I had the opportunity to speak with a very talented author
this month. So, without further delay, letís hear from the
Did you always know that you wanted to
be a writer? How did you get your start?
Iíve always written. Stories, poems,
etc. I worked on the literary magazine in high school and
college and in college I did a column on domestic violence
prevention as well as doing essays and op ed pieces. I always
had this idea that it would be wonderful to write, but never
really had the time to do it.
And then as I was
getting ready to go back to work when my then youngest child was
getting old enough for pre school, we were surprised with another
pregnancy. It was a difficult one, one I hadnít expected and at the
time felt as if my life had been put on hold but as it happens, I
had to be on bedrest a great deal of the time and so I thought, ďWhy
not give this writing thing a chance?Ē My husband bought a second
hand laptop and I began to write a story idea Iíd had since Iíd
visited New Orleans the spring before.
That story was
Triad. I had NO idea of how to do any of this stuff, my dialog tags
were atrocious! Anyway, I submitted it to Elloraís Cave and Raelene
wrote me back and said theyíd be interested if I made some changes
and cleaned it up. She gave me a chance and Iíll never forget her
(and Martha Punches who read Triad and passed it to Raelene) for
giving me that opportunity.
Tell us some of your favorites. (i.e. foods,
music, books, authors, movies, and any other you would like to
Oh my! Letís see Ė favorite food? Cupcakes.
I love them. Theyíre like this little tiny bit of wonderful. I also
love Thai and Chinese food, the hotter the better.
I love most every
type of music Ė hard rock (Tool is a big favorite), classical
(Mozart), alternative (PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam),
dance/techno (Basement Jaxx, Peaches, Chemical Brothers), Motown
(Marvin Gaye, The Supremes), country (Keith Urban, Dixie Chicks,
Patsy Cline) Ė I never write without a soundtrack specific to that
story and group of characters.
Books Ė Iíve been
reading like a fiend since I was four. Every year I get new
favorites but some of them are Susan Cooperís The Dark is Rising,
Tolkienís Lord of the Rings, Asimovís Foundation series, Herbertís
Dune, Nora Robertsí Born In trilogy, Jennifer Crusieís Welcome To
Temptation and JD Robbís Naked In Death.
Authors Ė oh wow!
Well Roberts, Crusie, Herbert, Asimov, Louise Marley, Sheri Tepper,
William Gibson, Richard Morgan, Megan Hart, Anya Bast, Emma Holly,
Kim Harrison, Nalini Singh, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Eileen Wilks,
Stephen King Ė so many people out there writing books to challenge
Many of your stories are part of a series,
do you enjoy writing stories that are connected? I know as a reader,
I absolutely love stories that are connected and being given the
chance to revisit old friends.
I love to write series! Partly itís because
I like big families and casts of characters and if I can do it over
a series, I can introduce readers to them all in a more intimate
way. I feel like I can write a bigger world because I have the page
space to let it sprawl between booksĖand even series.
In my Cascadia
Wolves series I was able to take the big bad of the werewolf mafia
and really give it leg room as well as to develop the world of these
wolves and their hierarchy.
And I like to
revisit my characters too, I have to admit. I get sick of writing
them for a while but after a time I find I miss them and it makes me
happy to be able to come back to see what theyíre up to in their
Do you believe in happily ever after? Have
you found yours?
I do. Iím a big, giant sap for romance. I
met my husband when I was eighteen years old and weíre celebrating
our twentieth wedding anniversary this fall. Itís hard work, weíve
had our rough spots but I can honestly say he makes me believe in
happily ever after each day.
You write in several genres, do you have a
favorite? Is there a genre that you would like to try?
My favorite is usually whatever Iím working
on at any given time. I have a soft spot for paranormals because I
can pretty much just make up everything, make my own rules, devise
my own creatures. For someone like me who hates rules, itís heaven!
Futuristics and post-apocalyptics are also fun for that reason.
are fun and I love to write them as well and I find myself itching
to get back to them when Iím working on something else.
As for something
Iíd like to try? Hmm, maybe gothics or historicals but I donít know
if I have the voice for them.
Do you have a writing schedule that you
Iím really old school about writing. I
write every day, even when I donít want to. If I didnít, Iíd never
get anything done because my life is so hectic and crazy. So after
my kids go to bed, I write for several hours Ė three is my usual
although I do stretch that to five or six on weekends when I can and
sometimes I shut down early if I finish up a chapter or scene and I
need the break. I have a little corner of our bedroom with my desk,
computer and printer and whatever reference material I might need
along with my character notes, etc tacked up. I used to write in bed
on my laptop but it was killing my back!
Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and
what is the best way to contact you?
Of course! Iím always totally flattered and
touched when readers take the time from their busy lives to write to
me about my books.
I can be reached
Or snail mail
PO Box 45175,
Seattle, WA 98145
Tell us what makes LaurenÖwell, Lauren.
Oh man, I suppose
then answer depends on who you ask, LOL. First and foremost Lauren
is about her family. My husband and my kids are the most important
thing to me. I draw a lot of pleasure from them, as well as gray
hairs and wrinkles, but itís easy to stay grounded when you live
with a three year old who asks, ďWhat are those lines next to your
eyes? Do they hurt?Ē
I like to think I
donít take myself too seriously but my work and this journey VERY
I laugh a lot. Iím
goofy in a major way and I love the shiny Ė vintage things,
cupcakes, music, shoes, books Ė it doesnít take diamonds to make me
happy (although Iím not turning them down!)
