Interview & Contest: Laura Drewry

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Laura_DrewryJen: Today we welcome Laura Drewry to Romancing the Book as her blog tour makes a stop with us.  Laura, will you share a short bio with us?
Laura: USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon and an extremely energetic German shepherd, Abi. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music and the New York Yankees.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Laura: ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE is the third book in the Friends First series.

Ellie Palmer and cops don’t mix, and getting pulled over by Officer Brett Hale—again—doesn’t help. Neither does being forced to take a safe-driving course with him. Brett’s by-the-book attitude leaves Ellie ice-cold, and his rock-hard body won’t change that. Still, the more time she spends with the guy, the more she finds herself warming up to his unexpected charms.

Even though Brett comes off like a boy scout, Ellie has sparked something he wants badly enough to get him to rethink his past mistakes. But when her ex shows up, Brett makes it his mission to keep Ellie safe in the here and now. His gut tells him the guy’s trouble, and Ellie must agree, because she doesn’t complain when Brett pulls her close. To keep her safe, though, he’ll have to choose between breaking her heart . . . and breaking the rules.

We first met Ellie in PLAIN JAYNE, the first book in the Friends First series, and the idea for her story built on its own from there. With their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, her friends call her the Queen of Tact because she calls things as she sees them and she doesn’t lie, so good or bad, they’ve learned to expect that from her. Ellie’s not a big fan of cops and Brett’s not a big fan of being told where he can shove his badge, so despite the fact they share the same circle of friends, they try to avoid each other whenever possible.  When circumstances force them to work together, they uncover feelings they never expected to find for each other, but Brett can’t let that get in the way of his job, no matter how much they both want it.

Jen: What age did you discover writing?  Tell us your call story.
Laura: I wrote some really bad poetry in junior high, and then went on to write equally as bad short stories in high school and didn’t actually start writing novels until I was almost thirty.

I distinctly remember the day I got “The Call.” September 8, 2004. We were living in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, and I came home to find both a voice mail and an email from Hilary Sares at Kensington Publishing. I remember shaking so bad I could hardly hold the phone long enough to call her back. She was very sweet and told me she had to look up where Yellowknife was because she’d never heard of it. LOL I hung up and immediately called my husband, who was out of town, and it went to straight to his voice mail. So I called my parents – voice mail. Called all three of my sisters – all voice mail. Called my friend Wendy who was the one who pushed me into writing to start with – yup, voice mail.  It was a very very strange day.

Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Laura: Oh, how I wish I was a plotter, but that’s just not the way my brain works. The best I can manage is to jot down a word or two about an idea I *think* might work in part of the story – and those get scribbled on Post-It Notes and stuck either directly onto my desk or into my binder. Some of them get used, some don’t. I would love to be able to pre-plan how everything is going to go and then actually have the story do that, but invariably, a character does or says something that derails any notion I might have of what was going to happen.

Most of the time (not always), before I start writing, I’ll know how the story starts and I’ll have a glimmer of an idea about the final scene, but what happens in the 380 pages in between is always a mystery until it actually shows up on my monitor.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Laura: I keep note pads everywhere – beside my bed, in my car, at various places around my desk, and on those rare days I carry a purse, I have one in there, too, but thanks to the wonder that is the “Smartphone,” I can type or record an idea right onto my phone wherever I am. I don’t like doing it that way, though, I prefer the steno notebooks, coil bound at the top when I’m scribbling. Just one of those weird things.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Laura: The hero in ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE is Brett Hale, a constable with the RCMP, and as luck would have it, I have a few friends who either work with the RCMP themselves or are married to an RCMP member, and they were very gracious about answering all my questions about the way things work – that way I knew how far I could bend the rules for the book.  LOL

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Laura: My husband got us started as beekeepers about a year ago, so that’s been a lot of fun to learn about. They’re fascinating little critters those bees! Besides reading, I love to watch movies and I’ve started looming. I thought it would be easy – just loom long rectangles and sew them together for a blanket. . . .yeah. . .apparently my Home Ec skills haven’t improved much since high school – and I doubt Mrs. Whittam would be surprised by that after seeing my sewing projects in her class.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Laura:  Maya’s story, HOW FOREVER FEELS, will be the last book in the Friends First series and it’s scheduled for release in mid-October. We met Maya in the first book of the series, PLAIN JAYNE, just as she was getting out of a bad marriage. She doesn’t think she has it in her to trust anyone again until Jack walks back into her life – and that’s when things go from complicated to slightly disastrous.

Thank you so much for inviting me over today!
Cheers!
Laura

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