I love writing about enchanted road trips, shadow worlds, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. I live in a tree house on the central California coast. After twenty-plus years as a freelance graphic designer/animator with clients including E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times, I crossed over into the world of publishing non-fiction and followed my heart to the world of fiction. You can find me on my blog Laurasmagicday.wordpress.com, on Facebook and @Laurawriting and on Goodreads too!
I'm the author of the Shadow Series & the Starjump Series. 13 on Halloween (Shadow Series #1) is about a girl who gets a birthday gift that's literally out of this world. I love this book because it takes a look at one girl's quest for popularity, no matter what the cost. Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2), is my new release and is now available as an audiobook too. I'm really excited about this book because Roxie is one year older and finds the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught. Moon Killers, book 3 is due to release this spring. Transfer Student (Starjump Series #1) is an intergalactic tale of beauty and the geek. This book is near and dear to me because it explores the greatest mystery in the galaxy--what do boys think about girls? And, vice-versa. Ashley & Rhoe solve this mystery by swapping lives. I'm the author of a couple stand alone novels too. Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale is inspired by my life-long love of a little-known town and my equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. I love this book because it's about Ginny awakening to her own intuition. The Seven Caves & Other Spine-Tingling Short Stories, is a compilation of my most popular ghost stories. Recently, a lost excerpt from Shadow Slayer has been featured in a paranormal romance anthology called Midnight Surrender.
Welcome Laura! I'm am so excited to have you here today at Indie-Licious. I was just thinking about you the other day and I realized that you were one of the very first author friends I've been blessed to meet online. Since then we've met in person and have shared many laughs and book events together. It only seems fitting that I get to be the gal lucky enough to interview and brag about your accomplishment with Winnemucca, Amazon Bestseller in Christian and Fantasy. So, allow me to pick your brain.
Describe your heroine.
"In the beginning of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale, we meet Ginny (Virginia Mae Nolyn) who is living the life everyone wants her to live, but to her something’s wrong. Something’s missing. There’s this nagging feeling Ginny can’t put her finger on until the life she’s living almost kills her. In this moment she listens to her intuition for the very first time and it takes her on an enchanted road trip where fear’s as blind as love. Winnemucca, NV is the Emerald City of the novel and the one place where Ginny believes she’ll find all her answers.
What makes Ginny a real heroine IMHO is that she listens to her intuition. How many times do we ignore our own? She leaves everything and everyone she knows to follow her heart. Even though she has no idea where this will lead. It takes a person an unbelievable amount of courage to listen to that little voice inside when it points to leaving a familiar life that seems safe, for the unknown. Safety can be an illusion."
I think we've all come face to face with such a circumstance, but not all of us are brave enough to explore it. Ginny sounds like an incredible character. Who would pick to play Ginny and the rest of your characters in a movie?
Laura's Dream Cast for Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale:
”GINNY” -EMMA STONE
“BOBBY” – ZAC EFRON
“CLYDE” – CHASE CRAWFORD
“SUPERSTAR” – EMILE HIRSCH
“LIZZY” – CAREY MULLIGAN
“CARLOS” – JAVIER BARDEM
“ESPY” – SHAKIRA
“DOLLY” – SUSAN SARANDON
“EARL” – TOMMY LEE JONES
That is quite a cast list! I'd love to see it come to fruition.
Often, as authors we are asked if the characters we write about are symbolic of ourselves in any way. What do you and your heroine have in common?
"Ginny and I share a love of the romantic. She is more courageous than me, but she’s inspired me to be more so."
I love the cover for Winnemucca. How did you come up with idea?
"My husband took the picture of HWY 33 in Avenal, CA that’s the setting for the opening scene of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale. If you look off to the right you can see the state prison that plays a part in the story. I photoshoped in Ginny’s legs. People often ask if they’re mine, but they’re not."
I would love it, and I know our readers would too, if you could share an excerpt with us.
