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Laura has five books published by Dancing With Bear Publishing: Christian teen fiction novels Tears to Dancing, Tears of a Princess, and Tears, Fears, and Fame, non-fiction marriage book, Pearls for the Bride, and middle grade novel, The Candle Maker.
I’m an early dreamer and a late bloomer! I was a total bookworm as a child, and dreamed of writing my very own book one day (think Beatrix Potter), but that’s pretty much as far as it went. The dream was buried deep, very deep, and I continued on with my life— got married, emigrated from the UK to Canada, had kids, home schooled… until 2006, when my husband took me out for coffee and randomly asked about my dreams. I confessed my childhood aspirations, which took him completely by surprise, as I had never actually spoken about writing before, and he strongly encouraged me to pursue it— straight away. So I rolled up my sleeves and took a couple of correspondence courses with the Institute of Children’s Literature (while home schooling my kids) and began sending out short stories to magazines. The rest, as they say, is history. I’m living proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams… no matter how deeply they are buried.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My latest work of fiction is the third book in my Christian teen fiction trilogy, which was published last December. The inspiration for Tears, Fears, and Fame came from various sources. I had already written about Sara, the sixteen-year-old protagonist, in the previous two books where she was a “supporting cast member” and I knew her own story had to be told. In this book, she is a newly discovered talent in the world of Christian music, and has achieved her goal of being signed as a singer with a recording agency. I’m from a very musical family and have been involved in worship leading for many years, so I was excited to write about the highs and lows in Sara’s new singing career. I also wanted to combine awareness of cyber stalking with Sara’s fragile nerves and anxiety issues—topics relevant to today’s teen. I guess this sums up where my inspiration carried me: “Will Sara’s faith carry her through the intense pressures on and off stage, or will the sudden disappearance of someone she loves be her ultimate undoing?” What was the most interesting research you had to do for your books?
I have to say that writing my non-fiction marriage book, Pearls for the Bride, was incredibly interesting and rewarding. It started as a letter to my daughter, who was soon to be married. I wanted to pass on some words of wisdom and advice, and my letter grew until it reached ten chapters…. and was ultimately a book, which my publisher believed showed a unique angle, coming from the mother of the bride. As it happens, this little book is now a popular gift for bridal showers! The research was an interesting process—and it happened very quickly… I wrote the whole thing in less than a month. I got to dig deep to remind myself what the Bible has to say about marriage, taking particular note from the legendary Proverbs 31 woman. I also took many strolls down memory lane with my husband as I rehashed and recalled our experience thus far as man and wife (28 years this month, to be precise!) It was sobering to remember the mistakes we made along the way (I’m pretty sure we were mere children when we got married!), and utterly joyful to see how we have grown ever closer through the years. There were moments of hysterical laughter too—many of those! It was such a special opportunity to not only pass on a little wisdom to my own daughter, but to all brides-to-be.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Oh yes, always! I have just signed with Steve Hutson from WordWise Media as my literary agent (which I am beyond excited about!) and he is representing my Christian romantic suspense novel, The Glass Bottom Boat. With that in mind, I have started working on another manuscript in the same genre… it’s based in the Oregon Coast and I’m looking forward to taking a road trip there this summer for some additional inspiration!
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I would love to say my writing schedule is incredibly organized, and I have each day planned to perfection, but I am a writer, and that’s not usually how we roll. I would also love to be one of those “burn the midnight oil” types, but quite honestly, anything I write after 9pm is decidedly iffy. For me, writing is done whenever I can seize the opportunity, preferably during the day, in a silent house, in my office. Possibly with an English bulldog snoring loudly at my feet. I balance it around my family, church commitments, exercise (very important when you’re sitting at a desk for much of the day!) and whatever else life throws at me. I do write each day in some capacity, even if it’s journaling or blogging, but having a clear five hours undisturbed to get into the flow of some serious writing—that’s bliss!
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
I found Dancing With Bear Publishing via an online newsletter for children’s writers. I had sent my manuscript for my first book, Christian teen fiction novel (Tears to Dancing), to several other publishers and had survived the rejections, so decided to submit to this smaller publisher in the States. My manuscript was promptly accepted (insert wild screams of jubilation right here) and my publisher started the ball rolling right away. Six months later, after editing and book cover selecting, my book was published! It was a dream come true—I’ll never forget receiving the very first copy and holding it in my trembling hands. After that, we continued on and I wrote a sequel (Tears of a Princess), which became a trilogy (Tears, Fears, and Fame), and in the meantime they also published my middle grade fiction (the Candle Maker) and a relationship book for newlyweds (Pearls for the Bride). All this in the space of 4 years… it’s been surreal and wonderful!
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
Yeah, but it’s kind of embarrassing. I’m a pathetic typist. Like, REALLY pathetic. Much to my family’s amusement, I attack the keyboard in a very “special” pecking manner with minimal fingers (I actually do the same with my phone), but it works very nicely for me. As long as nobody is watching…
Find her books here:
|Image from PureFlix Entertainment|
My experience is that when you apply the same tests as you would with any other historical document, the Bible emerges very well. My confidence has only increased since writing The Case for Christ – that these testimonies are true.RC: And what would you say to critics’ claims that movies like this over-exaggerate today’s discrimination against Christianity in academia and other places?
LS: We’re told in scripture to be gentle and respectful, but that doesn’t rule out using legal means to enforce our rights. There are organizations that specialize in this. They will intervene so that it doesn’t even go to court. It can be resolved. Some require leverage from attorneys, often just a letter, and some will work pro bono. I encourage people to pursue these remedies.RC: Ratio Christi believes we not only need to defend our faith, but to defend the right to defend the faith today. Would you agree, and why?
|Sadie Roberts courtesy of the Billy Graham Library|