BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Interview with Laura Anne Gilman & A Giveaway

I am delighted to have author Laura Anne Gilman here today. She kindly sat down and answered some questions for me and she's giving away an ARC of her forthcoming book, "Silver on the Road". I've been reading her for years, enjoying her epic fantasy, her urban fantasy, her PNR (under the name Anna Leonard), and her mysteries (under the name L.A. Kornestsky).

By the time she was fourteen, Laura Anne Gilman knew she would be an editor, a teacher, or a writer.

By thirty, she was all three. She's a little focused that way (when not being distracted by -oooh shiny!).

After fifteen years working in NY publishing, Laura Anne became a full-time writer, with more than twenty novels under her various bylines, including the SILVER ON THE ROAD, the Nebula Award-nominated Vineart War trilogy, and the 10-book, 4-novella Cosa Nostradamus series. She is also a serial short fiction writer, but her friends seem to like her anyway...

She's also the mystery writer L.A. Kornetsky.

Find Laura Anne Online:



Bea: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Laura Anne: Quirk of writing, or quirk while writing? I leave the former for other people to tell ME. As for the latter…hrm. I can’t write wearing shoes. Or, I can, but given even half a chance, the shoes come off, and ideally the socks, too. Even in the middle of winter, on a wooden floor – bare feet. It works better that way. I have no idea why. Maybe my ideas come up through my soles?

I’m really horribly boring when I write, otherwise. All the weirdness is going brain->fingers->keyboard.

Bea: Was there a specific inspiration for “Silver on the Road” or was it more a confluence of items? Tell us about the journey that led you to write this book.

Laura Anne: The Devil’s West was born in 2010, when, during a class at Odyssey Workshop, I asked my students to do a particular writing exercise. And, since I’m mean but fair, I did the exercise too, along with them.

I liked what I’d written, so I took it home and tweaked it, and that became the short story “Crossroads.” I didn’t really have any sense of the world, then – just this voice, and a stylistic choice that was very different from my previous books. But the sense of the world, even knowing so little about it, was was so powerful, I couldn’t leave it be. So I wrote a second story, “The Devil’s Jack,” set in a different time frame, and sold it too. And then I started a third story, thinking I’d have a female protagonist this time, and about 20,000 words in, I realized that it wasn’t going to be a short story…

The world itself grew from a tangle of influences, but the story specific to SILVER ON THE ROAD comes from years of reading American social and political history, and thinking “well, what if X had been met by an equal and opposite Y, instead of an unequal Z? Who would we have become, then?” It’s a Western, yes, but even more than that, it’s a frontier story, about dividers and demarcations – and the human urge to cross over them.

Bea: In “Silver on the Road”, you always refer to the devil as devil with a small d and you don’t give him a name. I also noticed that while the story has missionaries and preachers, you don’t actually talk about their religion specifically. Can we assume it’s Christianity? Why the vagueness?

Laura Anne: I think the safest thing, when speaking of the devil, is to assume as little as possible. Reality tends to slip a little around him, and truth is a matter of perception. The devil runs an honest game, and will never go back on a bargain...but that is all you can be certain of.

The religions of the preachermen and gospel sharps are a flavor of Christianity, but America was made up of many favors, and there seemed no need to tie it down, particularly. They are regarded as nuisances, for the most part, among folk who choose the West- if you're not there to farm or hunt or heal or merchant or mine, you're not of much use. And preaching against the devil is.....well, kind of like preaching against the rain, really.

Bea: Do you prefer to read paper books or eBooks? Why?

Laura Anne: I don’t think there’s really a prefer involved – both have plusses and minuses, and both have a place on my shelves. Books are more fun to curl up with, and there’s still something reassuring and beautiful about a shelf (or thirty) of books. But when you travel regularly, be it long-distance or commuting, the ability to have many books tucked into your pocket can’t be underestimated. When I pack for a trip I don’t have to think “I will read these two books” but “I can decide what I’m in the mood for once I’m on the plane/train.” Considering how varied my reading list can be….

Bea: What is your ultimate dream as a writer, the goal that you are constantly striving for?

Laura Anne: To one-up myself, in terms of moving the bar. To write the book I couldn’t have written a book or two ago, because I didn’t know enough, stylistically and storytelling-wise, and now I do. To be able to say, eventually “yeah, this is the book I’ve been learning how to write all these years, in order to accomplish.” And then probably think “okay, so what did I learn writing this, to take forward?”

Bea: If you could be a character in any book, which one would it be, and what part would you play? (Romantic lead, sidekick, etc.)

Laura Anne: Some noir mystery, most likely. I could rock a 1940’s skirt suit and hairstyle. And I’d totally be the sidekick. Probably not the plucky sidekick with the best lines, either. I’d be the practical sidekick who remembers where the emergency exit is, and actually brings protein bars so nobody starves. I also might go over to the villain’s side, under threat of horrible death or the offer of a decent benefits plan. On the plus side, I probably survive the entire series with minimal scarring, either physical or psychological….

Oh god, I'm George (from the Nancy Drew mysteries). This explains why I named the dog in the Gin and Tonic mysteries Georgie (it was totally for George). {I liked George too! ~ Bea}

Laura Anne, thank you so much for visiting and for taking the time to answer my questions. Best of luck with "Silver on the Road".

A heroic fantasy by an award-winning author about a young woman who is trained in the art of the sinister hand of magic, but at what price?

Isobelle, upon her sixteenth birthday, makes the choice to work for the devil in his territory west of the Mississippi. But this is not the devil you know. This is a being who deals fairly with immense—but not unlimited—power, who offers opportunities to people who want to make a deal, and they always get what they deserve. But his land is a wild west that needs a human touch, and that’s where Izzy comes in. Inadvertently trained by him to see the clues in and manipulations of human desire, Izzy is raised to be his left hand and travel circuit through the territory. As we all know, where there is magic there is chaos…and death.

Publisher: Saga Press
Series: The Devil's West #1
Format: Hardcover, ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit*iTunes | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Read my review here
Laura Anne is generously giving away a print ARC of Silver on the Road to a reader in North America. No purchase is necessary. You must be 18 years old to enter or have your parent or guardian enter for you. VOID where prohibited. Please read my Privacy Policy and Giveaway Policy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoyed Laura Anne's interview and her comments about the West and how this book came to be! Thanks!

  2. Great interview. Sounds like a good book.

  3. This sounds like a book I would like to read. Great interview too!

  4. Is this in the YA category? I always enjoyed the PUPs series!

    1. Yes, this is YA. Izzy turns 16 at the start of the book.


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