May I please welcome to the stage, Miss Laura! Her new book, Even In the Grey, launches today, and I’m excited to be interviewing the indie author herself!
I’m in bold.
Hey Laura! Welcome to this interview!
Thanks, Julia! I’m super excited about this interview!
Same! I thought that we’d talk a bit about the writing of the book, then the launching; sound cool?
That sounds awesome!
You originally wrote this for a contest, correct? (If you haven’t read Laura’s post about her rise to authorism, click HERE and check it out!) You told us how there were prompts for it, which almost made you turn your back on the story. How did you start brainstorming your story for these prompts?
I started by thinking about a former WWII story I’d written. I got on my computer and tried to revise it, attempting to add in the contest elements that were required but it just didn’t work. Next I tried to rewrite the story so that the quote “broken crayons still create color,” would flow throughout the book. After rewriting a few sentences to add in something about a train I was bored. It didn’t inspire me, and I knew it wouldn’t inspire others either. So I scrapped that whole story, and started over.
Wow, that’s a lot of writing! Ultimately, how did you come up with ideas that you liked enough to go with the prompts and enter into a contest?
I’d love to say that I woke up one morning and immediately wrote a work of art but it wasn’t that spectacular. I just sat down and started typing the first draft of a brand new WWII story.
As I continued to write, I started feeling inspired. This was the story! It took one very rough outline and a couple of drafts, but I finally figured out how actual crayons could be used as a very emotional symbol for the characters throughout the book. The train came pretty easy. Put some people on a train, have them go on a journey. It worked!
Ultimately, I came up with the idea for the story by just writing and letting the ideas flow.
That’s so cool! (And I feel like all writers wish they could say they did that 😜 Life would be so much easier.) Did you plot the story?
Yes and no. I had a rough outline which served as a guide at first, but once the story was “written,” I never went back to update my outline as I started the editing. The story fell into place, so I didn’t feel like I needed an outline for reference while editing.
I personally have found that my own story needs some serious plotting, so I’m impressed. Was any research involved in this book?
I’m pretty sure the first research I did was to make sure crayons had been invented by 1940. To my relief they had been around for almost forty years so it worked perfectly!
My original story, the one I wrote for the contest, took place in 1942…I realized only afterwards, that there was a problem with that…
First, I must confess that I had been a bit lazy. My goal with this book was not to spend hours in research but to focus on the story. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized my book needed to take place sometime right after the D-Day invasion to make it more historically accurate. After Ally troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, they kept on fighting and eventually entered Germany. I realized I should set my story in 1944, the same year the D-Day invasion took place.
I’m glad you found that crayons were invented. 😃 I discovered that corsets were invented about a thousand years after the medieval times, which would be the sort of time my story is set in. (oops) What would you say was the hardest part of writing the book? The easiest?
The middle was definitely the most difficult. The beginning and the end of the story came easily because I knew what I wanted, but the middle was harder because that’s when the main character really needed a “character change.”
Thankfully I have a supportive editor who helped me work on the middle and made changes that smoothed out some of the kinks.
Do you happen to have a particular snack you enjoy while writing?
I enjoy coffee, and cinnamon buns would probably be my choice of a snack. Unfortunately, I can’t have them everyday…something to do with the labor-intensive work that goes into the making of them… 🙂
I love coffee as well! 😃 (I’m literally drinking it as I write this… 😂) When did you first decide to try self-publishing it?
I was tired of telling myself…“I’m going to publish soon…really soon.” I’d been saying that for a few years, but never took any decisive action. After the contest was over, I didn’t think much of the story, but then in the late winter or early spring I started wanting to have my own blog and I wanted to publish a story…for real. Maybe it had something to do with the bright, cheery weather that made me more energized, but I knew I wanted to work towards a goal and accomplish it. I wanted something to show others that I’m serious about writing and authorship…
Great job on making that decision!! 😄 What was the first thing you did after you decided to?
I started editing my story, and published my own blog! After that I…
- Told my friends and family that I had started a blog and was publishing a book…
- I contacted a book cover designer…
- I kept editing my story
- I contacted a good friend that’s great at finding grammar mistakes and correcting them…
- Continued editing my story
- Had a “pre-publication” party for my book…
- Hosted a giveaway on my blog…
– PUBLISHED “Even in the Grey!!!”
How did you find a cover designer for the book?
I had been following the blog, https://rufflesandgrace.com written by a young Christian woman. One day, I clicked on one of the tabs at the top of her blog page that read “VICTORIA LYNN DESIGNS.” It took me to her own book cover designing page. www.victorialynndesigns.com
I was super impressed with her portfolio and affordable rates for an ebook cover.
I contacted her, and she got back to me right away. She designed the perfect cover for me, and I totally recommend her to anyone looking for a designer for their book cover. She was great to work with and super flexible with any changes I suggested.
Oh hey, I know that blog! 😃 I’ll definitely keep her mind. 😉 How do you feel about your cover?
I love it! Victoria Lynn did an excellent job! I like how she created the cover so that it works with the time period my book is set in.
Are you excited to launch Even in the Grey?
Super excited! I’ve been published before…in our hometown library, but those books aren’t available for everyone to read. Seeing my name on a professional book cover makes me want to get working on my next project!
If you don’t mine, Laura, could you share a writing tip with the readers here? 😃
Don’t be a perfectionist! I’m still working on this one. I like to have everything perfect, and if I feel my writing isn’t, I delete it or get tired of it. Just finish writing the first draft of your story, then go back and work through it one paragraph at a time! Never give up!
And finally, where else can we find you? (Blog, social media, etc.)
You can find me on my personal blog: https://beautifulthings18.wixsite.com/laura
You can also find me on a young authors website: http://www.noblenovels.com
Thank you for this interview, Laura! Best of luck with your book!
Thank you so much, Julia! It was very fun to be here! 🙂
Let’s give a hand for Laura! 👏
Daniel Rogers, a young American soldier, harbors bitterness against the one man who ruined his life. Memories torment him, and he can’t seem to forget the past. How can a horrible train accident, a pretty French artist, an unplanned reunion, and a pocket-full of crayons help him see through his grey world and into the light of forgiveness?
Are you going to check out Laura’s book/blog?
Wasn’t that a cool interview? 😄
Disclaimer: the cover for Even in the Grey does not belong to me.