I am pleased to have the fabulous Laura Stickland, Author of Scottish Romances, and Steampunk novels. Really. Don’t believe me, hit Google, but not quite yet. Find out how Laura pens her novels, the first draft, anyway.
HI Laura – Ready? Here we go.
Describe your recent book in 3 words?
Humorous; musical; Newfoundlandesque. (Is that last one a word?)
Not that I know of, but let’s suggest it to Urban Dictionary. It’s a writer’s prerogative to create. Why not new words.
If you could be any character from one of your books who would it be?
“Oh wow, that’s a hard question. As a writer, I feel like I become all of my characters in turn because I get right into their heads and see the world through their eyes. If I had to choose a character and remain that character, I could do worse than to become Mary Grace Dawe from my latest release, “Awake On Garland Street”. Then I’d be in love with a sexy Celtic fiddler who adores me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. If only we could work out that pesky conflict between his music and our relationship…”
What is your greatest fear about being an author/publishing your book(s)?
“When I release a title, I’m always half afraid there’s some glaring error I failed to see, that will come back to bite me in the tender parts. Despite my editor’s hard work and my tireless proofreading, I fear that mistake’s just lurking out there somewhere waiting to reveal itself like a gargoyle on the top of a cathedral when the fog clears.”
I wouldn’t worry too much. I recently finished a novel by a well-known author and stumbled over three errors. We’re all human.
Would the 10-year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you’ve accomplished in life?
“Oh, she’d be jumping up and down for joy. Chortling. While eating penny candy and reading her next paperback.”
What do you do when you finish your book and turn it into the editor?
“Another good question. I have what might be described as a very fertile (or very crazed) mind. Ideas come plummeting into it at regular intervals from undisclosed parts of the universe, and I am helpless to resist them. This means the idea for my next book is usually beating on the back door of my brain before I’ve quite finished the current one. The minute I submit a book I give a huge sigh of relief and start work on the next.”
What’s the hardest part about being an author?
“The uncertainty. You work for months on a title, live in it, laugh over it, maybe shed a few tears and fall in love with the people who inhabit it. You sweat to make sure it’s as perfect as you can make it and then…you push it out like a little hollow boat into the great blue sea of the infinite unknown. Once it’s published, you pretty much lose control over whether it sinks or swims, if people will jump on board and help you row or sneer and scuttle it. You go from queen of the world to a helpless onlooker. I find that difficult.”
Laura, I can relate and bet other authors, heck, all artists share this insecurity. You give it your life’s blood, but a hint of uncertainty niggles in the backs for our minds.
What is your favorite Genre and why?
“When I met the person who’s still my best friend, back in 1968, I told her, “I write Scottish Romance.” I still write Scottish Romance, among other things, so it’s impossible for me to turn my back on that genre. But a few years ago, I discovered Steampunk. And I decided to create my own Steampunk world…in late nineteenth-century Buffalo, New York. (Not as strange as it seems; I was born in Buffalo. I know, it explains a lot, doesn’t it?) Anyway, I adore writing Steampunk because I can indulge both my sense of humor and my dark side. The fourth book in my series is now in the hands of my editor and should release next summer!”
Wow! That’s quite a jump from Scottish Romance. Your excitement jumps off the page. We all need a little humor and dark.
What is one thing that would surprise us to know about you?
“Given my answer to the last question, I shouldn’t think anything about me would surprise you by now. But…my husband and I heat our home exclusively with wood. Yup, like pioneers. Really.”
That’s something. I have images of you and your husband in the middle of the wilderness with bears and wolves circling the parameter. Who cuts splits the logs?
Was there an Author who inspired you to write?
“So many authors! As a girl, I read the way I breathed air—constantly. Every author inspired me, some in large ways, some in small. Do I really have to choose one? Oh, these choices! Okay, Louisa. Louisa May Alcott.”
I apologize for the impossible question, but hey, there is always one. Right?
How did you come up with the characters in your books?
“I can’t take credit (or blame) for that. They mostly create themselves or more precisely they arrive fully born and fleshed out, riding on the backs of those ideas that come zinging in from the universe. They act out scenes for me and say what they want to say. I’m just the poor scribe who writes it all down.”
I L.O.V.E. this answer. They do, don’t they? Are magical friends do the hard work.
Do you prefer to write alone or do you like to collaborate with other authors?
“I’ve never tried collaborating with other authors. I am included in a serial novel that will debut next month from Books To Go Now Publishing—it’s called Code Redhead, and all the profits will go to Children’s Cancer Research. But each of the contributors wrote her story. I’d have to say I prefer to write alone. Very much alone—as in locked in a room with no access.”
You’re a force. I am intrigued by the title, “Code Redhead”. It might be interesting, maybe, to work with another author. Many seem to enjoy hitching their wagon to Mr. James Patterson these days.
Everyone uses computers, tablets, phones and no one uses handwritten form or typewriters, what do you prefer to use?
“This may shock you (or perhaps not at this point but although I do use my computer for editing, submitting, etc., I still write all my books long hand. In spiral notebooks. With a blue ink pen. It has to be blue ink, and the notebook MUST be college ruled. It’s a little bit like automatic writing!”
Honestly, I can’t fathom writing a book in a college-ruled notebook. I write letters (I know, dinosaur) to my Aunt Betty, and it’s pure agony. Kudos to you. I with you about blue ink.
Is there a ritual you do every time before you begin your book?
“I take the dog out. So she won’t interrupt me. Hopefully. (This rarely works.)
Brenda, it was great fun being here with you today! I love your blog, and I’m honored to be interviewed. Thank you for hosting me.”
I loved having you and have to confess I admire your productivity. I’ve downloaded my first book. I’m looking forward to falling into your world. And thank you for your kind words, much appreciate.
Any questions for Laura? Buffalo? Steampunk?
Look for Laura’s latest book. Awake On Garland Street is available at Amazon.
Author Website: www.laurastricklandbooks.com