- a YA author who splits her time working full-time in Cardiology, writing, filming YouTube videos, and being a proud wife and mother.
Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Lauren Sevier!
Lauren Sevier is a proud Ravenclaw and YA author who helps mend broken hearts and runs after her wild little boy.
Hailing from the deep south, she writes with as much spice as she cooks with and collects antique tea cups, good books, and great friends.
Lauren, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Well, I have two dogs one is a red-haired Border Collie named Lily (yes, after Lily Potter) who is as beautiful as she is neurotic, and a pint-sized criminal aptly named Bandit who is too smart for his own good and dramatic to boot. They’ve both been with us through really hard times, we got Bandit before going through infertility treatment and Lily was purchased as a support animal for my husband after his first hip replacement surgery.
So, even though I could say a dragon or mermaid or gryphon or some other cutesy answer… the fictional doesn’t compare with reality. They’re warm and funny and frustrating, and have beaten away sorrow and loneliness during hardships with a relentlessness that only dogs possess. They’re family and since having our son that’s been made more clear to us than ever, as he is now a favorite partner in mischief.
A loyal dog is worth its weight in gold. I’m so happy they’ve been such a bright spot in your life.
What do you write?
My debut is a YA Fantasy novel, the first in a 7-book series, but I’ve dabbled in YA sci-fi, YA dystopian, and am starting a few projects that would be considered Adult fiction or NA fiction. I started writing as most of us do in childhood or more aptly, adolescence. Silly stories, about batman’s daughter or a girl who lives in an enchanted forest. I think I wanted to imagine a world in which being different than everyone else made you special and not weird.
Growing up I had a hard time, I had flaming red hair (hence the childhood nickname of ketchup head) and too much imagination for my peers. Even among my family members, I was considered odd, preferring to stay inside and read instead of going shopping or to social events. As someone so hyper-active and extroverted it seemed a contradiction and people couldn’t seem to figure me out. As I grew older that transformed into writing song lyrics on my front porch swing and reading classic literature and poetry. For years I had the impossible dream of writing a novel of my own. Admitting it, even to myself, would have opened up my fragile hope to ridicule and criticism, the same kind that had devastated me for my entire adolescence.
In fact, it wasn’t until I met my former writing partner that I even dared to dream about it. She introduced me to fan-fiction first, a toe in the water, a pressure-free environment in which to explore and experiment with my writing. Then, during one of the hardest moments of my life, she gave me a writing prompt to get my mind off of the world around me for a little while. Two days later I emailed her a completely original non-fan fiction first chapter and it blew her away. Neither of us knew I had that kind of passion and talent. Ever since then, I’ve been completely unable to turn it off, much to my husband’s chagrin. (He can’t seem to keep up with all the stories I have working at a given time, LOL).
I was just sharing notes on a panel from former fanfiction writers talking about all of the skills it gives writers — whether they play in their own worlds or continue with shared universes. I’m thrilled it’s a path that worked for you and that you’ve found the strength to put your works out there for others to read. It can feel like sharing your soul and waiting for judgment.
What do you like to read?
I have a busy schedule, so reading is a luxury and also an essential part of honing my craft. So, I have to constantly multi-task (via audiobooks) and prioritize by being really selective with my reading. I read pretty extensively in my genre which is currently YA fantasy, but I also read craft books, self-help books, books for research, and occasionally a romance novel to let off some mental steam (i’m a hopeless romantic and love the happily ever afters).
I hear the busy schedule, and am jealous of people who can absorb stories through audio books. I’ve gotten better with short stories, but for longer stuff, I need a long drive or I need a longer commute. YA fantasy is my first writing love, too. And bring on the quick-reading romances that you know are going to end on a happy note.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write Every Day.
Write every day. I can’t tell you how much I hate seeing people perpetuate this advice to the point that it is considered a professional standard. Not only is it unrealistic, I think for some individuals it could be really unhealthy. Between my full-time job in Cardiology, traveling for work, being a mother to a toddler, a wife to a husband with an incurable auto-immune disease, and my writing goals… writing every day isn’t only impossible, it’s unhealthy.
This is such a widely accepted piece of advice that people are normally taken aback by how strongly I feel about it. Writing, like any artistic endeavor is a creative pursuit and you can’t draw on a well that is empty. Taking breaks from writing and recharging yourself is so necessary to keep yourself healthy and productive.
I would amend the advice to say instead, ‘Work every day.’ There are so many things you can do that can help further your writing journey other than writing; reading, research, learning about publishing trends, working on your marketing plan (for self-publishing) or query letter (for traditional), building your social media platforms, and so much more! Things that can take away that pressure to perform that can leave you feeling weak or drained. Or, as Bilbo Baggins once put it, “like butter scraped over too much bread.”.
Best thing about writing advice is you only have to take the bits that work for you. I can manage writing everyday for NaNoWriMo, but the rest of the year, I have a pace that’s a bit more realistic for my life. And reading definitely reminds me why I want to do this in the first place.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Write like it matters, and it will.Libba Bray
Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors and she once said “Write like it matters, and it will.” This is something I say to myself like a motto when I have to push through deadlines or find inspiration when I’ve hit a wall. What is the point of writing this? I ask myself, constantly. Does this matter to me? If it does, WHY does it matter to me? Because if it doesn’t matter to me, if it doesn’t make me feel anything: passion, horror, sorrow, vindication, whatever it may be then my readers won’t have the same experience.
My motivation behind publishing isn’t to make a ton of money, or become famous, it’s to connect with other people. To hopefully touch them or inspire them, to make them feel something, to help them escape the mundane or downright awful. I want my writing to matter to my readers in the same ways it has always mattered to me. I can only hope that one day it will.
That’s so encouraging. I know my dream is that someone I don’t know, that didn’t get the book from someone I know, finds out who I am and tells me it’s their favorite story.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
What if your entire life you knew the exact day you were going to die?
Magick in the Kingdom of Aegis has almost run out. When that happens, the seasons will stop changing, the tides will cease to turn, and the sun will no longer be able to rise and set. The only way to save the lives of her people is if Liz agrees to be a blood sacrifice in a brutal ceremony that will take her life.
The problem is, Liz isn’t ready to go.
With the help of a mischievous wanna-be soldier, Matioch Steele, Liz dares to take her fate into her own hands. Defying a blood-thirsty sorcerer, her desperate flight teaches her how to truly live while Mat finds out what’s worth dying for. Each other.
Love, Death, Magick, and Mystery come together to weave one girl’s epic tale of self-discovery.
Her song will echo within us all.
Check Lauren Sevier out across the web!