Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview with *Ack!* Me

Well, my some of my interviewees this week turned things around on me and did a boomerang interview. :O *stutters and stammers* Um...er...okay, I can fly with that.

So, here it is. An interview with me. :/
(I see you all standing over there by the punch bowl looking amused.)

Q: You’ve developed many complex other-worlds, all with wonderful, fresh romance angles that involve character growth, cool technology, and constant twists and curves. You also blog with such enthusiasm and clear love of the genre. I know you get your inspiration from your family, other authors, but your voice is clearly yours. So, tell us a little bit about your voice.

A: Someone once told me my writing should be invisible, the text so smooth, visual and seamless the reader gets lost in the story and doesn’t realize they’re reading. That’s what I strive for. I also try to keep the prose fresh, have characters that spring surprises and plots that twist on unpredictable paths.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: At about the same time I learned how to spell words. My siblings were all a lot older, we lived in an isolated area and I didn’t have my own television until I was 12, so I started weaving tales for entertainment when I was young. My family just shook their heads and laughed. Laurie and her stories.

I didn’t realize I was any good at it until I got to Junior High. I took a creative writing class and my teacher loved my work. Somewhere I still have my class journal with her handwriting scrawled across the last page. “Laurie, don’t ever stop writing.” I never did. And some days when I feel like I should, I remember what she wrote.

Q: What kind of science inspires you and how do you work it into your stories.

A: I’m not a fan of hard Sci Fi. If you show me a television, I don’t need to know precisely how it works, just tell me what it does and how my characters might use it. That’s the aspect of science that intrigues me. Most of my technology is based on about 50% research and 50% imagination. I don’t honestly know if the propulsion systems in Draxis or P2PC are viable, but I believe in the future they could be. To me, Science Fiction is all about possibilities, not the facts of physics as they are currently understood. I once saw a documentary called “How William Shatner Changed the Universe.” It’s amazing how many scientists were inspired by the things they saw on Star Trek as kids, and decades later, strived to make similar technology a reality. “Impossible” is not a word I comprehend.

Q: You have very intricate world building with obvious ties to ancient civilizations. What civilizations pop up most in your work and inspire you in your world building process.

A: Oh yes, I’m fascinated with ancient Egypt, and anything Minoan, Babylonian, Abyssinian, Olmec, Toltec or Aztec piques my interest. Draxis borrowed elements from many of these cultures (except my characters would tell you these cultures borrowed from Draxis). In P2PC, I drew on the Roman Empire—a culture that championed arts, sciences, music and an enlightened way of life, but at the same time carried on horrific gory spectacles as entertainment. The Ithian Empire has close parallels. Their allies, the Rathskians, blended Spartan and Navajo themes. The description of the slave transports I took directly from the experiences of WWII survivors of the Bataan Death March. What a combination, huh?

Q: Who are your favorite characters and why?

A: Oh, tough one. Of the males, I think Lt. Mitchell Coe is probably my favorite, but that may be because I’m working on that WIP at present or because he’s the most contemporary of my male MCs. Alii’us (Draxis) and Sair (P2PC) are both from very different universes. Timmar, in Draxis, who may or may not be a villain, never fails to throw me a curve and he’s a habitual scene-stealer. He has a fan club trying to convince me he needs to be the MC of the story. LOL

Of the females, Dava Jordon (from P2PC Book 2), hand’s down. She’s a futuristic stormchaser, a gutsy pilot, an adrenalin junky and a survivor of an unthinkable tragedy. She’s a lot like a Tootsie Pop—hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Both her character name and her gungho attitude were inspired by my spouse, David.

Q: Why do you write?

A: Because no one wants to listen to me sing. *laughs* Self-expression has to come out in one form or another. Writing has always been my outlet, my entertainment, and my passion.

Q: Have you had any mentors or writers who've inspired you? Who and what is it about their work that gets your gears turning?

A: Well, the obvious answer is my IPs—Indispensable Peers—who never fail to inspire, motivate, help me brainstorm or give me a good swift kick in the pants when I need one. And they, of course, would be (in alphabetical order) Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson and Arlene Webb.

Many writers on CritiqueCircle have inspired and educated me, especially the Toasted Scimitar gang—Abby Rustad, Ardyth DeBruyn, “Spartezda” and “SkipperZ.”

Going back quite a few years, Paula Paul was a mentor who taught me a lot about professional writing. She’s a local author who published Romance and Cozy Mystery novels, and just published book 23 titled INHERITED SINS.

Sandra McDonald’s debut novel THE OUTBACK STARS really struck a chord with me on so many levels, but anything I read that’s well written fuels my writing afterburners and shifts my muse into hyperdrive.

6 comments:

  1. After the hand clapping dies out, the whistling and cat calls fade, could you get Dawn's face out of the punch bowl? Yeah, I know the cake disappeared on day one, but with this much fun going on, who cares about stuffing sugary goodness instead of spewing, you know, words. Thanks for sharing your dreams, hopes, thoughts, and above all your voice with us, Laurie. Cool interveiw.

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  2. OMG, is Dawn face down in the beverages again? *shakes head and sighs* Those ex-soldiers. Gotta watch 'em every minute.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Arlene, and thanks for participating in ISFRW. :)

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  3. Inspiring interview! Why people want to write anything other than science fiction romance is beyond me. ;)

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  4. LOL Heather. Yes, I have to agree.

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  5. Hey, I heard punch has a fountain of youth effect. Just getting a facial, that's it, a facial.

    You didn't think we'd let you get away with out sitting in the hot seat. He he.

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