My name is Laura Greenwood like to write whichever weird and wonderful tale comes into my head, which makes identifying the genre difficult even for me! My first series, Alventia, are novellas centred around Keira, aka Sleeping Beauty, and her Prince Philip, along with their allies Hansel and Gretel. It’s a tale that very much told itself as I started to write it!
While I’m not writing, I work in Catering and am also an Assistant Brownie Guide Leader in the Midlands (UK). I like to bake and I love to read, and like with my writing, I read an eclectic mix of genres, and love every minute of it!
You can keep up to date with any of my writing progress by signing up to my Newsletter here: https://goo.gl/A3tI1s
1. Can you tell me a bit more about yourself?
There’s not really much more to know! When I say that most of my life revolves around books, then I’m really not exaggerating! I read and write a lot and I love it, it’s always been a part of who I am.
Other than that, I do enjoy cooking and baking (in fact, my day job is cooking at the moment, though I do hope that one day I’ll be able to give that up in favour of writing). I also am a leader with Brownie Guides (Girl Guides = Girl Scouts in the States. They’re the same organisation, but called different things! Brownies are the girls aged between 7 and 10). I grew up in a Scouting and Guiding family, so it’s always been a big part of my life!
2. What inspired you to write?
I don’t really remember! The first time that I ever wrote something I was seven! However, what inspired me to write more seriously was that I was suffering from depression. Having something to focus on really helped me.
3. What is your latest book about?
My January release is a shifter paranormal romance called the Dryad’s Pawprint. It was mostly written as a bit of fun for me, but has since developed into a series of standalone in my head (the next one, the Vixen’s Bark, releases in February). It follows panther shifter, Kem, and dryad, Lia, as they find each other after a year apart.
4. Where and how do you write?
Most of the time, I write on my sofa (it’s green!) on my laptop. But I’m not actually that fussy. If inspiration strikes, then I will write anywhere, and on anything. In fact, I keep a notebook and pen in my handbag just for those moments!
5. Did you plot and how does your plotting process work?
I’ve tried to plot before…my characters then decided that they didn’t like where the story was going and completely changed it. There are a couple of books, What Lies Beneath the Mask and By Any Other Name, that followed a more rigid structure than my other books during the writing process though.
The extent of my plotting comes down to scribbled notes in a notebook, maybe two pages max, and most of that is probably me working out what to call my characters!
I read a quote from one of my favourite authors (Faleena Hopkins) to read which said “Plus, if I already know the story, why write it?” and I thought “yes, that is exactly it”. For me it sums up the writing process.
6. Do you have an editing strategy and what is it?
I am my own worst critic. I will go through my drafts and go “Laura, why?!?!” or “Laura, no!!!”, worst thing is…that’s normally on my second or third run through too! Personally, I go through making plot changes (and fixing any errors that I spot) maybe once or twice, depending on the story. Then, I go through trying to fix any errors, then the rest of the editing process, and then several proof reads because I really can’t just let it go!
7. What does your family think of your writing?
This is a tricky one! Originally, I didn’t tell my family about my writing. There just never seemed to be a good time to do it (always something else going on). My Mum actually found out through a family friend (his daughter had seen something on facebook), and she wasn’t best pleased with me. Now, we don’t really talk about it. My Grandma on the other hand, loves to talk about it, and will text me every time she finishes something. Problem is, she wants me to write something “nice and happy with no conflict” which isn’t really what I want to do!
8. How hard was it to get your book out there?
Getting the book out there wasn’t hard…getting eye balls on the book…well that’s excruciating! It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding, especially when you find out that readers enjoyed what you wrote.
9. What do you think is the hardest part of writing a novel?
Honestly, I think the hardest part is letting it go out into the world. There’s a lot of stress for me knowing that my book is out there and worrying that people might hate it. This is even true of What Lies Beneath the Mask, which has had amazing reviews so far. I still worry about people hating it!
10. What do you think makes a great story?
A compelling plot line, hands down. A book can be the best written and the best edited in the world, but without the compelling plot and characters behind there, it just doesn’t quite have the same impact. Readers (myself included) want a book that will keep them turning pages, not one that’s perfectly polished but boring!
11. Looking back, what would you have done differently, or why wouldn’t you?
This is a difficult one. I’ve made mistakes on my way to where I am now, but then, I wouldn’t know what I know now if I hadn’t made them.
The biggest one I’d probably change is what I did with the cover of What Lies Beneath the Mask. I still love the original cover, but there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that the new cover better reflects the genre.
12. Where do you get your inspiration?
From a vast variety of sources! Sometimes it’s dreams, sometimes it’s places I visit and sometimes it’s snippets of conversation as I go about my day. Then one thing leads to another and *bam*, the characters are writing their own stories and then pointing me in the direction of who should be next! I’ve learnt to just roll with it!
13. How do you handle writer’s block?
Honestly, I don’t deal with it very well. Or I deal with it by staring at the computer screen and not actually writing anything. Sometimes, I’ll use plotting another project to get me out of the block, but it doesn’t often work!
14. Your top 3 tips for people who want to start writing
1 – WRITE! Just go for it! If you don’t then the characters in your head will just drive you crazy! Plus, practice makes perfect!
2 – Your cover is really important! You can get reasonably priced premades that still look good if you can’t design your own well. Make sure it matches the others in the genre (I definitely made this mistake!)
3 – Be prepared for hard work! It’s tough, but it’s worth it!
15. Where would people be able to find you online?
They can find me on my author website (http://www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk) or on twitter (http://twitter.com/lauramg_tdir) but facebook is your best bet! I’m best at updating my facebook page with new releases, teasers, giveaways and more! (http://facebook.com/authorlauragreenwood/)