When Amelia from Story Quest asked me if I wanted to interview Laurie Lucking for the Clean Fiction Blog Tour, I jumped at the opportunity! Laurie Lucking is the indie author behind the novel Common and the upcoming book Traitor. Common is definitely one of my favorite comfort books, up there with Fairest by Gail Carson Levine. I especially enjoy the friends-first romance and I love the good morals througout the book.
Read my interview with Laurie Lucking below!
Introduce yourself. What genres do you write?
Hi!! Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by! I'm Laurie Lucking - avid reader, singer, former lawyer, choco-holic, stay-at-home mom, and, of course, author! I write young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, often inspired by my love of fairy tales.
What are the inspirations for your books in the Tales Of The Mystics series?Friends-first romances are my favorite, so that was my starting point with Common. Since I adore fairy tales (see above!), I chose a medieval-esque setting and made my main character a maid and her friend / love interest a prince. From there, the conflicts standing between them started to pile up! But I hit a dilemma when I tried to figure out how the "good guys" could defeat a sorcerer when the only source of magic in my fantasy world comes from evil spirits. As a result, I stumbled upon the inspiration that now fuels my entire series - mystics who have such a deep connection with God (or the Luminate as He's called in my fantasy world) that they can channel His power. Every book in the series involves at least a few mystics, and while each one can be read as a stand-alone novel, all the stories build on Common and the characters introduced there.
In Common, Princess Penelope is used to try to perpetrate a plot against the Imperian royal family. How does this affect her choices in Traitor? Is she ashamed and closed-off, or prideful and indignant?Great question! Princess Penelope was a challenging (but rewarding!) character to write because she cycles through all these emotions at different points in Traitor. She starts off knowing she's brought shame upon her family but indignant at the way she's treated by other members of the nobility and the fact that she's being sent away to what she considers to be a lesser country to fulfill a marriage alliance. But an encounter with the Imperian royal family and the instigator of the plot she was embroiled in help her to realize the depth of her past mistakes. She enters her new engagement with her guard up, determined not to fall in love or disappoint her family again. But it turns out that's not as simple as she'd hoped... :)
Who is your favorite character you've written and why?I'm guessing if you asked me on a different day, my answer would probably change! But for today I'll go with Dionne, Princess Penelope's future sister-in-law in Traitor. Dionne took me by surprise during the course of writing Traitor and ended up playing a much bigger role than I was expecting. I had so much fun writing her because she's funny, blunt, and far too observant for Penelope's comfort. She's protective of her brother (Penelope's new fiance) and not afraid to ask hard questions, but she's also willing to put time and effort into helping Penelope feel more at home in Delunia. And beneath her sarcasm and gruff comments, she's a vulnerable girl caught between trying to please her parents and finding her own place in the world. I can't wait for you to meet her!
What is your favorite scene in Common?Ooh, there are so many I enjoyed writing! But I think my favorite would have to be the scene where the main character, Leah, is accosted by two stable hands in the hallway and Prince Raphael (Rafe) comes to her rescue. The vast majority of Leah and Rafe's interactions in the book happen in their broom closet hideout, so giving them an opportunity to be together in public made for some fun interactions and seemed to amplify their personalities. Shy, logical Leah is concerned about what people might say if they're spotted together, while fervent, chivalrous Rafe wants to take care of her and treat her like a lady. It also comes at that awkward, sweet in-between stage in their friendship where they're starting to show hints they might care for each other more deeply but aren't ready to come out and admit it. Yet :)
What is your biggest tip for indie writers trying to get published?My best advice would be to really think through your end goal and have patience as you work toward it. When you first finish writing a book, it's so exciting and that desire to see the story in a published format is so strong. Believe me, I've been there! But in order to be successful as an author, it takes tons of hard work - improving your skills, editing and polishing your story until it really shines, and coming up with a marketing plan to reach potential readers. Publishing a book before it's ready can be hard to recover from, so make sure to give your writing the time and care it deserves to truly give readers your best work right from the start!
Why do you write clean fiction?I'll admit that part of the reason I write clean fiction is selfish - that's what I like to read! But beyond that, I believe that it is very possible to tell relatable, compelling stories without using questionable language or making readers feel uncomfortable. I strive to write books that tell exciting stories and provide swoony, satisfying romances that pre-teen and teenage (and even adult!) readers can enjoy without worrying about the content.
What is your favorite thing about writing books?As a reader, I love being fully immersed in an author's world - caring about their characters and feeling like a part of the setting as though I were really there. When I'm writing, that feeling is amplified! When my creativity is really flowing, the ideas for scenes and character interactions come faster than I can type them and I get to be absorbed in a world of my own creation, not only experiencing it but changing and developing it as I go along. It's completely exhilarating and so fulfilling, and such a joy to later get to share that world with others!
Is there anything else you want to say?It's been so fun hanging out here today, thanks again for inviting me to share about my stories! I'm SO looking forward to Traitor releasing on April 27th - less than two months away!! Pre-order links will be coming soon, along with some pre-order goodies! :) In the meantime, there's plenty of time to read (or re-read!) Common, and I've also published short stories in a number of anthologies that can be found on my website: www.laurielucking.com. Happy reading, friends!
Thanks for reading my interview with Laurie Lucking! Be sure to check out Traitor and pre-order it when it is ready!
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March 1st Story Quest Academy
March 2nd Ellie Naomi
March 3rd Julie Gilbert
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March 5th Liz Delton
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March 10th J.M. Hackman
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March 12th Courtenay Kasper
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March 15th Steven Guglich
March 16th Laurie Lucking
March 17th Julie Gilbert
March 18th Meg Dendler
March 19th Nicholas Kotar
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March 23rd D.J. Edwardson
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March 25th Molly Casperson
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March 30th Nicholas Kotar
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