August 21, 2015

Meet some UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) : Laura Howard

Please welcome the next guest in my Meet Some UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) series. Last year I was excited to meet Laura, but she couldn’t make it to the con. Instead, I met her paper cutout (see picture below), which people were lovingly carrying around.

Finally, I met her in person this year. She’s warm, friendly, and so easy to talk to. Plus, I was fortunate to spend some extra time with her visiting the Parthenon on the last day. 

Thanks so much for hanging out on my blog today.

LH: I'm delighted you asked me to join you, thank YOU Tia!

I love your author bio, probably because so much of it speaks to me. I read Sweet Valley High and the Twilight series! When did you know you wanted to write, and how did your love of young adult books influence the type of writer you wanted to be?

LH: Haha... I've gotten more people to open up to me about Sweet Valley High than I can tell you. It's almost like it's a dirty little secret for some of us. :) After my kids were born, I felt like I had to do the whole "adulting" thing, so I naturally assumed it was time to turn to adult fiction. While there isn't anything wrong with adult fiction, it wasn't until I read the Twilight Saga that I realized how much I missed the raw emotion of YA fiction. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered there were so many other adults reading YA. I felt so vindicated and free. From that moment on, I devoured countless YA series to the point of near-obsession. As for writing...I will tell you that I have always dabbled in writing, but it never occurred to me that I might actually write for the public until around 2010. I credit the pioneers in self-publishing for giving me that freedom. :)

Your latest novel, Belong to Me, is a new adult contemporary romance. I love it. My review will go up later today. Please tell us about it.

LH: Belong to Me is a story about many layers of loss and ultimately learning to move on. It's a love story about two people, but it's also about family, both the ones we're born into and the ones we choose.

When did you decide to try your hand at writing new adult contemporary romance after so much success with young adult paranomal?

LH: Belong to Me was something I started a while ago, not really planning on ever letting it see the light of day. It was too close to my heart, a little too raw. I lost my brother and mother between 2006 and 2010 and it was a very cathartic experience for me to pour my emotions into that little novel. But, as a lover of primarily paranormal fiction, I wasn't sure my readers would appreciate the contemporary side of my writing. A friend read the manuscript one day and said, “You need to publish this. Even if only one other person reads it, it'll be worth it.”

So there you have it. And I found that I liked the world I created, even if there are no supernatural elements. I look forward to expanding the series in the future with other POV and other emotional issues they are experiencing. 

"Flat Laura" from UtopYA2014
I'm all about characters and emotion first. I've been asking each of my participants... What is your favorite inspirational quote? Why?

LH: The best way to predict the future, is to create it. -Abraham Lincoln

So simple, but so true. It was so wonderful to finally meet you at this year's conference. What do you think makes UtopYA, renamed Utopia for its fifth year in 2016, so special?

LH: The thing that has set it apart for me is the ambiance. It's about connecting with people. Not just readers or writers, but all the creative people we interact with on social media. The energy everyone brings is a huge part of the experience. It's about being positive and it's almost as if there is an unwritten zero-negativity policy.

✮ Quick Answers 

Last Movie you Saw: Inside Out
Comedy, Romance, Drama, or Horror? Romance ;)
Last book you Read: Promise by Kristie Cook
First Job: Cashier at Burger King :/
Gift cards or cash? Gift cards...that prevents me from using it for my kids hehe
Favorite Vacation Spot: Anywhere peaceful. I love the beach as much as I love the mountains. 

More About Laura

I’m an author, a mother of 4 and a voracious reader.

My obsession with books began at the age of 6 when I got my first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other YA novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. My mom took me to the library nearly everyday so I could get my fix!

Books took a backseat to diapers when I had my first child at the age of 21. It wasn’t until the release of a little saga called Twilight, 8 years later, that I rediscovered my love of fiction. Soon after, my own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is my first published novel.

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Please visit often for more UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) interviews, 
and check out the announcement post to see
the schedule and links to past interviews.

1 comment:

Jo Michaels said...

Yes! I totally agree about the unwritten zero negativity policy :) So awesome! Great interview, you two! HUGS!