Laura: Sure. When SEW DEADLY first came out and I realized how visible it was in B & N's across the entire country, I got worried. Could I sell that much? Would I fail?
I'm happy to say I did fine...hitting B & N's mass market mystery national best seller list at # 5 for the first few weeks along with other national lists as well. That said, I'm sure I'll panic again. With each new book.
Me: Best advice to aspiring authors?
Laura: Write every day. Read, read, read. And listen to your gut (but make sure it's your gut your hearing and not your pride).
Me: How did you get your agent?
Laura: I was already published with a small press when I got my Agatha nomination in 2005 and a book club deal with Harlequin's Worldwide Mystery. Those things--coupled with a fun (and complete) manuscript for a chick lit novel--caught the interest of several agents. I chose the one I thought would be best for me and then we joined forces. Sadly, that chick lit manuscript didn't sell (though it did earn some great rejections). But, as you can see, I've keeping busy with other projects.
I also have an Elizabeth Lynn Casey page on Facebook (which I enjoy).
And I do twitter, but mostly via my Facebook page.
Me: Do you have a writing routine?
Laura: I am a morning writer. It's rare I write in the late afternoon/evening unless I'm on a tight deadline. And I find that I like to write away from home (Panera is a favorite) during the early part of the book when distractions at home affect me too much.
Me: Are you an outliner?
Laura: No. Every time I try to write with an outline, the characters take over and do what they want anyway.
Me: Typically, how long does it take you to write your first draft?
Laura: 2 months.
Me: Do you have a favorite book?
Laura: Mary Higgins Clark's A CRY IN THE NIGHT is the book that made me want to write mysteries rather than the children's books I'd always envisioned.
Laura: My next book is a romance and it will come out in July. A Mom for Callie will be part of the Harlequin American Romance line. It will be in stores (Borders, Wal-mart, K-Mart, etc) for one month starting July 12th. After that, it's only via online venues like www.eharlequin.com until it sells out!
Me: Do you have manuscripts in a file that you haven’t queried or submitted to anyone yet?
Laura: I have a suspense novel that is done--start to finish--but still needs a good 20 K increase. It's a fabulous concept and could really be something fun. The stumbling block is finding time to complete it between contracts. But I will. Soon.
Me: Do you do school visits? Book signings? Library visits?
Laura: Absolutely! I love doing all of the above!!! Especially school visits! It's my way of paying it back!
Me: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Laura: I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was ten. I was playing at a friend’s house one day (it was raining) and we'd run out of things to do. So she got out a stack of paper and said we should write a children's story. I did... And from that moment on it's all I've ever wanted to do.
Me: How did you celebrate your first sale?
Laura: My very first sale, ever? That would be my first small press mystery and I remember a drawing my kids made for me and a balloon. It was special!
Laura: It wasn't as difficult as I would have thought. I just trusted my muse when writing the first romance and it didn't steer me wrong. I did read fairly extensively in the line I wanted to sell to, but more for feel than to truly analyze.
Me: Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
Laura: The radio, primarily. Those little 5-10 second newsbytes they run through in the morning between music sets. LOVE those!
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Laura. She’s just wonderful!