In the book Blaze makes some really bad decisions and it was difficult to allow her to make those choices. It was completely true to her character and it’s not an author’s job to protect their characters from themselves, but it was really hard to let her fall. Especially the scene when she is on the date in her van with Mark. I wanted to yell at her to run away through the cornfield! On the other hand, the scenes with the cretins were especially fun to write and flowed easily.
Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
I originally submitted the book under the title Fangirl and her Subatomic Sweatmobile of Doom. This was initially shortened to just Fangirl and Sourcebooks designed a cover with that title and a girl’s face wearing a superhero mask. That image was released online and posted on Amazon for a few months before a decision was made to completely rework the book so that people who weren't superhero fans would give it a chance, too. I absolutely loved that original cover, but I had been careful to make the book accessible to those who aren't necessarily comic geeks and agreed it would be a shame if others wouldn't give it a chance based on the cover. Along with the cover redesign they played around with a number of titles and finally settled on Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains). I couldn't be happier with the way everything worked out and am glad I trusted the Sourcebooks team to come up with an even better cover and title for the book.
What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
I read Anne Lamot’s book on writing titled Bird by Bird many years ago and it really gave me a good perspective on how to approach writing and publishing. It also has some great life lessons in there and is a book I highly recommend. Also, I was a huge fan of Stephen King back in high school and when he wrote a book titled On Writing I absolutely devoured it. So much great insight and wisdom from both of these authors! I rarely re-read books, but have gone back to each of these numerous times.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
I've done everything from waiting on tables to teaching high school English at an all-boy’s school. I think waitressing did the most for me as far as motivation is concerned. That is one tough job! On your feet all day for little pay and going home smelling like burritos. Just awful. That was what convinced me to get my butt back to college. It was also great for observing all sorts of people and gathering information for my novels. Waitresses meet all sorts of characters and then in the end they get to see how different people tip. The customers who give you a hard time, but then are generous with a tip are interesting in a way that friendly and generous ones or mean and stingy ones aren't I've also written for various trade magazines which taught me about editing and deadlines and writing, but I’d recommend waitressing if you really want to give a writing career a kick in the butt.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
The word “Offer” because that is what was in the subject line of the email I got telling me I sold my first book. After years of skimming rejection letters for the word “Unfortunately” it was such sweet victory!
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
We have a rustic trailer across from a farm upstate in New Paltz, NY which is where I spend every spare moment I can. Sometimes reality and work follow us up there so it’s not a total escape, but it is far preferable to the noise and busyness of Long Island.
Find out more about Laurie and her books here!