“Sweat beaded up under my bangs. I eyed Highway 33 in both directions. To the left was home––Bobby’s enchanting smile should be enough. But I’d never find my answers as Mrs. Bobby Jennings. To the right, God only knew. There was no guarantee I’d find my answers on the road. The wild oats bowed to the left. I turned right. Into the wind.”
"A police siren wailed, coming up from behind. Uncle Earl slowed his patrol car to a creep and yelled over the siren before he switched it off. “Virginia Mae? Where in the hell are you going?”
“Didn’t know walking’s a crime Earl,” I said, my eyes fixed on the white line under my feet.
“That’s Uncle Earl, Virginia Mae…and look at me when I’m talking to you…”
“Your momma called two hours ago,” Earl said, leaning out of his patrol car, his face as red as the pomegranates Momma grew in the backyard. “Bobby took you for dead.”
I’d done the worst thing possible by standing Bobby up. Because doing that one true thing meant the rest of the truth wasn’t far behind. I’d have to tell Bobby I didn’t love him and that buzzed the heebie-jeebies through me. The kind I’d get when I’d rush to kill a black widow before it killed me. I had no idea what Bobby would do when I told him. I had no idea what he was capable of. But, in the end, nothing would frighten me more than myself.
My nothing-better-to-do uncle took a drag off his long cigar. “Now don’t you go crossing the Kern County line thinking I don’t have jurisdiction there. Cause let me tell you, ain’t no measily little thing like jurisdictions gonna keep me from hauling your butt back home where you belong. I’ve got lots of friends who owe me favors in Kern County. And I’ll call every one of them in. Don’t make them hog-tie you.” The only thing I hated more than Earl laughing at my life was him managing it.
His lead-foot got in the way of trying to keep my pace. One time he pulled his patrol car up so close I thought he might flatten my feet.
“Could haul your butt back right now, runaway,” Earl said, pointing the slobbery end of his cigar to the backseat. “Come on, hop in back with your wedding dress.” It hung, covered in clear plastic, behind Earl’s secured shotgun. A white-sequined, sweetheart neckline sparkled blue and red, keeping time with Earl’s police lights.
Earl eased his patrol car to a stop.
“Earl, it’s the twenty-first century, the one where women take walks by themselves or fly to the moon if they want to,” I said. “That time of the month, huh?” Earl chuckled under his breath. Most family get-togethers found the men patting each other on the back for being Masters of the Universe, while their wives huddled in the kitchen, some wishing away their vows to obey. Women in the family assumed us kids were hard of hearing once the white zin flowed.
Earl spun his tires on his way to catch up to me. “Get in the car, Ginny,” he said.
If I did, it’d be all over town in the morning––Virginia Mae Nolyn, lunatic walker, driven to insanity by her nosy feet. Apprehended by her Uncle Earl.
One foot in front of the other. Will I huddle? And drink white zin? And wish my life away?
“Did you hear me?” Earl said.
“I’m almost eighteen and I don’t take orders from anybody.” I twisted my too-tight engagement ring. Don’t want you ballooning up after our vows, Skinny Ginny, Bobby had said when I wanted it resized. “I’ll turn around. When I’m ready,” I said.
Earl glanced at my wedding dress, the ghost of myself behind bars in Earl’s backseat. “Wasn’t anywhere near Fresno, but I picked it up. Saved your runaway butt one hundred whole dollars––don’t your Auntie Dee just know everybody. No need to thank us,” he said like I was as deaf as Poppa.
On my wedding day Daddy would take his ranch-worn hand in mine and we’d walk down the red-carpeted aisle of The First Baptist Church of Avenal, toward Rev. Jennings. Daddy would lift my veil off my face and kiss me for the last time as his little girl. I’d walk past the very first pew to the altar and take Bobby’s hand. But my wedding dress turned into a convict’s jumpsuit in my mind.
“We have ways of bringing in hardened criminals such as yourself,” Earl said. His smile faded and he mumbled into his handheld radio before rolling his eyes and driving off. Earl’s siren blared when he took a right on Twisselman Road. I’d never been in more danger in my Big, Fat, Lie-of-a-Life."
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Visit Laura at:
Laurasmagicday (her blog)