- former dancer, worship leader, high school teacher, and cardiac sonographer turned happily-ever-after author.
Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Laura Detering!
Laura Detering is a happily married mom of 2 girls. She spends her days very differently than she ever did before and it’s not because of COVID.
A few years ago she was struck with invisible neurological conditions (Chronic Vestibular Migraines and MDDS) that have left her disabled. Finding herself mostly couch and bed ridden in chronic pain, instead of letting depression keep her down, she was encouraged to continue to try and heal as well as begin a lifelong dream, writing.
Laura, thanks for agreeing to be here today. What a struggle! I’m so glad you’ve found your way to writing. 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?
Oh my word, I haven’t really ever thought about it because most pets trigger my asthma! In real life, I would love a little “hypoallergenic” lap dog (maybe like a Morkie?) to keep me company while I write as well as be a friend for my daughters.
In the fantasy world, I would love an Ikran (flying dragon of Pandora). I mean besides the obvious (who wouldn’t want to fly?) they are warriors and their coloring is beautiful!
Lovely choices! All right thinking people usually have an eye on a dragon. And puppies are classics for a reason!
What do you write?
Common themes you will see in my writing are hope, happily ever afters, and mostly clean romance. I hope to never be boxed into a specific genre or age group.
I took time off of my job to raise my kiddos with plans to return to the workforce once my youngest was old enough to start school.
Around 18 months before that was set to happen, I felt God nudging me to write my book based on a recurring dream I had as a child, something I had always felt called to do. I figured with only 18 months left, I better hop to it.
I spent 2-3 months researching names, making timelines and webs, bare-bones outlines, etc. From late January of 2017 to the beginning of April 2017, I had my very first draft complete. I wrote late in the evening once everyone was asleep with the show Friends in the background. I got through one set of edits, and then I set it aside for a few months.
By the time I picked it back up, my conditions hit. Editing was painful and painfully slow afterward. I started planning The Witch in the Envelope in 2016 and I am just now publishing it.
Writing is tough when everything is going well. It takes a determined person to push through and focus with all you have going on. I love that you choose to write happily-ever-after stories, keeping your focus on the positive.
What do you like to read?
Give me all the fluff, romance, relationship tropes, and happily ever afters! My neurological conditions tax my central and parasympathetic nervous systems so I do not do well with anything that causes me stress. I do have a problem though… if a book has sucked me in, I HAVE to finish it as fast as I
possibly can. It’s an addiction, really.
I’m right there with you on ‘having’ to finish a book. Let hear it for those stories that you just ‘know’ are going to turn out okay.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write Every Single Day.
It’s not physically possible for me. I have to give myself grace for days when my body says, “absolutely not today.”
I used to beat myself up about it, which caused stress, which caused my body to go into a flare, and well… you get the idea. Even if I wasn’t sick, life ebbs and flows a lot and having younger kids is a feat in itself. I am not saying to make a bunch of excuses all the time and not make your writing a priority; just don’t beat yourself up about it.
One hundred percent. Life has to be your priority. Making space for your writing doesn’t mean ignoring the things around you — be it family, day-jobs, or your own health – all of these things often need to come first.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Write the story you want to read
If I had spent time on social media researching all of the writing advice out there, I may never have started writing in the first place.
As a newbie author, it is easy to get swept away in the opinions and advice of others, no matter how well-intentioned. That can include lies that your story isn’t needed right now, or the market is too saturated, or it doesn’t fit current market trends, etc. Write what you want to read because you will read it…. dozens and dozens of times.
One-hundred percent! Chasing the market typically ends up with people six months late into an over-saturated market, with writing that lacks heart. When you care about your story, it shows.
Did You Always Want To Be A Writer?
Heck Yes! Well, no… maybe?
I had an awesome 1st and 2nd-grade teacher. She had us re-write fairytales with a twist and I loved that. I wanted to turn my recurring dream into a children’s book.
Slowly, I began to hate writing. Ugh- a ten page paper was like pulling teeth. In high school, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time and was involved in many sports, clubs, and activities. I did volleyball, dance, musicals, madrigals, and SAVE. I also took AP and honors courses. I never had time to read and all my writing was for school. I hated everything that we were assigned to read and most topics/prompts we had to write on.
It wasn’t until my second year of teaching high school that I fell in love with reading again. Thanks, Twilight! Becoming an avid reader again, my desire to write sprang back to life.
So, Twilight, huh?
I know, I know. It is a super unpopular opinion. However, I will ALWAYS be grateful to that series! So, I was teaching history for half the day and ethnic dance the second half.
I started seeing kids reading. You would think this would be common in a school setting, but it really wasn’t. Everywhere I went, I would see a handful of kids reading wherever they could find a spot to get to a few more pages and they all were reading the same book. If I had a few minutes of free time at the end of class, kids were whipping out this book instead of their cell phones.
I asked some of the students in my dance class what the book was about. When they told me the premise, I scoffed. A human falling in love with a vampire in a love triangle with a wolf? What the heck? I’m not reading that. But, this one student challenged me to read it over the weekend and told me to come back and answer him one thing, Team Edward or Team Jacob. Well, he was right! I LOVED it. (I’m team Edward by the way). This book series allowed me to connect with my students in a way I’d never had before and we had so much fun!
It also allowed me to connect with my older sister as well. I will never forget being super pregnant, wearing a team Edward tee, going to see New Moon in Orlando on opening weekend with her. The audience made it that much better!
You will never hear me diss Twilight fans. While not for me, the genre is right up my alley. And? I find that you’ll see a lot of literary criticism on what teenage girls and “moms” like to read, listen to, anything that becomes popular with women is often mocked or derided for someone’s idea of its merit. They find condemning stuff that they aren’t the target market for easy.
Plus? The popularity of things with these groups just shows me that these are likely underserved markets, starving for more. Let me stop here before I really start to rant…
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Witch in the Envelope is my debut novel and the first in the trilogy. I am very proud of myself for not quitting on this project even though my brain hated every second of my 5 minute stints at the computer and made me pay for it with dizziness and disabling migraines.
I hope Liddy’s story allows my readers to escape this harsh 2020 if even for a short time. I am now finding treatment that has helped me some as well as new technology that I am getting more comfortable with. I promise it will not be another 4 years for book 2 to hit shelves (I plan to release it in the spring or fall of 2021).
Book 1 in the TWITE series…
As a child, nightmares of a hauntingly beautiful yet vicious witch plagued Liddy Erickson. But when she wakes one morning with a deep gash on her chest in the same place the witch attacked her, she realizes these were no ordinary dreams. Shortly after she confides in her best friend, Will, his entire family disappears along with her memories of them.
It’s now 1998, and seventeen-year-old Liddy has one goal: to move out of the cold Chicago suburbs after graduation. Two things that are not in her perfectly planned life: fun and dating. That is until the new transfer student catches the eye of every girl at Wheeling High School. With intriguing scars and eyes that seem to glow, he awakens something inexplicable in Liddy and proves to know her even better than her closest friends. This forbidden attraction could be her greatest downfall…or her saving grace.
When a stranger with a distinct melodic chime to his walk saves Liddy from opening an enchanted envelope, he reveals an outrageous claim that she is a lost Watcher and the saving grace for their homeland, Cristes. As Christmas draws near, Liddy must decide if she can trust the stranger’s orders or risk condemning an entire nation.
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