Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Welcome to Paranormal YA Author - Laura K. Curtis

I’m delighted to welcome Laura K. Curtis to my blog.

Hello Laura, Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat today. Before we discover more about your latest release – A Darker Shade - here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers a chance to get to know you a little better and discover some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: How did you manage to get your first novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Laura: Oh, you don’t ask the easy ones, do you? When I first began looking into publication seriously (as opposed to having written a couple of things, sent them out, gotten rejected, and immediately given up), I was writing cosy mysteries. After many rejections on my first premise, I got an agent on the second series I tried…but she couldn’t sell it. Which turned out to be a good thing, actually, because it occurred to me that someone with a successful career in the cosy world would end up writing about the same characters for 25+ books and I have far too much attention deficit disorder to do that. Five books, yes. Twenty-five? No way.

She asked if I had ever considered romantic suspense as a genre, because that market was on the upswing. I read quite a bit of it, actually, but I had not considered writing it because I thought of myself as more a “mystery” person than an “adventure” person, and romantic suspense tended to the action category.

Needless to say, my first attempt flopped. I couldn’t get the pacing right. So I went back, wrote another, sat down with a couple of independent editors who helped me figure out where my pacing was going wrong. That book became my first romantic suspense, Twisted.

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, A Darker Shade?
Laura: My editor left Penguin, my contract wasn’t renewed, my agent and I parted ways, and I wasn’t particularly interested in writing more romantic suspense. It was time for a change. And when I thought about the books I really loved, the books I had always loved, they were the gothics of the 1960s and 1970s. Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney. Since I wasn’t under contract, I could write what I wanted rather than what was expected. I knew there was a very good chance it wouldn’t sell to a publisher, especially since I decided to add a paranormal twist, but it was what I wanted to do. I think of it as a Mary Stewart novel set in Stephen King’s Maine.

Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A walk in the woods, a walk along a beachfront to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Laura: Beach, definitely, so long as the beach is dog-friendly!

Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a mug of coffee or a glass of wine before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Laura: Not really. I tend to write with pen and paper for my rough draft. So I need a notebook (narrow ruled, I am absolutely particular about that), a fine-point gel pen, and a flat surface.

Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Laura: First my agent, Courtney Miller-Callihan, who’s apt to say “well, does this one have to be a romance? Maybe you should write a thriller instead. You write the book you want to write; I’ll worry about selling it.”
If I really DO want the book to be a romance, I’d probably call my friend Theresa Stevens, who’s an editor.

Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Laura: Anywhere I can! I am a big fan of bathtub reading. But I read on the train to work, in bed, in the back yard…

Arabella: The T.V. is on and you’re in control of the remote. Which is it to be: A quiz programme…An afternoon of sport…A family soap…A romantic film you always wanted to see but missed when it was shown at the cinema?
Laura: Romantic film, no question.

Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?
      1)      Grow a thick skin. Like, elephant skin topped with armadillo armour.
      2)      Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
      3)      Know the rules and understand why they exist before breaking them.
      4)      Decide what you want from your writing—to please yourself or to please others. They’re not mutually exclusive, but often you do at least have to compromise!
      5)      Oh, and for marketing—figure out who your audience is. No book is for everyone. You cannot even say “it’s for everyone who enjoys romance.” It needs to be much more specific so you don’t waste your time, energy, and money promoting to people who either won’t buy it, or worse, won’t like it and will therefore give it poor reviews. For my current book, for example, I consider my audience mainly “educated girls & women age 13-60 who like a touch of romance in their books but would not necessarily consider themselves “romance readers”. They like ghost stories, but not slasher horror.” It’s a very narrow slice of the population, but once I know that, I can more effectively find them and talk to them.

Laura, it was lovely having you as a guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat and thank you so much for sharing some of your writing secrets.
And about the narrow ruled notebook . . . I like mine with a margin. 
Best wishes and good luck with  A Darker Shade
Arabella Sheen

About Laura K Curtis

Laura K. Curtis has always done everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she's chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting a fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty. And she wrote her first book in first grade. It was released in (notebook) paperback to rave reviews and she's been trying to achieve the same level of acclaim ever since. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and a pack of wild Irish Terriers, which has taught her how easily love can coexist with the desire to kill.

Twitter: @laurakcurtis
Instagram: @lauralkc

Book Blurb  - A Darker Shade

What is haunting young Liza Prescott?
Molly Allworth has been in service since leaving college when her mother died. Still, her situation is getting desperate and when the agency offers her a position that sounds too good to be true, she cannot resist.
Soon she finds herself in a remote house in Maine, caring for a little girl who swore she saw her mother’s ghost…before she stopped speaking entirely. Nathaniel Prescott, the child’s father, thinks any belief in the supernatural is absurdly credulous. Molly’s history and heritage, however, have given her a wider view.
There’s a significant bonus for Molly if she lasts the year. But as winter closes in and mysterious, often creepy events begin to occur, even her growing affection for Nathaniel and Liza may not be enough to make her stay.

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Buy Link:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to Romance Author - Beth D. Carter

I’m delighted to have Beth D. Carter on my blog. Beth D. Carter - Author Hello Beth – It was lovely to connect with you and I’m pleased t...