Today, I would like to welcome Laura Sullivan to my blog for an insightful interview. She has graciously donated a copy of her book to every commenter. One lucky commenter will receive a signed paperback copy. Make sure to leave your email address in your comment for the signed paperback copy. Fill out the Rafflecopter Form below!!
Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you choose to write? Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??
I've wanted to be a writer ever since I learned how to write, and though I've written quite a few short stories (some are out now under the name LuLu Sullivan) my main focus has always been novels. I've been writing one book or another since my early teens. I'm no good at serious poetry, though I have a knack for doggerel!
What was the inspiration for your book, Brightwing?
Brightwing is an ode to my home state, Florida, and though it is set in the present day, it draws on the thousands of years of Florida's inhabited history. It is about the parts of Florida that are lost, and the parts that are still holding on. Well, actually it is about a bad-ass girl and her criminal lover, but there are always several layers of storytelling going on!
What is your favorite genre to read?
I read everything. My favorites are fat Victorian novels, historicals, and most YA.
Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?
I've experimented with traditional and self-publishing, and both certainly have their place. Overall, I'm sticking with traditional for most of my projects. It is great to have a skilled team behind your book, and for my MG and YA work, I'm lucky enough to have an editor with mad skills, who does so much to polish my books to gem-quality. But not all books mesh with the traditional publishing world. There are some stories that don't fit neatly on any shelf, but still insist on being written, have literary merit, and a niche audience. I have a MG and a YA that I've written, that I'm crazy about, but which haven't connected with a publisher yet. I'm still considering possibilities, but I might self-publish them in the next year or so.
Did you ever experience a major life changing event? If so, did that impact your writing at all?
When I had my son four years ago, I thought I'd never have time to write (or sleep) again. But work expands to fill the available time, and contracts again just as easily. I wound up getting almost as much done during his nap time as I used to working all day. It taught me how to discipline myself. He'll be starting school soon, and it will be interesting to see if my productivity increases or if it just takes me six hours to write the thousand words I now write in an hour.
If you could be a book genre, which one would you choose and why?
Be a genre? I love that question! I'd be fantasy, of course – anything can happen!
If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??
I'm pretty into survival, in a theoretical way, at least. Researching for Brightwing taught me to start fires and knap flint and hunt pigs – but I've never actually done it. And I can identify a lot of edible plants – but I never actually eat them. I think I'd make out fairly well, once I got used to the lack of hot baths. I have no problem eating grubs and grasshoppers, so I'll probably do better than the people who are trying to hunt deer.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??
Read everything you can get your hands on, and write every day, even if it is only in your head. Seriously, imaginary writing helps! You know those studies where people visualize free-throws for ten minutes a day, and then when they actually get on the court they can make more baskets? It works with writing, too. Create dialogue even when you're away from your computer. Describe everything you see as if you were putting it in your novel. The down side of mental book-crafting is that a lot of good writing gets lost, but everything helps improve your craft.
What other projects do you have on the horizon??
Under my real name, Laura L. Sullivan, I have a lot coming out in the next year. The middle grade fantasy Guardian of the Green Hill (a sequel to Under the Green Hill) will be out October 25. Then in 2012 I have two young adult historicals – the bawdy Ladies in Waiting in May, and the WWII fantasy Delusion in the fall.
I'm working on an adult paranormal thriller for Sullivan Lee that I hope to have ready some time next year.
Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??
I'll talk about the books or authors that changed me as a writer (as opposed to those that changed me as a person.)
Richard Adams' Maia taught me how thorough and magical world-building can be.
E. Nesbit's books taught me how to make writing timeless, not old-fashioned.
Kathleen Winsor's Forever Amber taught me how to dive wholeheartedly into history.
C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia taught me how many layers a simple story can have.
Anthony Trollope, who wrote 40-something novels, most around 300,000 words long, all while working a full-time job, taught me to be disciplined in my writing.
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??
I'm fascinated by Rome right now – the late Republic and early Empire. If I went back in time, I'd have to go somewhere/when that women's lots were pretty good. There aren't a lot of time periods to choose from! Rome was better than a lot of eras. Women could own property, get divorced... wealthy women, that is. Poor women have never had it very good.
And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?
Probably become a zombie too, and revel in the consumption of braaiiiinsss!
Thank you so much for having me at Earth's Book Nook. I've had a great time visiting!
Social Media Links:
Laura’s Blog! http://lauralsullivan.blogspot.com/
Laura’s Books! Under the Green Hill -- Out Now!
Guardian of the Green Hill -- October 2011
Ladies in Waiting -- Spring 2012
Delusion -- Fall 2012
As Sullivan Lee
Brightwing -- Out Now!
Find Laura on Facebook
and Twitter @SullivanLeeIsMe!