I have a lovely lady to introduce to you today: Urban Fantasy author, Laurel Night.
Laurel has been an avid reader since she first cracked a Babysitters Club book in elementary school. She’s lived in several different places in the US, studied overseas, and traveled quite a bit (although she’s always up for more!) Laurel has a wonderful husband, a 2-year-old daughter and a furry pooch named Gucci. Laurel’s favorite part of reading a book is getting lost in imagining the world as the author paints it, and she eventually decided to take the leap to create her own worlds for others to enjoy.
She joins us on the Fantasy & SciFi Readers' Lounge today to share her Mortal Flight novel which is just about to hit the bookstores.
Book title: Mortal Flight, prequel to the Mortal Heat series
· Genre: Urban Fantasy
· Synopsis: Growing up with three brothers, Geri was never destined to be the type of lady society expected. She had long ago written off the American Dream of a husband and 2.5 kids, pursuing her passion for astronomy and flight. She wanted to fly in the Army Air Corps, but the only roles for women in World War Two were as nurses or local pilots, no combat. While Geri is desperately seeking an opportunity to test her skills as a pilot, she meets a mysterious man who seems to be everything she could ever want in a partner: Handsome, witty, and incredibly supportive of her dreams. Geri’s opportunity finally comes, but she soon discovers James is truly unlike any man she’s ever met. Will the distraction of this seemingly perfect man keep her from achieving her dreams? Or will James be the key to accomplishing more than she ever imagined?
· Publish date: May 2019
· Publisher: Self
Author Interview with Laurel Night
Kasper: Hi Laurel, it's a pleasure to meet you. Come and have a seat on the Readers' Lounge with us.
Laurel: Thanks Kasper, it's great to be here.
Hey, I hear you work for the Air National Guard which really comes across in the themes of your books too. Let's power up the Lounge and take off with our interview.
1) Do you have a pen name and why?
My pen name is Laurel Night. I decided that for my sanity and privacy, I would not publish under my legal name. Because I will publish in a few genres I may come up with a few different ones.
K: Write at night. I like the idea of a secret identity. Do your co-workers know you're a writer?
Yes, they do.
2) What other writing have you done?
I’ve written in one form or another for my entire life, really. I wrote poetry and short stories in school, and I completed my Master’s degree in 2012 so I wrote a lot of papers for that. I work in Public Affairs, so I write a fair amount of Feature and news stories, in addition to video scripts. I have several books in the works, one of which is a YA Urban Fantasy series, and I also have a contemporary action/romance.
3) What made you choose the Urban Fantasy genre?
I love reading this type of story. I love fantasy and magic, smart, clever characters that have something important to discover about themselves, and romantic subplots. Personally I’m not a huge fan of too many details in romances - I lean very slow-burn in what I enjoy - so Urban Fantasy was definitely the way to go. I think the YA paranormal romance is a good option, but I like to write about characters that are a little more mature than the average teenager.
4) Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
My YA series, (as of yet untitled) takes place in northern Minnesota in a place called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I worked there for several summers in college, and went to high school in the tiny nearby town of Grand Marais. It’s a magical, preserved wilderness, and seemed like a great setting for a mysterious wolf-shifter story.
K: That sounds like an amazing place to let your creativity run wild.
5) Do you have another job outside of writing?
I’m a member of the Air National Guard. I’ve been in for 11 years now, and have worked full time in Public Affairs since 2017. I would love to write full time eventually.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
I knew, when I started down this path, that the cover art was important. I have some photoshop skills, so I originally thought I would try to do my own and watched a lot of YouTube videos on the subject. I understand the principles of design and the importance of genre-matching. However I came to realize that I don’t have the time necessary
K: I think so too. Great choice.
6) What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?
Just do it. I wish I had just gone for it several years ago when I wrote the first chapter of a book I called ‘The City’, a dystopian story. I dreamt the entire plot in one night, and the story followed me around for days until I just went ahead and wrote it down one day. After getting that first chapter out, I wasn’t motivated to continue it, and I let it sit for years. The story ideas and the urge to write kept revisiting me, and now I have been writing in my spare time for a year and a half. I wonder sometimes where I’d be if I had done this when I wanted to years ago.
K: Oh well, there's no time like the present. Great to have you writing now.
7) What music do you listen to when writing?
I listen to house/edm/techno or ‘study’ playlists, things that are kind of upbeat and may have words or not but nothing too harsh or catchy.
8) What are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing up Mortal Flight, and then I’ll be working on book two of the Mortal Heat series - my plan is to release the entire 3-book series in September.
Mortal Flight is a prequel novella that I will be offering for free to folks who sign up for my newsletter.
9) What’s your dream job and do you think you’ll do it one day?
I’ve been working on this now for a year and a half, and my dream job would be to just write full time. I have way too many story ideas now to write them all in the next five years at the rate I’m going right now. I would love to have the time to put them all to paper!
K: I sure hope that dream comes true for you.
I have some favorite hardcopy books, but honestly I just can’t beat the convenience of e-books. I have most of my hardcopy library on e-book now, because I can read them in bed without having a light on. :)
Favourite thing to cook: I love baking, so I’d say cookies
Silliest saying: Well, there you go.
Best holiday spot: Breckenridge, CO - I love Snowboarding!
Most played song: Right now, R.I.P by Sofia Reyes
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? I’m a hybrid. I plot out the main points but make adjustments and let the creativity flow as I go along
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: Fantasy
Best superpower: Flight
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Learn to Surf!
Kasper: Thanks Laurel. It has been fun getting to know you today. We wish you all the best with your writing, snowboarding and surfing too.
Laurel: Thanks everyone. I appreciate you stopping by to learn more about me. Please check out Mortal Flight in May.
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