Author Spotlight: LAURA GREENWOOD

Hello all. I’m doing a group promotion with some other authors this week. I’ll be sharing a few on my blog and will be sending a few tweets with the complete list. Please check them all.

Bio: I like to write whichever weird and wonderful tale comes into my head, which makes identifying the genre difficult even for me! My first series, Alventia, are novellas centred around Keira, aka Sleeping Beauty, and her Prince Philip, along with their allies Hansel and Gretel. It’s a tale that very much told itself as I started to write it!
While I’m not writing, I work in Catering and am also an Assistant Brownie Guide Leader in the Midlands (UK). I like to bake and I love to read, and like with my writing, I read an eclectic mix of genres, and love every minute of it!

Questions:

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write?

Laura: Just go for it! Write whatever crazy story comes into your head, because chances are that if you want to write it, someone somewhere will want to read it! Besides, if you don’t get  the story out of your head, the voices will just get stronger!

How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?

Laura: I am most definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person! My first novella, Awakening, started off with the intention of the Sleeping Beauty character (Keira) basically becoming a bloodthirsty vampire (it was based on a couple of short stories I’d written to that effect). Did that happen when I wrote it? Of course not! With its sequel, Cloaked, I wrote the final chapter first and it is hands down one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write because I had to get it to that point. However, I am now attempting a planned approached so we’ll see how that goes!

Of all your characters, do you have a favorite?

Laura: I think I have two (am I allowed to say that? I’m not sure!) The first is Annabelle from What Lies Beneath the Mask. Not many people would be able to tell, but there was a lot of me that went in to her. Including some of the bad parts. Writing her was kind of therapeutic. But also, the book had a lot of my best friend in too (she encouraged me to write it and broach the subject of abusive relationships in the first place), and that will always make that book, and it’s narrator, special to me.

The other is Gretel from my Alventia Series. I only really saw her from the main characters POV in the first book, and that was coloured by jealousy, but the second book gave Gretel her own POV and I really grew to like her. I think she’s the best character in that series!

How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Laura: My most recent published is What Lies Beneath the Mask, which I started in late January and published on the 1st December. It took me about 2 1/2 months to write the first draft, around my day job and other commitments.

However, the last novel I wrote, Siren’s Storm, took just under a month (I had a slow start to NaNo!) So that’s pretty much the benchmark now!

What motivated you to write your novel?

Laura: What Lies Beneath the Mask sprung to life because I love Phantom of the Opera and was listening to the soundtrack in the car (yes I’m just that cool!) It was originally going to be a retelling, but, while it does retain some parts of that, it morphed and changed due to the influence of my best friend, Anna. It was that that moved me away from the love triangle element (because at heart I am most definitely a Raoul advocate) and moved more towards a dark past for Annabelle. But, if I’m honest with myself, the main motivator I had in writing the book was the realisation that I wanted what I was giving my character; a reason to get past a bad relationship.

Name three favorite authors and why they impress you. (Kay)

JK Rowling! She just can’t be missed from my list! I’m from the Harry Potter generation and can remember the excitement of waiting for the next book to come out (and I recently learned that my Mum was the same, and she’d wait until I was asleep so that she could nick the book and read it too!) But also, because JKR does so much good. She genuinely seems to want to make the world a better place.

Brandon Sanderson. His Mistborn trilogy is the reason I got back into reading big time. Each book I pick up has such a unique world, with so many different nuances that I can’t help but be drawn in. And as a wannabe Fantasy author, such unique magic systems have to be admired!

JA Huss. Because there does need to be an Indie on the list! But also her books are so on the edge of your seat, and really twisted. I’ve read a book of hers that I wasn’t sure I’d like because of the subject matter; I ended up giving it 5 stars.

Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting? (Ruth) I’ll be honest, I love the idea of historical fiction but I don’t have the patience, or the time, to do the research for it. So I either make up a setting (for Fantasy),  or I stick to somewhere I know but don’t actually say where it is. For example, in my head, What Lies Beneath the Mask is set in York, a city in Northern England, but I never once said that. There are clues that the book is set in the UK (mainly because I’d do that without realising it!) but I don’t want to impose a setting on readers who want it to look different!

Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack.

Laura: I actually do! I like to watch murder programs (like Snapped and Fatal Attraction) while I write. My Mum’s a big fan of them and I think it’s rubbed off!

How do you own experiences influence what you write? (Bill) Most of the time, not that much. Other than places I’ve been inspiring me in some way (like visiting the Red Light district in Amsterdam, that was the main influence behind a dystopia I’m writing, though maybe not in the obvious way).

But with What Lies Beneath the Mask, there’s much more of my life experience in it. There’s a couple of in – jokes for my best friend in there (masquerading as in jokes between Hayley and Annabelle! And one of the stage hands, Susan). Also some of the issues that Annabelle has trusting Jack and moving forward in their relationship have roots in my own experiences (though I put Annabelle through far worse than I experienced).

If you were a ninja with a vendetta to whom would it be? OR If you had to throw something into mount Doom to save the world, what would it be? OR If you had a group of celebrities to plan the perfect heist who would they be and what would you be after?

Laura: Vendetta question! The man who literally just dented my car! Well no, probably not! My vendetta would probably be against the optician clerk that once made me cry (I was 13, maybe 14 at the time) who accused me of sitting on my glasses (they’d broken during a maths lesson) despite the fact that I need them in order to see mere centremetres in front of me. He then wanted to charge me £150 to fix it. FYI I did get a free replacement pair after the waterworks, but it was still a traumatic experience!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Laura: I’ll be honest, I don’t. I’ll literally just sit there staring at the page. Eventually it goes away (sometimes after a few days!) Or, I’ll plot out something for a different project and then get annoyed with myself that I can’t write that straight away!

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Laura: My favourite part is when everything slots together.  The “oh yeah” moment where you realise the perfect ending or scene for later. I’ve learnt my lesson not to write that scene or ending until it’s chronologically time though! My most recent moment involved a dragon, that wasn’t going to appear in the book originally but just popped in and now it makes perfect sense it being there!

You can keep up to date with any of my writing progress by signing up to my Newsletter here: https://goo.gl/A3tI1s

Author Links:

http://www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk

http://facebook.com/authorlauragreenwood/

http://twitter.com/lauramg_tdir

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7788024.Laura_Greenwood

 

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