Welcome along, Laurel :)
When did you publish your first book?
My debut novel, Never Gone, released in September 2012 as an ebook and a paperback. It is the story of a grieving teen who believes her dead father has come back as a ghost to help her reconcile with her estranged mother.
What are you currently working on?
I have a companion book to Never Gone in the works, as well as a nonfiction writing resource book on deep characterization about halfway finished. I have a two other ideas in the planning/research stages, but it’s not yet clear to me which will grow into a viable project. I like to jot ideas as they come to me, and dig into research when I hit roadblocks on other projects.
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
I most enjoy revision. I suppose that’s because I’ve worked professionally as an editor for twenty years, so finding ways to strengthen work comes most naturally to me. I also really like the research and planning stages--when vague ideas begin to take shape.
What is the best lesson you've learned since starting out in the writing business?
Talk to real people when researching any aspect of your story. It not only gains you insider perspective, but also can stimulate your thinking and help generate stronger plots and characters far more than static library and Internet research can.
If you could recommend any book to aspiring writers, what would it be and why?
Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover is hands-down the most comprehensive, helpful book on revision I’ve ever read. And it’s the ability to revise that really separates the professional from the amateur. Lyon covers not only copyediting issues, but also voice, theme and symbolism, pacing and characterization. My copy is underlined and bristling with Post-it flags.
Five Favourites... TV Show—Doctor Who
Style of Music or Band— I love thoughtful lyrics paired with lush instrumental backgrounds: Sting, Coldplay, and the like
Book—The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch
Item of clothing—soft cotton sweaters
I love the movie Amelie. So gorgeous! Thanks for the Manuscript Makeover recommendation too. It sounds like a goodie.
If you'd like to connect with Laurel online, you can check out the links below...