Featured Friday! Laurie Bell
Laurie Bell is a once upon a time former teacher who has worked with children of all ages in the literary sphere. She is now an administrator and is the one to go to with any question. She is regularly featured by publications such as the Antipodean Science Fiction E-Magazine.
A lover of fantasy and science fiction of all kinds, she is also a volunteer at her local theatre company and is often found in coffee shops or on trains writing madly in one of many notebooks.
Oh and she loves chocolate and coffee!
Laurie maintains an active blog of science fiction, fantasy, and flash fiction pieces. Discover more about Laurie Bell at https://solothefirst.wordpress.com/
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I like to dream that my author lifestyle would involve sleeping in, controlling my own hours and copious amounts of coffee. Unfortunately. I have a full-time job, so the only time I get to write is on the train to and from work, after work and on weekends. I’m not sure it would be my favourite part of the lifestyle! Haha. I enjoy writing. So, I enjoy any time I get to fit it into my busy schedule.
I’m a terrible procrastinator too. I tend to clean the house more than edit. I love the first draft when I get to create worlds and characters. I’ve had to teach myself to enjoy editing. Though don’t speak to me when I have to write a query letter or a synopsis. Why is it so hard!
What made you start writing?
I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I think I have a need to control where the story goes! Haha. I remember watching movies and television shows when I was younger and wanting the characters to act in different ways to how they were written or for their stories to continue after the movie ended. It’s probably why I love fan fiction so much. Maybe I’m just a control freak. I like to think I am a fan. For example, when I watched Star Wars… I wanted to follow Princess Leia’s story more than Luke… sorry Luke.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Gosh, this is so hard to answer. Douglas Adams. I remember laughing so much at his writing style. So much fun to read. My favourite book as a kid was The BFG – so certainly Roald Dahl should get some of the blame! Haha. You can see where my love of fantasy and science fiction comes from.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Just write. Don’t worry about all the technicalities. Get your words down in any format. The hard stuff comes later. The fun stuff should be the story. Just tell your story.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
Oh, I read everything. But my true love is science fiction and fantasy. YA, MG or adult it doesn’t matter to me. I read for the story and for the characters. I like to get swept away and lose track of time.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Ooooooo tough call. Toni from White Fire is very driven, very focused on getting the job done. I don’t think she’d want to hang out with me. I prefer slacking off, having a chat over coffee and watching TV or reading a good book. BUT her partner Mate (Canine robot), well, I’d love to hang out with him. Also, Zach, her shipboard AI. They’d be a lot of fun to hang out with.
I’d also love to hang out with Tracey and her friends (from The Butterfly Stone). Nah, who am I kidding, I want to hang out with Prince Henry, the actor prince.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
Depends on the genre.
The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is brilliant.
The Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
The Burned Man series by Pete McLean
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Obviously, all of Douglas Adams.
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
War of the Worlds by H.G Wells
Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
John Scalzi, Phillip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Mary Shelley, Delilah S. Dawson, Chuck Wendig, Myke Cole, Charlie Jane Anders, Brian McClellan, James Weaver, Nnedi Okorafor and so so many more…. I could go on all day and I know I’m missing some greats here.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
Oh yes… this still hurts. There is a great sequence in White Fire from Dan’s POV. The opening scene when he first comes into the story had this terrific space battle sequence. From a visual point of view it was epic, also very movie-like. I had to cut it all because I turned White Fire from a multi-POV to a single POV. It definitely reads better without it, but it is SUCH a great scene. I might have to restore it one day. Perhaps in a book from Dan’s POV or a blog post on my website perhaps.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Hahaha, well, given Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett have passed on. Janet Evanovich. I love her style.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
Do you know, I don’t think so. I think Sci fi and fantasy readers are a very open, giving bunch who are willing to try new things, because isn’t that what sci fi and fantasy is all about? The imagination and exploring new ideas – the “what if”?
There is a lot of dystopia and darkness in sci fi. I’d love to read lighter, family-vibe sort of sci fi. There seems to be a big dissonance between adult sci fi and YA sci fi. I’d love more in that in between space. I guess you’d call it NA (New Adult). I want to see more fun, action/adventure Douglas Adams/Catherynne M. Valente style that is a joy to read. Like movies along the lines of Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy and shows like The Orville, Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. Let’s have FUN with sci fi. Make it about family.
But, saying that, I have written darker sci fi too. (See more about Blood Fever below).
Though if you ask my mother, I need to write more romance!
Romance is HARD. I’m not very good at it. I want to end every scene with a big explosion or an epic fight sequence. BUT I know some of my readers want a little more between Tracey and Damian or Toni and Dan because they keep asking me for it. So, I’m working on it.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
Ha, this is a funny one actually. I do read them. But, I believe a review tells your more about the reviewer than it does about the book they are reviewing. Everyone comes from a different and unique point of view. What some people don’t like others will love. It’s all very subjective. Like people who like cats over dogs and vice versa.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
A good listener.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I have three in the pipeline and Iove each one for very different reasons.
Blood Fever is a noir sci fi. I’m really excited about it – It is going to be published by Incendia Books in the next year. My three main characters are so different and yet so awesome. Keep an eye out for it.
I’m working on book two of the Stones of Power Series and also a new little WIP that I’m really excited about. It’s a contemporary supernatural thriller about a woman who thinks her boss is a serial killer. It has two brilliant grannies who steal the show a little.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
If you want to write, just do it. Don’t live with regret.
Thanks to Laurie for talking to us today. Really interesting answers!
If you want to find out more about Laurie, or any of her work, check out the links below!