Author Interview with Laura A.H. Elliott.
I’d like to thank Laura for sitting down with me for this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I live in a tree house on the central California coast most of the time. When I’m not there I can be found in Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, San Francisco or Los Angeles. I love meeting readers and other authors at book festivals. The most unusual job I ever had was painting sets in Hollywood. The best day at work was when I got to interview Quentin Tarantino. The biggest surprise I ever had nearly killed me. I have two extra bones in my feet so I’m a mutant.
What inspired you to write your first book, Winnemucca?
I wanted to write a book about a girl that awakens to her own intuition. We rarely pay attention to our own intuition. I think women are more intuitive than men and the idea of exploring this uniquely female quality really intrigues me. That, and I love the idea of writing a book about an enchanted road trip. I guess The Yellow Brick Road inspired part of the trip as much as anything because Ginny begins by taking a walk, a very long walk. I love writing about walking probably due to my mutant feet. J And I love the idea of picking a place like Winnemucca, NV to be the Emerald City of the novel because it’s anything but lavish and is an uncelebrated, hard luck town but is rich with the history as a crossroads to The West. Winnemucca [pronounced Win-A-Muk-A] is pretty cool when you say it too. Every time I meet someone who has been through Winnemucca, they tell the best stories about their experiences there. Click here to read a few from the Santa Rosa Book Festival.
What inspired you to write Shadow Slayer, book 2 of The Shadow Series, your latest release?
Shadow Slayer explores our duality. Why we become who we are. I wanted to pit ourselves against our alter egos in an epic battle between humans and shadows. The enemy of our world are the shadows, the people we’ve chosen not to be. In Shadow Slayer, there’s a war brewing between the world of the shadows and the world of humans. The premise is that in our thirteenth year we decide who we will be as an adult. I love exploring the consequences of our choices through parallel worlds. Another parallel world book that I’ve written is Transfer Student, an intergalactic tale of beauty and the geek.
The books in the series follow Roxy O’Grady as she grows up. In book one she turns 13 on her Halloween birthday. She turns 14 in book 2, 15 in book 3, and 16 in the final book. These ages have a soft spot in my heart. If you look at the school pictures of a tween/teen from 12-16 so much physically changes, but these changes don’t begin to reflect the huge transformation that happens from within. In book 1, on her 13th birthday on Halloween, Roxie wants to be popular and fit in more than anything. So she invites all the popular kids to her birthday party. They all come and give her a birthday gift that’s literally out of this world. In Shadow Slayer, on her 14th birthday, Roxie is enchanted by and must master her powers as The Shadow Slayer, the one human who will be entrusted to protect the world from the shadow onslaught for the next five hundred years.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t like to write to messages. I write to entertain. Most of my books have an underlying theme of finding empowerment in difficult circumstances. I also explore what it means to trust.
Give us an insight into your main character. What do they do that is special?
There’s a war brewing between the world of shadows and the world of humans. Roxanne O’Grady must save the world from the shadows that want nothing more then to overthrow it so that they can become human themselves. She must master wielding the Slayer’s sword in order to slay the shadows that cross into the human world. But, she can’t even kill a spider. She also needs to trust her gut not her eyes when she tries to solve the mystery of how to keep the peace between worlds. Kind of a lot for a fourteen year old, especially when she’s auditioning for the school play and has a crush on the perfect 10 guy at school, someone she and her best friend Ally were convinced never existed. Boy, were they wrong.
What are your current projects?
Right now I am editing my first adult paranormal romance called The Storytellers, which will release 7/2. It’s a story about four women writers whose stories all come true for each other. I’m also writing Moon Killers, book 3 of The Shadow Series & Last Life, book 4 of The Shadow Series this Fall, right around Halloween J
Have you won any awards or contests?
Um, yes. Winnemucca won best book trailer of the month from booksinsync.com. Click here to see the trailer for Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale.
Why do you write?
I have to write. I write for lots of reasons. I began writing because I had a very big problem I couldn’t solve just by talking to friends. Once I began to journal about it, my path became clear. It’s interesting. Very often my personal journal is sort of like a prayer. I say what I’m grateful for, I ask for help with what I need to accomplish. My public writing is just pure fun. Characters come to call, they start speaking to me and I write to get to know them better J
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Trusting my instincts.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Having fun with it.
Do you ever experience writers block?
Only when something is wrong in my real life…a sickness or crisis. I usually always write to get through it, but the writing comes very slowly.
What is your favorite go to recipe? (Please include recipe. It will appear on the starving writer website)
Everyone who knows me knows my writing is fueled by popcorn. I LURVE it! And live on it.
Click HERE to see Laura’s popcorn recipe
I want to thank Laura again for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for us. To learn more about Laura and here books Click HERE.