Seasons’ greetings, friends! Hope everyone boggled by the major snow dump is dug out and back on the road. (Took until last night to get that second car out.) The holiday season may be winding down, but trying to keep a house in order when everyone is home and kids keep bringing friends over somehow makes one’s organizing efforts feel haphazard and futile. And somehow, there are still reports to write, vacation or not. (Guess that’s one way to keep me writing–not exactly my exercise of choice.) Feels like my brain is clogged but at least the current story idea in my head seems to be fleshing itself out. Snippets of scenes keep showing up, so I’m jottin’ ’em down as they come and filing away until I can tie together something coherent.
Fans of Diane Lang, this just in: Visit her website for information regarding the upcoming webinar (1/12/2011), Create the Life You Want in 2011. Cost is $5, payable through PayPal. Or, feel free to e-mail Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Before I continue I want give special thanks to those of you make sure you communicate to me your support of my efforts here. (That’s you, Indie, and Vicky G, too, among others. Can’t tell you how grateful I am, especially since I can’t be as consistent with this site as I’d like. Your comments on Facebook, those moments in passing–they mean the world, as do all of you.)
Always happy to introduce to you the people who life brings me through my writing endeavors. Here’s proof that what one puts out there does reach others and will do so in its own way. Lara/Laura was searching the net and came across my blog. Lucky for me, she liked what she saw, sent me a very kind compliment via e-mail and our on-line friendship has grown from there. I’ll let her give the other details. Today, she shares her progression from pre-published to published author. As many have shared before her, there is definitely a reason to hang in there. Thank you so much, Lara, for accepting a place in the bloglight! (Due to an error on Lara’s birth certificate, legally making her a Laura, she goes by either name. To avoid any confusion, I’m going with the former.) I also need to note this is another article that I somehow managed to file and lose track of–in great part because of how life manages to get in the way. (Sorry, Lara, and thanks so much for your patience.)
Thank you, Joanna.
What do love best about writing? I adore the research and learning new things. Exploring and discovery are so much fun, and as a musician, I find the parallels between writing and music to be exciting. The process of creation is so similar between the two arts, constantly improving and facing one’s inner strength to carry on in the face of harder times. Inspiration and personal growth come about as a result.
What do you like least? Short, curt rejections that take many months to arrive. (Amen!)
What keeps you writing? I’ve met so many lovely people in this industry, so many excellent writers who have real class and heart, but when I first started, my work was so thrashed by an experienced writer that I almost gave up writing forever. Serious prayer and meditation brought me back to it. I had taken plenty of criticism in my work and used the advice to strengthen my writing, but that one writer made me feel so bad, my writing career almost never got off the ground. My faith called me to search for answers, and I followed my heart.
Where do you get story and character ideas? Often from dreams and meditation, the same way I got ideas for songs. Occasionally, a picture will give me an idea. For example, I once saw a picture of a tattoo that said, “Courage” and I wrote a short story; from there, I wrote a novel, Romeo vs. Juliet. Sometimes a snippet from a song or a poem will give me an idea.
Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?
I write historical and paranormal mostly. Here are a couple of blurbs:
DESCENT INTO DARKNESS: historical romance set in 1811-1812 London and Russia; Full-length historical romance, available with Moongypsy Press, electronic, and soon to be available in print
Duncan Amberley has come back from war, fighting Napoleon’s men on a ship. Clarissa Hale is a lovely shopkeeper with a great sense of humor. A heroic heart rests inside this insecure, intelligent beauty, and she will be called to prove it. Clarissa and her love are pitted against each other for the sake of their families and some terrible accusations. She will be in constant peril as she gathers evidence to convict Duncan’s dangerous brother of a harrowing crime. Duncan’s heart breaks when he discovers something about Clarissa’s sister. Can their love survive the results of their investigations? They devise a dangerous plan to get to the truth, which brings them into the heart of Napoleon’s camp in 1812 Russia as spies. Risking everything, they must get to the truth.
