Thursday, June 04, 2020

Garden Interview with Laura Strickland

Hello Laura

tell us about you and your books

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

I’m an inveterate pantser, and I don’t think that will ever change for me. My stories are inspired by off-the-wall ideas which often occur to me when I’m doing something terribly boring, like cleaning the house. After that, they take off on their own. My job is to keep from interfering with the process. This is true to the extent that, if I make an outline, I lose the spark and no longer want to write the story.

Do you research your chase scenes?

For my first Steampunk Romance, Dead Handsome: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure, I did a slew of research. The book is set in the 1880s, in Buffalo—the city of my birth. I had to search out old maps of the city and meticulously check street names and locations of entities such as the Police station. One chase scene in particular caused me a lot of grief. The hero, Liam McMahon, was on the run from two murderous automatons, and I actually created a separate document delineating his progress through the streets and alleys. I knew I had to get it right.

Does working to deadline inspire or annoy you?

Because my writing style is so unstructured, and driven by my characters and the story itself, I initially expected a deadline to drive me crazy. Much to my surprise, I found that instead it afforded me a good excuse to slip more deeply into the inner world where my stories are created. Now, two things I love are a deadline and a submission call!

Are your books or characters based anyone you know, or events in your own life?

Not consciously, though I suspect bits and pieces of people we have known do creep into the creation of realistic and convincing characters. We learn so much about life through the people around us, be they wise or foolish. And, I have to confess: I’ve named some of the villains in my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures after folks who, back during my school days in that city, weren’t very nice to me. Shhh! I’m not saying which ones.

Describe your writing style in ten words or less.

Lightning bolt strikes author’s brain; author enjoys ensuing, beautiful madness.

And tell us more about you.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Initially, I wanted to be a teacher. (I found out later, there’s a proud tradition of teaching in my family, going back centuries.) Then I realized, if I took up teaching, I’d have to GO TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY. Duh.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Well, do you ever get the feeling that the story’s too damn real, and in the present tense?” ~ Ian Anderson, from Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day.

Do you laugh at your own jokes?

Ha ha, yes. My daughter and I often become very silly when we get together. We have similar senses of humor and can go off on quite nonsensical jags and prolonged flights of fancy. Sometimes we laugh so hard at our own “witticisms” (I use the quotes advisedly), we can’t speak. It’s no end of annoying to my husband, who winds up scolding us like we’re children. “Now, that’s enough!”

Are you fun to go on vacation with?

You would have to ask my daughter about that. She’s my usual traveling companion. When we went to Scotland together, we rented a car. Neither of us had ever driven right-hand drive, but we boldly (substitute foolishly) took off from Glasgow at noon on a Saturday, in heavy traffic, to find the cottage we’d rented up north. We later came to deem driving in Scotland as The Terror. White knuckles, and lots of screaming. We still roll our eyes and tremble over it.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Absolutely not. I work for a library system, and before I became published with The Wild Rose Press, I spent my afternoons creating records in our system for other authors’ books. It might have been torture, witnessing the success of others in a field I loved. I didn’t look at it that way, though. For me, every record I entered was proof that becoming published was possible, and could happen for me. I still look at it that way. Each time a fellow author succeeds at a contest, has a wonderful sales ranking or scores a great review, I know if it happens for them, it can happen for me also, and I rejoice.

Where can we find you online?

Twitter at Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951

Download Devil’s Food Ripple With a Cherry on Top on Amazon and other online retailers


Micki Miller said...

Love her favorite quote.

Donna Simonetta said...

Great interview! I used to be a librarian too, and I always loved cataloging! Fun photo of you too.

GiniRifkin said...

HI Laura: so nice getting to know more about you. Great quote, big fan of Ian (Jethro Tull) and fun title for your two scoop book.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Great interview. Love the quote. Your book in the One Scoop or Two series sounds interesting. Cute cover.