Laurie Olerich is the author of the new Primani series. Part romance, part paranormal, part adventure…Three things she can’t live without! Laurie spent most of her life in the Northeastern United States and in Western Europe. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her son and Dalmatian duo, Domino and Rambo. Desperate to escape the heat, she lives vicariously through Mica and her Primani by setting their adventures in the mountain coolness of New England and the rainy days of London. Before throwing caution to the wind and diving into a writing career, Laurie dedicated 20 years to her country by serving in the United States Air Force. Much of her time was spent around men with guns and cool toys…this explains her obsession with both.
What inspires you to write?
I spent years doing the practical things I thought I was supposed to do. I finished a degree, got a secure job, and saved money for emergencies. One day I realized I was frozen in a rut and bored out of my mind. Since I’m a single mom, grabbing a backpack and traveling around the planet was out of the question. I tried to find an escape in books but nothing scratched the itch. I didn’t quite like fantasy and traditional romances only reminded me that I wasn’t dating. Thrillers were too compact and over too soon. I wanted a new world to explore and live in for a while. So I decided to create my own world and adventures. By the time I was halfway through with Primani, I was hooked. Writing is the great escape!
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m definitely a “pantser!” I do some rough outlining to set up the flow of the plot, but then let the characters direct the action. I’ve found myself in the middle of scenes that I would’ve never considered, but they worked! Some structure is needed so I don’t get lost or go down never-ending rabbit holes, plus I want to be sure to include details that make sense to the reader. I tend to gradually share information across the entire book, so it’s important to keep track of what’s happening along the way. I have a whiteboard that I scribble all over when I’m trying to find the perfect twist for a plot. I guess I’m a hybrid pantser-outliner!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My Primani characters live in my head and take over when I’m writing. I don’t physically talk to them, usually, but they fill my mind until I’m done with a book. For example, I dream about them and use those dreams in scenes. I can close my eyes and visualize their expressions and hear their voices when I’m writing. Declan, particularly, nags at me until I’ve written the scenes he’s throwing into my imagination. It’s a little weird sometimes, but it works for me!
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep focused and keep writing! I’ve met several people who say they’ve started a book but haven’t finished it. My advice is to set aside a block of time each day (or whatever you can manage) to lock yourself in with your computer. I find that it’s easy to lose my train of thought if I take too much time off. I end up having to re-read the previous chapter to remember what I was doing. This is hard and takes up valuable writing time. So if you want to finish that book, make a date with your computer and don’t stand it up!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Two things really influenced me to self-publish. First, I’m impatient. The process of traditional publishing takes forever to go from manuscript to the final version sitting in Barnes and Nobel. The process of finding an agent alone could take years! I wanted to launch my writing career so indie publishing worked for me. The second factor is related to the first. Writing a good story is only part of producing a book. I was, and still am, pretty unfamiliar with the business of books. I found it much easier to write the book than to write the pitch and query letters needed to snag an agent. My books combine several genres and don’t quite fit the niche that traditional publishers seem to want. I sent out a handful of query letters before I decided I didn’t want to spend hours working on that. I wanted to spend my time writing my next book. Again, that impatience! Indie publishing allows me to control every aspect of my career and allows me to focus my energies on writing the next book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Regardless of what the techies say, there will always be some readers who prefer to go to a brick and mortar store for their books. I’m one of these people. The big, beautiful bookstore is a treat on a Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, the internet provides instant gratification, cheap (often FREE) books, and a million new authors and sub-genres to pick from. Indie authors would gladly display their works in a traditional bookstore, but the traditional publishing houses have the corner on that market. I think readers would love to see more variety in the stores too. I know I would, but there’s only so much space and only the most popular books/genres get to hang out there. The number of indie authors will continue to swell and the internet will happily expand to accommodate them over the next few decades. Readers who are hungry for new and exciting books will shop there. I believe the bookstores will continue to support the big publishing houses, but sales will dwindle as the newer generations embrace more and more ebooks.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
urban fantasy, paranormal romance, metaphysical fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print