, Christine!!! I love the view.
You're welcome. Pop! Gurgle and pouring bubbly into a glass. Now I'm ready to sit down and talk with one of my favorite people, writer Laurie London about her debut novel, BONDED BY BLOOD, and her writing journey. 
How did you end up becoming a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but my stories had been for my eyes only. It wasn’t until my sister became a Golden Heart finalist that I thought maybe I could take my own writing to the next step as well.
Wow, two writers in the family! How cool. What is your favorite genre to write?
I’ve tried other genres but found my writer’s voice when I started writing what I love to read--paranormal romance.
Being true to the books of your heart is how a person discovers the writer within. When you write are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?
Before I sold, I would loosely plot a story by knowing some of the main turning points and doing character sketches, but that’s about it. Now that I’ve sold, I submit a synopsis to my editor for approval before I’ve written much. Unfortunately, “some bad stuff happens here” doesn’t quite cut it. ;-)
Oh oh, I use those words a lot. And "insert X scene here" *grin*. Now that you're writing lifehas more demands, how do you relax after a writing day?
Because I’ve got teenagers, live on a small farm, and have horses, there’s not a lot of relaxing going on around here. But when my mom visits, we play Bananagrams a lot. Does that count?
Yes. Bananagrams counts! I've considered getting that game for my household, too. It looks like fun. If you're not playing Bananagrams, or writing, what do you like to read? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors?
While I read mainly paranormal romance, I do enjoy urban fantasy, young adult, and literary fiction. Some favorites are Nalini Singh, JR Ward, Gena Showalter, Alexis Morgan, Cherry Adair, Neal Schusterman, Deb Caletti, and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
Ooh, there are some good authors on your reading list. What is your current project?
I just finished the revisions on Embraced By Blood, book 2 in the Sweetblood series and am working on a few projects that I hope to be able to tell you about soon.
I can't wait to hear about them. Maybe we'll even get to celebrate in person this year. Any new releases for later this year?
Bonded By Blood just came out and Embraced By Blood is being released June 21.
I love your titles. Where did you get your ideas for your stories?
I’m influenced a lot by my environment. The twist in my vampire mythology came from living in the Pacific Northwest and suffering from mild Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. What if my being tired isn’t because of a lack of UV light, but because I’ve been visited by a vampire? And then I got to thinking, what if instead of burning up, vampires are weakened by sunlight—the opposite of humans—and need our blood and energies to survive?
See? It’s very logical where I get my ideas. ;-)
I love the way your mind works! And I'm so glad you were able to sell your novel so the rest of us can read your works. How long were you trying to get published before you got the “call?”
I know it usually takes longer than this, but it took me about eighteen months after I decided to get serious about my writing. I’m fortunate to be writing in a popular genre and that my publisher was on the lookout for a new vampire romance. My manuscript landed on her desk at just the right time. Good thing I didn’t listen to the people who told me that vampires were out. I just wanted to write the kind of books I liked to read.
Wow! I am so impressed. And you're right about focusing on what you can control. Everything else will fall into place. How did you celebrate the new book contract?
I happened to be having dinner with a friend when my agent, Emmanuelle Morgen, texted me that she’d closed the deal. We toasted my sale over Thai food and cocktails.
I never heard about the "text" as a new way for receiving the "call." Did you eventually speak to someone about the work or was it all electronic? 
After “the text,” my editor called me on the phone the next day and we spoke for quite awhile.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Read a lot and analyze why you like certain genres, writer styles, plots and character archetypes. Take note of the themes that resonate with you (I love stories of redemption and forgiveness). Then, write the kinds of stories you like to read and populate it with characters that interest you.
What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection?
Don’t assume that just because you’ve gotten a rejection that your writing sucks. It could just be a matter of timing, the marketplace, and a little luck. A thin margin may be all that separates you from someone who is published. Keep taking classes and reading the kinds of books you want to write, and by all means, keep writing!
I like your faith in the fact that a "thin margin may be all that separates an unpublished writer from a published writer. I'm going to write that down for my inspiration wall. Now that you are published, what is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Translating my thoughts to a Word document. LOL
LOL! Nothing changes and the work still has to happen. Good to know. What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you received the call?
That people would want me to be on their blogs. Seriously.
You deserve the attention. Thanks so much for visiting my veranda today and sharing your story, Laurie. I can't wait to read my copy of BONDED BY BLOOD. And today one of my commentators will win a copy just for stopping by and saying hello.


