Today I am lucky enough to be hosting a Q&A with Laura Boon. This Q&A is conjunction with the release of Laura Boon’s novel; Millionaire Mountain Climber.
So without further ado, lets jump in…
Where and when can we buy your book?
From 24 October it will be available as an eBook from the usual places such as Amazon, iBooks and Kobo, and as a paperback from Amazon and the publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
Amazon Australia: https://tinyurl.com/y9v28sq3
Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/yabt9gww
Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/ya26ljwh
The Wild Rose Press: https://tinyurl.com/y7n7ghg5
Give us an insight into your main character?
Hailey Gordon is in her mid-twenties. She’s worked hard to achieve personal and professional success – a stable job, a solid relationship – and overcome the disadvantages of her chaotic childhood. When it all falls apart, she is left feeling like she’s having a ‘midlife crisis’, not knowing who she is or what she wants. She decides to take a working holiday in France to get away from it all for a couple of months and this changes the direction of her life. I’m interested in the increasing pressure we all face as a result of technology. We have to be available 24/7. There’s never any real downtime. Most of us have our work emails on our personal phones. Young people enter the workplace full of energy, enthusiasm and drive. It’s soaked up by companies, but at what cost to the individual? It impacts negatively on mental health and I believe the ‘midlife crisis’ is going to become a moment of reckoning much earlier in people’s lives.
Was there a particular moment or smell that spark your idea for this book?
I’ve been to the valley of Chamonix-Le Tour in France, and I thought it would be a wonderful setting for a book, glamorous, remote, beautiful. The colours are so vivid – the bright green foliage, the blinding white of the glaciers, hundreds of shades of blue, the stark grey and brown of the mountain rock. And, of course, there is French food and French presentation. Delicious!
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from this book?
Hailey is a young, brunette Jessica Alba. Kit Harrington would be perfect as Matt Hanley.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I always loved reading and writing. Stories have been my escape and my education since I discovered the written word. However, it never occurred to me that I could be one of ‘them’, the storytellers, until I took a class in creative writing at university.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I’ve started and stopped hundreds of times over the years, but I always got stuck in the dreaded middle. Shortly after we emigrated to Australia ten years ago, I discovered the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA). It was a life-changing moment. They offer a combination of support and education that is absolutely amazing. Without them, my desire to write and publish a novel might have remained a dream.
Do you have a special time or place where you like to write?
I have a little red desk in the TV room of our home, looking out over the garden. I like to write with the family around. Quiet makes me nervous. I always claim Jane Austen as my role model! I don’t have a regular routine, unfortunately. I am sure I would be more productive if I did.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Two thousand to three thousand words is a good writing day. However, achieving that depends on a host of things including other work.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I brainstorm and sketch out my plots on paper, in a variety of journals. However, I write the actual story on my computer. I find connecting my fingers to the keyboard helps ideas flow.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas often start with an individual in a difficult situation – in history, on TV or around me. I think about how I would react in that situation. The solutions I seek are emotional, not physical. I’m intrigued by relationships and how different personalities clash and combine. In Hailey’s case, there was a bit of wishful thinking involved. I’ve had several bosses I would love to have fired, but of course, the real question is, once you have done that, once you have stormed out, what then?
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Ha! Interesting question. I always start with an outline, but it changes constantly as I write. I go through at least five plot outlines before I finish a story. My characters don’t seem interested in following my lead.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Having the courage to keep going when I’m not convinced anyone will be interested in what I’ve written.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Revision. It’s not the most interesting part of the process but it is straight forward.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
I think I suffer from writer’s fear more than writer’s block. Sometimes I’ll do just about anything to avoid the keyboard, including housework – and I hate housework. It’s not the fear of not having ideas but the fear that the ideas aren’t good enough.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Trust to process. If you sit down and start typing, something will happen.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’ve always got a couple of books on the go. I just finished The Pursuit Of by Courtney Milan, which is a wonderful, sensitive same-sex historical romance. Now I’m reading Lionheart by Thea Harrison (amazing fantasy romance combining the contemporary world and Arthurian legend) and I’ve got An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francois Malby-Anthony and Katja Willemsen, a memoir about saving orphaned animals, at the top of my TBR pile.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I’m actually a big fan of using social media for marketing. A person has to be careful not to spam, and it is important to be clear about what is marketing and what is conversation, in other words be honest. However, social media is where people hang out these days, so it is where you get to talk to them, both personally and professionally. The traditional media is shrinking and becoming more and more niche – politics, news, high-end arts. If your business is retail or commercial, there’s no longer a place for you in the traditional media – unless you are a huge company with a massive advertising budget.
How do you relax?
I like to read. There’s something magical about being able to transport yourself to another world simply by opening up a book. I love playing with my dog. He’s a little Pekingese with the cutest personality. I also enjoy walking and traveling, when I can afford it.
What is your favourite book and why?
My favourite book is always changing, but I’ll stick with an old favourite. Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer. It’s perfect comedy although it does help to have read These Old Shades beforehand.
Which writers inspire you?
So many. Rhenna Morgan, Lucy Parker, Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Amy Andrews, Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. All women. All writers of romance. Romance is the romantic comedy of the writing world. Done well, it’s incredible because to balance light and dark, humour and pathos, is very difficult. Without the dark the light doesn’t shine, but people don’t seem to notice. It’s always the tragedy that wins the Oscar. I’d like to add crime writers Elly Griffiths, Donna Leon, Fred Vargas. And Andre Brink, a man who wrote with emotional sensitivity. He could be dark, but he wasn’t afraid of the light.
What is your favourite quote?
“For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.’ Eudora Welty, American novelist and short story writer, winner of The Pulitzer Prize for The Optimist’s Daughter, 1909-2001
What is your favourite film and why?
LadyHawke – adventure and romance in one wonderful package.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be brave. Chase what you want and don’t let fear of failure and other people’s opinions hold you back.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’d like to meet two completely different South Africans, Olive Schreiner, the literary equivalent of Miles Franklin and Nelson Mandela, former president of post-apartheid South African.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It was the first book I read where a female character was front and centre of the story. I love that Jane is regarded with disfavour by the world and yet true to herself. Stubborn and resilient are two characteristics I admire.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Join a supportive writing group and attend as many courses as you can. Keep learning and keep writing even when you think your work is too horrible to see the light of day. And don’t forget to read, your genre, other genres, anything you can lay your hands on.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you and your readers. It’s made me think and taken me down memory lane. A wonderful journey in itself.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Website and blog: https://lauraboon.com
Well that’s it from me. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s Q&A. Dont forget to check out Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon.
Until next time…