Yesterday I was a guest on romance author J.J. Devine’s blog. Author of The Cheyenne Bride and the soon to be published Into the Darkness, J.J. is a fellow Soul Mate Publishing author with me. Here is our conversation:
Good morning, Lauren, thank you for joining us here at Ramblings today!!! We’re thrilled to have you!!!
First could you tell us a little about yourself? When did you realize you wanted to be an author? What sort of things do you do when you’re not writing? You know, give us the dirt that is Lauren Linwood.
I always made up stories when I was young and had my friends act these out. We wound up creating our own characters, and we’d “play” these characters as we acted stories out in the back yard. It was almost like filming a movie without the camera; if we didn’t like a “take,” we’d do it over and I’d make changes to the scene or storyline. These little dramas reminded me of soap operas because we developed our characters and layered history with every time we moved the stories forward. That was really the beginning of my writing career. Although it wasn’t on paper, the creative process and character development were there!
I wrote my first 25-page western in 7th grade when my English teacher assigned the class to write an original short story. I seemed to be the only student who enjoyed doing this. Everyone else grumbled while I reveled in plot and conflict, creating my ultimate hero. I later ran into that English teacher years later at an RWA chapter meeting! She was an author for Harlequin and had left teaching far behind.
I majored in education and even wrote a novel in college, which sat in a box in the closet for years, no one the wiser. My goal was to teach by day and write by night …and then reality set in. Teaching included writing lesson plans, calling parents, grading papers – all this happening after hours in-between laundry, cooking dinner, and raising a family. But bit by bit, I began carving out time and writing romance.
When I’m not writing, I’m an avid moviegoer, reader, walker, and active in my local women’s club with a myriad of activities. I like to do everything BUT housework, so that’s the real dirt on me!
Music for my Soul sounds exciting. Where did you get the idea?
I was a history teacher, and one of my favorite eras to teach and read about was the medieval era. Everything about it fascinates me. I would gobble up any historical romance set in that period … and then it seemed I’d gone through them all. I was hungering for another medieval with none in sight, so I decided to write my own.
What was the most fun about writing this book?
Getting to know my people. These characters became very real to me. I enjoyed putting them in all kinds of situations and seeing if they could extricate themselves from the mess. My hero thinks my heroine is a thief, so it was fun to invent new ways for him to have doubts about her and still have him fall in love with her, all the same.
Give us five fun facts you learned when researching Music for my Soul.
1. I couldn’t find any women troubadours in the 13th century, so that’s what I had Madeleine, my heroine, become.
2. In France, the wine business was already very well developed by this time, with lots of experimenting going on regarding the vines and creating new vintages.
3. Many faires involved not only selling goods or animals, but they also revolved around performances given by a troupe of mummers, who would put on plays several times a day.
4. London already had many shops, including jewelry and pawn stores, in this era.
5. The London harbor closed at times of epidemics, such as typhus, and not ships were
allowed to depart.
Is Music for my Soul your first novel? If not, what other titles do you have out and where can we find them?
MUSIC FOR MY SOUL is my debut novel with Soul Mate Publishing. It will be available starting May 15 on Amazon and at the SMP website. My two favorite eras in history are medieval times and the American West. SMP recently bought OUTLAW MUSE, a Western set in the 1870s that will be coming out in October. It involves an English playwright visiting the west who sees a woman about to hang for murder. He stops the execution and takes off with her, the law hot on their heels as he tries to prove her innocence before it’s too late. A GAME OF CHANCE will be published in January 2014
What about being an author do you love? Hate?
I love creating worlds and populating them with all kinds of people. I enjoy going on the journey that writing provides me. I always go in with a brief outline of what I’d like to see unfold, but sometimes my characters surprise me. They get off the interstate and take all kinds of back roads to arrive at the destination of “Happily Ever After” that I had planned for them. Since this is my first published novel, I’m loving everything as it occurs – seeing my cover bring my characters to life; creating a website; starting up a
blog that’s different kind of writing than in my novels. I can’t say there’s anything I hate. I look at being published as a gift – an opportunity – and I don’t want to take one minute of it for
Thanks again to J.J. for allowing me to guest on her blog. You can find her blog at: