Happy Monday everyone!! I have someone new for you to meet today! She’s new to me too! Grab your coffee or tea and help me welcome Laura Adams.
I am a current Member of RWA and also of The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN, where I consistently take courses on the craft of fiction writing. I recently completed a romance course through Gotham Writers (New York). In my past writing life, I contributed to Guide Magazine and AppleSeeds Magazine as well as author-illustrated a retelling of “The Ant and the Cricket,” once available for purchase through Cornerstone Stories.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy loving up my loved ones, yoga, nature, and getting lost in imagining the stories I want to explore when I get a pen back in my hand. I love music. I love lyrics. I love melodies. I love the rhythm between two hearts who hear and understand each other. That’s my favorite song.
Oh, and I love accents. British accents;)
My website is: http://www.writingromanceandlove.com/
My Twitter is: @LauraEliz529
Now For our interview! 🙂
Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
Laura: My #PitchWars manuscript is a contemporary romance that’s funny, charming, fast-paced, and contains plenty of swoony, “WOWZA, I need a fan” moments:) It may or may not have music in it;)
You can check out the agent round for #PitchWars November 3rd to see a short pitch for it and the opening page. http://www.brenda-drake.com/.
C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
L. I have several favorite scenes, which makes me sound slightly conceited, but I don’t mean it that way. I’m one of those writers who lives on a page with her characters, and I let them guide every scene for me. I just write down what happens. That said, two particular passages pop out at the moment. The first would be a naughty scene that happens on Alcatraz Island. The stakes are so high at this point in the story, and I hope readers can feel the tension and fear of loss that both my hero and heroine are holding onto as they do what they do often in my book. I also love when my male MC says he loves my female MC for the first time. I can’t wait to share these scenes with readers:)
C. Who or what has inspired your writing?
L. Songs always inspire my writing.
Labrinth’s “Beneath Your Beautiful” was a huge inspiration for my current #Pitchwars project. Oh, the tears I’ve shed from this song.
That being said, “Moves Like Jagger” also inspired this book, so…
C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?
L . I want readers to have fun reading my books. We are all so busy in life. I’m not looking to solve any big questions or cure cancer with my writing. I simply want people to slow down for a second to laugh, cry, and cheer for the power of love in our lives and what it can push us to be if we let it. We are all capable of anything great when we feel loved. Every book I write is like a big hug for my readers. I want to hug you all!
C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
L. I listen to music before I write—all different sorts of music. My go to band is Augustana. Recently, I’ve been listening to Jamie Lawson a ton.
C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
L. I wrote one of my steamier scenes in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. When the nurse checked my pulse…well, let’s just say I was embarrassed.
C. How do you handle writer’s block?
L. What is writer’s block? Just kidding I either go have a nice work out, or I freewrite on a different project. I often times write poetry because the devices of a good poem help me fall in love with language again when I’m frustrated with my brain.
Yoga helps. Words of affirmation. I mean, for any writer, writing is a craft. It’s a practice. You have good days and bad days. The key is to keep going on the bad days.
C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
L. I did a lot of research on songwriting contracts. In regards to Devon’s backstory as a musician, I’ve been researching band life since before I knew I’d write this book. For years, I’ve collected Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, One Direction, Hanson, Jonas Brothers, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, etc. documentaries. I go to dozens of concerts every year, which was really important for the arena scenes in my current project. Additionally, I watched several YouTube videos of celebrities answering odd interview questions. Let’s be real–I also watched these interviews because I find men who can sing irresistibly enchanting. Add a guitar? I’ll marry you.
So, I became a professional groupie.
My book is my love letter to musicians.
C. Are you a panser or a plotter?
C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
L. I’ve had daily learning experiences since I began writing in the romance genre. Instead of a specific experience, I’m just going to note what I’ve learned about writing FROM these experiences: Read a lot. Write a lot. Seek out good mentors. Feel every rejection you receive (you’re trying. Way to go!) because it’s going to hurt; there’s no reason in hiding the pain. It sucks. It really does. Every serious writer puts his/her heart in his/her writing. There’d be a disconnect if we didn’t feel our rejections. THAT SAID, celebrate success. Cheerlead your peers. And, my gosh, have passion. Love what you’re creating and someone else will, too. I truly believe that.
C. Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
L. Writing a book is damn hard. I knew that, but I didn’t realize just how hard. Publishing is a business. A writer has to walk a fine line between being an artist and a business person. This is one of the reasons why I’m excited to get a team around me. It’s lonely without a team. That’s what I wish I would’ve known–just how lonely the writing journey can be at times. Until it’s not; until you find your tribe:)
C. What’s next for you?
L I’m working hard to get my Pitchwars manuscript published. This story feels like it has a readership waiting for it. I am so excited for people to meet my man-candy:)
My next project is a fashion world romance. Stay tuned:)
C. What do you like best about writing romance ?
L. I’m such a mushy-gushy, raw, passionate love enthusiast. I adore exploring relationships between people on a page, giving them conflicts, and writing about how they overcome their struggles to be together. It’s life imitating art, really. We all want to believe in love; we all want to know what the secret is to it lasting. Writing romance is like living in a big, old heart everyday–a bit of a broken heart, but still so capable of love:)
C. Is there another genre you have tried writing?
L. I wrote for children before I decided to tackle adult romance.
C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.
L. I am so lucky to live in Minneapolis, where The Loft Literary Center, one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers, is located. I’m not only a member of The Loft, but I take courses consistently there. They offer online classes for those of you who don’t live in MN. They also have an excellent one-on-one manuscript critique/polishing service.
Additionally, I took a writing romance course through Gotham Writers (New York). This was an online class and while I didn’t end up pursuing the book I worked on for that semester, it allotted me connections with other writers just as passionate as me about building a career in the industry. That’s what’s so great about classes and contests. You get to meet YOUR people; your supporters; your advocates. Writers need writers. Go seek them out:)
Seek me out! I’d like to talk to as many writers as I can. @LauraEliz529
C. Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?
L. I wish I magically knew everything there is to know about publishing. There’s so much to know! The more I learn, the dumber I feel. Again, this is why it’s so important to build a team around yourself as a writer; a team you can work with toward a shared goal.
In regards to writing, I wish I planned better at times. I’ve learned so much in attempting and failing to write my first book and then succeeding on my current completed project about plotting out internal and external story arcs. I’m good at voice and charm and love scenes. My struggle has always been with arcing my stories properly. I will say that being a Pitchwars Mentee this year under the mentorship of Mary Ann Marlowe has helped me so much in honing in on my writing weaknesses and coming up with ways to push past them. It’s like I’ve been in writing therapy. Thanks, Mary Ann:)
C. Have your parents read your work?
L. I hope they do. They haven’t yet. I’m not ashamed, scared, or bashful about writing steamy, WOWZA sex scenes because they are vital parts of my characters’ love lives. I’m not writing any scene to sensationalize sex or to get people talking. I’m writing love stories that I hope many of us can relate to. Part of romance is physical intimacy. I’m not going to give my readers all the foreplay between my characters and then shut the door just before the “juicy” stuff happens. That’s not fair to my readers. It’s not fair to my characters. I’m passionate about telling a whole story, which includes different varieties of sex, depending on who my characters are.
My parents know this. My family knows this. They’re cool. Honestly, the emotional intimacy in my books may be harder for them to read. It feels more personal to me.
C. What scares you the most?
L. In life, agoraphobia. I love people. I do. I’m also scared of what we’re capable of.
In writing, I’m most scared of not achieving my dreams. Any writer pursuing a career in writing wants to be published, appreciated, accepted by those who are passionate about stories, too. We’ll write without acceptance and success…but, we want both.
C. When did you start to feel like an author?
L. I’m not sure that I do, yet! I’ve always felt like a writer, though. I’ve seldom doubted my purpose in this world. I want to be a writer, a good wife someday, and God-willing, a good parent. That’s all. I’ve written much more than I’ve ever spoken in my life. I’m most certainly a writer:)
C. Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked? Share a funny or embarrassing story about acting it out.
L. I plead the fifth in regards to my naughty scenes.
I will admit to acting out dialogue. Almost every line of dialogue in my Pitchwars story was acted out.
C. Which poets or authors have influenced you in your own writing?
L. Every book I’ve ever read has influenced me–good and bad.
My favorite writers, though, are: Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman, David Levithan, Christina Lauren, Anna Todd, Roni Loren, Stephen Chbosky, the list goes on.
I’m reading my Pitchwars Mentor’s (Mary Ann Marlowe) book and am loving it! Everyone should buy it when it comes out. So good:)
And, I’m going to give a shout out to Sex and Violence’s Carrie Mesrobian, who not only lives in Minnesota, but was the first writer who read my current project and encouraged me to write as honestly and unabashedly as I began to thereafter.:)