Laura Libricz joins us for day 6 of the guest author interview blitz, you can read what she has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, my name is Laura Libricz. I’m a wife and mother of two grown children. I’m an American who lives and works in Germany since 1991. Right now, I work for Hofner Guitars. We still make the legendary electric Violin Bass, the same one that Paul McCartney still plays. Oh, yes, I am also a writer.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. My first ‘published’ article was in the school newspaper when I was in first grade. I just always loved to write. Later I wanted to be a songwriter; that was right before I wanted to be a hit-man. Well-rounded kid. I always kept a diary and wrote letters, some of which my best friend had saved and just sent a whole bag full for me to read. I haven’t opened them yet. But I never dreamed I would ever get the chance, or have the stamina to actually write a novel.
What attracted you to historical fiction?
I must admit that I never read much historical fiction. I loved fantasy and paranormal when I was younger. And spy novels. That was around the time I wanted to be a spy. Then, after living in Germany for some time, I found I had a hard time understanding what made the people here tick. That’s when I started to read German history texts. And not just 20th Century, that is so overdone. The more I uncovered, the more fascinated I became. And the more I understood the mentality of the people around me.
Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to dive straight in to writing?
At first, I just dove into the story. That’s why it took me three years to finish my first novel, The Master and the Maid. But then, before I wrote the first draft of the second novel in the Heaven’s Ponds series for NaNoWriMo 2011, I outlined it. Sort of. It is more structured, just because I knew what I was in for in the revisions if I didn’t try to have a bit of structure from the beginning. Now I finished the first draft for the third book in this series for NaNoWriMo 2012 and I outlined the whole story before hand, beginning, middle and end. It was a slow process and this draft is somewhat dry because I paid more attention to structure and less to the emotions. Now that I have the structure, I will be able to let loose without losing the overall story. Like building a house: I have the walls, floors and the roof and the real fun will begin when I move in and start to decorate.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
One is having the excuse to run all over the place in the name of research! You know, fly to Amsterdam (it’s only a 45 minute flight from here) or Hamburg or drive to some castle somewhere to see the Landsknechte firing their canons. Now with both kids grown and on their ways, I have something that’s just for me, something I waited my whole life to have the luxury to be able to do. And the greatest part is: I know I can finish a novel! And if I finished one, there will be two! And three!
And the least?
I’m an independent self-publisher. That means I spend lots of time online finding new ways to market my books. That takes a lot of time. I enjoy social media and I love connecting with other readers and writers, but it is very time consuming. The reason I didn’t look for an agent? I’m 50 years old and I don’t feel have bundles of time to collect those rejections. I want to write and I want people to read my work.
What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?
Take some writing courses and read writing books from your favorite writers. Here are mine: Alexandra Sokoloff and Chuck Wendig. If you don’t belong to a critic group, and I don’t--I’d rather write alone--find someone who isn’t afraid to knock your socks off and let them read your stuff. And hire a professional editor. I would never publish a book without one. And don’t axe the dream just because the job, family and everything else gets in the way. I now make writing my top priority. I am so glad I didn’t axe the dream.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m revising the second book in my trilogy called The Soldier’s Return. The three books take place in Franconia, Germany during the Thirty Years War. I know, a bit obscure, but I feel it was a major tuning-point in European history. So many countries were involved in this conflict. And the effects of the war held German development back for generations. The area I live in was absolutely devastated for years afterwards.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My first independently-published novel called The Master and the Maid is available at Amazon for Kindle and as of December 2012 at Smashwords as well.
A short description: In 17th Century Germany on the brink of the Thirty Years War, 24-year old Katarina is traded to the patrician Sebald Tucher by her fiancé Willi Prutt in order to pay his debts. Forced to move into the Tucher country estate, Katarina is met by a crazed archer, Hans-Wolfgang, carrying a newborn baby under his cloak. He tells her a confused story of how his beloved was executed by a Jesuit priest for witchcraft right after the birth and makes Katarina swear on her life to protect the child. She could fall in disfavor with her master. She could be hunted by the zealots who killed his beloved. Can Katarina’s love for the baby and Sebald Tucher’s growing desire for her keep the wrath of the zealots at bay?
Thanks to Laura for sharing her thoughts with us, tomorrow Don Martinez joins us as part of his blog tour for Infernal Eighteen.