Laura, I am so excited to have you as my guest today! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been married? How many kids do you have?
I'm from Kentucky though I live in Washington state now with Randy, my husband of 18 years, and our sons, Wyatt (15) and Paul (12). But Kentucky will always be my home, particularly the Lexington and Berea areas. I go back as often as I can. Most of my family is spread throughout the state.
It's so cool that your from the same region of Kentucky as my family! We're only about thirty minutes away from Berea, and I visited Berea while considering colleges after high school. Ashland too! It really is a small world. :-)
How did you and your husband first meet? (Love those first meeting stories.)
During college, I used to fly to different national parks around the country and work. For two summers I waitressed at a historic inn on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park in Washington. Randy was working at the other historic inn across the lake and the rest is history! Actually, we didn't date for a long time as he was younger and I didn't like that! But a few years went by and then we were both older and wiser we decided age didn't really matter. I always felt, from first meeting, that he was "the one." I don't believe in love at first sight but I do think there is sometimes an instant connection or attraction that can lead to lasting happiness. God given, of course!
I love that you were both working at historic inns, just across the lake from each other! It sounds like the perfect setting for a sweet romance :-) And I like the way you put that--an instant connection or attraction.
When did you first know that you were called to write novels?
Believe it or not, age 7! Before I even really understood what a writer was. But I think most writers are born, not made and we're gifted early on to do certain things. I always felt the Lord was involved in my writing because I honestly can't tell you how to write a book! I just kept writing throughout grade school and beyond as writing become a compulsion for me, but mostly a joy.
Wow, it's neat that you knew at such an early age! I wrote little stories I never finished as a child, but when I wrote a novella re-telling the story of Esther for a creative writing project in high school, something just clicked, and I never looked back. I remember being particularly inspired with novel ideas during math class...
How did you come up with the idea for your upcoming release, Love's Reckoning?
I stumbled upon a bit of research about gunsmith apprentices in Kentucky being expected to marry the master gunsmith's daughter. My head started whirling and out of that tangle came the idea for this novel. Only I upped the angst by adding two daughters and having them fall in love with the same man...and then my hero has to choose between them!
Oooh, hoo hoo...that makes me want to read "Love's Reckoning" even more! Wow, gunsmith apprentices were expected to marry the master gunsmith's daughter? I can see why it would inspire you!
If you could be any of your characters for a day, who would you choose and why?
|Read my review HERE|
Morrow has quite a story and quite a hero, I agree! Loved her sweet babies. It would be interesting to walk in her shoes, though I don't think I would be as brave as she. :-)
Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I am absolutely terrified of snakes! Flat out, pass out terrified!
I turned 21 in Russia and saw Swan Lake by the Bolshoi Ballet. Russian birthday cakes aren't very sweet!
My husband is 9 years younger than I am and we've known each other 28 years!
Oh, I hate snakes too. Once while visiting a relative in the hills of Kentucky, I stepped on what I thought was a garden hose, and it reared up and hissed at me! I've never ran faster.
It's neat that you got to spend some time in Russia! Russian birthday cakes aren't sweet? That's interesting!
My pastor in Maryland is nine years younger than his wife, and I've never known a cuter, more loving couple. I miss them.
Which of the books you've written is the dearest to your heart and why?
|Read my review HERE|
There's something about that first novel--I know what you're talking about ;-) The essence of Kentucky life was so powerful and alive in "The Frontiersman's Daughter". It makes it all the more intriguing to know that a lot of your own story was hidden among the pages.
Which of your books was the hardest to write?
|Read my review HERE|
Researching on the Colonial army must have been quite a project! I loved the historic details, and I did notice and admire how you kept me interested in the story even with the confined setting. That is not easy to do!
How many times did you revise your first novel before it turned a publisher's head?
Too many to count! I remember sitting at my desk and thinking if I had to look at the story one more time I would explode! It was actually twice as large as when it went to print. I'd included Lael's childhood before half the book went to the cutting room floor. I didn't write this book for publication, you see. Just for me and the pleasure of spending time with those characters. I was quite smitten with Ian Justus!
Lael's story was beautiful and haunting, and I enjoyed the characters too. So glad you persevered through the painful editing process! Ian Justus was a sigh-worthy character. :-)
What other talents do you have besides writing?
Precious few! I do love to cook, take walks, and I've just learned to knit. Only there's not much time for all that anymore. Oh, and I love to travel! I leave for Scotland in December.
Jealous! Jealous! I've always wanted to visit Scotland! And Ireland. And England. And Australia. Okay, okay, go ahead and throw Wales in the package. LOL! We better see lots of pictures on your blog, hint, hint. :-)
What advice would you give to pre-published writers?
Write your heart out. Pray. Give your writing dream to the Lord. Trust Him to bring it about if it's His best for you. If it's not, graciously let it go and thank Him.
Great stuff, Laura. I especially appreciated "and thank Him". If God says "no" or "wait", we should praise and thank Him for His loving guidance, and trust that He is not holding anything good back from us. He always has a reason, and He's always wants the best for us. Thanks for joining me and making my blog birthday fun!
GIVEAWAY: This will be a real treat for you, since Laura has offered to giveaway any of her books, including a copy of her latest, Love's Reckoning. If you win and choose Love's Reckoning, be aware that you may have several weeks of waiting as the book won't be released until September 1st. In order to participate in the giveaway, you must have a US mailing address and leave a comment answering the following question:
If you had the opportunity to live the life of a character you've read about, who would you choose and why?
I'll draw and announce the winner on July 31st, with my usual Tuesday blog post.