ROMEO VS. JULIET: THE QUESTRIST (time-travel/spec-fic) ebook, short novel. http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/romeovsjulietii.htm
Ambrose, an Elizabethan man, his wife Josephine, and their young daughter are called to an important mission in the far future, but something goes terribly wrong. Ambrose must solve a mystery or his family will be lost to him forever. He faces a deadly enemy. The trail leads him back into the past several centuries where Josephine has interfered; changing the direction of an important battle, and therefore Elizabethan England disappears off the map of history. He walks around his home world, unable to reverse things. Could this cause Romeo to leave Juliet forever?
I have a Victorian-set novel coming out early next year called Margot and am working on more in the Romeo vs. Juliet time travel series. Living in Colorado, I also like to write Westerns and have also written post-apocalyptic stories. As for paranormal, I love time travels. I don’t write about vampires or werewolves, but rather supernatural topics such as the astral plane, karma, and angels.
From our e-mail exchanges, Lara, I’ve learned you’ve worn—and wear—many, many hats, including that of home-schooling mom. (That one impresses me tremendously. As much as I love the idea, I don’t know that I’m organized enough to put together lessons much less be patient with two boys who’d much rather do anything besides schoolwork, lol.) Please tell our readers how you juggle work, your music, time to write and all that goes along with it, especially as a published author (i.e., promo, etc).
I work in a private reading school during the day as a clinician and edit for a publisher at night online. My husband does all the cooking and much of the cleaning, including cleaning the litter boxes. (What a great guy. Makes a huge difference when our men take on the brooms, mops and sponges, right? Mine puts away the laundry, a job I absolutely abhor.) My daughter is in college. I’m ashamed to say that my instruments have collected some dust, but I intend to remedy that. I didn’t have the guts to submit my work until I was in my thirties.
During my busiest time of life, I was also in a rock band and had practice on the weekends. I just budgeted my time. For example, I taught a French class to an elementary school class first thing in the morning then took a bus to college. My husband dropped off our daughter with me. I taught our girl how to read at a young age. She would sit quietly behind me in my classes with her little pink backpack and read the lesson plan I had written out for her. She wrote down her questions while working in her workbooks, and we’d discuss them after I got out of class. From there, the two of us got on a bus and went to the daycare where I worked, often having to eat our lunch at the bus stop. She’d play with her friends at the daycare while I worked, and she could come to my room anytime to say hello. Then we’d take the bus home. I’d give her lessons, or we’d go to the park or something. Her daddy taught her about computers, and we gave her tests and kept records.
After she went to sleep, I stayed up late writing her a new lesson plan etc., practicing piano, and doing my own homework, sometimes bringing my books into the bathtub. I was so busy. I had a lot of wet college texts, warped pages. Constantly sleep deprived…and poor, often facing eviction from our apartment—daycares don’t pay much, but I wanted my girl to have friends while I home-schooled her, and my husband was also in college.
My daughter was a little older when I was in the rock band. She got to see me play when my band did a gig at a small coffee house. Now she’s an artist, musician, and writer and does well in college.
One thing to keep in mind, I had to eat right and exercise to keep up the energy to do all that. Chasing after buses kept us both in shape. We did a heck of a lot of walking back then, sleeping on buses and on campus between classes. Keeping our bodies as healthy as we can makes such a difference when one’s work keeps one sitting much of the time. Finding a way to add movement to one’s day becomes another challenge when one is that busy. In addition to regular exercise and walks, I’m blessed enough to work with school-aged children in the area of gross motor development. That ups my fitness that much more. I make sure to be an active participant during large ball play, scooter play, etc. All the strengthening I work on with my students comes back to me—and it’s fun!
Joanna, I really appreciate being your guest. Thank you so much. Grateful to have you, Lara, and for the different ways you’ve been of help to me since we ‘met.’ Most of all, I appreciate your loyal support of my blog! Here are different ways those of you who’d like to learn more about Lara and her various creative endeavors:
I enjoy having authors at my blog and welcome enquiries in that regard. Warm regards to you and your readers.
And to you and yours, Lara. Best wishes in all that you do. Keep persevering and we’ll look for you again!
On that note, I wish a great day to all. As always, thank you for your continued support by stopping by my tiny spec of cyberspace!