---1. First off, thank you so much Laurie for being here! I really enjoyed reading Firsts and am very excited to have you here.
Thank you so much, Kaitlin! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed Firsts, and I’m happy to be on your blog!
2. Congrats on your book being published! What did you do to celebrate the publication of Firsts?
Thank you! I was hoping to visit a bookstore here in my hometown on release day and see Firsts on the shelf, but since I’m in Canada, the books weren’t in yet. I celebrated by going out for a fabulous dinner with my husband, complete with champagne and steak. It was perfect!
3. What were some struggles you had while writing Firsts? What did you do to overcome them?
I didn’t have an outline going into Firsts, so the biggest struggle I had was keeping the momentum going—getting words down on the page every day, even though I wasn’t sure exactly what direction I was heading some days. I remember staring down my computer during some of those writing sessions, completely uncertain about what should happen next. Ultimately, I realized there were a thousand different ways the story could go, and all I could do was have faith in myself and listen to the characters in my head.
4. What does a day in your writing life look like? How much time do you spend writing when you're on a deadline?
Since I work full time, I have to structure my writing around my day job. Usually, that means meeting my word count goal before work, because I tend to be more unmotivated in the evenings. I try to write at least 1,000 words per day when I’m drafting. Generally, I write for up to three hours each morning. I also bring my tablet to work with me and try to get more words in on my lunch break.
5. What are some ways aspiring authors can get feedback and tips about their work? What were some ways you were about to get feedback?
That’s a really great question. When I was querying, I frequented the forums at Agent Query Connect. It was hard for me to introduce myself and join the community at first—I’m a bit of an introvert—but once I did, I was welcomed with open arms into a group of writers at varying stages of the publication process, and that camaraderie made me feel so much less alone. When I entered Firsts in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest, I really learned the importance of feedback and letting other writers read your work. I learned so much from my mentors, and I met my critique partner, whose opinions are invaluable to me as a writer. Although opening yourself up to feedback is difficult at first, you’ll notice a huge difference in your work, and learning to accept other opinions will help you work efficiently with an agent and editor later in the process.
6. What kind of music do you love to put on and dance around to?
I love dancing around my house like nobody is watching! (My dog is always watching, though, and I’m sure she thinks I’m crazy.) I’m pretty old-school—I love the Doors, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. I’m also a big fan of 90s rock, like Nirvana and Bush.
7. Show you are currently obsessed with?
There’s an amazing show on Netflix called Wentworth—a friend of mine introduced me to it, and I’m addicted. It’s an Australian show and takes place in a women’s prison. It’s dark and intense and completely brilliant.
8. Most anticipated 2016 release?
Oooh, that’s almost too impossible to answer! Since I’ve already read so many incredible debuts, I’ll pick one I haven’t read yet and cannot wait to have in my hands: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. If I could make it appear in front of me right now, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate.
9. You have two minutes left in your life, what is one food item you eat for the last time?
I’m a big foodie, so this is a tough one! But… I’d say a giant plate of nachos, washed down with some cold Riesling.
10. Thank you Laurie for being here today! Everyone go read Firsts because it was awesome. Any last words Laurie?
Thank you so much for having me, Kaitlin! I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read Firsts. Hearing that it’s resonating with readers is the greatest feeling I could ever hope for as a writer. Virtual hugs for all of you!