Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m excited to introduce you to mystery writer Laurinda Wallace. Number one, I LOVE mysteries. It’s probably my favorite genre to read. Second, I love the fact that Laurinda writes devotionals. Good, clear, well written devotionals are harder to write for me than a 40 chapter novel. I completely admire the authors who God has gifted in writing devotionals. Laurinda has also offered to give away an e-book to TWO of you readers. So, be sure to read on and see how to enter the giveaway! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve been writing since childhood, but got serious about writing professionally in 2005. My devotions and articles were published by The Upper Room, Guideposts, Christian Devotions, and others. The real fun began when a mystery series was conceived along with a Christian novel, The Time Under Heaven and a devotional book, Gardens of the Heart.
Tell us about your current release. My current release is the third in the Gracie Andersen mystery series, titled Fly by Night. Murder, mayhem, and humor all meet in the small town of Deer Creek. Gracie, a kennel owner is joined by her Labrador, Haley on the hunt for a killer amid an environmental controversy and UFO sightings. An old high school “friend”, and her annoying cousin, Isabelle keep it all interesting.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I did in the beginning, but the source of my creativity is God. I came to a decision early on not to write anything that didn’t honor my Savior. The Lord has given me wonderful opportunities to share my writing with many audiences without compromising my faith. My “secular” mysteries are written from a Christian worldview and are squeaky clean. The inspirational books have touched many, especially The Time Under Heaven. Readers have blessed me with their letters and reviews.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? That’s a real problem sometimes. Notebooks and now writing software collect notes, character sketches, plot-lines, and all sorts of research. Working a full-time day job makes writing time precious. I try not to waste any and write everyday.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I have a great friend who is also a writer. We love our brainstorming sessions to work out sticky plot twists. We even act out scenes to make sure they make sense. It’s a lot more fun to talk it out with another writer than try to make yourself hit the computer keyboard. Inspiration comes out of every session.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Writing professionally was a longtime dream. I had reached a point in life that it was either get my writing out to the public or give up the whole idea. After researching self-publishing and traditional publishing, I decided to go independent. A traditional publisher had shown interest in all three mystery books, but never issued a contract. They always wanted to review my next book. With the advent of Create Space and KDP, it was totally possible to publish without an agent or traditional publisher. My experience as an administrator gave me the skill set to set up my own business, which I did. After assembling a publishing team about two years ago, I’ve never looked back. I’m an oldest child and control is important as you might guess. I love being a CEO and the Lord has really blessed the endeavor.
Do you have your plot-line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? It’s a little of both. I always have the basic outline ready with a handful of main characters sketched out. The middle of the book is always the toughest. Sometimes unexpected characters pop into the story and the plot takes a turn I never saw coming. Once the book is underway, it has a tendency to take on a life of its own. It keeps writing fresh and fun.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? In a word—write. Even if you don’t plan to publish, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with writing for yourself or family. Many well-known authors started their careers just writing a story for their children. If you do plan to publish, educate yourself about the industry. There are plenty of companies and individuals who are waiting to take advantage of the uninformed writer.
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This oldest child LOVES that you ventured out on your own and made it happen. Thanks for sharing your story.
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Perfect timing! As my son’s basketball season starts this evening, I’ll be in need of some great reading material to keep me company during his practices. Looking forward to reading some of your work Laurinda!
Laurinsa, iI admire that you do not compromise your Christian values to reach a larger audience. God will bless your ministry. Since I just retired from teaching, I am looking for more clean excellent reading material.