Today I'm interviewing urban fantasy author Lauren M. Roy. Her debut book, "Night Owls" came out last month and I'll be reviewing it next month. Lauren is a thirtysomething wanna-be bookstore owner, currently working in the publishing industry. When she's not selling books, she's writing them.
Find Lauren Online:
|picture from goodreads|
Bea: Can you please tell me a bit about yourself?
Lauren: My very first job was in a bookstore, and once I got a taste for the book industry, I never left. I’ve been a sales rep for a publisher for the last twelve years, selling to independent bookstores. Nights and weekends are for writing, and I split my time between working on novels and writing for roleplaying games.
Bea: Please tell us a little about your new release?
Lauren: Val just wants to run her late night bookstore and forget that she was a monster-hunter in her previous unlife. She’s doing all right with that until a girl named Elly steals something the monsters want, and leads them to Val’s door.
Bea: You’ve finished the first draft of book two in the series, how many do you have planned or are you winging it?
Lauren: I hope to keep writing for these characters as long as people enjoy reading about them. Book three is taking shape in my head, but I don’t have a fixed number of stories planned. I’ll go where the adventures take me!
Bea: Are there significant differences between writing for a game and writing a book or are they pretty similar?
Lauren: They’re both challenging in different ways.
Writing for a game, I usually have an idea of the format, voice, and structure from the start. I’m playing in someone else’s sandbox, so a lot of the worldbuilding is already done. If there’s a point I’m not clear on, I can ask the developer or other writers on the project for help. The trade-off is, I worry that if my material isn’t good enough, I make more work for the other writers on the project. (So far, those fears seem to be unfounded, but writer brain gnaws at it every time.)
Writing a book, I’m on my own. I have to lay down the rules of the world, and while I can bounce ideas off my first readers, ultimately the decisions are up to me. Same goes for the voice and structure. It can get kind of lonely, too – working on a game, my inbox dings with other writers discussing ideas. I could email myself about my books, I suppose, but it’s not quite the same… Lastly, if I mess it up, the number one person I’m letting down is myself. (Writer brain. I tell ya.)
Bea: What prompted you to start writing? Would you continue to write if you were no longer published or sold games?
Lauren: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My parents read to me all the time, and when I learned to read on my own, they kept me swimming in books. Somewhere in there, I decided to try it out for myself.
I like to think I’ll always be writing. I’m never not pondering a plot or a scene or a bit of dialogue, so there’ll always be stories.
Bea: Do you think that social media is important for an author to be involved in?
Lauren: Only to the extent they enjoy using it. If an author (or anyone) is uncomfortable blogging or tweeting or tumbling or whatever the new shiny is, it will show, it’ll stress them out, and it’s time they could be spending, y’know, writing.
My favorite social media savvy writers have found the balance between self-promotion, sharing interesting links and observations, and engaging with their fans. (I completely agree with this whole answer ~ Bea)
Bea: Does your family read your books? What do they think?
Lauren: My dad reads my early drafts. He’ll call and ask where the next chapter is if I take too long getting it to him, which can be a good kick in the pants. My extended family has been reading Night Owls, and so far so good! Urban fantasy might have a few new readers.
Bea: Do you prefer to read paper books or ebooks? Why?
Lauren: I’m always going to be a print sort of girl. I like their weight in my hands, the smell of old books, the sound of pages turning. I’m also notoriously bad about charging my devices, so I never have to worry about a print book running out of battery while I’m on the train.
Bea: If you could be a character in a book, which one would it be, and what part would you play? (Romantic lead, sidekick, etc)
Lauren: Probably the level-headed friend of the lead character, but they do tend to end up as fodder, don’t they? Maybe I should change that to “level-headed friend of the main character in a light-hearted comedy story.” (Heh, good point ~ Bea)
Bea: Anything that you want to add or say to your readers?
Lauren: Thank you for hosting me! I hope people enjoy Night Owls.
Night Owls book store is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk
Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren as possible. She’s lived that life, and the price she paid was far too high to ever want to return.
Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural werewolf-like beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.
When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safe keeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors .
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Series: Night Owls #1
Formats: paperback, ebook
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble