Jen: This week we’re happy to have Laura Drewry with us at Book Talk. Laura, would you please share a short bio with us.
Laura: I was born and raised in southwestern British Columbia, but spent 8 years living in Canada’s arctic with my husband and kids before we moved back to our old hometown. Having grown up as the youngest of 4 girls, it’s been a bit of a learning curve with three sons, but I’ve learned to play Mario Party with the best of them. I’m fairly fluent in the language of Pokemon, Star Wars and Bored of the Rings. . .er, I mean Lord of the Rings.
Laura: Dancing with the Devil is the sequel to my spring release, The Devil’s Daughter, both published through the Leisure line of Dorchester Publishing. The first book introduced us to Lucy, the devil’s daughter, and her brother Deacon, who is the hero in this new book. When we first met Deacon, he certainly didn’t appear to have many redeeming qualities, but in Dancing with the Devil, we get to see the other side of him; the side that pushes him to be good regardless of who he is, where he comes from, or how harsh his punishment will be.
Laura: I’ve always written or scribbled in some form or another, but it wasn’t until I was married with two small children that I started to work at it seriously. My first completed manuscript is absolute and utter crap, and I shudder to think I actually had the nerve to send it out to editors! I entered one of my other manuscripts in the Laurie contest in the spring of 2004 in the hopes of getting some feedback from Kensington’s Hilary Sares, the final round judge. I came in second, but the winning manuscript had just sold to Hilary a few weeks before, so one thing led to another, and I ended up sending her the complete manuscript.
September 4th, 2004, I’d dropped the oldest two kids at school and had gone to my neighbour’s for coffee. I returned home to find an email and a voice mail from Hilary simply saying “I want to buy your book. Call me.” When I stopped shaking and was able to breathe again, I plugged a movie in for my youngest child, took a long deep breath and called New York. I honestly don’t remember much of the conversation, other than the book would have a new title and it was going to be released less than 8 months later! I called my husband, who was out of town, and got his voice mail. I called all three of my sisters and my parents, and got voice mail all around. I called my friend who got me started in writing romance, and guess what? Yup – VOICE MAIL!! I ended up dancing around the kitchen with my 4-year old. It was great!
Laura: I try to plot. I really do. J But more often than not, it just blurts out of me in waves, and it’s never the same two days in a row.
Laura: I want a happy ending. I want to know that after all the upset, all the anguish and nastiness that happens between people, they can still be happy in the end. I want to believe that there are still people out there who love each other so much, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the relationship work.
Laura: The easiest part is the dialogue. Once I have the characters in my head and know who they are, their voices won’t shut up until I get it all down. The hardest part is the discipline. It’s so easy to let myself get sidetracked by the million other little things that need to be done, that it becomes easier and easier for me to not write.
Laura: Does dancing around the kitchen count?
Laura: I’ve typed and deleted this answer about six times because it’s virtually impossible to think of anyone I’ve met who hasn’t inspired me in one way or the other.
Laura: Hearing from readers. Don’t get me wrong, getting “the call” and seeing your story in actual book form are both overwhelming, but when someone reads your book and then takes the time to write to you, either through email or regular post, there’s nothing else like that.
Laura: Julie Garwood, Linda Lael Miller, Mary Balough and Jodi Thomas are three that come to mind right away, but there are so many others, too. Stephen King’s It is one of my favourites because it scared me more than anything else I’ve ever read. He’s brilliant. Jodi Picoult’s on my auto-buy list now, too, and her book Keeping Faith is on my nightstand, as is Stephenie Meyers’ Breaking Dawn.
Laura: Right now I’m working on the last of the Devil books. It’s not contracted, but I’m hopeful. I’m also working on a new historical western series that revolves around 4 women. I don’t like to talk about works in progress too much because I’m terrified I’ll jinx myself. LOL
Laura: With the holiday season rapidly approaching, is there a favourite book you’ll be giving or hope to be receiving this year?
Jen: Laura, thanks so much for being with us this week. Readers, comment or leave a question for Laura and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of two prizes. Laura’s giving away the tote bag pictured here, and I’m giving away my copy of The Devil’s Daughter (you can see my review here). The contest will run until Thursday, Dec 4. Please be sure to leave an email address in your post if you are not going to subscribe to the post or check back on Thursday evening to see if you’re a winner.