What would a perfect day for you involve?
Iíd be left alone to sleep in until about
9:30 and then able to stumble out of bed by 10 or so. Right now with
this gray and rainy weather, stumbling out onto a beach and being
handed a plate of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee is nice.
Reading all day in
a beach chair with fruity drinks, my husband nearby, the sound of
the ocean. Thatís all nice too.
that start off with no fighting children, children who eat all their
breakfast and donít complain, an easy trip to get them to school and
then a call from my agent with a sale Ė that rocks as well.
What was the best advice you received when
you started out? Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I didnít know anyone when I was starting
out, which when I look back was a good thing because I didnít second
guess myself. Over time I met other writers like Anya Bast and Megan
Hart whoíve given me a lot of wonderful technical advice.
I think the best
advice is something I also tell other writers which is Ė put your
butt in the chair and get your hands on your keyboard.
In the end, itís
about finishing your book. You can fix a manuscript, but you canít
fix whatís not there. Instead of making excuses about not having the
time, you need to use what you have. Even if itís ten minutes a day.
Youíll never have anyone elseís schedule but your own so complaining
about people who are able to write all day full time or who are
faster than you or whatever does nothing positive. You arenít them.
You have to make the most of what you have.
some point itís: STFU and Write
Where do your story ideas come from? Does
the whole story develop at once or does it start with a character or
All over the place. Sometimes itís a
snippet of dialog you canít get out of your head. A song lyric Ė
Outshined, a book I just sold to Berkley, came to me as I was
listening to Soundagardenís Badmotorfinger.
Traveling is a huge
source of inspiration for me. Every time I go somewhere I come up
with an idea. For instance my husband and I took a trip to Las
Vegas two years ago. This was our first alone trip since weíd had
our first child. Anyway, we went to a burlesque club and I totally
fell in love with it. Itís such a fabulous mix of vintage sex appeal
and dancing. On the way back home I started sketching out an idea
for a book and like two weeks later, my agent called me about an
opportunity to pitch a multiple author anthology with Las Vegas as a
theme. That story turned out to be Stripped, which is in the What
Happens in VegasÖ anthology coming out May 1 from Harlequin Spice.
Megan Hart and I were at the RT convention last year and while in
line we started riffing story ideas off each other and over a few
nights we came up with Taking Care of Business, which comes out from
Black Lace in December of this year.
Sometimes itís a
character I have a strong sense of and I write them and let them
guide the story. Or a seed of a scene and I go outward. Generally,
I keep my eyes and ears open and grab everything I can for my story
Is your family your biggest supporters? Do
they read your work?
My husband is a wonderful supporter of my
work. There are plenty of times when he takes the kids off somewhere
so I can work. Heís always telling people about my books too, itís
very sweet. Oh and best of all, heís a great sounding board and
there are many times he helps me with plotting and research.
My mom and dad
raised me to believe I could be anything I wanted so theyíre very
proud of me. My mom follows people around in the bookstore with my
books, so if a short woman with glasses starts bugging you about
Lauren Dane, it might be her.
How do you promote your work?
Thereís a really fine line to walk with
promotion. I believe really strongly that the most important thing
is contact with readers. Real contact, not just saying hello when
Iím trying to sell them a book. I like them, I love talking to them
and that means I love talking about all sorts of things Ė their
families, other books, music, popular culture, etc. I really donít
want to be perceived as someone who only cares about herself and her
books. I like being part of the romance community as a whole.
Other than just
being around? I do list mom days at my publisher loops. I try to
keep my website and blog updated with current book information. I
love to hold contests and I believe books are the best prizes to
give. I do print ads in RT and attend conferences and signings.
What is the most outrageous thing that you
have ever done?
LOL!! Um, well deciding at 18 to move in
with a guy Iíd met just two months before and then two years later,
at twenty and just married, picking up and moving to Washington
The other stuff,
well, I save that for my books.
Is there anything else you would like to
share with us? Any current or upcoming releases?
This is a big year for me books wise. I
just ended my Cascadia Wolves story arc with Standoff and Iíll begin
a new one in August with Unexpected. Iím putting out a new Witches
Knot book on April 4 called Celebration for the Dead. And in May,
my first NY release, Stripped, comes out in the What Happens in
Vegas anthology from Harlequin Spice. Later in the year my first
Berkley Heat book, Undercover comes out on December 2 and my
co-authored contemporary, Taking Care of Business comes out from
Black Lace that month as well.
Also Ė the last
Chase Brothers book, Making Chase comes out in print at the end of
June and Reading Between the Lines comes out at the end of July.
Lots and lots of
fabulous stuff! (and my youngest starts preschool in the fall so Iím
actually going to have two hours of ALONE time starting in
You can always
check my website (www.laurendane.com)
and my blog (www.laurendane.com/blog)
for more info!
Thanks so much for
having me! Joyfully Reviewed has always been such a wonderful
supporter of romance and of my career Ė I appreciate you all so