Anne Gallagher said...

Another great interview Christine! Thanks so much.

And Thank You Laurie for sharing. I loved when you said it's just a thin margin. I'm in that margin right now, and the rejections are killing me but I will persevere.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Laurie!
It seems like we chatted about your first sale so long ago, and now your book is out! Very exciting!

I can't stand synopses. I had to do one for my book 2 to be approved, and I've already strayed from it. With me, my story grows and evolves as I write it. While I know basic plot points, I never know exactly what's going to happen until I get there.
Great interview. I love hearing about new writers' journies. (Thanks for bringing them to us, Christine!)

And my family loves Bananagrams, too! Great game. Although since my son got his Xbox, we don't play often.

Good luck with both books, Laurie!

Anonymous said...

Lost my original comment. Grr.

Congrats, Laurie! So happy for you. Enjoy every moment of your debut. And sweetblood? oxymoronic? But maybe not to a vampire. LOL.

Liz Talley

Barb H said...

Congratulation on your debut, Laurie. What an exciting time for you.

My first manuscript had several of those *insert ... scene* sections. I wrote around that first love scene for months :O

Good luck with this book--and all the others to follow.

Excellent interview, Christine. Thanks.

booklover0226 said...

Wow, I really enjoyed this interview; it was great.

I look forward in reading Bonded by Blood and its series.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Adrienne Giordano said...

Congrats, Laurie! It's been so much fun to follow your journey. Thanks for all the wonderful tidbits along the way.

Christine said...

I am enjoying getting to know all the authors with the interviews. Synopsis? Oh, I know we have to write them, but they are a malleable element in my writing. As I just said to a friend: I need to write the story to know the answers.

Sigh. As always the hard way for me.

I can't wait to read Laurie's books. They sound so interesting to me.

Thanks all for coming by to wish Laurie well on her writing debut!!


Laurie London said...

Hello, everyone!!!

Ugh, Anne, I feel for you. It's not easy, but hang in there!!!

Hey Wendy! Yes, seems so long ago and now it's here! Synopses--grrr!

Aw, thanks, Liz!!! I've got blood phobia myself--if that's what you call it when you pass out at the sight of it. Ironic that blood is a central element in my books. :-)

Thank you so much, Barb H! Glad I'm not the only one who does that. ;-)

Thanks, Adrienne, for stopping in!!!

Thanks for having me, Christine! I'm the same way. I discover the story as I'm writing it, not when I'm writing the synopsis.

@Booklover0226 Hey, you look really really familiar... ;-) Thanks for following me around the interwebs!!!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Great interview, Christine.

Congratulations on your release day, Laurie. I love your thought process with the vampires. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight!

M.V.Freeman said...

Ah! This is a great interview with Laurie.

It gives me hope. It totally resonated with me--especially about writing the book that you want read...and to write (forget the naysayers!)

I hope to see more of Laurie:-)

Thanks for sharing!

Vicky said...

I'm late to the party, but of course I spent over an hour on the phone with Laurie yesterday. Laurie, is our talkativeness somehow related to our need to write? LOL.

Congratulations for a fabulous debut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine, I love your blog. And BTW, I never forget the title - Digging Out of Distraction. I so identify - except I never manage to dig out. Snort.


Christine said...

Hi Everyone! Thanks for celebrating Laurie's debut novel with me on Digging Out of Distraction. I'll announce the winner of Laurie's book on tomorrow's blog.

And now it is time for me to dig out of distraction and get cracking on my own WIP.


Christine said...

The lucky commentator who won Laurie's book is MV Freeman!!



M.V.Freeman said...

Thanks Christine~!
I am honored, I really wanted to read this book. :)
Thank you again!