The good thing about having published my own book is that when I’m looking for new books to read I pay way more attention to their authors.
Being a writer is kind of a mission nowadays: publishing a book is a challenge on many levels and the promotion is a marathon. Now that I belong to the group, and I know how important is to have good opportunity to speak about our work, I want to help other writers to succeed while using my blog.
I found the website of Laura McNeill while searching for working mom writers to interview. I hesitated a moment before sending her an email with my interview request. Her impressive website. and the list of published books made me hesitate, but then I told myself: the worst which could happened is that she do not reply or she says no, and I can live with a refusal. Guess what? she accepted quickly and was glad to be featured in my blog.
While preparing my interview with Laura, I checked her blog more carefully and I discovered tons of advice for writers, book reviews, anecdotes about her mum life – she is very transparent and a lot of fun! And the best part is that Laura describes not only her successes but also her struggles and challenges. Even before speaking with Laura, I liked her a lot.
We started our interview by chatting about her first self-published book Stay Tuned under the pen name of Lauren Clark
Laura: “I worked in a TV network and I assisted to the most incredible situations while there. I keep telling myself that one day I will put all those dramas in a book”
Ah! that sounds familiar! Writing about what you know… I did the same!
She explained to me why she started with the pen name of Lauren Clark. Apparently, her previous married name was already taken by another writer. She published her first books as self-published author and then one day she was approached by a publishing house. She published “Center of Gravity” on 2015 with Harper Collins Publisher.
L: “ I like to write about strong women, women who have family issues, have difficult decisions to make, and have a complicated life. And at the end, they manage to get it all sorted out by themselves.”
While reading “Center of Gravity” I see it very clearly. Her main character, Ava, is a mother of two who is confronted with an imploding marriage. Ava will rise from an innocent wife who thinks life is perfect to a woman who faces adversity and has to fight for her children. Center of Gravity is a poignant story about love, deception, lies, motherhood, and childhood innocence written with care. “Center of Gravity” kept me reading until 2:00 in the morning! It left me with the contentment of a great read, and was definitely not my last Laura read.
L: “It was great to be published by an established publishing house after the self-publishing experience. It gives you credibility and more visibility, both which help a lot help during the book promotion. But the reality is that even with a publishing house, the author still has to do a lot in terms of book marketing. I organized my book promotion by myself and it is a tough job which requires lot of resources.”
I was fascinated when she explained to me why she stated writing. She began while pregnant with her second child and first published in 2011. She tells me that writing a book was a way to prove to herself that she could do it, and that she was able to push through until the end of a project and become and author.
The avid reader of books about writing books
Reading Laura McNeill’s blog will give you a long list of books which are going to help you to develop your plot, your story structure, your writing style (check here and here). As soon as we started to speak about this, she was like a river of advice and ideas. She tells me she recently attended a 3 days writing seminar and she was delighted. This is definitely a passion of hers. “What are you looking into those books?” I ask as curious as ever.
L: “I needed to understand how to build a story, how to structure my plot, how to improve my style. I started reading novels in another way, paying attention to the structure of the story and the details. I love to learn new things and reading books about how to write books helps me.”
After that we dig into an animate and deep discussion about her writer’s life – how she copes with her readers’ reviews, her marketing strategies, her day job in the college and in the bank, and her dreams. Soon I realized that this is the most interesting discussion about books and writing I ever had in my life!
Not without glow and pride, Laura tells me that after she published her first novel, her son was proudly telling to everyone he met: “My mom wrote Stay Tuned! She is a writer!”
I melt – this is so cute! Laura is not only an example for her sons but for her niece as well, who wants to be a writer like “aunt Laura”. Both sons are very proud of her being a writer and she recognizes the importance of being a role model for them.
L: “My sons motivate me to have success! I set an example that they can do whatever they want if they work hard. I don’t like the word impossible. I believe in a world where we have only ‘I can do it’ and I’m teaching this to my children.”
Meet Laura Mcneill, working mom writer, an inspiration for her children and her readers.