In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
My novel, Be My Baby, would be classified as chick lit (though I must admit I prefer ‘romantic comedy’, as I’m a little mystified as to why funny, warm stories about love, friendship and family are seen as the exclusive domain of ‘chicks’!) I adore chick lit novels because they’re pacy, modern and frequently hilarious. And while they’re definitely romantic, chick lit stories are just as interested in life’s other key relationships as they are with boy-meets-girl, which is why I find them so easy to relate to.
What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I have a five-month-old baby, so these days I’m an ‘anytime the kid’s asleep’ writer! But if given the choice I always prefer to write in the afternoon, because I’ll (theoretically) have taken care of the day’s admin and chores in the morning and will have nothing but my characters vying for my attention for a few hours.
What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?
I always write a loose outline of my entire story, so before starting to write each day I’ll skim-read the previous few paragraphs and then consult my outline to refresh my memory about what’s coming next. Then I pop my feet up and away I go!
Are you a plotter/planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
I’m a little bit of both. I like to write a broad outline of the whole story because it helps me keep the finer details straight in my mind, but invariably my characters will take on a life of their own and march off in completely unexpected directions. I wrote most of Be My Baby while commuting to and from work by ferry, and I remember one morning my main character, Anna, doing something I that hadn’t anticipated, but that was entirely logical. I suddenly shouted, ‘Of course!’ – much to the amusement of my fellow passengers! I always edit as I go – my journalist’s soul won’t let me leave an errant comma or spelling mistake until the end!
Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?
I am definitely a goal setter; I have to be, because I am a world-class procrastinator. And because my background is in journalism, I also find it really tough to get anything finished without a deadline. With Be My Baby, my writing had been so sporadic for so long that I finally set myself the deadline of my birthday that year to complete the first draft – and it worked. I started writing my current novel while pregnant, and vowed to hit 60,000 words before my daughter arrived. I got there in the nick of time!
Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?
I have a picture rail above my desk that is cluttered with inspiring images – everything from snaps of my dogs to photos taken on my travels. I also have a big, beautiful chunk of quartz crystal given to me by a family friend when I was a child; it’s supposed to promote energy and clarity of thought, which I figure are handy to have when writing! Then there’s my special red sandstone pebble from the beach on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, which is the setting of my all-time favourite book, Anne of Green Gables. And importantly, a mug full of pens and lots of scrap paper – I write on a laptop, but I always find myself needing to make notes.
Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? Are you prepared to show evidence of your claim with a desk photo?
Sigh. I wish it was organised, but the state of my writing space can usually be described as organised chaos. I’m one of those terrible writers who will allow the surface of her desk to slowly disappear beneath piles of paper and junk, to the extent that I’m often forced to relocate to the sofa or dining table (anything rather than clean it!). Every now and then I’ll have a big purge and tidy-up and vow never to be so slothful again. This usually lasts about three minutes.
You can find Laura at her links below.
Be My Baby by Laura Greaves, published by Destiny Romance.