Thanks so much for hosting me! It’s a pleasure to be here. UNDER MY SKIN is about two main characters, Adam and Darby, who face overwhelming and life-threatening circumstances. Each of them has a different approach to life, and both approaches have pros and cons. Adam has chronic heart failure and is on a waiting list for a heart transplant. He needs it to live, but also knows that someone has to die for him to get a heart. It leaves him feeling a little bit like Frankenstein’s monster. Darby struggles with dyslexia and would rather be an artist, but because of her All Star, perfect twin brother, everyone gives Darby a hard time. She plays the roll of bad girl because that’s all she knows. Then Darby and her brother are in a car accident that leaves Darby with a broken neck and her brother brain dead.
Where did this idea come from?
My story ideas usually start with characters. Adam introduced himself to me first in his quiet, bookish way. Then Darby arrived on the scene, all attitude and snark. Darby likes to live in the contrast, so when Adam and she meet, she figures they couldn’t be any more different. Adam feels the same way about her. Darby admires Adam’s restraint and Adam admires Darby’s zest for life.
Laura, you are not only a writer, but also a board certified psychiatrist (specializing in emergency psychiatry). Where do you find the time to do everything you are doing?
My schedule is pretty nice, actually. I work evenings (I’m NOT a morning person), so I get to burn the midnight oil, so to speak, to write. I also spend Sundays at the book store, where I’m surrounded by books and fueled by lattes.
What is your writing routine like?
It really depends on what I’ve got going on. I like to write on my computer, but sometimes I hand write scenes. I also like to have blocks of time to really immerse myself in the world I’m building. Usually, writing occurs on weekends or after work.
Do you have a favorite writing snack, and if so, what?
I don’t snack when I write; I usually have a lot of coffee on hand, though.
You have also written some fantasy and other genres. What is your favorite genre to write?
I lean toward paranormal, fantasy, and scifi. Magic is so much fun and requires so much imagination. UNDER MY SKIN is my first contemporary story. That being said, it holds a special place in my heart, mainly because of the characters. They’re so endearing to me.
Why did you start writing?
In my last year of residency, I happened to pick up Twilight (totally loved it). I figured I’d give it a try myself and that was the end of that.
Why do you keep writing?
I kept getting story ideas, LOL! Seriously though, they wouldn’t stop coming and they wouldn’t let up until I started drafting. My characters are persistent!
Do you use a crit group and if you do can you tell us a little about it?
I used to have my go to crit partners. They’ve really helped me to learn the craft and figure out what the heck I was doing. For UNDER MY SKIN, I “won” a mentor in Pitch Wars. She helped me polish up Adam and Darby’s story and I’m totally indebted to her.
If you could tell your readers one thing about yourself that they don’t know, what would it be?
I’m totally socially phobic. Working with clients in an ER setting doesn’t really allow for that. I love my work, but I also love going home and vegging by myself with my fur babies and a book.
What advice would you give other authors or pre-published authors?
Keep writing and keep building your skills, no matter how much negative stuff gets flung your way. I was told repeatedly no one would ever publish my work. By the end of the year, I’ll have four books out and my fifth is coming 2017.
Are you working on anything new?
I have a YA dystopian scifi duology coming later this year (October) and early 2017 from Curiousity Quills Press. It was previously published, but the small press closed. It’s been reworked and revised, so it’s quite different that it originally was. Hopefully folks will embrace it; I certainly have!
Laura, thank you so much for being with us today. We can’t wait to read your new book!
Thanks so much! I’ve enjoyed chatting with you!
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