About Laura May:
Laura is an Australian who keeps forgetting she’s meant to stay in the same place. She loves adventures-which is good, because she’s constantly winding up in the middle of them. When she’s not accidentally finding herself in the middle of a riot, being tear-gassed or jumping into frozen rivers, she enjoys sailing, snowboarding, and making an obnoxious number of puns.
You can follow Laura and her latest adventures at www.explaura.net
What inspires you to write?
The easier question would be ‘what *doesn’t* inspire you to write?’ I find there to be so much magic in the world, and with a little imagination, even the most mundane situation becomes an exciting adventure. Travelling definitely inspires me (and I write all about my travels and experiences living in other countries on my blog at explaura.net), but so do the people I meet, the things I see and experience.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually know the messages I want to convey, who the characters are, and the peak of the story. I don’t always know where it will end up, however, as the characters usually disagree with me! I use EverNote to capture all of my ideas and the things I want to include, and organise in there. I’ve also dabbled with using yWriter.
As far as actually getting things down on paper, I can’t hand-write so it’s a case of sitting down at my laptop, closing down Facebook / reddit / Goodreads, and making myself do some work. When I was trying to get Pickles and Ponies finished, I would take my laptop on the commute to and from work every day, and even if it was only 300 words done on the train, it all still got me closer to the end point. Then it was redrafting to take out the authorial intrusion and refine things, another draft to restructure it into a more logical structure, and refinements following suggestions from beta readers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t listen or talk to my characters, but I *do* get a bit irked when they won’t do what I want!! They really do take on lives of their own, and even if you’ve got the book all planned out, sometimes the characters have their own ideas and won’t do what they’re told. Luckily, I love them anyway!
What advice would you give other writers?
Perhaps just to stop procrastinating, and get to work! A lot of people say that they’d like to write a book someday, and then it becomes this sort of unattainable ‘I’ll do it when I have time’ or ‘I’ll do it once I finish x y z’ thing. Also, bonus advice – write down your ideas, even the crazy ones! I always have a notepad on me, or a phone to make notes on, so that if something comes to me in the middle of the night or some such, the idea hasn’t escaped by morning.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wrote my first novel after promising my grandmother that I would, and my priority was just to get it into her hands. Getting traditionally published takes a lot longer, and at the end of the day, I can’t envisage a future where I’m not writing – but I’m not aspiring to write full-time. Self-publishing lets my friends, family and blog followers read the books, so it meets all of my needs. Maybe things will change in the future – who knows?
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think ebooks are definitely the way forward. I’ve been a devout ebook reader for around five years now, and the convenience of having your entire library on you when you’re commuting or travelling is unsurpassed. I like to think that book prices will come down with the lower overheads, but I’d also like to see some quality control in the process somewhere: there are a lot of free ebooks out there, but most of them are unreadably bad. That’s where I see the role of sites such as this and reading social networks (a la goodreads) are so valuable – they help people to discover new authors that are worth reading, so that we don’t wind up in the situation of ‘all self-published books = bad, all traditionally-published books = good’.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: fantasy, comedy, tragedy, historical, absurd
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print