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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview with Laura Lond, Author of My Sparkling Misfortune - With Giveaway!

Today please help me welcome Laura Lond, Author of My Sparkling Misfortune.
Hello Laura-
I have to say that I am glad I read the book before I prepared these questions. You have a wonderful sense of humor that comes through in the book.

Q1.  What inspired you to write for publishing?
A: I wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. Even as a young child I knew I wanted to write books, and not just as a hobby. I knew I wanted to do it for a living. How a young child would get such an idea, I don’t know, but there I was, writing my first “book” with a pencil, in huge all caps, shortly after I had learned my letters.
That sounds like fun and good practice. :-)
Q2.  It appears that you have had experience with traditional publishing and now self-publishing. Could you share some brief thoughts on why you chose to self publish My Sparkling Misfortune?
A: My Sparkling Misfortune was actually my last attempt to go the traditional publishing route. I had completed the book and, as usual, wasted well over a year querying agents and publishers. After 150+ rejection letters I signed with a small publisher, mostly out of desperation. I knew they were new and inexperienced. I decided to take the risk, and I had paid for it. They’d botched the nice, professionally drawn cover I had ordered and paid for. They’d botched the text. They’d botched the formatting for Kindle. Having wasted another year or so trying to get them correct all that, I pulled the book from them and re-released it independently.
 I am glad that an unpleasant experience turned into something good for you.
Q3.  What was the best piece of advice you received regarding your writing career?
A: Write the books you want to read.
There is some succinct, good advice!
Q4.  If you were to start over what might you do differently?
A: If I were to start over right now, I would release books to Kindle and other e-platforms and follow up with paperback and audio versions -- independently, never worrying about agents or publishers. There was no such option back when I was starting out. You either worked with a publisher or paid hundreds, if not thousands, to self-publish a paperback with very limited distribution options. Thank goodness things are so different for authors today.
It seems you learned from tough experience.
Q5.  I am inclined to think that marketing a book is much the same for traditional and self-published unless you are a really big name author. Do you find this to be true and what is your favorite part of marketing/promotion?
A: Yes, unless you are a big name it’s pretty much a one man show -- or a one woman show in my case. :-) You have to find ways to spread the word about your books, all by yourself. My favorite part is interaction with readers. It is always fun to hear from my audience, see what they like and dislike, what they want to know, what they expect from the upcoming books. Another recent favorite is working with voice artists to create audio versions of my books.

I think My Sparkling Misfortune would be a fun audiobook to listen to.
Q6.  Do you have a least favorite part or most difficult element of writing/publishing/promoting?
A: Writing itself can be and usually is difficult, but it is certainly not my least favorite part; it’s what I was born to do. Publishing, now that I do it independently without having to wait for months or years, isn’t a problem, either. Promotion… Yes. I am no social butterfly, I’ve never liked being in the spotlight; for someone like me, there’s little to like about it. The worst part? Radio or TV interviews. I have done them in the past, and it’s just too stressful. “Never say never,” I know, but right now my stance on it is, Never Again. :-)
Hmm - I wonder what trick you could use to help relax for interviews. Maybe practice with a friend?
Q7.  When you started My Sparkling Misfortune did you intend a series and did you have each book plotted out before you started the first one or did the subsequent book(s) flow from the first book?
A: I thought it was going to be just one book. As soon as I had completed it though, I began to suspect there was more to the story. Readers’ feedback had confirmed that suspicion right away: virtually everyone who had read it wanted the second book.
There are certainly questions left open at the end of book one that call for more!
Q8.  Is there an ancillary character in My Sparkling Misfortune you had the most fun with?
A: That would be Tulip a.k.a. Jarvi, of course. The way he keeps driving Lord Arkus, the main character, up the wall is something I wish I could do more often in my books.
It had to be Jarvi! He is so much fun.
Q9.  Who did the illustrations for the book and cover and did you get to input a lot with that?
A: The artist is Alla Alekseyeva, she usually does covers and illustrations for foreign language editions of my traditionally published books. I had hired her directly to work on this series, and she has done an excellent job. I had discussed the main characters with her before she started, so we both knew exactly how they should look. The rest was up to her. I just told her I wanted one illustration per chapter, letting her choose what parts of the story she wanted to capture. Having seen her work before, I could fully trust her with that.
Alla did a wonderful job bringing the character views to life and your trust was well place.
Q10.  Do you have a favorite mentor or author that you have learned from?
A: I have learned from many authors and books and I continue to learn. It is hard to name one, but if I absolutely have to, I’d pick C.S. Lewis. He wrote what he loved to write, and he wrote in a magical way.
Yes, C.S. Lewis did write in a magical, gifted way. Thinking of Lewis, your villain profile reminds me a bit of Screwtape. :-)
Q11. If you could ask the readers to finish a question, what would it be?
A: A global question: “I love reading because … ?”
Thank you for sharing and for offering a book copy!
Laura: I’d be happy to provide a Kindle-compatible copy of the book.

Take a peek at my review on the previous post and check the blog tour here.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for a Kindle Compatible copy provided by the author: 

1. Visit the author's website and tell me something of interest you found there.
This is required for entry.

2.  For two extra entries, comment on this interview and answer the author's Q in paragraph 11.

3.  For two extra entries, comment on my review (one post back).

4.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

5. For two more entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Eight total entries possible.)

* This contest is open WORLDWIDE.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on March 2, 2012.
The winners will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on March 3 with 72 hours to complete the winners form.


  1. The author has a store. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  2. My Sparkling Misfortune won the 1st place in the Young Reader Category of the Reader Views Literary Award. Congratulations. I love reading because it takes me places that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to go or see. I am a follower by email & GFC

    Rachel V
    pefrw at yahoo dot com

  3. 1. My Sparkling Misfortune won first place in the Young Reader category of the Reader Views Literary Award
    2. I enjoyed the interview. I'm happy for the author that the book was published.

    I love reading because I get to enjoy the works that are the product of the author's imagination.
    3. commented on review
    4. I follow your blog.



Your comments are always appreciated!


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