Hey guys! So this weekend, yesterday to be exact, I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite authors. I discovered that Lauraine, who is a Christian author, was going to be on a book tour in Minnesota this past week a few weeks ago. So I sent her an email and asked if she would do an interview with me. As you can tell, she agreed! I couldn’t believe that I was going to interview a published author in person. Not just any author but one of my all-time favorite authors to boot! Now I know that I haven’t reviewed any of Lauraine’s books on here yet (I prefer to read a book before I review it even if I have read it before) but I have read almost every book that she has written. I even own most of her novels. She has a talent for storytelling and her novels portray that. Lauraine is such a great person. She’s genuinely kind and has a great sense of humor. During the interview, and even during the tour when she was speaking, she had me laughing as well as everyone else. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet and speak with her. I hope you guys enjoy reading her responses to these questions as much as I enjoyed hearing them!
1. Just as your books have inspired some writers to write, what writers, if any, have inspired you to write?
Probably all of the authors of the books that I’ve read. I’m a reader so consequently I love to read and I’d rather read than anything. But I’m also a storyteller and I knew that. But I wouldn’t say that it was a single author. I know as a kid I read all of the horse books and dog books, that was my favorite read. So it was not surprising that I wanted to write horse books for girls. But yea, as to what author it wasn’t just one.
2. What book of yours do you consider to be your best accomplishment yet?
Depends on the day. But as to the one I’m most proud of… possibly The Healing Quilt. That one I wrote quite a while ago. The first one was always the biggest excitement and that was Tragedy on the Toutle. One that was very difficult for me to write was Reunion because it was a lot of my story too. The Healing Quilt was the same way.
3. In your opinion, what makes a story good?
The characters and plot. In mysteries the plot is the most important. The kind of books that I write the characters are important. Any book is better with good characters, mystery or not. If you don’t care about the characters you’re probably not going to care about the book. So it’s characters.
4. What does your writing process look like?
Scary. It depends on if it’s at the beginning of the book or later on in the book. In the beginning of the book I’m trying to get the story going even when I know the characters well. But to get the story going and to get it flying by itself, which is what it does later on, that’s what I really like writing. The beginning is when you stumble and crumble and all kinds of things. My perfect goal is when I write ten pages a day, five days a week. A minimum of ten pages a day, five days a week. I can meet all my deadlines if I do that. If being the operative word.
5. How do you deal with writers block, if you have ever experienced it before?
I don’t know. Somebody once said as a writer you’re not allowed writers block and need to sit down and write anyway. So I can’t say its writers block, whatever that definition is. But sometimes things happen in life that just don’t give me the emotion or time or whatever it is to write. I write emotion very good books. A lot of them take everything I’ve got. So I won’t call it writers block so much as a life block. You just have something else happening and it just drains all of your emotions and you just can’t write. You can’t blame that on the writers block. That’s just on life.
6. How long did it take you to write and publish your first novel?
I’m not typical with that. Not at all. It was a children’s book Tragedy on the Toutle. I wrote it after Mt Saint Helen’s erupted and that’s what the story’s about. I wrote it after the first conference and I’m not sure how long it took to write it actually, but most of the writing on it happened September to November. I finished the first three chapters in the spring and then I started the relationship with the company and I had a contract by Christmas. That was not typical. The second book didn’t sell that easily.
7. What character, if any, do you think is more like you or who you would want to be like?
Ingeborg. I’ve always wanted to be like her.
8. How important are names to you when it comes to naming characters?
Getting new names for characters is getting to be really interesting after I’ve written as many books as I have. I’m very careful not to base my characters on anybody in particular. A couple of times it’s happened. Ingeborg is one because she started out as a combination of my mother and her older sister. Traits of different people will come in but not that I base it on someone.
9. Are there any subjects/topics that you as a writer would never write about?
I will not write erotica. I will not write horror. I don’t read them and I won’t write them. I probably won’t write suspense or mysteries because I can never figure out who did it anyway. I won’t write about psychotic evil because I will not write dark, dark books. If there’s darkness in my books it’s probably because somebody is set out to destroy somebody else.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you have learned while writing?
The fact that I can finish eighty-five books and keep on writing. I try to do all the things that I write about. That’s probably why I’m not going to write about climbing Mt Everest or something because I’m not going to climb them.
11. Is there anything you find particularly challenging when it comes to writing?
Keeping my butt in a chair. It’s the big principle, butt in chair, and that’s always the case. For me that is the most difficult part.
12. What is your most favorite part of publishing a novel?
Meeting my readers. I love telling the story and creating characters. But when I get to come out like this and meet my readers that is by far my favorite part. But I’m not a normal writer. I’m very much an extrovert and I like this part.
13. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Get your butt in a chair and don’t quit. Really, there’s a lot. If somebody really wants to write and really feels that this is where God is calling them to be then the first thing is to get the training. Get out there, find conferences, do the work. You can’t just sit down and write a book. If you want to be a writer, you need to learn a lot about story and how to tell a story. Grab a reader’s interest and hang on to that interest. As far as I’m concerned, God created us to learn by story. I tell people write what you like to read. I would not recommend anybody to go to a college for this. Go to college and get an education but to learn to write for publication is a whole lot different than most colleges are teaching. Anybody can write but getting published is a bit different.