- an active and adventurous writer of fantasy
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Laura Drake is the youngest of five children and grew up in AR (that’s Arkansas, not Arizona) until she moved to Provo, Utah to attend Brigham Young University at eighteen. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and worked as a teacher for a few years in Utah until she moved to Tokyo, Japan. She spent two amazing years there, making new friends and memories while following her dream of living abroad. Now, she’s working on her new dream: becoming an author. She is a firm believer that you can choose to be happy if you can learn to be thankful.
When she isn’t writing short stories or books with her roommates she enjoys reading, playing ultimate frisbee and board games, and spending time with her family and friends. She is a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is passionate about time management and finances and loves helping people make budgets.
Laura, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I’d love to have a dragon as a pet because a) Drake means dragon, so it sort of feels like fate, right? And b) how could would it be to be able to fly?
Definitely sounds like your birthright to me!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
My first series is a YA fantasy that’s like Harry Potter meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. Then I did a hard shift and wrote a series of Japanese ghost stories inspired by my dreams and my sojourn in Japan. It’s a paranormal romantic suspense series (heavy on the suspense and light on the romance.) I’m currently working on a fantasy novel that takes place in a realm between life and death, and then I’m hoping to do some modern Jane Austen retellings.
I suppose I got started for real when I moved to Japan and found that when I didn’t have roommates anymore (I lived in a tiny flat in Tokyo) I suddenly had a ton of time to write, so I did. I had all these ideas and I was finally making time to put them to paper.
I love that your living situation informed your writing.
What do you like to read?
I love to read just about anything fiction. I love regency romances, fantasy books, historical fiction (so it feels like I’m learning but being entertained at the same time), and many more. I’m a huge fan of fairytale retellings as well.
There’s a reason “they” suggest writers read broadly. And that sounds a lot like my to-read pile.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Take a break when you’re stuck.
One piece of advice that doesn’t work as well for me is that when I have “writer’s block” I should take a break from the story and come back to it. Instead of taking a break, I find that if I start another scene or work on something else I discover that the scene I struggled with before isn’t always necessary to the story after all.
There are many different types of writer’s block. I’m glad you’ve found a work-around for the “this scene isn’t working” type.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Share your work.
Haha, can I just say how much I love this question?
One piece of advice I tell anyone who’s interested in writing or early in their career is that they shouldn’t be afraid to share their work. Get beta readers for your stories and also be a beta reader. You can notice the weaknesses and strength’s of others so much better when you beta reader and it also helps you become aware of your own. It’s also very encouraging when you can see your book evolve from a first draft to something truly incredible.
So true! When you’re writing, you’re either too close to the story to see its flaws, or too close to the story to see anything BUT its flaws. A fresh reader can bring a more subjective view.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Chronicles of Andar (#1-3)
(From book 1:) Emmaline Lyland is a perfectly abnormal fifteen-year-old girl struggling to find her place in an ordinary world full of extraordinary magic.
When she returns to Ackley Institute for another school year, she quickly realizes it will be one unlike any other. With tensions running high across Andar, relationships between the regions and the students are quickly falling apart. A hidden danger lurks outside the safety of the school walls, and Emmie and her friends are determined to uncover the mystery.
After Ackley is attacked, Emmie realizes they are closer to the truth than they knew. As the number of casualties grows, the country teeters on the brink of a civil war and they make a decision that could change their lives forever. But will it be enough to save her friends and prevent war? Or will the country be permanently changed by the unexpected magic?
Japanese Hauntings (#1-4 novella series)
The Move (#1)
Before moving with her dad to a quiet Oregon town, haunted houses were something Selena had only seen in movies. Now she finds herself the target of a vengeful house the neighborhood kids call “the Snatcher.” Determined to end the nightmare, Selena enlists the help of a charming neighborhood boy. Will they solve the mystery of the Japanese ghost haunting them before time runs out?
Check out Laura M. Blake across the web!
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