The crowd is getting wound up with the lively music anticipating another author interview. Clapping to the beat, they animatedly talk to their neighbors. Everyone is smiling or laughing. The music fades. The crowd quiets. The curtains part and Carol Ann runs center stage. The audience goes wild!
"Thank you! I know you are excited to learn who our guest author is for today. What a surprise that we will have not just one, but two interviews this week!"
Crowd hoots and claps. They sure do love books!
"Without making you wait, let me introduce a very dear friend and a wonderful author, who has traveled all the way from Kingston, Ontario, fantasy romance author Lauren Delaney!"
Crowd gives a standing ovation as Lauren walks onstage with a big smile, her long dark hair shining in the spotlights. She bows and takes a seat across from Carol Ann.
CAROL ANN: Lauren, thank you so much for coming into the Blog Studio today. I've been so looking forward to interviewing you. I'm glad we could finally get together.
LAUREN: Thank you for having me.
CAROL ANN: I have your book here. I love the cover.
Camera pans to the book Carol Ann is holding.
CAROL ANN: Tell me about Dark Encounters.
LAUREN: Dark Encounter, available as part of the Black Rose line at The Wild Rose Press, is about a chance meeting one night at a company sponsored fund raising gala – that goes both wrong, and in the end, very right - for two people, Criss and Rafe.
Rafe has admired Criss from afar but he has a terrible secret and has given up hope of finding a woman who could love him as he is. He is the victim of a long ago curse that changed him into a black panther shape shifter. The night of the gala is filled with surprises and it’s Criss’s courage and recognition of the good within Rafe that ultimately brings them together.
The story of Chris and Rafe is about two people who are destined to meet, though neither of them realizes it until it happens. It’s about being willing to take a chance on love and the acceptance of each other's flaws and secrets – all of the things that make a relationship real.
CAROL ANN: Sounds really intriguing. I assume the Black Rose Line is for paranormal romances at The Wild Rose Press, your publisher's website?
LAUREN: Yes, that's correct.
CAROL ANN: Being a romance writer, what does the word "romance" mean to you personally?
LAUREN: I think romance means that, despite place and circumstance, there is truth in the knowledge that love changes everything.
CAROL ANN: Spoken like a true romantic! **both laugh** Lauren, what are you working on now?
LAUREN: I have several new works in progress – two of which are almost complete – and of course, I think that Criss and Rafe’s story isn’t over yet. At least, that’s what they keep telling me. **Lauren grins**
CAROL ANN: People are always asking me a question that I now ask you. Where do you get your ideas and what process do you go through to turn that idea into a story?
LAUREN: I have lots of ideas and have to make sure that I capture them – at least in a rough outline – so that I can flesh them out later. I am by nature a ‘pantser’ in my writing, but have been working hard to discipline myself so that I work through at least a rough outline/synopsis at the beginning of the process.
Creating a rough story outline/synopsis has proven helpful in many ways, but especially when one gets temporarily waylaid from writing, by Real Life. That’s when the outline allows you to more quickly find a jumping off point from which to get back into the story.
CAROL ANN: Ah, the real life dilemma. It's so true that when you get your thought processess going full steam reality comes in and drops a hammer. Can you share a "typical" day in your life?
LAUREN: Sure – it’s rather dull, though. **Lauren gives a soft laugh** No matter what I’m doing, I’m usually thinking about the story that I’m currently working on and often jot down ideas or snatches of dialogue throughout the day. I find that the writing seems to come best for me first thing in the morning – but really I think that like most writers, as the story percolates, you’re mentally writing it throughout the day. I’m up early with my family anyways, and so I will often get up even earlier so as to have a few hours of quiet writing time before the day officially begins.
CAROL ANN: Oh, I wish I had your discipline. I try. I really do. I set the alarm for an hour earlier than I need to wake up, but I shut it off and go back to sleep. I'm more of a daytime person than a morning person. I'm crabby in the morning. **Carol Ann and Lauren laugh** Tell me, Lauren, how would you describe your personality?
LAUREN: I am an upbeat and friendly person, and I try to keep a positive attitude about whatever the day may bring.
CAROL ANN: I'm sure though that you have times when you feel down, not quite so positive. Who can turn things around when that happens to you?
LAUREN: I have been blessed with a wonderful family and friends – they, and my faith, are the cornerstones of my support.
CAROL ANN: That's wonderful. You couldn't ask for better support than that. What would you say is the hardest thing for you as an author?
LAUREN: I think that overcoming one’s internal editor is difficult for every author. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help either. **Lauren smiles** I think that it is important to train oneself to write no matter what the day may bring – everyone experiences good days and bad in their lives. There is a lot of joy to be found in writing, despite the fact that it is hard work and often lonely, and that is a great gift.
CAROL ANN: I know you like to read. How many books do you find time to read in a month?
LAUREN: I read a lot, although not as much as I used to – probably four or five books a month. Lately I have been reading Neil Gaiman. After reading American Gods and Anansi Boys, I’ve begun Neverwhere. In between, I’ve also enjoyed the older historical romance, Lion’s Lady by Suzanne Barclay, as well as the paranormal romance Master of Swords by Angela Knight. I have a very long To Be Read list.
CAROL ANN: How long have you been writing and what are your other published works?
LAUREN: I’ve always been a writer and a storyteller, but for many years I focused on the visual arts and it has only been in the past four or five years that I have sought publication for my writing. I currently have three stories published – Dark Encounter - a paranormal romance with The Wild Rose Press - and two stories, a police procedural and a fantasy, that were included in an anthology sold as a fund-raiser in support of a local hospital.
CAROL ANN: That's different! A police procedural as part of an anthology. And how great that the anthology was to raise funds for such a wonderful cause. Oh, fiddle, I see our time is running out. Just when things get fun, they give me the old hand slice across the neck. Okay, my last question. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword?
LAUREN: Always. A violent act has horrible and swift repercussions – and not for good. A powerfully written book has the power to change people’s lives – hopefully for the good - for generations. Even simple stories can bring us joy for a few hours, and that too, is a gift. **Lauren smiles, as the audience stands and applauds**
CAROL ANN: Lauren, thanks again for coming all the way to Ohio for the interview. It's been a pleasure to have you on stage with me today.
LAUREN: Thank you for doing me the honor of interviewing me, Carol Ann. It has been my great pleasure, and I wish you much success in your own writing endeavors in the future.
CAROL ANN: And to you, too! Ladies and Gentlemen, my friend, Lauren Delaney!
Lauren waves to the audience. Everyone hoots and applauds as she walks off stage.
Camera pans to credits:
Romance that knows one true thing. Love changes everything.
~Dark Encounter~ available as part of the Black Rose line at the Wild Rose Press. http://www.thewildrosepress.com